I came from a bad marriage where I was cheated on and emotionally abused. I have a very low self esteem due to a bad childhood and a bad marriage, I am currently seeing a therapist to get through these issues.
I understand that therefore, you feel "safe" with being with someone that you believe won't cheat on you or be emotionally abusive towards you.. I understand that your previous marriage made you feel vulnerable and that you probably entered that marriage due to your childhood problems.
I'm really pleased that you've taken the time to work through all of this through a therapist. You have to find yourself before you can find what you want.
What you want more than anything is to love and receive love back.
This man doesn't like to show affection or give much of it.. You can't change that, he's told you he feels smothered.
You don't want to walk through life feeling that you are in a loveless relationship either.
I'd take a step back, keep seeing your therapist, learn more about what YOU want in life not what you've HAD... Then allow someone to come into your life.
He sounds like he would take care of you and your children but that you will forever feel un-loved. Because you haven't started loving yourself yet..