Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity

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eyesopen

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Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« on: August 12, 2019, 05:47:56 PM »
My uBPDw cheated on me with multiple men - some of them were emotional rather than physical, but cheating nonetheless.  She says it's over and she's learned that she doesn't want anything to do with them and she wants to focus on healing our marriage.  To show that she means it, she says she's blocked their phone numbers and all social media... all but one of them.

This last one, she says she wants to talk to him before blocking him.  I don't understand why she can't just ghost the guy and move on if she truly wants to work on our marriage.  I think the real reason is that she cares about him and doesn't want to be mean to him.  But to me, that's evidence that she cares more about his feelings than saving our marriage.

She went to visit her cousin who lives 3 hours away (and about 30 miles from her affair partner) last weekend.  She sent pics to prove that she did indeed see her cousin and her whereabouts are mostly accounted for.  But I'm incredibly skeptical about whether she saw the other man, so much that it's turning me into the marriage police and snooping on her.

Our car insurance has vehicle trackers that record time and mileage.  On Saturday night, she says she went with her cousin to buy some alcohol about 11pm then went back to drink and then go to bed.  The vehicle tracker however says she made a single 30mi drive, not two short trips that going to the store would have been.  Then the next day when she drove home, the tracker says she drove a 30mi longer distance rather than what it would have been from her cousin's.

This has me all but certain that she spent the night with the other man.  I asked her about the night (not accusing or tipping my hand about any evidence) and she got all angry and defensive, wondering how we can ever move forward if I don't trust her.  Her overblown reaction just makes me doubt her story even more.  Internally, I'm thinking we can move forward when her actions and words align, when she doesn't get angry when I ask her about something.  Someone with nothing to hide doesn't get angry when asked for a detail or two.

I verbally gave her the benefit of the doubt and allowed her story (probably a lie) to go unchallenged.  I don't buy her story at all, so I'm planning to bide my time and see what happens.  She seems like she genuinely wants our marriage to work, but she's so tangled up in the mess she's created for herself that she doesn't know how to navigate out of it.  I don't owe her the patience I'm giving her while she sorts this out, but I guess I'm not ready to give up on us yet.

I don't want to get played here if she's going to continue cheating - I've been reading on ChumpLady.com and everything there makes our situation look bleak.  So I'm simultaneously acting like I want it to work while I'm also reviewing and beginning to fill out divorce forms.  I don't know what I'm waiting for that will make up my mind either way, but I'm making sure both options are ready to go.

Has anybody's partner cheated and then come back around to realize that they screwed up?  Like, did they show remorse and the cheating stopped forever?  Is our relationship the unicorn that will survive this or is it already doomed and I'm just not willing to admit it yet?

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StayWithMe

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2019, 07:01:19 PM »
My feeling about people who cheat multiple times are never going to change permanently.  It's part of their character. 
do you ever get the sense that she is enjoying doing something clandestine.  that she is enjoying having that kind of power / attraction / influence over other people.  Her activity may slow down as she ages and won't be as physically attractive to as many men as before. 

i have read posts by men who lament the fact that they married the cheerleader / prom queen who, as they age, get up to ever more embarrassing behavior to get attention.

You should get some therapy to ask yourself why you want to stay with this woman and to plan your exit from her life.

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eyesopen

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2019, 07:56:37 PM »
I think part of my indecision about moving forward is because she wasn't always this way.  We had a lot of good years and she never had a wandering eye.

Then her mother died and along with the grief, she feels immense abandonment.  That appeared to trigger a bunch of other BPD traits and her behavior spiraled out of control.  If she can figure out how to deal with the loss of her mother, then maybe she'll stop acting so impulsively.  At least that's what I'm holding out for, to see if this is just a phase that she can move on from.

The other side of it is that she's placing the decision to divorce on me.  I don't think she'll ever file unless I became abusive, which is never going to happen.  Meanwhile, she's getting validation that I'll be there for her no matter what she does.  I need to enforce some boundaries, but divorce is such a big step that I'm hesitant to go that far.

