If you want the Single Life and freedom to date - Okay. Divorce your W. No more waiting. No more holding it up. No more teetering. Take the initiative and push it through.
If you want to not divorce your wife - Okay. Then stand and stand for you and you alone regardless of what she does.
I personally did not have another relationship until my D was final with my XW (the process took 22 months). When it was over... I knew I upheld my commitment to the marriage until the end. It had NOTHING to do with her and everything to do with the person I wanted to be. It was my commitment to her. When we signed the papers - she thanked me for staying "loving towards her" even in the midst of the D. Sometimes the high road is more painful... that's why it's less traveled.
Look I get it... it's been a long time. She's not showing any signs. You are sad, tired, lonely. I am not trying to invalidate those feelings. But please be honest with yourself about them. The decision is ultimately yours to make... and all I'm seeing is that you keep pushing it off as "my w is making me do it"
Thanks for your perspective. I'm really not trying to have it both ways. If you look back and read my relationship story, you'll see that I mostly fell into it. I did get out after only a few months and my eyes were opened about a lot of things.
Most of the other advice I am getting here on DB is don't date, period, regardless of the divorce or not, for 2 years. I understand why those with this opinion are so passionate. I think the primary reasons they are so emphatic about it are, (1) having a relationship on the rebound only delays, or defers forever, giving yourself the chance to do the 180s; (2) too soon after BD day no one is making good decisions (that was my case); and (3) you're too vulnerable so soon after BD day.
I can see how waiting until the divorce is final is some indication of respect, such as in your case. I get it. But if your STBXW shows you no respect, and in fact engages in the usual falsehoods and lies in an attempt to gain legal advantage, then what? STBXW sent me messages via our adult children that "there is no one else," as if that mattered. If she is determined to divorce me, with no chance at counseling or working things out, do I really care if there is another man? For me at least, the answer is no.
This is not a matter of feelings of loneliness or physical attention. Had my STBXW said to me, "I need a lot of time alone. I'm moving out and getting my own place. I want a legal separation, I'd prefer not to see you unless it's about the kids, let's both revisit things in 6 months or so, and I hope you get some counseling," I would have done all of that in a heartbeat. No need to date or whatever.
But she walked out without notice. We met twice in the first couple weeks, at which I asked her to consider a trial separation. She said maybe at first, but then told me OVER THE TELEPHONE after 3 weeks that there was no chance for our marriage. One week after that, she began her legal shenanigans that almost put me in the ER. Together over 30 years, and the amount of discussion we had, mutually, to work things out could be measured in MINUTES.
To me, therefore, I consider my marriage to have ended on that day, over the telephone, when she told me there was no hope. I had to look ahead, not behind. I have maintained the high road, of course. Nothing untoward has been written about her by my attorney. But I am looking forward, not behind.
In a sense, I feel like I"m 16 again, having to figure out how to navigate the world of romance for 55-65 year olds. I think it's a lot more perilous than it was in high school.
And there's one more good reason to gently explore connection with the opposite sex. I get to try out my new changes -- at being a better communicator; at having more empathy; at having women view me as having a softer side. Proving that you've accomplished some 180s not only takes time, it takes feedback, and not just from family and friends.
So ... unless I learn a hard lesson otherwise, I hope to have coffees, dinner dates, and some movie times with some lovely women. And learn more about myself in the process.