Has your wife expressed any ideas about what her future post divorce is going to look like? Does she think she is going to move in with her AP and start afresh?
I really struggle to see what her game plan is. She seems to be a forty-five year old woman who thinks that destroying a twenty-year marriage and family is magically going to bring her happiness.
People have commented that she must be nuts or stupid, but it seems more like she has brainwashed herself that the marriage equals unhappiness, while the true reasons for her unhappiness so clearly come from within her.
You mentioned a mid-life crisis, and that is possible, but in a way her reasons are almost irrelevant to you and the kids, because you have to deal with her actions and attitude, regardless of where they come from.
The sad thing is that she is likely to come to her senses, and see what she deliberately and wilfully destroyed after it is irretrievably gone. Probably when she is living in an apartment on her own, a few years from now.
In many ways, it is like trying to talk sense to a drunk. You must feel exhausted by this.
Please focus on taking care of yourself and the kids, and perhaps reduce the time and energy you are putting into trying to talk sense to your wife. You are banging your head against a wall on that score.
EDITED TO ADD:
I called her out on the AP early on asking what his back story was? WW said his wife cheated on him & they got a divorce. I said really what a piece of shit, my WW says "He told her he became something he hated, for doing what he did".
Did your wife say at what stage her AP said that? It sounds like something he may have said during her 50 minute call to him right after you busted her.
It would be a strange statement to make early on in an affair that he intended to pursue, or without some reason - like the affair being discovered - to do so.
I think you are right to question the sincerity of it, because his self-proclaimed self-loathing was not strong enough to prevent the affair lasting six months. It would probably still be going if you had not discovered it.
It sounds more like something he would have said in their final call, as a reason why the affair had to end, when he was panicking about possible consequences, trying to cut his ties with your wife.
Is it possible that he may have told her not to contact him, and that is a factor in her not doing so? She clearly wants to contact him, because in a recent VAR conversation she mentioned not being able to use her phone (you would see that), possibly using her work phone (but deciding she would not do that), and then wondering about sending him a letter.
In any of the calls you have heard, has she mentioned what her AP's attitude to continuing to see her is like? It sounds like the guy has cut and run, and does not want contact from her.
[This message edited by M1965 at 3:25 AM, January 17th (Sunday)]