Welcome to the best club no one ever wanted to be part of.
Here's the most important thing you can get from us: You've been traumatized, but you can heal. You can survive and thrive. You have to find your own way through this, but you can do it. We can help by sharing our experience. BTW, if you click on the person or face icon in every post, you'll go to the poster's profile. The profile includes, often, a writeup by the poster and a link to a list of the person's recent posts, so you can get an ide of wh each poster is. It's not essential to do that, but if you're interested in where a person is coming from - as people said when we were kids - you can get some info.
As I understand your history ...
W cheated about 3 years into your M, and you knew about it and 'forgave' ...
W started to have kid(s) after 5 years and you continued your M ...
You retired, got closer, and you were happy ...
W cheated with multiple men 5 years into your M, and you JFO ...
You are being eaten up by a desire for information....
Your W is a victim and survivor of CSA (childhood sexual abuse).
I presume you've asked about other As during the years and that she's said she's been faithful for the last 35 years.
Is that correct?
A couple of things:
Your W's CSA is awful to contemplate; I can't imagine how awful it was to experience. It's not an excuse for cheating, though it may explain some/a lot/all of it. My W is a CSA survivor, so I'm not minimizing the effect. That was certainly part of what enabled my W - and almost definitely yours, too - to cheat, but cheating was not the only way she could have dealt with her understandable PTSD. Your W has my deepest sympathy. But her pain just adds to your pain; it doesn't subtract from it.
Your desire for info probably comes from the idea that knowledge is power. You probably think that knowing equals understanding and understanding will assuage your pain. You're wrong. No matter how much info you get, you won't understand why your W cheated. Worse, understanding doesn't assuage your pain.
BTW, I, too, think info is usually essential. I interrogated my W for months. That's how I know it doesn't do what needs to be done. Info doesn't really help with the pain.
The only way to deal with the pain is to accept it and feel it, because feeling it lets is go. A good IC can help. The work is difficult and painful, and a lot of pain comes from being betrayed, so the work takes time.
Also, you can R without forgiveness. Forgiveness often - maybe even usually - comes with R, but it comes towards the end of the process.
You posted in JFO, and that's a good choice. The As are in the past for your W, but they're right now for you.
The one good thing about finding out so long after the fact is that you have all these years of your W's behavior to help guide your decision. Most of us have to guess how our WSes will behave after the A(s) - you know how your W did behave.
You know she confessed. You can guess that she would have confessed to you if the priest hadn't been such a jerk. You know you got very close. You know what kind of W she was. You know she's done some work to remember the info you think is so important. From what you've written, you know she was a good candidate for R.
IMO, the big question for you, and for all of us BSes, is: what do you want?
Do you want to live with your W until one of you dies? If so, you probably want R. If not, you probably want D. If you're undecided, you need more time to decide.
Here's some reading for you:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/healing_library/reconciliation/what-every-wayward-spouse-needs-to-know.asp - if this resonates with you, I suggest printing it off and giving the printout to your H as 'something you found on the web.' My reco: DO NOT tell your H about SI until you're sure he's on board for R.
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=361740&HL=14993 - serjr threads for newbies
Boundaries and Consequences 101:
Setting Healthy Boundaries:
Before You Say Reconcile:
The Simplified 180:
20/20 Hindsight: What I Wish I'd Done:
Again, you can heal. It takes time to heal, but you can almost count on it. Healing takes work, but it's work human beings are good at. You feel awful now. You may find you feel worse for a while. But if you process your pain out of your body, you will feel good again.
And if you decide to D, you're at an age when the demographics are in your favor....
[This message edited by sisoon at 12:45 PM, July 9th (Friday)]