Our expert says:
Long, long ago, an English poet made the sensible remark that :distance lends enchantment to the view", meaning that art a distance, in geography or time, things and people are remembered as being far better than they actually are.
From your description, he does indeed sound low in self-esteem and very emotionally needy, which is not usually the basis for a long and happy relationship. Forget that weasel word "confront" which has become FAR too popular these days. Confrontation is usually not helpful unless all else fails, and not even, always, then. I like Liza's suggestion that you ask him to help you by joining you in couples counselling --- and in that setting these broader problems can be addressed
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