If I decide I've had enough and file for divorce, I'm certain she'll play the helpless victim.  That's how she's constructed this situation, she can say she's working on the marriage while behaving otherwise behind my back.  Then if I choose to end it, I'm the heartless one that gave up when she was still trying.  That's part of what's making me feel trapped - that even though it's not true, I'll be demonized as the marriage destroyer with our family, friends, and our daughter.

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eyesopen

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2019, 02:17:14 PM »
I've been thinking and I want to talk to her to let her know what my needs and boundaries are regarding trust and honesty.  She's frustrated that I don't implicitly trust her anymore and I'm frustrated that she's expecting me to trust things that aren't true.

My need: A partner that makes our relationship a priority and doesn't lie or withhold information to control, protect, or manipulate me.

My boundary: Truth and honesty are paramount in a marriage, so I can only proceed in a relationship if we're both forthcoming about details that affect each other or the relationship.  I will be open and honest and expect that in return.

In the past she's said she's an open book, to ask her anything.  The problem with that approach is that she can still withhold information if I don't ask the right questions.  She can think she's technically being honest by answering me, but she doesn't realize that intentionally withholding information is no different than lying.

That leaves me to snoop on her and confront her with inconsistencies or lies.  That approach has a problem too - that she'll only admit to what I can prove.  It doesn't encourage her to be honest.  Instead, it encourages her to become a more effective liar and keep more things from me.

So what do I do?  Asking her a bunch of questions just makes me an interrogator and doesn't build trust or encourage honesty.  Confronting or accusing her doesn't help either.

Since I'm not ready to walk away just yet, I think my only choice is to lay that out for her.  To say that the only way to build trust is for her to come clean, even if - especially if - it's difficult.  Being married, she should assume that I already know or am going to find out eventually, so admitting to what's really going on is the only way we can move forward.

If she admits to what I already know or suspect without me having to "catch" her with evidence, then maybe I can begin trusting her little by little.  Or if she digs her heels into her lies and fake aliby, then I'll have my answer - that she's not capable of being the honest partner that I need.

Does this approach make sense?  Am I overlooking something?  If my approach makes her feel accused or backed into a corner, she'll get defensive - I don't want that.  How could I bring up this topic so she sees my intentions as "I care about you, so let's work on this" rather than "I already know you're lying, so tell me the truth or it's over"?

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ingenting

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2019, 10:26:04 AM »
Sorry this is all happening to you. A very bad spot to be in. No one here knows your situation better than you. It would be easy for me, as an outsider, to recommend you leave her but it's not so easy making these decisions as the person who is being cheated on.

I think seeing a therapist who understands PD will help you understand healthy relationships and take the needs/wants and what you deserve and help you formulate a plan to leave. Ultimately, based on what you wrote and assuming that she is not in counselling, therapy or any medical treatment, this will not work out. I say this too because while marriage requires constant nurturing, you seem to be the only one doing the work. Changing how you react, giving her the benefit the doubt, walking on egg shells in hopes of getting responses or truth that a non-PD would give without much coaxing.

A therapist will help you gain the clarity that is needed to make these tough decisions. If you end up deciding to leave, they help you process those thoughts of "they will just look good if I leave" and help you use it as momentum to own your truth. Good luck

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PeanutButter

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2019, 05:15:00 PM »
My unpdxh would not fully disclose so we never moved on to me trusting him again.
Dr Phil talks about how a couple can move on after an affair. He says the only way is the partner who cheated has to fully disclose, be willing to answer the questions that their spouse will inevitably have , be willing to be an open book about where you go and what you do and with whom, and accept that it will take alot of time for trust to be rebuilt. 
IME the expectation your w has that you instantly trust her and her defensiveness instead of an explanation as to the descrepencies of her whereabouts are not a good sign.
IMO you are on the right track with those boundaries you thought of.
Good luck! I know its hard.

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Jorainbow

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2019, 04:09:54 AM »
I'm glad I came across this thread though not for your situation as I'm in the same position in all aspects. Multiple infidelity either physical or online yet I should trust him straight away and within his timescales. We were once talking about how I still found trust to be an issue and his answer was what I've I done recently that's bad! He expects me to decide what happens and then when I try an adult discussion about separating it's what I wanted all along. I've tried implementing boundaries and I'm called a control freak so you may find that thrown back at you. My heart is now at the point my head was at a year or so ago which is enough is enough.

