I'm glad you're taking those financial security steps today, TFC. I regret it, but I think it's necessary to protect yourself and your daughter from a WH who is increasingly in a fog it appeared he was coming out of at one point.

I’ve gone over all your posts in this thread and, in a sense, things aren’t as bad now as they once were. (In another sense, things are worse because I’m afraid the current detachment is deliberate, where the “acting out” was more emotional and poorly considered than anything else.) At one point he was running around, acting single, and not bothering to even come home after nights out. He was singularly unapologetic about it too.

He cleaned up his act and it appeared he was going to begin to work with you on the marriage…and then something happened. He seems to have inexplicably reversed course again, though his “acting out” isn’t in the same mold as it was before. Is there any event you can think of that occurred about the same time his new attitude began to assert itself?

As far as combating gaslighting, I think reverse babble would be a very effective thing to use. Alternately, you could establish a boundary of not listening to demeaning remarks intended to manipulate you. You can’t control his speech, but you can certainly set up a boundary that you won’t listen. He controls his actions; you control yours. If you courteously let him know you’re not going to be spoken to in that fashion and walk out of the room when he starts something like that, he’ll get the idea pretty quickly. Reverse babble AND turning around and walking away might have interesting results.

Detachment and determining how long your love can last when WH seems to be working hard at distancing himself are difficult questions. He’s distancing himself emotionally from you, and I sense from his daughter also, though you haven’t specifically said so. It’s especially troubling because it seems to be part of a deliberate plan. In short, and very regretfully, I see your WH engaging in a pattern of behavior that isn’t very promising. As you say, I think if you let him control how the end game plays out in this, you and your daughters may wind up victims. I don't want to see that.

Comments, folks?