Thank you for your insightful response. I had broached this subject in the 'questions for w/s' section. Although there were people kind and sympathetic enough to answer, I didn't feel I was getting what I needed, so I came here.
Anyway, I have expressed that, while I like the amount, variety and apparent enthusiasm she displays, I feel it's being manufactured for my benefit. It's like she's auditioning.
I have asked her why she's able to do such and such with me now, when before she wouldn't. Why she would do it with OM, but not me. Her answer is that she was playing the roles we seemed to want her to play. For me, she was the good girl, dutiful wife, etc because that's what I wanted. For OM she was the bad girl, drunken prom date, etc because that's what he wanted.
I can buy that on some level because she is a chronic people pleaser. The good side is she's always willing to help others and is usually very patient, but the dark side of this is that sometimes people take advantage and also when things go sideways, she'll take it personally, like SHE failed somehow. We're working on that together. I have to share some blame in this disaster because at times I'm not very expressive with her. Or at least I was. We're working on that too. Not sure either of us is ready for RADICAL honesty, but we are working on it. Still hurts like hell, though.
As far as initiating, this is a sticking point with me also. If I wanted her to shoot nails into her feet with a nail gun, she'd probably do it. No problem or complaints, but she rarely initiates and, even though it's really good, I still get the feeling that it's affected.
Again, if I ask for something it's no problem. I don't think I have really weird, out there, bat-shit crazy desires. But to test her I did ask her for some stuff that I guess could be considered 'on the edge, by some. Stuff I knew in the past she would have strenuously objected to. She didn't. She just put on her 'game face' and powered through. Mind you, I never forced her to do anything or threatened her in any way, but it was a 'shit-test'.
Hey, they do it to us all the time, right?
I feel there are things she doesn't like, even though she says otherwise. So I usually don't ask for them...usually. To push the 'mind movies' and real movies from my mind, sometimes I have needed it, especially early on, and not really caring how she felt about it. Not so much now, but sometimes. And now I DO care.
You made a good point my IC made in that we are divorced, she's still very attractive for her age, (early 50's), and there are guys that try to talk to her from time to time. She has no need to stay with me. It's weird because she dresses like a 1950's schoolmarm: long skirts, button-up blouses with ruffles, horn-rimmed glasses with the chain on them to hold them up, everything loose-fitting. Very, very conservative in dress and behavior...publically. She is the LAST person, looking at her, you'd think of being in this pickle. But, she has a body. Voluptuous, especially since she's been working so hard at, in her words, 'being the wife I've always deserved'. Even after 4 kids...WOW! Everyone says I'm lucky and I agree, which is why I hate this nagging feeling of being 'Plan B'.
Maybe she wants her 'good girl' credentials back? Maybe she's doing it for the kids? I was super hard on her early on and, when my kids wanted to know why I was being such a colossal prick, to her AND them, I told them. They didn't believe at first, but she did confirm it (I was holding the thumb drive with her 'escapades' and I was bonkers enough to show them. She knew it.) The kids were disgusted by the what and the who. They all though OM was a narcissistic creep and my oldest girl thought he was a pig...before any of this became known.
I've asked her to journal and let me see it so I know what she's feeling. She is a private person so she asked for some time. (in the past she would have said NO WAY!) We have arraigned marriage counseling again to help facilitate communication. We both have a tendency to go off the rails.
I'll keep you posted and thank you. If you have any tools or ideas how I can get past this feeling, please share.