LH - I am seeing some positive signs here as well. I want to address several things from your post:

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Second, you didn’t say how you heard of his friend’s comment about you being cool. If he relayed that to you...

He is the one who told me this. I had just gotten home from work and he was on the phone with this friend. Then, at dinner he told me this.

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The "wouldn't your life be easier without me" comment was made over the phone so I couldn't see what expressions were associated with it. But I can say that I think it is something that was said to gauge my reaction. My reaction was: "Maybe, maybe not. But that's not what I want so I've never really contemplated it."

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I like your suggestions about the victim comment. I suppose I should have noted my reaction to the question. When he asked if I felt like a victim, I replied "No, I don't. I take responsibility for what I've done. I don't like what you did, but I'm not a 'victim'. I prefer not to play the martyr card." He just smiled. Maybe I passed that test?

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Now, something has happened about the date night that I didn’t catch. Why were you waiting for a call from the sitter to tell her she wasn’t needed? I’m trying to read between the lines of what you wrote, but it seems to me he was still planning to take you somewhere. What happened here? Something happened behind the scenes?

Well, first let me clarify that it wasn't really a "date" - I suppose I didn't make that clear. It was something work-related that he invited me to. I've tried to be vague when it comes to job-related stuff for him - if I'm specific, it would pretty much give away our identity.

Now, the sitter was my sister - she was kind of "on call" for tonight ... knowing that there was a possibility that I may not be going.

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You wrote that he (grumpily?) said you could come “if you wanted to.” TFC, please understand us guys sometimes don’t speak with all the eloquence we’d like to sometimes. If the glass is half full, he might have been asking you to reconsider, without actually saying the right words.

I could tell that he didn't want me there. He even said "I didn't think anyone we knew would be there" when I asked why the invitation had been taken back. He doesn't want to take me out in public still.

Btw - later on, he at least acknowledged that it was hurtful to invite me and then withdraw the invitation. But he never apologized for it.

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He's saying there IS a future for your relationship. After all, why bother handling something better if there is no tomorrow?

I thought so too. When we were talking last night, we talked about how "next time" we could each handle the situation more to the other's liking. It was a positive discussion. Then today, he reminded me that I am to be trying to earn back his love (it was NOT an accusation that I didn't seem to be trying) - I noted that I would continue to try to make this M work for as long as we live.

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Last night, he tried another gaslighting comment and I ignored him. He said that he thought I would be nicer to him. I said, "I am being nice. I'm just not going to listen to you turn everything back around on me." Later he said, "You know, I think you're the only person that ever says 'no' to me!" I laughed and said that yes, I probably am. He laughed too and said "seriously, I think you are!" I just laughed again and said "I guess I just keep you grounded." He agreed and commented on how pompous he'd be without me keeping his feet on the ground. LOL

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How about if you continue that stellar Plan A for a little while? However, you only do Plan A when he’s being a man instead of a petulant child. You continue to fight the gaslighting and his disrespectful words/actions by keeping your boundary against that firmly intact. Remember, he’s seen the changes and he likes them.

TFC, can you do something like a “180” by using that simple boundary to ward off the WH, while you connect with the husband who might be peeking out again? With a “180,” and with the application of your boundaries, when you retreat from him, he tries to get closer.

I thought about this too. I think I've been sorta working my way up to this. Kind of like Orchid's "Plan A the H, Plan B the WH" idea. I'll do my own little version of this: as you suggested to Plan A my H, 180 the WH.

He goes out of town again tomorrow, so I guess we'll see how things go.

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As always, LH, I appreciate your attention to detail and your dedication to helping me sort through all this mess! <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />