She kept telling me how much she regrets her "mistake", how much she loves me and that things with her AP were "just sex".
I told you she would try to use "mistake". They all do. It's cheater 101. Fucking a co-worker for months is not just a decision and a choice, it is hundreds of decisions and hundreds of choices. Intentional choices.
Frankly, in this scenario she did make a "mistake" -- holding hands and engaging in PDA with the AP in a place where she might be seen by your family. Her plan was to carry on a secrete sexual affair indefinitely. She had worked out many of the details quite well. Given her intent, engaging in PDA with the AP was a mistake.
Consider this: but for the happenstance of that mistake, she's still be fucking Mr. Goodbar. The irony is that she'd be doing it on Wednesdays while you're at therapy, presumably trying to be a better husband (among other things).
I had her send a NC text to her AP right there in front of me
She hadn't done that yet? Seriously? If a cheater is serious about R, she would read on places like this. She would know that this is the first thing she needs to do. Ergo, she is not serious about R. From the tenor of her comments, she simply wants to rug-sweep this.
By the way, they're friggin' co-workers. NC won't work in this context. It puts you into a bit of a dilemma. If you really want to make a go of R, either she or he will need to quit the job. There is no way your heart will have peace if you know she's going to work every day and seeing him there. But if you're going to D, you want her earning as much as possible to minimize your spousal support. It's an inflection point you'll need to consider.
and tell me all of her social media passwords. She also handed her phone over to me and allowed me to take screenshots of all texts she's sent her AP and allowed me to take it home to check for deleted messages.
You realize it's likely she has gone on a deleting spree. What you're seeing is selected by her to minimize.
If you are even remotely considering R, where is her written timeline. She's had plenty of time and opportunity to start it.
Most BH's who try R find that, to consider R, they have to know what they are R'ing from. That means the x-rated version, as if you were a fly on the wall.
The best approach is to have her sit and face you and read it aloud to you, while looking into your eyes. As painful as this sounds, it is less painful than the wondering and mind movies. Also, it gives her an opportunity to see and comprehend the trauma she has caused you. R only works if she has empathy for your trauma and takes steps to be a part of your healing.
It has other salutary effects. Affairs are enabled by layers of lying. Reading the timeline might be the first genuine, honest thing she will do with/for you concerning the A. It is a step to restoring intimacy.
Which leads to another point. The A is a cocoon of intimacy she wove with the AP. It creates an intimacy hole in the fabric of the marriage. Unless she brings you into the heart of that cocoon, the hole will always be there.
By the way, the "it was just sex", cheating women say this all the time to their betrayed husbands. In their minds (female mind), it's a way of trying to minimize. There have been some epic long threads about this here on SI. Suffice it to say that, in general, a lot of men, maybe most, find the sexual aspect of a cheater's A to be the most painful; women find the emotional aspects of it to be the most painful. A woman says "it was just sex" to a man because, from her perspective, she thinks hearing this would be less painful. By saying this, she is showing you that she has no empathy for your point of view at present. For a man, the sexual details are excruciatingly painful, and the idea that our wife could hurt us like that for "just sex" is often even more painful than if she thought she was actually in love with him. We want her to want us for "just sex". Why can't we have some hot, NSA sex? Why would she give that joy and positive reinforcement to another man, but deny it to her husband?
I phrase it that way because, back to my initial point, for many men, the trauma, sexual humiliation, and emasculation of a sexual A by our wife is too much to overcome. D is often the only option.
[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 6:02 AM, June 28th (Monday)]