Y'all are right that I should've done something to stop her from taking the kids to meet her AP. But the fact of the matter is that they're gone there with her now.
So, what would you propose I do about it now? Go ahead and judge me! I can't change it now, it's already happened.
Yeah, this conversation has really made me think. As I said before, I won't file for divorce, but if she does I'll sign the papers. Maybe I just need to push her to do it.
However, I will definitely be talking to a lawyer for the sake of the kids and ensuring that I have guaranteed custody. I do need to put the kids before the already-broken marriage. I also need to get back into IC.
Let me explain my stance on divorce. First of all, as I've said before, I still want to find some way to save the marriage, if it's possible. Secondly, I grew up in the Catholic church, and I still have many of the same values which I grew up with. On the subject of divorce, I will not be the one to file, because I am against divorce based on my own core personal beliefs. If I had a friend in the same situation that I'm in, I also would not suggest divorce to my friend or try to talk them into it. (I would not try to talk anyone out of divorce, or argue against them or anyone else who is suggesting it...but I would not suggest it, nor would I try to talk them into it.)
So, because I am very clearly stating to all of you that filing for divorce is against my core values and beliefs, then please honor my request and quit suggesting it to me. You may think me deluded, but if you do, please keep your opinions about that to yourself. I will not budge on this issue.
The other thing I'm telling you can never change is that I love her. I know for a fact that I won't stop loving her, no matter how much or how badly she hurts or mistreats me, because I know me. I've lived my whole life with this heart, so please believe me on this as well. It's not any kind of syndrome or anything, not a psychological issue. As Forrest Gump says, "I'm not a smart man, but I know what love is."
However, I recognize that I do need to set boundaries and consequences, and I need to do it now. I've been allowing my wife to walk all over me, and yes it's true that it's been happening in our marriage from the start. This is new territory for me, taking charge, setting boundaries & consequences. Whatever I consider, it has to be something that I will to hold myself 100% accountable to enforce it. Again, I haven't put my kids' needs at the forefront, and I need them to be my primary motivation. I've got to do right by them, and not fail them anymore. Even if I think my wife is coming around, until she proves it to me by ending the affair, by maintaining NC, by going to marriage counseling, I can't hang any hopes on that. I'm still a hopeful optimist at heart, I still see a possible future for us.
I know that I needed the unvarnished truth from other BS's on this forum. It just hits hard. Thank you all for your feedback. However, I admit that I now feel a little less inclined to post here because of just how hard the hits came. Please take these words into consideration when you reply to other people's posts, when you hit someone between the eyes with the 2x4 of truth, maybe you should wrap it in a little padding of empathy. We BS's know each other's pain.