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eyesopen

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2019, 02:49:11 PM »
I spoke with her about my boundaries and tried to avoid accusing her of lying to me.  She kept telling her lie and trying to emphasize how my lack of trust was the real problem.  Since she wouldn't volunteer any real information about her actions, I did what I wanted to avoid and told her what I knew about her spending the night with the other man.  She accepted my accusation without putting up any resistance.

She says that she IS working on our marriage even though she's continuing to see him.  She rationalizes it by saying that what she's doing with him is no big deal, not meaningful, and that neither of them wants to be in a relationship with each other.  She even pointed out how she's not even thinking about me when she's with him, that when she's with him it's something completely different and separate from what we have.  She did a really bad job of explaining her point, but what she was trying to say is that I matter to her and the other guy doesn't.

I'm stunned and I don't know how to process this.  I'm telling her how important the issue is to me, how our relationship will end in divorce if she continues seeing people outside our marriage.  If the other man means as little as she says, why tear her family apart over him?

After hearing why I won't put up with a continuing extramarital affair, she says "Should I just lie about it?"  I told her that if she's going to see him again, I'd like her to tell me.  It's something I'd rather weren't happening at all, but if I know then at least I won't have the urge to snoop on her.  Since she cares more about my snooping than her own disrespectful and damaging behavior, I figured that might be a reason she could deal with.

If she chooses to be honest and tell me she's going to see him, I won't give her any lectures or judgemental comments.  I plan to tell her, "You know how I feel about this and we've talked at length about how being physical with him is not compatible with us repairing our marriage.  Since this is what you want, here's a draft parenting plan and division of assets.  Review it, let me know what you think, and hopefully we can reach an agreement to file as uncontested."

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Pepin

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2019, 05:07:39 PM »
Then her mother died and along with the grief, she feels immense abandonment.  That appeared to trigger a bunch of other BPD traits and her behavior spiraled out of control.  If she can figure out how to deal with the loss of her mother, then maybe she'll stop acting so impulsively.  At least that's what I'm holding out for, to see if this is just a phase that she can move on from.

This nailed it on the head.  My DH went through this with the death of his father of whom he really did not have much of a relationship with.  Also, the stress of dealing with his widowed mother and her grief (without addressing his own grief) caused DH to sink into a world of guilt that led him to do unsavory things within our marriage. 

Who are they going to take it out on?  Us.  Their spouses because we are the closest.

My DH has said all the same things about "learning his lesson" and that "he won't do unsavory things again".  Of course, I cannot believe him.

All along I have had to decide what I want to do.  And, it's hard when your spouse like mine was not this way at the beginning of the marriage. 

Only you can decide what is right for you.  Your wife and my DH are both showing us exactly who they are RIGHT NOW. 

I did consider leaving my marriage and have documented everything if I need to get out.  Unfortunately in my case, I stay (on high alert) because if I leave, my children will be more exposed to PDmil.  I stay to shield them of that...the lesser evil.  Sucks but they are teens and understand my position very well now and we talk a lot about it.  They resent their father and know I am doing everything I can. 

When PDmil is gone, I will reassess my marriage based on DH's behavior.  Mentally, I have kind of moved on from him already because I just cannot participate in the mind games and enmeshment craziness that he and PDmil have going on.  I just can't. 

FIL's death 100% stopped me from being a doormat I previously was (to be accepted into DH's family) and I can never go back to being that way again. 

I am so sorry for what you are going through but you have incredible strength for moving forward as you are doing. 
Why work so hard to have a relationship with someone that does not care the same way as you?

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

Born into a dysfunctional family and married into a dysfunctional family.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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Liftedfog

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2019, 09:25:50 AM »
I'm sorry you are going through this. You know already if you stay exactly what you will get with her, which is more of the same. Today it's that guy, tomorrow is another.  She rationalizes her cheating and minimizes it like it's no big deal. But it is a big deal to you and I would be so concerned about catching an STD.  You deserve better. I agree you can use this time to get counselling. It will help you take the right direction for YOU.  Stay strong.

