I am going to offer another side of this. You see, I have been in the position of the woman who's struggling with her marriage. I had thought that the years of trying to 'get through' to my husband how unhappy I was had been enough. I got to the point I just could not take it anymore. I called the divorce card into play. Like this husband, mine freaked out. He suddenly realized it was serious. He was willing to do 'what it takes' to save the marriage.
I wish I could say that it all went swimmingly from there, but it didn't. You see, it was all about communication. Yes, I was unhappy for a very long time, yes I had thought I made that clear. However, I hadn't. See we didn't have the communication skills we have since gained. Oh I was frustrated beyond the telling of it that once we started working on communication a light bulb went off for him (and for me). Why didn't this happen earlier? Why didn't he understand before? It wasn't ONLY that he didn't get it, it was that I wasn't expressing it well.
So even if she has been expressing how unhappy she is, we don't know how she's been expressing it. Let's be honest, until you learn communication skills, what seems 'so obvious' to you, is not to others. So I just don't feel comfortable painting this other couple in the light of: She's done all she could and been open and honest and he just doesn't get it and it's too late now! Oh well move on!
There is NOW a sense of urgency with her, because there is another relationship involved. A sense of urgency for her, not for him. Sure now he understands that there are issues in their relationship, and maybe they won't work it out. However, it's not as easy as she told him and he ignored her. Communication skills are hard to learn. Believe me I wish I'd had them sooner! Maybe then my husband would have understood sooner, we would have worked on things sooner, and it wouldn't have been so hard. But, I have to take some responsibility for the fact that me telling him my issues was not communicated well and so he didn't understand.
Yes, by the way, I think they should seek counseling. I don't, however, think that after four days him not jumping on that bandwagon means he isn't acting with intent. My husband hated the idea of therapy. Never liked it. Still didn't when we decided to try it. But, we did try it. It did help. Both with some of our issues and with communication. It took time to get there, more than four days.
Do I believe that the husband has not been meeting her needs? Yes. I just don't believe she has been calmly and effectively communicating that to him for YEARS, and he is only now getting it because she wants a divorce. More likely he has had no idea how bad things were and assumed the issues she has raised were smaller issues he was trying to 'fix' as they came up. (Many men are fixers, not so much listen and comfort kind of guys) He had no idea until divorce came up that it was an ongoing thing that had been bringing her down for so long.
Long story short, I don't think either is in the wholly in the wrong or right. I think it's ineffective communication and if both want to work on the marriage, keep that relationship, it's something they will have to work on. Hell, for any relationship, hers with him, hers with the other wife, they will need to work on it. No matter how eloquently or how much you communicate if you aren't getting the message received by the other person, it is ineffectual.
Me: Late 30s pansexual poly.
DH: My husband of 19 yrs and father of 3 teen girls.
DC: LDR of +4 year