This morning she woke up and started sobbing uncontrollably. She kicked and punched the bed, screamed "Why did I do that? What was I thinking?" over and over, and wouldn't stop saying she was sorry. She asked me not to go to work today. I had to refuse.
She's a total wreck. She's been a mess for the past few weeks, but now she's reached a new level. Not sure what that means, but I did want to share.
I would recommend IC for her ASAP. She needs to understand why she allowed herself to cheat in the first place and she needs to start understanding how to begin to repair the damage she's caused.
I recommend she read
How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair
By: Linda J. MacDonald
What do you think it is that YOU want to do?
There has been no behaviour like this in the past, not even in her other relationships. While we've had some problems, given that we have small children and a shocking string of tragedy and heartbreak over the last few years it's astonishing we haven't crumbled as a couple before.
Some perspective regarding what allowed her to cheat is starting to surface. Desperation coupled with fears of abandonment led to opening a window to her ex and closing the same window to me. I'm sure you're familiar with Walls and Windows. He was convenient and available. Her need for escape made it okay.
An interesting point is that she never crossed the line to physical sex. Sexting yes, and kissing and feeling up, yes, but when I discovered the betrayal her text messages all pointed toward how she was putting on the brakes in the cheating and was clear about not getting fully physical.
(I've mentioned this in other threads a two or so weeks ago, but her cheating partner is a lifelong bachelor who is nearly 30 years her senior and has old skin, a rapidly creeping hairline and a beer gut. GROSS! EW! FUCK!)
You say that she's otherwise a model WS. What is she doing, proactively, for you? Aside from the things you've requested (NC, transparency)? What is she doing to discover the answer to her histrionic, "Why did I do that?"
Because unless she's really looking for the answer, I'm not sure I'd call it remorse.
Depending on what else is going on, a big display of emotion could also be manipulation---because you're not responding the way she envisioned, and she wants to elicit the imagined response.
Again, I'm jaded and cynical. Take what I offer with a whole pound of pink Himalayan salt.
Having said that, she's asked about individual counselling for herself. She'll go to marriage counselling if I ask. She's been thoughtful about things to do for me at home and always checks if what she does is okay with me.
What I know of her, what my intuition tells me, is that she's being genuine. I could be wrong, sure, but the last time I didn't pay attention to my intuition I paid a dear price.
We'll see how it goes. If she's trying to manipulate me she's not succeeding. At this juncture I remain perfectly fine with the idea of kicking her ass to the curb forever.
Women often care more about how a man makes them feel about themselves. And men tend not to chase women who won't sleep with them for very long.
I thought I knew my husband very well too -- turns out he'd been having an affair for TWENTY years. And I never suspected it until about 4 days before Dday. So, people can really fool you. Especially when your own emotions are involved.