Malicious, 100% at times. In my case and I can see in others, my STBX thrived off making me miserable. To me thinking in retrospect, it justified everything in her mind. And, it also said to her, that she still had me as an escape route of sorts if all fails with OM, hence, being a safety net.
I've finally identified how to deal with that and not let her do it at all. She's tried repeatedly to use those same tactics that used to work to get me "fired up" and show emotion that I still care for her, but now she's displaying frustration that it doesn't and is trying new ways, new 'buttons'.
I do still care for her, but not at that level anymore. I love the woman with all my heart, don't get me wrong, but now, only as the friend i've lost, and most importantly as the mother of our children. My emotional involvement with her as my wife no longer exists. When I look at my wedding picture every morning and every night I am comforted by the good times we had and leave it at that.
This approach has been an amazing sense of releaf for my self. And, should there ever come a day that there is a chance for anything between us again, I wouldn't be trying to re-live the M we had, and most importantly carrying a hatchet for her leaving me. I've 'buried' that hatchet and forgive her for leaving, I understand why now. I don't belame her. But again in doing so, it frustrates her now that I care not to argue out the fact she left, thus she's not getting that energy from me anymore to feed her own justification.
As far as what if it's both. You'd have to read my current thread in WAW. I have endured so many leaps of faith and gotten my hopes all up when she would talk of a possible reconnection. Reality is, although she left and I accept that, she is with a OM and is "commited" to him (hell they are "engaged" for pete's sake ). I tried so hard each and everytime to believe that what she was saying, how she said she still felt for me was real, but in the end, she would always just head back to OM and not have contact for weeks on end. Thus, once again, I feel she was just feeding the justification. There may have been some truth in what she said, but the end result sepaks for itself.
Sorry Bliss if this kind of "hi-jacks" your thread, but it does relate to your topic. How are you today?
Me 35/XW 33 S13 & S12 M: 10/17/98 OM & S: 07/08 D final 06/09/09 12/03/09 - 06/13/10 "Piercing" 06/13/10: Engaged to Re-marry 10/17/10 06/25/10: Expecting baby #3 2/14/11