Here's a little niggling detail that I'm thinking about this morning only because it happened yesterday.
I'm not picking on my STBXWW here or trying to pile on her, I just want to provide this bc it might help some other members who are teeter-tottering on the R vs D spectrum as they think about what's right for them.
So during her affair, my STBXWW for some reason thought it might be beneficial as part of her gaslighting of me to recruit a friend of hers into the idea I had unfounded paranoia and was the stereotypical "jealous husband."
I don't know why she thought this would somehow bolster her case or make me have doubts, but she did. She engaged this girlfriend in a conversation about how I was acting very suspicious and paranoid. Her friend reacted with "well, do you think he might be having an affair and is projecting on to you?"
For this girlfriend it was one short conversation four years ago that she'd forgotten about.
My WW told me about the conversation during the time she'd managed to convince me I was unjustly paranoid, and it was in the context of "see other people think you're being a bit nuts too. it's not just me."
The interesting thing about this episode is that it was one of several things that shook me out of my trance in that time, enabled me to pick myself back up and know that my gut instinct was actually right and that she must be cheating on me. It was one of the things that compelled me to place VARs everywhere. When she told me about this conversation, it seemed very off and like something someone would do if they were trying to manipulate and cover their tracks.
Now keep in mind, this girlfriend never knew and never found out that my WW was in fact cheating on me. My STBXWW told me about this conversation while she was in the middle of gaslighting me and during the period when she had for a few weeks during the affair convinced me that I'd falsely accused her and that we might be divorcing because of my unfounded paranoia.
After D-Day I brought up a number of times how it bothered me that my WW had portrayed me in a false light to this friend of hers, and probably to others, and that this woman had a false impression about me.
I told her several times that I would like for her to set the record straight.
She never did.
So flash forward to yesterday. My WW set up an afternoon cocktail/dinner appt with this girlfriend and talked to her for nearly three hours, opened up about the affair, set the record straight, etc. At least according to her. I wasn't there, so I really have no idea what they discussed.
And interestingly for me as I observe myself, I don't care what they talked about.
What I care about is that here we are nearly 4 years later after I've already told her I want a divorce, after I've spent the last week gathering paperwork and looking into the right attorney for me. And now she tells the friend.
And I care about it not bc it changes my mind -- not in the least. I care about it for what it reveals, for how it confirms for me yet again that what I'm doing is the right thing.
I looked at her last night and said, "so why did you do that? I've brought this up any number of times and you never felt the need to do it before." I said this in a very matter of fact, flat de-escalated tone.
Her answer: "Because you brought it up again."
I shrugged and went about what I was doing. I wasn't angry. I wasn't sad. I wasn't anything except nonplussed I suppose.
As I said, I'm bringing it up now because all of this came up again last night -- and because it demonstrated to me how tragically my STBXWW is STILL trapped in damaging thought patterns.
The unkind interpretation is that a wayward spouse who is not truly remorseful is in damage control and thinking she can try timeworn gambits to manipulate me.
The kinder interpretation is that a wayward spouse who is desperate is scrambling for ways to show me she's remorseful -- all the while tragically digging the hole deeper.
Or maybe both?
It was just more confirmation for me that I'm on the right path. I thought you would all find it somewhat elucidating.
[This message edited by Thumos at 1:51 PM, August 8th (Saturday)]