I agree with you that I believe he has bought into this submissive role in their relationship, and he has often told me that over the past 5+ years or so, he has
felt like nothing more than a "house boy" as she would leave him daily notes of things has was to accomplish (tasks) around the house, etc. He has also revealed that she
has withheld sex for the past 3 years. His explanation of why he accepted this was that although he continued to make advances, she was not interested and he thought perhaps this was just how things went as a marriage and folks get older. I could relate as my husband and I didn't have sex for 3 years towards the end of our marriage, we were both apathetic as the love had really left. We stayed together out of some committment to the "commitment". When we did become intimate again, it was very unsatisfying and contrived. Anyway, I agree that she appears to devalue and be dismissive of him completely and I think over the years, he has just come to accept this behavior. He IS being treated like a doormat and I feel somewhat helpless to be of any help to him. I HAVE suggested that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different result, pop psych I know, but it does seem to apply. He will say that he is going to now do such and such, and ultimately he will end up doing something that once again puts the ball back in her court and hands all the power back over to her. I don't understand not only WHY he continues to do this, but also have no clue how to help him see other ways of dealing with the situation. When he told me a few months ago that he was going to ask her to tell him when she was
going to file, he asked thru email, she wrote back and said, "I don't know, what do you think:"...he read this email to me over the phone as he received her reply while we were talking. He then said he was going to respond by saying.."whatever is convenient for you"..at which I replied NO! You will just be back in this same "waiting" boat...tell her what you want. I finally convinced him to give her a date and so he said July 1st. This gave her over a month to secure an attorney and make arrangements. Last week he wrote her and reminded her of the upcoming date...last night when he called because he had not heard from her, she said.."oh, I haven't done anything about that"...she wanted HIM to take care of it. He refused and told me he was going to write her an email and tell her the options... I suppose he will be doing that sometime today. But I fear when he copies me on the email (as he said he would do), it will be very watered down and he will once again be sitting with his life on "hold" while he politely waits for her to do something...which may be never. She was so adamant about wanting the divorce and him to move out..which he did, yet now all she is doing is not communicating at all, and not taking any action. That's why I thought possibly passive aggressive. And most importantly, I don't know if there is anything I can or should do to get involved...I just feel very sorry for him. And of course, IF there is any potential for us to have a relationship that grows from our friendship into anything else, it may be impossible or in the very VERY distant future if this continues in this direction. Ultimately, I care about this person as a person, whether we ever see if there is anything more for us beyond our current friendship. Having been thru divorce, I don't wish it on anyone, and especially not like this...and I feel completely helpless to be of any help to him...and maybe that is just how it has to be as I don't know if my telling him anything, even if it were truth, would actually get thru the way he thinks about things.
I do know that when she asked for the divorce, he was completely taken off guard, did not want it and would have done anything to keep the marriage. Because she has been so mean to him since, it HAS helped him disconnect and not want the marriage anymore and he has finally come to realize that she is no longer his friend...gee...I am inundating you...sorry...hard to get everything said in a concise way...