Firstly, I am so sorry you had to join the best club you never wanted to be a part of. Please stick around - even if it gets hard, even if some of what people say is difficult. The more you learn and read, the better you get.
I'm just gonna respond to a lot of this cus there's a lot to unpack here.
During COVID, my job was extremely stressful and I neglected my family both physically and emotionally.
Yes and? Does you going through a stressful time somehow justify her deciding to have an affair? I'll answer - NO it absolutely does not. Grown up self aware people talk to their spouses when they are having issues. They don't go get a boyfriend.
The next day she and I attended church and she said she has decided to only work on us.
Ok so here was something I REALLY struggled with early on. My xwh SAID all the right words. I wanted so badly to believe that we'd get past it that I believed all those words for a number of months past dday1. But his actions told a completely different story. Once I started looking at those it changed my perspective.
Think about it like this. I have struggled with my weight forever. I know I want to change it. So I tell myself that "I am gonna eat better and exercise". Saying the words is all well and good, but if I don't actually DO the things, that's all it is is WORDS. In order to lose weight, I have to put in actual effort and words take no real effort at all.
She assured me that the only physical contact was kissing when he would drive through town and stop by her work. She swore that they were not intimate.
Just think about this logically. Does it make common sense that two grown people were sexting and carrying on for TWO YEARS and that NO physical stuff happened? Does it make common sense that two adults were carrying on like that and all they ever did was kiss once?
If there's one thing I know from my own experience and from being here for the better part of four years is that cheaters lie. Then they lie some more. Then they lie about their lies. I would bet any amount you like that they did a lot more than kissing. I am so sorry, but read enough around her and you will see time and again the when a ws "swears it was only ____" it almost always turns out to have been the full enchilada and then some. Just mentally prepare yourself that you will likely discover more.
She said that she had not been in contact with her AP since around March when she had told him she had wanted to pull away. She said he allowed her. At first, she told me that she was not sure that he would not always be a part of her life. That they were friends first.
Well how very generous of him to "allow" another man's wife to break up with him.... wot??
The glaring things to me in this are 1 - what happened in March that made her want to pull away after two years? and 2 - her trying to do the friend thing. My xwh tried this line of bollocks on me too. If your R has ANY chance at all, then she does not get to be friends with her affair partner.
Since that time, she has ceased contact with her AP. She blocked him on messenger (how they communicated), she calls and talks to me, we have discussed the situation multiple times. She has basically surfaced level her friends and stated that they no longer receive personal information. She has given me access to her phone. We are moving forward.
These are BARE MINIMUM steps. Like the least amount of effort she can do. You deserve a lot more effort on her part.
Here is my issue. I feel I have made progress, but I am prone to bouts of being triggered and becoming sullen.
Ummm, your wife cheated on you. For two years. And you just found out. I would be far more surprised if you weren't feeling "triggered and sullen".
I am trying to trust her, but I am always leery when she is out of my site. I question a ton in my mind.
The questioning everything and rampant paranoia are 100% normal for this stage in the process.
How do I start to trust her again? Why do I continually question her motives for this change?
You might not ever trust her again. I know that's hard to hear, but you really might not. As for questioning her motives? Yeah, I'm questioning them too. The reason you're questioning them is because her words and actions aren't lining up. Until they do, your gut is gonna be hollerin at you.
I am seeing a counselor. She said she is not ready to see one.
I'm glad you have a counselor!! Doesn't surprise met that she isn't ready to see one yet - IMHO she's still lyin her ass off so she doesn't want to do any digging that might show just how deep that rabbit hole goes.
For YOU - eat. Sleep. Avoid alcohol. Stick with your therapy. And know that YOU get to decide what happens next.