°Maybe you aren’t in a position right now to take the correct and preferable steps to reconciliation.
MAYBE – Just MAYBE – your best option right now is some form of status quo.
I’m suggesting this because a) you spend a lot of time in another country b) are working towards graduation and c) are dependent financially on her while you reach that goal.
I’m also considering that they are physically apart. They might or might not be in communications, but frankly that isn’t something you can control or are in a good position to have an enforceable hard stance on. This is not the same as accepting it might be taking place, but rather acknowledging that while living apart your options of getting assurance are limited.
IF you two were in the same country then I would be suggesting ways to place the onus of proof on her and for you to confirm her accountability. Frankly there is no way you can ever 100% guarantee that. She could be using the network or tools available at work, she could be sending old-school snail-mail, she could be stopping at a café and using the free wi-fi, a burner phone, her friends landline… whatever. IF she wants to be in touch with OM she will be in touch with OM.
It can even be one-sided. Like that semi-admission that she might have once tried to send him a message… Maybe HE isn’t responding or has moved on. It really doesn’t matter as far as the future of the marriage is concerned.
I would consider the following stance or some version of it:
Make it clear to your wife that if she wants to then she CAN contact OM, move over to OM, meet with OM, see him at work-conferences…. Whatever. But not as your wife. Each and every time you learn of communications or even attempts at communications between them, find out she’s been searching for him or browsing his social-media or whatever… it’s simply a message to you that she would prefer to be with him rather than you.
Those messages make your destination and your options clearer. If she wants this marriage then her options are clear: She needs to assure you that there is no contact.
How can she do that? By being accountable. By allowing you access to her social media, her phone, her bank-account, her computer… whatever it is you need.
Even then you make it clear to her that this accountability only goes so far. If she wanted to be in infidelity she has so many other paths and options that you can never be 100% assured. That’s why – once you two can resume a “normal” married life – you will require a poly.
Stress that the poly benefits her. If she passes it creates a big block for you to build trust from. No – right now there is no trust because even if she’s telling the truth now she wasn’t telling the truth while she was cheating. Trust is not an on/off switch – it needs to be built. Make it clear that one way to show trust is for her to be absolutely 100% truthful and then to confirm that with a poly. Make it clear that learning NOW of recent contact or even attempts at contact would harm her less than failing the poly.
And then find a way to focus on your education and reaching your graduation goals ASAP.
Create an amicable and acceptable form of interaction with your wife, but basically with your future relationship on pause until you have the assurance you need. She is clear that she has this grace period to show her efforts. For example by entering therapy, by opening her information to you and by assuming daily accountability. Or not.
Heck… Rather than pay so much for a poly then maybe even have her come over for the graduation and get it done here.