It hurts so much when you see who they truly are, but please believe him. He does not want the M enough to really change and be a safe partner for you. ((hugs))
- He blamed you for him sexting other women,rather than owning his own poor choices
- He refuses transparency & would rather destroy a phone than show it to you
- He refuses to be honest with you about what he has said/done with other women
- He is still controlling
- He has not sought help about his violent threat to you
He wanted time to destroy evidence. Perhaps even kick out an OW for the afternoon. He wants to keep you in the dark.
He wants to keep his secrets. Secrets keep us sick and he wants to stay sick. He can't stay sick and have you in his life.
My guess is his infidelity is far broader than you even have an inkling of. The sad clown exhibited much of the same behaviour (sans me being aware of sexting) but he has always had poor boundaries and he has always had inappropriate female relationships. Looking back I now realise he had slept with virtually all of them.
What he was doing is cake eating and hoovering. Read the Hoovering thread.
Almost all of them do it and they will keep doing it for as long as we let them.
((Regainingsanity)) I too was gaslighted to within an inch of my sanity. I thought I was the crazy one. Nothing made sense and he told me I was being crazy and I stared to believe him.
It is a very common tactic. Controlling us via emotional abuse - it escalates to physical sometimes too.
Be prepared for him to go feral once he realises you are serious about D. They don't like it when they lose control of us.
I understand being terrified of D even when faced with an unremorseful WS who is still cheating. It is not what we planned for in life. In fact, it is the opposite of what we planned for in life.
But your WS has given you a clear message. He does not want to have a real M. He wants to have you when it is convenient for him and also have his whores without your interference. He does not want to be a family man.
Go NC with him as much as possible. Keep all communication business like and only about kids and finances. Gather the strength you need to file for D. While you are gathering strength, talk to several L and decide which one you should retain.