This is all speculation on my part. But if he thinks divorce means freedom, then he is not enjoying being married. This means that needs are not being met and lovebusting is going on. Basically he is not happy with his spouse if he thinks D means freedom.

More speculation...
Using MB as appeasement was mentioned. This would seem to implty that he feels badgered or worn down by constant demands or having to live in what he considers unrealistic expectations of a spouse but is afraid to say something because of how CWMI will react.

He was desperate to find a different job because the job conflict was a constant source of fighting. So he found one, asked a few questions that made it seem like everything was 100% spouse friendly and travel wasn�t an issue, and just ran with it at face value. Or they indicated that a little travel would happen and occasionally a black tie happening would pop up that was employees only. He figured that he could at least get some appeasement for the time being and would put up with her being mad later. It�s like the whole �better to ask for forgiveness than permission.�
Again, this is all just a guess.
CWMI, I�d say that he�s not exactly happy in the marriage either but perhaps he�s a conflict avoider. So now he goes for the gusto and just puts up a wall.

You said he did mention feeling manipulated by SH into getting what you want. Maybe he really does feel that way. Maybe he feels like he has to bend to your desires and forego what he wants as in the saying �if mom aint happy, aint no one happy�. Maybe you should ask him why he feels manipulated by MB.

Whether any or all of this is ridiculous or not, he isn�t honest with his feelings for a reason. Maybe this is worth investigating.

Husband (me) 39
Wife 36
Daughter 21
Daughter 19
Son 14
Daughter 10
Son 8 (autistic)