This forum is an odd place. A bunch of strangers on the internet, commenting on each other's lives based only on snippets of information voluntarily revealed. However, the one thing about this place is that it is a deep reservoir of crowd-sourced wisdom about infidelity, amassed by people with direct experience.
One of the things we've seen over and over again is that, even if you sincerely want to give R a shot, MC at this stage is at best a waste of time, and quite likely a step backward. Another thing we've seen, over and over, is a newly minted BH coming here believing he has a WW with whom he can pass through a secret wormhole in space/time that provides a shortcut to healing and R.
Consider this analogy. You discover a long-time employee has been embezzling for years. You learn that this employee has a chronic gambling problem, causing him to piss his money away. It's like an addiction. You're a "second chances" guy, but even you would not consider giving him another chance at work unless he first seeks professional help for his gambling problem, so that you can feel secure about him being a safe employee.
This is exactly the same reason MC at this stage is counterproductive. You're in counseling as yourself. Your WW is in counseling as somebody with a cheating heart. Until she figures out what is fucked up in her moral compass and fixes it, MC is simply going to patch you back up with a cheater.
Consider this: but for the fact that you discovered the A and confronted her, she would still be fucking her boyfriend. Yes she's all waterworks and snot now, but it's not remorse. Don't kid yourself. She's sorry for herself, for the predicament she's in. The OBW thinks she's a slut. You're all butt-hurt and lost. The AP is a pissed off drunk, but she has roots with him and her heart is broken that those roots can't find fertile ground. She has surrounded herself with pain and destruction, and naturally this makes her cry. She's working with you because she perceives you to be her shortest path out of the vortex she's in. It's not because she has figured out that she has any genuine regard or love for you and the livelihood you have worked your ass off to provide for her and your family.
Just nine days ago, after you confronted her, she admitted that she was still in contact with the AP. She told you this:
I asked her if she was still in contact with OM. She admitted it, what she said was the truth. She said that OM was in a really low place and she felt guilty because of the part she played in it. She thought that she should at least let him down slowly.
She was more concerned with the AP - the man who came to your family home to try to beat you in front of your kids - than with you. Just 9 days ago. And you're in MC with her? Are you kidding? What outcome can you possibly expect will arise from counseling with a wife whose heart still wants to protect the asshole who tries to beat a man in his home in front of his kids?
She specifically told him (when she thought it was still hidden from you): "I wish it was you and me against the world." Utterances of her true heart. Until you are absolutely certain her heart does not harbor that wish, you are in quicksand, my friend.
I'm mindful that you knew about the A, with documented evidence, for months before confronting her.
In your first post, you said:
I'm afraid that I might regret this. I'm afraid of the blowout. I'm afraid because I'm still in love with her and maybe this is too cruel. I have never seen this side of me that is too rational and too quick to say "fuck this shit, I'm out". I don't know if I want to fight for us. I have both feet out the door but I still want to go inside.
We all feel that way. The dynamic is the following. Learning about infidelity is like being thrust into a science-fiction horror world of antimatter, where everything you once thought was steady and reliable is a trickster. A house of mirrors. What every BH yearns for, more than anything, is a return to the "before time", a return to the innocent, trusting love, the warm fuzzy blanket feeling of security in the sense of his place as a father, a husband, a family man, a hard-working provider whose daily toils are appreciated by a loving wife.
The hardest thing to accept is that this reality didn't exist. It was a figment of your imagination. While you thought you were being Mr. Nose To The Grindstone as a way of underscoring your devotion to fathering and husbanding, your WW was demonizing you, withdrawing, and fucking her old boyfriend, whom she believes was/is her heart's true love.
Stop sniffing the hopium. Get out of MC. Implement the 180 and tell your WW to get off the snot train and figure her shit out. If she really wants you to offer her the gift of R, she'll stop trying to manipulate you by pussy-bombing and crying to awaken your KISA instinct. These are the oldest, most common tricks of any newly cornered WW, and they are implemented not to R but to find the easiest, laziest path out of the shitstorm that she created. It's lazy, it's dishonest, it's manipulative. Mostly, it's disingenuous.
Be warned that true R is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to invest years just to figure out if there is a chance. Years of catharsis, gut-wrenching emotion, etc. Among other things, your WW has to be able to look you in the eye like a man and (a) tell you frankly that she liked having him inside of her, and (b) listen without flinching as you vent your legitimate anger and pain. Over and over and over. For years.
Is your WW a long-distance runner? Does she have that level of toughness and stick-to-it ability? Because if she doesn't, here's how you get your revenge on the AP: let him have her.
She also explained that there was some form of emotional attachment because she felt overwhelmed with 4 kids and that I wasn't really present with her. She said she needed my help not specifically physically but emotionally. She had felt that the most important things in my life were my job and kids and she felt neglected. Then OM came and her weakness let her succumb to his advances.
The oldest story in the book. Total bullshit. Literally 3/4 of the threads here with a cheating wife who is a mother in middle age has exactly this same narrative. Of course she felt "lurve". He whispered sweet things in her ear because she was throwing the good pussy at him. He got all the good stuff and never had to carry any water for her, at all. Never dealt with a kid puking at night. Never brought her water when she was sick. Never deposited his paycheck into her account so she could buy a few nice things.
Consider this: millions of married people go through a mid life crisis without fucking somebody behind their spouse's back. In fact, that is what you specifically promise to do in your marriage vows. Therefore, not fucking somebody else, that's a simple matter of doing what you promised to do. Married people who choose adulterous sex as the palliative for this normal life's phase that everybody passes through, they are people who choose to break their promises when they subjectively feel that their circumstances are heavy. Promise breakers. People for whom "forsake all others until death" means "I can have a secret, one-sided open marriage if I decide that it's okay for me". People you can't rely on in the battlefield. People who won't have your back in the clutch. People not worthy of commitment at the level of marriage.
Earlier before I found out about WW's affair, I was always trying to initiate not exactly sex but intimate moments with my wife with the free time that I have, but it went dry and drier until I forgot how good it felt. I missed it.
Again, I'm sorry to say, this is so cliche. She withholds sex from you because she's throwing dakine pussy at the AP. She was saving it up, for him. No gratitude nor humility at all over the effort you make to be a husband and a provider. Is that really the person you want to grow old with? I guarantee you can do better.
[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 1:33 PM, July 14th (Wednesday)]