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hardrockcy

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2019, 06:20:54 PM »
hI eyesopen,
are there any updates regards your situation? i was separated for some months from my fiancee and she started seeing another man, but once I returned she accepted us being together and immediately stopped with him.

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eyesopen

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2019, 06:06:02 PM »
In the time since my last post to this thread, our relationship has been improving.  My wife has had her own apartment since January and our daughter went back and forth every few days, but for the last month they've both been staying with me at our house.  It's been nice to live all together again and our communication with each other has been better than ever - we're both navigating well through conversations that previously would have turned into arguments.

The contact with other men has stopped (or at least she says it has).  She hasn't had any unusual or unexplained outings, so I don't suspect her of seeing anyone recently.  She has been realizing that the other men don't really care about her, they just care about what she can do for them.  Compared to me, as someone that cares about her and will listen and talk with her about whatever she's feeling or going through, she's discovering that I'm capable of meeting her needs while the other guys cannot and are a waste of her time.

It's going to take a lot more time to trust where our relationship appears to be heading.  Things are on a good trajectory now.  She wore a ring on her ring finger the other day - the first time she's done that in over a year.  If she continues showing with her words and actions that our marriage is important to her and she wants to remain together forever, then I'll "propose" to her with a new ring when I feel the time is right and I can trust her.

Of course, there's a chance things won't stay on the same trajectory and she'll cheat again.  So while I'm happy with where it's going, I'm not rushing into making any permanent commitments because I need to see more consistency over time.  I still have divorce documents downloaded and partially filled out.  I don't know if I'll ever need them, but I'm keeping them for now just in case.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2019, 11:12:46 AM »
I would not trust either. 

If she was contrite, she would willingly be an open book and would humbly accept your questions.

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Jorainbow

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2019, 06:23:04 AM »
I agree with you 1foot. My stbexh expected me to forget and move in a couple of weeks after his last cheating and then blamed the fact our marriage  is ending on  the fact I hadn't and was still asking questions! The other day he completely misinterpreted a text I sent and when I said let's have a look on your phone as it must be different to what mine says (which I happily showed him), he complete refused. Can't think why 🤔🤔🙄.  My request for full disclosure was always met with 'you're just controlling'. 

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lostsister

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2019, 10:43:36 AM »
The one thing that I would do is the next time she is going to visit her 'cousin'.....hire a private detective to monitor her while there.  That way you will know exactly what she did while there.  You will not be playing the 'guessing game'.  And you will have your 'proof' of what she did for the divorce proceedings.  Just don't tip your hand even when filing the divorce papers.  Don't lead on that you know what you know even if the private detective confirms what you believe.  The reason - if she plays the 'victim' role.....your lawyer pulls out the private detective proof....and blows her 'victim' out the window.

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eyesopen

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2020, 07:48:39 PM »
For 3 months after my last update here, our relationship continued on a positive trajectory.  W was kind, respectful and honest with me and our daughter.  She voluntarily told me in early November that she and the other guy did indeed have sex when she was with him in August.  I asked why she'd tell me that, and she responded that she didn't want to lie anymore because lying made her feel like she's a terrible person and she doesn't want to live that way.

It was hard to hear the truth, but I respected her finally being honest.  She continued to lean into our relationship and everything seemed wonderful.  She decided to get rid of her apartment, since she wasn't spending time there anyway, and move back in permanently with me.  She was very clear and decisive in saying that she knows that she and I are right for each other, belong together forever, and she has no interest in being with anyone else ever again.  So she vacates her apartment, turns in the keys, and begins settling back in with me at the end of December.  Everything's perfect....

Then on January 1st, she's sitting next to me on the couch and I see that she's exchanging texts with her affair partner.  I ask "Why, if we're committed to moving forward in our relationship with each other, are you still in touch with your affair partner?"  Her response was basically, "You can't tell me who I can or can't talk to.  I don't want you controlling me.  I'm going to do what I want."  She also seemed to take issue with my use of the term "affair partner" as if she hadn't realized up until that point that what she was doing was cheating on me. :stars:

She starts talking about moving out again, finding another apartment, because things don't "feel right" with us anymore.  I told her, "Fine.  I want a committed, monogamous relationship where we're both equally invested in each other and our joint future.  If you don't want that with me, then you should move out.  And if you do, we're divorcing and you're never coming back."  She didn't have much more to say other than she doesn't know what she wants but she's thinking about it.

