At the ceremony where you made your wows there were only you two – the rest of the world are not stakeholders in your marriage. Frankly nobody cares if you are married or not – people care for your happiness.
It’s OK to disappoint others. Really. It is. What is not OK is to disappoint yourself.
Your wife having an affair does not reflect you as a failure.
I’m a Christian. I have my shortcomings but work diligently at recognizing them and making amends. On some I succeed, on others I fail. Some I note, some I don’t recognize. What I can’t do and won’t do is pull out the Christian-membership card and wave it around at times that it benefits me and then hide it away at other times. Was your WW Christian those two weeks traveling with OM? What about when she had sex in the car? Was your drinking faith-based?
There is nothing anti-Christian in refusing to remain in a bad situation.
Heck… I don’t think the Big J and his dad look as much at what you did in life as they do to what you did with your life. Please – the only certainty we have despite our belief is that this is the only life we have. Don’t waste it because that’s possibly the biggest sin.
Don’t worry about the dating situation in the world these days. Remaining married because you can’t manage Tinder is a terrible reason to remain married.
What I encourage you heavily to do is to examine your options.
What would divorce really look like.
I am not going to be so direct as to suggest you divorce. But IMHO it’s necessary to understand what it is, the process and the consequences. I think the moment you can tell your wife something along these lines is the moment you can possibly start your personal recovery and – if possible – the marriage recovery:
“Wife. I envisioned growing old with you, but I have made a ground-breaking realization. As much as I fear being without you then even more, I fear sharing you. I have realized that for most of our marriage I have at best shared you, and maybe for parts of it only cohabited with you. I refuse to share.
Immensely worse than losing you would be to discover you are still in contact with OM. Even worse would be to think things are fine only to discover you have once again started your infidelity (like you did last time you “ended” it).
I don’t really see any hope in the infidelity being over while you seriously think me and my actions led to it. I refuse to accept any blame for your decisions to cheat. I am willing to change, but if you truly think I made you cheat there isn’t any way I can ensure I won’t make you cheat again. Therefore, I might just as well cut my losses now.
You are totally free to be with OM. You can date him, travel with him, have sex with him, have him openly in your life. But not as my wife.
Until and unless you tell me openly and vocally that you want this marriage, I am simply assuming you are still in infidelity.
Until and unless you give me a good reason for why we should work things out I am simply assuming this marriage is over.
If you want this marriage, then you need to do the above. You also need to accept certain terms and conditions such as commitment, openness, honesty, a willingness to seek help – both individually and as a couple.
There is no rush per se. There are laws that will ensure we both get fair treatment in divorce. We can be as amicable as possible. “
And then you go do something else.
If she tells you she wants the marriage you hammer on the why.
Whatever answer she gives shoot it down.
Divorce will be embarrassing. Yes, but only for a short while.
Everyone thinks we are perfect. Well – we aren’t.
We can’t afford divorce. Yes, we can.
What you want to be left with is only ONE reason:
She wants to be married to you because of you.
Awaken – I hope you realize that if you remain married you are both in for at least 2-3 years of both individual and joint therapy.