See this struggle too much here not to address it.
Too many people here are fighting a emotional battle with their WAS. You have to realise that your logic will not change their feelings whether there is a A or not. Your words won't do it, your telling your WAS how sorry you are, how you will change, rubbing her feet, and pleading. These things reinforce how they already feel about you. To change the way they feel about you, you must change the way they think about you.
How do you do that? Most of us vets give the same advice in different words. The easiest and very productive way of changing the way your WAS thinks about you is to - agree with them (validate), drop the rope (let them go), and GAL (take care of yourself, become interesting). When somone comes in my office and is upset about their account the easiest way for me to calm them down is to agree with them. Now they can't be mad at me because we are on the same side of the table. If I try to tell them why they shouldn't be upset (logic) how are they going to respond?
Visualise the drop the rope analogy. Your WAS is running away and your R is the rope holding them back so the more you pull (pursue) the more they resist. Because the rope is causing emotional pain and you are the source of it. Who is going to be the one to change? (Last time I googled the "runback spouse" I got no hits.) So drop the rope - let them go, try something different, 180, walkaway - whatever you want to call it. Your own emotions (fear) keep you from letting go of the rope. (What if they don't come back?) It's not all in your control people. If you want to be a chick magnet make sure you a facing the right way otherwise you become a chick repellant.
Study up on the dynamics of relationships, marriage, attraction, and affairs. The DBing techniques are not unique to busting a divorce. The DB advice is about healthy relationships and loving yourself.
Understand what and why your WAS feels the way they do and think about how you can change their thinking about you. TEA - thought proceeds emotion and emotion proceeds action. Change your thoughts, open your mind, challenge your beliefs, try something different, look at how you see yourself, and detach. Get ahead of your WAS on the detachment curve and now you can lead.
This board has lots of different personalities and styles. None of us is going to give out advise that is designed to see you fail. We wouldn't be here if we didn't care or understand the struggle you are encountering. The advise is roughly the same regardless of the source. Remember your situation is unique just like everyone else.
Handle it by getting your thoughts squared away. What are my goals? How will I achieve those goals? Then monitor the results. Focus on solutions. I promise that if you get your thoughts in the right place you will be a success.
M22,H45,W45 S21/18D12 Retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties and at the same time confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.
Coach, being the megalomaniacal narcissist that I am, I mostly save my own stuff in my personal archives (truth is, I'm too lazy to re-type it all the time, so I finally got smart and started saving it all in a Word document, so I could copy-and-paste it as needed).
Well, I've got one really good one from Robx that I saved (you may have seen me post it elsewhere recently), got your "Stockdale Paradox" description, and then I've got this from you, which is comparable (but I think even better) than the angle you took here. I hope you don't mind me re-posting it here:
Coach’s “Go by your Values and Beliefs, not Your Feelings” philosophy:
Respond in a way that reflects your values and beliefs not your feelings. As a Coach and a former military officer I know lots of ways to change how you are feeling. Feelings are fleeting, can be manipulated, can be dysfunctional, situational and are a poor compass.
Prisons are full of people who went with their feelings. To be a great DBer you need to be able to think. Detach and look at the situation in 360 degrees. State your goals (which are consistent with your beliefs) and come up with a plan of action. If your actions work keep doing it, if not try something new. Open your mind and don't let fear hold you back from acting.
If you love your spouse and let them go. It's not lying to do that, even though you don't feel that is the best thing to do. Understand your feelings, know why you feel the way you do and take healthy productive action based on your goals.
You have a choice in how you handle things. You can choose the path of love, self-respect, healthy communication, forgiveness and responsibility for your self. Or you can choose to be a victim, make others responsible for your feelings and let things happen to you. "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Don't let your feelings define you. Let your actions which is a sign of your character. Handle it.