There are 2 ideas here that I think may be at least a little off.
First, I doubt that his tattoo is meant as disrespect to you. IMO, WSes are so wrapped up in themselves that they simply don't consider other people. In his mind he loved you even while 'loving' his HSX. You are simply not part of his calculus. She probably isn't a big part of his calculus, either. What counts for him are his fantasies and his hormones. She counts only as someone who fits his fantasies.
His A is totally about him, not at all about you. (You seem to realize that, but we have a lot of lurkers, and they may not understand that yet.)
Second, I have a great deal of doubt about 'consequences' being significant in recovering from infidelity. As a society, we in the US are quick to impose consequences on people. We have the largest per-capita prison population in the world, yet we have a great deal of recidivism. Despite the fact that the prison population keeps growing, we still have more and more criminality as time goes on. Consequences alone do not stop the target behavior.
WRT your H, if you impose a consequence in the hope that the consequence will change his behavior, my guess is that he'll leave - the consequence will take the responsibility for choice away from him; it will allow him to blame you or the sanction for his decision.
And if he stays after you impose a sanction, what will you have? Maybe you'll have someone who woke up and realized he didn't want to lose you, but maybe you'll end up with a guy who is simply too cowardly to take a risk ... which hurts you, because R is truly a risk, and fear is an obstacle.
What you need from him is a free choice to stay with you and to do the very hard work of healing himself (which requires that he admit to himself that he failed as a human being and which requires him to change from betrayer to good partner).
R works only if the WS freely commits to becoming an authentic human being. If he does that after a sanction has been imposed, you must doubt that he made a free choice, and that is an obstacle to R, which is already risky without added obstacles.
So I don't buy the 'consequences' approach to ending infidelity. If my W was going to fail at R, I wanted to know ASAP. I submit that it's best for you to know how strong a candidate for R your H may be ASAP, too. Make it easy for him to fail. Don't scare him with a 'consequence'.
More important, you matter to you more than he does. You say you want R. You say you're afraid to be alone. Are those 2 ideas connected?
I'm with Tush - don't let fear foul you up. Do you really want to R? Do you really want to live the rest of your life with him. Can you live with his tattoos for the many decades that are probably left to you? Are you aware that some people get rid of tattoos by burning them away - do you see your H doing that for you?
I'm all for R when the BS really wants it (I did) and will work for it, and when the WS is a good candidate wants R and will work for it. Both conditions MUST be in place; otherwise R fails.
Be careful about what you want - you may get it.
Despite my hard words, if you're right about what you want and you get it, life is good. I wanted R, my W wanted R, we did the work, we're doing the work to make our M joyful, and we're happy about being together.
I'm definitely not saying D. I'm just saying that R is difficult, so be careful about choosing what you want. Don't avoid something just because you fear the unknown. You can thrive after being betrayed whether you D or R or wait to gather more info.
I guess I'm saying: don't make D or R your goal. The proper goal is to live a Good Life. Choose the outcome that looks like the best way to get that.
Impose the consequences you choose to impose, because you want the results, not because you think an ultimatum will manipulate your H into making the choice you want.
If you choose to D, file. If that causes your WS to change, so be it. Evaluate your results. If they change your sitch enough to change your decision, change your decision. But don't try to manipulate your WS.
OTOH, consulting with a good D lawyer to find out more about the options open to you is, IMO, a private action that is probably something that will benefit you.
JMO, of course.
[This message edited by SI Staff at 5:47 PM, Wednesday, May 25th]