Sorry I haven't checked in in a week or so, but I have really appreciated all the replies. I really thank you for your time and care in answering, and some of the advice is fantastic. Well most of it is actually! To be honest, things have gone utterly pear-shaped (horribly wrong in Aussie slang!) and have really taken a turn for the worse. Bear in mind that of last update, that 'nothing happened with this guy from work'....apparently.
I just got back from a lovely holiday with the kids and her, and we went into it with the provision from the MC that we'd 'have the big chats but park them if they started getting ugly.' Remember in my last post how I discussed the guilt I felt going through her phone? Something didn't stick right in what I was thinking while I was over there, so I went on another snoop. Even typing that makes me realise how silly the concept of having to check your wife's phone is. 3 months ago she told her same friend 'he's a great deal of fun, and not low on confidence or...skills (winkface, winkface)' I hit the roof and woke her up. She claimed it was about 'his skills at conversation'.
The next night I dive deeper. There's evidently months of conversations with him deleted. Hmmm. In another recent message she tells same friend, 'I'm also trying to manage a break up. As much as I'd like to think it was gap filler, I also have to manage the actual loss. There was actual investment which is tough to lose. Selfish but there it is.' SHE WAS IN AN EFFING RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM?!? A few weeks later to same friend, 'It's starting to get tricky. I wonder how long I leave it before fessing up.' My heart thunders in my chest. She's sleeping beside me and I wake her to start questioning her. She tells me, 'it was only emotional, there was no relationship'. I ask what sort of ending of a 'non-relationship' gets called a 'break up'? She tells me it went on for 6 months but it was purely emotional though (apparently) and completely one sided on her part. I park it for the evening after a lot of 'wtfs' were uttered. The next day I am having a massage at the resort, and I have a relaxed epiphany: WHY am I putting up with this?
I lose it. I tell her that it's over, I can't live like this, and no husband should have to check his wife's phone for evidence that she has cheated. We eventually calm down after deciding to park this for the MC. I try and get some sleep.
The next day was our final day and we depart, the plane ride home (6 hours) was frosty. I'm barely hiding my anger. We have a 3hour car ride to get back to our city. As soon as I get in the car, my composure from a day in the plane and the airports disappears, and my eyes well with tears. I shouldn't have done it in front of the kids, but I start questioning the 'emotional relationship' and how it is completely unrealistic that it wasn't consumated. She gives me a timeline of Sep 21-Mar 22 for the EA, but she decided to 'break things off with what she was doing mentally' as it was going to get messy, and noting he had a wife and 2 other g/fs, she said the EA was 'one-sided'. I again call bullshit and ask her flat out, did you sleep with him? She pauses and says yes. On a military course while drunk way back in Nov 2020. Apparently they then 'cooled' everything out of shame before the EA started again about 8 months later. I asked if protection was used. She can't remember. I assume no. That's another betrayal heaped on vile betrayal.
I start screaming and calling her names I'm not proud of. I can barely stay on the road and I scream my grief. The kids are sobbing. I pull over and we calm down and drive off in silence. I cried the entire 3 hours behind my sunglasses. I posit to her that my repeatedly stated suspicions of this guy were on the money, and that she has lied to my face at every turn by claiming I had nothing to worry about. I also posit that the MC was all bullshit, it was merely a tick in the box for her to further project onto me her shameful failings at fidelity. I told her that this has cost her: at least $300k of equity in the house, her job in the other city (which now goes bye bye with the custody requirements), and the respect of her kids as they grow up and ask why their parents had to break up.
I kicked her out and told her it was over when we got home, and she packed a bag and moved to a friend's place. And here we are. It has been a day or so and I have never cried so hard in all my life. I've been vomiting, and I had a panic attack, but I'm trying to hold it all together for the kids. I know D is the right answer here, but God it hurts. This isn't repairable on the second go around the track.
You know the reality here my friend. If she is determined to cheat, there's precious little you can do to stop her doing so. You could be the BEST husband on the planet and it does. not. matter. Her doing this is about HER, not YOU.
What you CAN do is decide what you're willing to deal with and then make your choices accordingly. That suuuuucks being forced into making that kind of a decision, and it isn't fair at all. But once you really own that the only control you ever have is over yourself and what you will or will not allow the game changes.
She's shown her true self now, and somewhere in an attic is a Dorian Grey-esque portrait rotting at a breakneck pace. I told her going forward that she needs to address her addiction to infidelity/validation from men, or she's dying lonely.
It's much like my WS, whose actions can be summarized something like this:
Hey, back then I lied to you (to protect you as I didn't want to hurt you) about the A and about R and actually wanted to be done with you and take off into the sunset with AP, but not anymore, unless you get pissed about my lying to you about my intentions and feelings back then, in which case you make me angry and I still want you to be gone, unless you actually are going to go, in which case I didn't mean I always wanted you to leave back then, and I only thought I was in love with her sometimes, but now I know better and I want to you stay, and even though I'm still talking to her I don't really want to run off with her - I really do want what you want for us too and I will do whatever it take to stay together. *I think right now, in this moment anyway because I'm panicking and losing control of the situation...*
I'm pretty sure you could put together something similar to what I did above to describe her actions recently. Honestly in re-reading my italicized statement of his it's embarrassing and hilarious, to think I gave that ONE SECOND of thought at the time. (That is the other good news - I do actually think it's funny now - that he acted like that - what an idiot! I'm not embarrassed for me - I'm embarrassed for him. You will get past the hurt and the anger - which at the time seemed impossible - I promise!!!)
So, forget all the context - forget the white-washing she wants to do - forget the professions of love - forget the re-characterizing of your more recent past to conform to her reasons for doing what she's been doing. At BEST she has shown/told you: 1) she is not capable of discussing with you in a truthful way any important difficulties/dis-satisfactions she has with your marriage; 2) she chooses other people over you to discuss her feelings with when she has these feelings; 3) she wants to be free to be with other people or at least have that option without consequence; and 4) she is willing to VERBALLY acquiesce conformance with what she thinks you need to hear to keep you on the line. That is AT BEST. At worse, she is 100% willfully manipulating you, like my WS (has since admitted) to doing to me for years, in order to keep you around for reasons she herself may or may not understand.
So again my advice is: SAVE YOURSELF - whatever that means FOR YOU.
This. All of this. And over and over again. The italics made me snort with much-needed laughter, but the 4-point summary is spot on. Being accused of being emotionally distant (was I? I don't recall being so?) and that it is affecting the marriage while she's devoting time to another relationship....the sheer audacity is breath-taking. I would suggest that no matter how emotionally available I was, she would have cheated anyway. At this point it is in her blood. It's what she does. It's who she is.
I have never cried so hard in my life. It's the end of the marriage, I lose a best friend and wife, as well as the betrayal of finding out she had slept with him heaped on top of that sorrow. I have no doubt we will be amicable going forward, but this is terrible.
In better news, my mother flies down to help with the kids tomorrow. My father cheated on her (and got divorced when I was 4) and she is PISSED.
[This message edited by Hurthalo at 4:20 PM, Sunday, July 10th]