Sometimes I think that we humans get hung up on the wrong thing.
In my mind, you are struggling to have personal boundaries in your relationship. I would recommend IC for you to address that. You should be comfortsble and confident sharing your limits without guilt. You have a right to set boundaries around what is acceptable.
You are hung up on "proving" this is wrong. Why? Is this a court of law? Are you not allowed to stand up for your own needs? Do your feelings matter in this marriage? Focus on those things, not "proving" anything.
I was initially like you in my marriage, and I learned to have much better, clearer boundaries with my H. Now I am like this:
1. There is constant conversation with someone of the opposite sex (or any other offensive behavior that is happening) and it is upsetting me.
2. I need to respect my feelings. I can't keep them bottled up. They are real. If I have doubts about my feelings, I seek out IC. I do NOT try to convince myself that I am overreacting or crazy! I respect my feelings and needs or I will end up anxious and depressed.
3. When I feel sure that this is indeed upsetting to me, I share my feelings with my spouse. I explain that I am not comfortable with what is happening.
4. A healthy spouse will work with me. But if my spouse has the stupidity or audacity to suggest this is my issue and my issue alone (rude!), I immediately respect myself and disagree. I do not second guess myself. Then I offer solutions, "What can we change so that I feel better? Are you willing to attend MC? Change your behavior? Compromise?"
5. If my spouse disregards all of my offers, I am in a toxic relationship! THAT is the problem, regardless of the issue at hand. At this point, to betray my needs and feelings is to abandon my own self-protection. We must stand up for ourselves, even if our spouse is angry. We are more important than our marriage. I NO LONGER minimize my needs to avoid conflict. I set my boundaries clearly. I share my plans.
"I see. I am the one that has the problem, ok. I will be attending IC while I figure out the best path forward with a spouse who is so disrespectful of my needs and unable to work with me on it. I will gather info and decide how to proceed in a way that respects me and my life. I know where I stand with you."
6. And then I stop having sex, stop doing household chores, stop doing favors and chit chatting with this supposed spouse because they have DISRESPECTED ME AND THE MARRIAGE. We don't act lovey to someone who just showed us that we don't matter. I face the truth of my M and don't pretend everything is fine. I pull back from someone who hurts me, as I should. I naturally do a 180 because disregarding my needs has natural consequences.
7. At this point, I would hope that the natural consequence of losing the closeness and comfort of the M has brought my spouse back to the table, so to speak. When we actually lose something, it hurts. And we hopefully rethink our choices. But if not, if I have been naturally detaching and 180ing while working in IC, all to no avail with my spouse who is continuing the disrespectful drinking, gambling, cheating, whatever, then it's time to D. There is nothing to work with. But this is months or a year down the road while I get strong and detach and make sure that my spouse is truly unwilling to do the work.
That is the natural evolution of any relationship where you have concerns. You are on step 5! You shared your concerns! What do you need to prove here? That she doesn't care about your feelings? That you don't matter? That your upset is no concern to her at all? Toxic. That's all you need to know.
It's boundary time. Walk the walk. Be different. Work on this in IC. Treat her in a detached manner. Do not be FINE if you are not FINE. She needs to feel the natural consequences of disrespecting your feelings.
Please require she attend MC with you to address this. Find someone who knows infidelity. If she won't attend, you must pull back from this relationship. Or you are allowing her behavior without consequence.
[This message edited by OwningItNow at 12:04 PM, Thursday, May 25th]