Thank all of you again for the replies. I'll give everyone another update.
I woke up yesterday feeling like D was my only option: I had given her the things I needed and she refused to provide them--if I didn't move forward with D, I didn't see a viable alternative. I can certainly separate emotionally and physically from her (we haven't had sex since Thursday)--that feels like hardening my position down the same path I've been taking; and I'm open to that.
Two things happened yesterday: First, I read PowerWithin's posts multiple times (reading them to my wife as well); second I had the conversation with my MIL, who had clearly abandoned my wife's camp and was seeing exactly the things everyone else was seeing in my WW.
PowerWithin's posts suggested an opposite approach to what I've been doing--rather than force my way to healing and force my wife's way to corrective behavior, we both meet in the middle and do those things as a team. Of course, to do that, I still need my wife to lead the way, something she has thus far shown she can't do--she is always concerned with herself as the #1, certainly not me or the marriage.
I sat down with my wife for another talk last night--a long one. I pit every ounce of my effort into bringing forward to her the harsh reality while delivering it with a positive attitude. I was calm, controlled and left behind the doom that sometimes accompanies our chats. I needed her to get back on the "coaster" first.
My wife looked like a scared animal, frightened in the corner, ready to lash out at anything that approached her, but she tried to put on a receptive face. She felt the world was against her: me, her sister, her mother, her former IC, our MC and this forum. They all thought she was the bad guy and she wanted to burn down her bridges to all those things so she can go dig a hole and sit in it.
I can deeply relate to that feeling--when you're dug in on something and wrong about it--it's hard to back down because it's a direct shot to your ego and pride. It's easier to assume everyone is just wrong, or an asshole. For her, the idea that everyone else is right and she's wrong would mean she's the villain--and as all of you have pointed out, no one is the villain of her own story.
I pushed and told her this is her moment to recognize what's happening. Me, her family, a forum of strangers, the therapists we're paying $250/hour; none of them are out to hurt her--they're all giving the best advice they can. She needs to turn it from evil judgements in her mind to instead valid criticisms and support. She needs to internalize what is being said to her and accept at least the possibility that it's true.
I talked for a long time. I thought I was getting through to her. I could see the wheels in her head turning.
Sadly, the wheels turning were still on her seething anger and vindictive thought processes to all the people that had turned on her.
Her sister: She texted me earlier in the day to note that she had been taking a medication to suppress her desire to have alcohol; she noted it worked for her and wanted my thoughts on suggesting it for my wife before she did. My wife couldn't wait for her to recommend it to her so she could ignore the text--she wanted to stop talking with her sister entirely because she reached out to me to discuss her.
Her mother: "How dare she call me uncontrite? She has no idea what's even been happening here the last 2.5 months! And I already apologized to her for feeding her all those lies!" She decided she didn't want to visit her parents in August anymore because she would feel so judged by them--but the obvious truth was she wanted to punish them, not allowing them to see their grandkids because they had "turned" on her.
Our MC: "All [MC] does is judge me. What has [MC] really done to help me? Honestly?" She also referenced "therapists" at times, referring obviously to her first IC she stopped seeing (she hasn't known new IC long enough to be critical of her).
This forum: You're all a bunch of strangers who have no idea what is happening and are against her because you're all on my side (on the bright-side, that means she's certainly stopped reading the thread as the last few days were a doozy for me LOL).
Me: She was still questioning "why" I wanted to reach out to OBS, but I stopped her immediately as I knew I couldn't keep my calm demeanor if we attempted that conversation again. She let it go, and she seemed to have virtually no other vindictiveness left for me, but I also felt no love in her eyes. I don't know if that's because she's so consumed with trying to hurt the people against her or if it's because she genuinely has no love for me and thus has no desire to be vulnerable to heal our marriage because she doesn't want to have a marriage with me. I think it's both, but I know I'll be accused of creating a false narrative by some of you, and perhaps that's fair.
I took it all in, stunned. I had never seen such pettiness and vindictiveness from anyone, let alone her. It was an insane, scorched earth mindset. Just as her mother said, she was determined to destroy her life, guns ablaze, and no one could get through to her before she did.
I took a deep breath and asked her what she wanted in life. She could force the end of our marriage, ostracize her family and stop going to therapy. Then she could go off alone and dig her hole to sit in. But then what? Would she be happy with that person sitting in the hole? Would she be happy burning bridges with all the people in her life trying to support her? All for her pride? All so she can think she won, even though the rest of the world will see her as a loser?
I again re-enforced that every single thought she had just revealed was bull shit and wrong.
- She should reach out to her sister and thank her for being so supportive.
- She she should reach out to her mother and apologize again for horribly abusing their relationship--but mean it this time.
- She should show up at MC/IC and internalize every single criticism she receives so she can explore all of it.
- She should start posting on these forums and open herself to the harsh light (she still hasn't been registered though).
- And lastly, she should drop to her knees and thank whatever god she wants that her abused husband is still sitting here talking with her, expressing what might be the last genuine love from another living creature on this planet that she'll ever see.
We broke from the conversation and she returned back to me. She told me I was right and that her anxieties kept pushing her in a direction that doesn't make sense to her. She doesn't want to be the person with those vindictive points of view and she wants a life that includes me and her family. She told me she wants to get on the "coaster." I told her that her words were obviously meaningless and she said she understood.
It was a hard evening, even though I spent most of it with a smile and a friendly/supportive tone. Neither of us raised our voices at all. I forced all my anger for her down deep and never let anything show--I showed only love. If PowerWithin is right, and that's what she needs from me, I thought I'd give that one last shot.
I kept my physical distance and tried to go to bed. And of course the images crept back into my head--I just kept thinking of AP licking her asshole. I don't share that to be crude, only to demonstrate how broken my mind is right now--I feel like I'm juggling several butcher's knives without any juggling experience. My mind feels broken yet I need to be using it at a higher level now than ever before.
My daughter woke us up a few hours later and I couldn't fall back to sleep. I sat up all night with all the above thoughts circling in my mind.
We go to MC in a few hours and I plan on laying all of this out--including my wife's feelings for the MC. I need to air out her vindictive instincts in the hopes someone can get through to her because it feels like time's already up and I'm lingering for one last curiosity. I'm also looking to see how she handles the OBS discussion in therapy--I'm betting she's going to defend her position to try to recruit the MC to her side of the argument. Maybe I'm over-reacting, but I don't know that our marriage will survive if she does that.
Today is important to me--I suspect an explosive MC session is coming and then a family vacation tomorrow. I don't know if I'm mentally prepared for the end, but I won't deny I feel like I'm standing on the edge right now. I'm on virtually no sleep, so it's certain I'm unclear, but I felt like last night was my Hail Mary.
[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 2:01 PM, Monday, June 6th]