I appreciate everyone's responses. I'll share an update, but wanted to respond to everyone first.
Leafields: Thank you for sharing. I read your story and am so sorry for what you had to go through. I'm glad you were able to get out of your destructive and abusive relationship.
I used my time and did a lot of research on my own, so when I decided the time had come to stick a fork in it, I waited for him to come in late one night and simply handed him my vision of a draft agreement.
Your approach seems reasonable and well thought out. I read your advice some time ago (sorry for the late response!) and am trying something like this. I've told my STBXWH that I retained an attorney and documents are being drafted. I went ahead and told him so he can start wrapping his head around it. I'm waiting on the documents to be drafted and to feel 100% ready before I confront him.
When he returned from his trip I handed him a folder with all of the paperwork and let him know that they were for him. He hasn't tried to talk to me about it, continues to avoid me. His actions and silence speak volumes and at this point I believe I will never get the answers I'm owed.
I'm so sorry you're going through this as well. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders and be handling this very well. It's such a terrible situation for all of us BS to be put in, and even worse when your WS won't confront what they've done, blameshift, stonewall (and the list goes on). Have you been able to get WH to talk about the documents yet? If you've filed, does your WH have to respond by a certain time (that's how it works in my state)?
My STBXWH has tried to give me answers, but I think I've realized at this point that there's really nothing he could do/say to make me want to stay in this M anymore. I don't particularly care about his "reason" for having an A. The fact is, he cared more about himself and his short-term happiness than me, our M or our family. Whether he thought he would be caught (apparently, he didn't so he justified it since I would "never know") or not, he decided it was worth risking our M.
We have mostly NC now but will communicate if it is in regards to the kids.
What does NC look like for you? I have found I'm trying to keep things on a cordial but surface level during our interactions, but NC isn't possible for us with our young children. I'm trying to make this as easy on them as possible which is resulting in them talking to each of us every night and switching houses multiple times a week.
I did have a couple of deeper conversations in the last month with WH. He still wants to R, and at the urging of my IC, I decided to give myself time. I feel anxious to move things along, but I recognize the importance of making sure I'm 100% sure before I do anything. My other motivations are around WH's mental health (giving him time to come to grips with this) and finances. Before the A, he was a SAHF (although he generally only had to watch the kids about 1 day a week, ha), so I'd like to wait until he has his finances in order before moving forward. That said, I haven't felt any reservations. I know I don't want to be in the M anymore even as I long for the M I thought I had before all of this. Still, it's hard to take the next steps.
He has made it all about him being the victim of my leaving him and breaking up the family. He actually frames me as worse than any of his infidelities but a narc has got to have a smear campaign and boy does he have one against me
I relate to this. My WH is similar. He can't believe our M could be over because of his "little" A (ONS, supposedly). Even after he's told me how much he wants to R, when we talk it's always all about him (what he's doing in his life, his worries about his future, using me as his therapist, etc.) and not about the pain, hurt and anger I'm dealing with. He's a serious rugsweeper.
Could be bipolar. Your description of him sounds like it.
Yes! Actually, after DDay I thought through our whole relationship and suggested he might have BPD. He's latched onto that and thinks that's the case. He's used that almost as justification for his actions since he "wasn't himself" and "couldn't control his emotions." Unfortunately for our M, that doesn't change anything for me. He is opposed to getting/using any sort of medication for BPD (odd to me, considering the number of substances he's chosen to use-and abuse-over the years, both prescription and illegal), so I don't have reason to believe he'll improve if he has BPD.
I'm so sorry for what you went through having a WW that didn't even try to R. I am glad you were able to see her true colors pretty quickly and move on. Are you happier post D?
I gave my WW 6 months to pull her head out of her ass and show me that she could do the work tonfix what she broke. I wanted an indication that she was going to lean into the process of R. I didn't tell her, as she is a performative person and would have faked it until day 181.
I waited a while to tell my WH anything he could do to fix this M for that same reason. I decided a few weeks ago to give him some pointers to see if it made a difference to me on whether to R/D. He made a list (took a lot of work to get him to even be willing to make a list, as he kept saying "he didn't know what he could do"). He has set up one time of us doing something together without the kids and is doing IC. He sends me messages that he wants to stay together. Nothing else is happening. There's my answer. Looking back, I feel I've always given more to this M than he was, but I didn't recognize it. Now, with kids, I feel even more so that he's just another child I have to take care of.
Given this post is so long, I'll respond to everyone else in another one!