I know the rage, friend. I really do.
Protective mechanism? Coping mechanism? Who knows.
Anger is good - it can help you detach if you harness it.
Blind rage though is not good. It brings out ugly parts of ourselves.
You're still attached and it is making you crazy. I went through something very similar. I had to hit rock bottom. I went strict NC because I had had enough hurt - from him and from myself.
Gently, you couldn't make her be a good wife no matter what you tried. You have a shit show in hell of making her a good mother. This is who she is.
Engaging with her like this scratches and itch but it will keep your wounds open and bleeding for longer than they need to be.
I remember reading here once "it is up to you how painful this needs to be". I had a flash of anger when I read it because I wasn't yet ready to acknowledge that he could not continue to hurt me without my consent.
You simply cannot heal whilst still engaging with her. I learned this the hard way as I suspect most of us do.
You may be starting to reach your own rock bottom. I don't envy you because it is an ugly, dark place - but for me I know I had to hit it to purge that last bit of hope I had that I would at least see a glimpse of the man I thought I married.
I didn't want to be with him, he disgusts me - just the thought of being in his presence makes my skin crawl yet I was still hoping to see that glimpse.
Rock bottom for me was accepting that not only was that guy dead and gone but that he most likely only ever existed in my head.
This stuff is a mind-fuck. There are things you can do to make it easier on yourself (180/NC, focussing on YOU and YOUR future, physical activity that releases some at that rage etc.).
There are also things you can do that make it harder on yourself - maintaining contact, trying to exert control, fighting battles because you are right - basically anything that pets the drama llama.
Obsessive thinking is also very common. I used the image of a stop sign, some posters mention snapping a rubber band around their wrist.
There is a thread here ATM about a book "Journey from Abandonment to Healing". I've realised a lot of my reaction to this isn't about the cheating at all. It has stirred up so many other things in me that I didn't know which way was up for a while.
It is easy to become bitter but you're right, its not who you want to be. Give yourself time and space to grieve this. Give yourself permission to be angry about this but harness it into extracting her from your life and your mind.
Only discuss things with her that are absolutely essential. Nothing that she can find out herself. There are online calendars where you can both see and add to the kids schedules/activities.
I think there is a limbo in S/D too - where our heart has not caught up with our heads. We don't want them back but we want them to still behave in ways we expect. We feel hurt/disappointment each time they prove us wrong.
Stop contact and stop having expectations. Let go of that which you cannot control and focus on what you can control, namely, you.
((RunningtheRace)) All of this is easier said than done but I promise you it is so very worth it.