1. The bot***** *****ne is that you will neither be able to rely upon the evidence of the spouse as to publication, nor will they be likely to give reliable and truthful evidence. So really, a defamation action in these circumstances will probably founder on your inability to be able to prove publication to a third party. So, unless there is some other way in which you can prove publication, I don't forsee success given what you have narrated. A spouse will not be forced to give evidence against their spouse, as spouses are not compellable witnesses. This is before the issue of whether they will give reliable evidence is even considered. So unless you can prove publication to the third party in some other way, you are best off forget about this action for defamation, I regret to say.
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2. A text message you wrote does not prove publication to a third party. The other party had no resposibility to deny the defamation or to give an apology. It is up to you to prove your case.