There’s a lot to say here but I’m going to address only this right now:
“Or maybe I have just forgotten that to love myself first means I cannot sacrifice my soul for theirs.
That I need to step aside when they get stuck in the swampy pits of self-doubt and fear — when they shut down, close the door, make sure there is nothing you or anyone else can do.”
You absolutely cannot sacrifice your soul for theirs. At least not all the time. People move through stuff at different rates. Sometimes you give, sometimes you receive. Sometimes you give and give and give. If the love is real though, eventually it all comes back around. I know way too many people who just don’t have the patience to wait. And maybe this time it never will be. That’s a risk you always take in love. Or maybe, you should just walk away for awhile and check back a couple of months later. It’s the tendency to cut people out after some arbitrary length of time YOU choose that never gives them the chance to come to terms in their own time. It’s the expectations that our lovers will give love in the same manner as we do that torpedos relationships.