2xloser -- Yeah, my initial response was at odds with my later response, like yours; here's why:
My first thought was "OMG. How could he do this to me? Our whole marriage has been a lie because he's had someone else the whole time! Maybe I was a back-up plan he got stuck with. How can he cheat on me this much? I'm worth more than that. I'm gonna divorce him! Besides, it looks like he really wants to be w someone else."
And, then...I started to remember all of the wonderful things about him, about our relationship, all the stuff I didn't want to let go of. I remembered being committed to stick out the bad. And then I figured this. I just have to understand why he did what he did. If it was an exit strategy, fine, I won't stand in the way of him wanting to be with someone else. And, I said as much to him. I said, if you don't want to be in this marriage, which is what it looks like, then let's end it and maybe we can just be friends (I meant it, too). He insisted that I was wrong, the other people didn't mean anything to him, I was misunderstanding the purpose and extent of his behavior, he only wanted to be with me, etc. So, I thought, okay, he screwed up and he's not going to do it anymore -- MC and some work will be enough to fix it in time. But then, things got complicated.
We had a family intervention because he was being abusive and we were living with my family (between places, relocating from one city to another, about to travel) and they had seen him treating me like crap and were worried about my safety. I defended him. My family yelled at him. The ultimate point was -- you're not treating her well, and not working, but cheating instead, so you need to either stop the cheating and abuse and get to MC or you two need to split up. Sounds logical, right? But...EH has an anger problem. He thought "No one has a right to tell me what to do! How dare they accuse me of anything!?" etc and worried that my parents would tell his family, he started trash-talking me so they all thought I was an imbecile. I was a crying mess all the time because everything had fallen apart. So he was trying to protect a false image of himself to them while crucifying me, claiming that I painted him as a monster to my family by exaggerating little things and they yelled at him. He claims he intended us to settle in his hometown (UK) instead and was making a way for that. That was a red flag for me. Then, the abusiveness escalated and he really tried to convince me that I'd exaggerated and screwed this up for us! Serious gas-lighting and I got worried.
Then, when I said, okay let's plan on MC because you agreed, he kept making excuses and said he wouldn't go. It was bad. Then I discovered all the other stuff he did that I didn't know about and it broke me to pieces that he had betrayed my family's privacy and hospitality and done some really bad stuff and also had been going out meeting people online from CL (either to fight or for sex). He is ill and he just got more and more unstable. I called his brother who he trusts to try and help us sort things out because things were out of control. I had to explain all the very bad stuff EH had been doing (saying lechy stuff about my sisters, stealing racy pics of one of them from her hubbys phone "for a joke", convincing my teenage cousin to hook up with a CL skank as a way to get better at being with girls, snooping in family's emails, and stuff + more). There was another intervention which included his brother. EH felt outed and judged unfairly and got angry and violent. I couldn't go with him when he went home, though I was supposed to be going with him; we were going for like 2 months.
While he was there, I wasn't allowed to talk to him (complicated; serious counseling, breakdown) for a couple of weeks. His family started gossiping and ostracized him. He continued to get mad....and now he blames me for the situation he is in and doesn't want to talk to me except to yell at me for telling me I've ruined his life.
So, every time I say "Here is what happened; explain to me what I'm missing or your POV", he unleashes threats of violence and rage because he wants to beat up or kill my family for turning me against him, which never happened! They just wanted him to stop treating me (and them; he did some shady stuff to them) badly. This is why we're not talking about what happened or what comes next.
Everytime I say "we need to discuss the future" he dismisses it or ignores it or rages about it and I don't know if he's mentally ill or having a tantrum or seriously has had a psychotic break or if he's manipulating me or all of the above.
I love him, but this is not a rug-sweepable problem.