I'm sorry, TA74.
That's what I have, too. Last year Perv called to talk to a relative of mine and actually talked of M with OW and I was not even aware she existed!
FWIW, what I have learned that adds to the terribleness of it, is that there are people out there who simply cannot be alone. It doesn't matter to them, the damage they do to another person, so long as their way is had, at any and all costs.
I've seen this with Perv and with another relative and both are NPD, really, really extreme.
What they seem to be searching for is what I call "situations", which include needy people they can entwine themselves with very quickly and of course, control.
The people who taught me these life lessons were the two closest people in my whole life. I will confess he is one and the other? My own mother.
What I'm learning is that NPD's -these two anyway-can hang on a really long time and it tricks the person they "choose" into security, but it's false. It's all false. But when we live it, we want a relationship so badly as well that we fall for it.
I'm watching this with my mother and the current heartthrob, as my father calls them. Unfortunately, he stopped drinking (he claims) and is waking up to her shenanigans. And the more stuff he tries to get her to change, the more he's going to get changed.
I don't know if that will help anyone, but that would be my bet and guess as to what's happening with your STBXH-he's petrified, deep down, to be alone and found a "Willing Victim", like in one of Pink's songs.
I predict for that OW and Perv's OW that as long as they can be doormats and provide what he thinks he wants, they'll stick around. And like my freind says, wait til a flashy skirt goes by again.
The other point that IC made that took a long time for me to handle, is that Perv was detatched from me eons ago and just faking his part in the M until he "secured" his spot with an OW. I was the only one truly being a M person and was M to a shadow.
This woke me up out of my BW fog and has got me moving a bit, though the grief still has heavy times.
I'm sorry for your loss and life changes and wish that we could have had chances for the information with which to make the choices for ourselves, as our spouses did in other ways.
And it's become interesting when I combat the fear and stand up to him, because he'll back down and change the words. It's all about minimalizing and blaming and with that knowledge for me, I can keep reminding myself I'm not the "bad guy" like he tells me.
I'm struggling now because I have to review the draft of the decree and I have no courage.
If anyone has any advice, I would be glad to know it?
I was thinking of starting a thread for that to seek help.
You gave me nothing and now it's all I've got - Bono
A person is a person, no matter how small. -Dr. Suess
Perserverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.