Then today....  I get a text from her that she just tested positive for syphilis and I should get checked.  Fortunately, it's treatable so I'm not particularly worried... just feeling upset and in awe that I'm dealing with this.  I'm nearly 40, have only been intimate with one person in my life (we started dating in high school and I was faithful to her since then), have a wife that 2 weeks ago was professing her undying love for me, and now this.

I'm taking care of myself.  I'm being a great father to our daughter.  I'm doing my best to M/C with W.  I'm not necessarily in a hurry to end all this nonsense, but my patience is definitely running out.  I have a feeling that unless she switches back to love bombing, W will be planning her move out within the next few weeks.

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2020, 08:22:43 PM »
Wow.  That's a lot to deal with.  You have my sympathy.

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eyesopen

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2020, 04:56:20 PM »
But wait, there's more.  Earlier this week, W made a big deal questioning me about whether I'm spying on her or tracking her location in any way.  I told her I'm done being detective and I don't want to have a relationship where I feel the need to spy on my partner.  Unless W is with me, my only way of knowing where she is is what she tells me.  She was very worried that I'd just show up when she's out with friends, even though I've never done that.  She seemed content after my answer.

Last night she goes into the city to supposedly meet a friend that was in town for work to hang out and have drinks.  I have no problem with that if it's true.  But I wake up this morning to get ready for work and she's not home.  I send some texts asking where she is, is she ok, when is she coming home, and such.  What I eventually hear back is, "sorry, I fell asleep."  It's W's responsibility to get our daughter to school in the morning because she teaches at the same school.  She shirked that responsibility without telling me anything, she must have called in sick or something, and I end up 3 hours late for work as a result.

Um, I don't think I'm being unreasonable here, but if you're meeting a friend for drinks in a big city, you don't just fall asleep and forget to tell your spouse where you are or when you're coming home.  Unless she slept on the street (it's January and rainy), she clearly stayed the night with someone and she's not being forthcoming about who or where.

Unless she has a great explanation that doesn't reek of deception and lies, I think my time in the "Committed to Working On It" forum may be over.

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NumbLotus

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2020, 05:09:57 PM »
I am the queen of benefit of the doubt.

Your wife spent the night with another man and left you to deal with the fallout of not doing her parenting duties.

There is NO reasonable explanation except the obvious.

You  do not need a videotape to be justified in leaving. You have tolerated an enormous amount.

It's the PD worldview that has you feeling like the onus is on you to have eliminated every possibility no matter how irrational or insane. The onus should be on her. You can be done.
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, noone here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear

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eyesopen

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Re: Marriage police - unable to trust after infidelity
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2020, 05:47:08 PM »
I am the queen of benefit of the doubt.

Your wife spent the night with another man and left you to deal with the fallout of not doing her parenting duties.

There is NO reasonable explanation except the obvious.

You  do not need a videotape to be justified in leaving. You have tolerated an enormous amount.

It's the PD worldview that has you feeling like the onus is on you to have eliminated every possibility no matter how irrational or insane. The onus should be on her. You can be done.
You're right.  You're absolutely right.

The circumstances, her actions that I know about, and her lack of forthrightness tell me all I need to know.  I'm far more resolute in my course forward than my previous message implies.

I'm sure it's part of the FOG, but I'm just in awe at how this person I've known and trusted for 23 years is behaving.  This site is really helping me to see and understand her actions for what they really are and not get myself wrapped up in whatever lie she wants to spin or get lost in the hope that she'll change.

Most likely when we speak next, she'll still be cagey about details and instead try to play for sympathy saying "I'm terrible.  I know I shouldn't be this way and you deserve someone better.  Boo hoo, poor me."  I won't be playing that game.  She can say as much or little about it as she chooses - I won't ask - then we can discuss her moving out.