I asked him if he...
Questions are dangerous. Questions for which you are not ready or do not want to hear his answers to are more dangerous. But the most dangerous things about these are that they are ideas and you are planting them; you are providing him with the excuses to use for leaving you. If you are going to plant seeds, plant seeds of memories and love rather than ideas about destruction or rewriting memories. He doesn't need help thinking he hates you, he may verbalize but there are also many MLCers who have not considered hating you--the same goes for divorce. Some want to file immediately--or more likely the alienator is pressuring them to file immediately--and others do not consider divorce and are shocked at the mention, though it may start them thinking.
MLCers are confused and in chaos; this makes them easy for an alienator to manipulate because she is validating his feelings with affection and poor babies rather than with true validations. She has his ear and can plant ideas with subtle pressure and promises of favors or greater favors to come. What you are doing is also a form of subtle planting, but it is a reverse manipulation. You are helping him to confirm what he thinks he may already feel. The more he thinks about divorce, hating you or your faults, the more he will believe in them.
Since an MLCer is so easy to manipulate, how do you change his mind? You don't! People are easy to manipulate when the actions, belief or idea is something toward which they are already pointing. Right now your MLCer is pointing toward the alienator and away from you--he's looking at freedom and you are in his way. An MLCer's mind is his to change and no one else's. Chaos and confusion are not insanity. This is a person with full responsibility for his behaviors and mental faculties.
Instead of changing him, change your Self. Change your reactions to responses. Listen, observe and validate his feelings. Allow your behavior to speak for you, facilitating an environment in which he can eventually choose to change his mind. Learn what to do and become confident in what you feel, think and know. Then, when you speak, you will have an authority within you that he can trust--if he so chooses. Be honest when you speak to set yourself apart from the alienator and because it is the best policy.
MLCers are looking for freedom, but even more they are looking for something solid, something they can believe in and trust, something that will not betray them or crumble around them. I know that you've been together for many years and his trust in you was complete. You may not have even had to do a lot to earn it in the early days. But now building it will take time and effort. Your relationship may have started with an interest and he trusted you before you earned it, or it may have started in neutral territory where he did not mistrust you. Well, now may no longer trust you, so you are in negative territory. That is not your fault; this isn't personal. Though please understand that given his actions you have motive for negative behavior and since many men and women take the scorned route, he has reasons for concern--and his friends are planting these seeds in his mind so they are growing bigger than his own thoughts. So be patient, as this is a slow process.
You are rebuilding his trust that...
You know you’ve gotta stop crying, panicking or asking your spouse ANYTHING. And you know you should let-go and give space so that you can learn to respond and communicate with your spouse from a place of calm rather than emotional hurt.
Understanding Midlife Crisis
The foundational course to give you answers and clarity into "What the he!! Is going on with my spouse!"