I have a situation.
"If something cannot go on forever, it will stop." Herb Stein
He's a narcissist.
I was separated from my H for 7 months, and after month 5 he had done a "turn around". Dumped the OW even though I didn't want anything to do with him anymore, started saying he "wanted to be a better person", etc. I still didn't take him back for another 2 months, and I don't regret that in the LEAST. It was 2 months of talking- long, intense discussions- where he spilled his guts to me. He ADMITTED to everything I had suspected, and even told me a lot of things I never knew about. He showed REMORSE, that was back upped by ACTIONS. He not only said he would change, he SHOWED me, and he PROVED it.
I think unless and until they admit what they've done and take full and complete responsibility for it, rebuilding is a complete and total waste of time. It's not true rebuilding, and more like they're trying to pull a snow job. Same goes if they have any contact with the OW still, outside of unavoidable strictly professional contact if they happen to work together. If the OW isn't totally out of the picture, there's no true rebuilding going on in my opinion either. Why? Because they are still getting something out of that contact, and it's likely at least part of what they were getting out of the affair.
Anyway... I know things didn't change for me until I listened to my gut, and didn't let ANYTHING sway me from that anymore. For almost the first 3 months we were separated he was still trying to claim that he hadn't been seeing anyone. I had to look at him with my eyes wide open, and not let him shake me with anything he said. Once I kept my resolve firmly and consistently for awhile, where it was like I would look at him and say, "Don't waste your breath with any of that bull. I'm NOT going to buy it"- THAT'S what eventually led to him telling the truth. Once he knew there was NO OTHER WAY that he could have me.
So I would say, hang tough, and stick to your guns. Don't give him an INCH unless and until you see him taking full responsibility, showing true deep remorse for the pain he has caused you (not just sorry that he got CAUGHT), and is backing this up with ACTIONS that PROVE to you that he is sincere. Their words don't mean squat anymore. And if your counselor thinks he's a narcissist, I wouldn't just dismiss that idea. She's probably right.
With the living apart and not being able to watch them....
There ARE ways. I did it for a couple of months. Mine was OFFERING to give me things where I could monitor him because he WANTED to prove it to me. He changed his cell phone number, then gave me the password so I could monitor his call logs online. If the OW's number had shown up, or ANY other suspicious phone number that I didn't recognize, then I would have known if they'd had contact since he'd changed his number. He also turned over all of the PAST phone records from during the affair, along with a lot of other "evidence". That way I saw what their "patterns" of contact had been, which helped me to see that his habits had changed.
He voluntarily called me before work, during all of his breaks, and when he left work he came straight to my house and spent evenings with me. Even had me meet him for lunch at his workplace sometimes. He moved in with a mutual male friend of ours that I KNEW would tell me if my H was doing anything he shouldn't. And when he would get to the friend's house for the night, he would call me from the landline phone and talk for awhile, and I also "dropped by" unexpectedly a few times at night. He was spending all of his free time trying to pursue ME, and it didn't seem too likely that he would be calling anyone else when he was always on the phone with me. To this day 2 1/2 years later, he still calls me on all of his breaks at work and when he's on the way home. Now it's not so much for me to watch him, as because we just like to talk to each other throughout the day.
I also got to know his co-workers better, and one of them told me that felt lousy that they hadn't said anything to me when they saw suspicious stuff before, and this person offered to tell me if they saw anything weird with my H. This person called and asked me a couple of times if I knew about this or that, or if it had been ME that my H had been talking to on the phone at such and such a time (it WAS, and I HAD known), so this proved to me that this person WOULD tell me if anything was up. Also had a couple of other friends that offered to keep an eye on him. In the past I probably wouldn't have taken them up on it. I did now, and I don't regret it. All of these people eventually told me that they felt my H really did want to change, and that he was "into" me. That he talked about me all the time.
If you don't have those kinds of options, there is always GPS, and keyloggers you can install on the computer (that can be put on without him knowing, and would show you if he had email accounts you don't know about). If your H is really sincere about having nothing to hide, he won't balk at anything you suggest, for any reason. My H was always the type in the past that did not want to appear to be "whipped". This same guy turned around into having no problem with me watching his every move, and even voluntarily "reported in" to me about where he was and what he was doing. I didn't even have to ask.
I would say, look for THOSE kind of changes. Where they have absolutely no problem with living their life as a completely open book with you, and where they are showing that they care about YOU and YOUR feelings. And I think it was a good thing that I waited to see my H actually doing what he should even before we were back under the same roof. And yes, I think if the two of you are even thinking about possibly rebuilding, counseling is a great idea. And if he's willing to go and sticks with going, that can be one of those actions that proves to you that he's serious.
Best of luck to you-
I'm not going to read the other responses first, and what I'd say is when a divorce is looming at you counseling is ALWAYS a good idea.
This is all driving me totally nuts.
A temporary change in your
Greatly Missed, Never Ever Forgotten