Thanks again for your thoughtful response.
To answer your first question, I can't really determine what me partner does consciously or subconsciously, but chest rubbing could be self-soothing, I hadn't considered that. I think I've become accustomed to feeling stressed and apprehensive when I see him doing things like that, because historically it's meant panic attacks or meltdowns that have taken over the whole day. But if I think about it, a lot of the time he'll do it and nothing will come of it, so I could probably stand to let go of that apprehension.
Lol, I've said the same to my partner, jokingly, 'you know I'm usually right, right?'. And sometimes he'll do something on his own and then tell me how beneficial it was, like going for a walk or getting out of the house or just talking. And I'm like, 'told ya so!' but ultimately, he won't do anything because I tell him to, he will only do things on his own terms. Me fighting that is useless, and your daughter's words are very on this point and very wise.
To answer your other questions... What effort I want to put into myself, and how I want to evolve? I want to get better with my boundaries, so that I'm not fooled into thinking I can change his behaviour. He's shown me over years that that'll never be the case, and I've shown myself that whole time that it only makes me resentful and tired. So.. I want to start letting go of control, and allowing him to live his life, even if I don't agree with it and even if he doesn't like how it is- that's more likely to motivate him to change than I ever will with words.