So here I am, despite feeling this thread is a lot like being sent to the corner to wear a dunce hat, i.e. worse than laying it all out in the WS section, which I have cathartically done: http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=617920
I cheated first. It was awhile back and I do not want to do it again, even after, and especially now that I learned it goes both ways.
While I am working through all of that, and just recently had reason to suspect something was up and went snooping. I found "what I was looking for" and more, that she cheated with not one, but another guy too.
I would describe Guy #2 (the new discovery) as ongoing. She's expressed her love, shared "memories" (pictures of places they visited etc). Oh ... and he lives in another country but they see each other a few times a year on legit, shared business trips. She's had to tell white lies to coworkers about why they were at the same place/time on these mutual business trips.
One of her dearest friends knows about the affair and supports it. To be fair, one of my closest confidants whole heartedly supported me when I let him know I had a one night stand, and that earlier I had strong feelings for another woman. Friends can be both helpful and a roadblock.
She has another friend who she has been counseling her but I doubt she confided her infidelity to that friend. I have a strong desire to at some point let that friend know that the person she's supporting hasn't come clean with her about everything.
Self-employed, she has an employment contract with Guy #2's company. He has the power to make these contracts happen. There are daily conversations, both business and personal. It's all very well hidden on Skype or WhatsApp I have no way to see, except for a few texting scraps I found, some old some new, along with enough to clearly incriminate. If I had to guess, it's been going on for a year or so. I have some copies and screenshots archived.
Guy #2 is persona non grata on social media. They aren't even FB friends. I did act on an urge to briefly stalk for a day but don't know who his family is. I have two email addresses for him and his Australian phone number ... me and the kids all got souvenirs from Sydney last year. He got my wife, I literally got the tourist T-shirt.
I would describe Guy #1 (my earlier, initial suspicion) as also being an affair of convenience/work circumstance (he lives in another state) but that it was a one night stand. Last year I stumbled upon a text that made me suspicious (language being used) but I had no proof until now.
She even went to see him about a year ago "but that nothing happened" -- even though there had been NO confrontation by me, no asking her if she had cheated. If someone asks, after you got back from your trip, how was it? And you answer, "we just talked by the pool, nothing happened" that sounds a hell of a lot like you just said you were or had been guilty in the past I never ever raised any concern about him to her to cause that response. Her conscience did that.
When that went down, she had told me she wanted to go see him/needed to see him and I stepped back to let it happen. (At the time I was already wanting OUT from the marriage but didn't know how. And so I didn't care so much.) Today I'd probe more. Now that I've seen some recent conversations, I know that the visit was to say "OK, we did this, but no more." Small consolation ...
... but recently, the flirting with Guy #1 has increased. He's supposedly engaged to be married. I could msg his fiancé on FB if I wanted. He was to pass though town and she said he might stay over one night. Asked me "if that would be OK" and I gamely responded, "sure, why wouldn't it be OK" just as if he were any normal friend. No response.
The visit didn't materialize but she really wanted to see him, "even if just over coffee." She's reaching for him, and has expressed regret that when he visits his fiancé (also, out in yet another state ... ) she feels a little jealousy. Pathetic. I feel like messaging the fiancé to say, "here's why after a year+ engagement you still are not married; might wanna rethink it."
My initial reaction upon Just Finding Out was that I had "an epiphany" of sorts since I had no moral high ground, and to first come clean.
I was thinking an unsolicited disclosure from me would elicit a similar response/understanding. My friend says hell no, that women "rank" infidelities differently than men, and because she doesn't think very much good about the woman I had sex with, would instantly and forever irreversibly judge her/me in such a way that zero productive movement forward would be possible.
In other words the mutual friend I had sex with isn't someone my wife considered much of a friend to begin with. Very little respect due to how that OW handles her own situations and behavior. We've both known her for several years socially, and are good friends with her ex, who of course would now look at (me) in a way different light, and my wife weirdly too (if the ex knew what I knew about my wife ...)
My current situation is that I'm being strongly cautioned NOT to confront my wife, due to:
1) Me possessing no high ground
2) Repercussions to others (our kids, some mutual friends, and the related work situation)
Why cause pain to others if we don't first agree it's worth saving? I see this as a chicken-or-egg problem: How to begin trust without full disclosure from both sides, yet why trash other lives if it's unnecessary?
My current plan is initiate a discussion and learn if we agree the marriage is worth saving. And if so, begin to see if it CAN be saved.
We had a short talk unrelated to everything I now know last week, where we each fumbled around with "no, what do YOU want??" Neither wanted to blink first. More to the point, I now realize "what do you want" is the wrong question to ask at this point! Premature.
Despite everything I've typed above, I truly believe there are areas where we remain right for each other, if we can reach an understanding of who we are as individuals and as partners. We've just never tried before.