Let me first say thank you, as always. Sounding like a broken record seems to be a part of this situation and I appreciate the patience you all show. Second, everything you say makes perfect sense and is exactly what goes through my mind some days. I feel like I'm in my own fog half the time. As soon as I wake up and see what a fucking idiot I'm being, I snap right back into it. I've been trying to figure out why and the best I can come up with is that I have to let go of those "rules" that I adhered to in the marriage.
The rules that you have to see your spouse and marriage as unique and something that no one else can understand, and the rule that you have to believe that you can just talk your way through everything and trust your spouse is there for you...well, they don't apply anymore. But on those days when WW is lying to me (and, in all fairness, herself) about what she wants, it becomes way too easy to get sucked back into the rules. I have to make a conscious decision to stop.
I think I've had a hard time accepting what I need to do, because I truly believe that my wife is confused. I'm not excusing anything she's doing, but I imagine it is so much easier to walk away from someone who is intentionally manipulative and deceitful than to walk away from someone with her history of abuse and problems who is seriously lying to herself probably more than she's lying to me.
I've done a lot of (productive) thinking lately and I realize that I'm focusing my energy in the wrong place and don't even see it. We had a 'heart to heart' this weekend where I gave her even more power over me, but during the course of the conversation a light went off. I realized that I wasn't trying to convince her to come back or to leave the other guys alone. I was trying to convince her that she could trust me and that I really loved her. As I was talking I started to think, "Why the fuck would she be questioning my love and fidelity? Shouldn't it be the other way around?"
I was actually sitting there telling her about the women who've asked me out lately and trying to prove to her I care about her because I turned them down. I realized that this is all wrong. I can't do this anymore. I went through her phone (without her permission) and saw the craziest thing. She has a friend who has been cheated on and that friend essentially has her 180'ing me. She's convinced my wife that the cheating was my fault and without calling it the 180, that's what she's encouraging her to do because it worked with her wayward husband...but I'm not the wayward one. Every time I cry or bargain or apologize for something that is not my fault, it becomes confirmation to her that the strategy is working. Wow. That was an eye opener. Since then, I'm all on board for the 180 and it may be a short lived feeling, but I don't actually give a damn what her reaction to it is, so long as I feel better.