So from what I understand, he hasn't even admitted to the A? And you haven't shown him the proof that you have?
I would suggest that before you confront him with your proof, you make copies and hide them in a safe place that he doesn't know about. That way, when you say "I know about XYZ, here are pictures I found" he won't be able to delete them and claim you're crazy.
I found emails that incriminated my WH and I confronted him over the phone (he was traveling). While we were talking on the phone he was deleting all the emails! Luckily I had forwarded some of them to a secret email account, but the majority of them were lost. So definitely make the copies!
Please don't settle for the lies he is telling you. You deserve the truth. Him buying you what you want, letting you make all the decisions, etc. isn't going to help you heal. All he is doing is placating you to avoid the really hard work that is involved in fixing a M.
As for the co-dependency, I'm afraid I can't help you there. Hopefully someone will come along soon who can help.
Trust is like paper. Once it's crumpled it can never be perfect again.
Do you have requirements for R? Usual reqs include but aren't limited to NC; IC for him and maybe you; maybe MC; transparency - he keeps you informed of his whereabouts, companions, and communications; and honesty - answering questions truthfully is part of that.
Also, you can add specific reqs for yourself. I wanted my W to treat me better than she treated ow, so she has to arrange dates for us, basically on a weekly basis. (We got a bonus - she's better at it than I am.)
The reqs are observable. For example, if you don't have free access to his phone or e-mail, he fails. If he lies to you, he fails.
Meeting the reqs requires a lot more commitment than just not giving you a reason to D.
I am still trying to find more information, and have told myself I will make a decision of whether to stay or leave by December,
Ambivalence (limbo) is the back-and-forth decision: R or D?
Here's a book that helped me: “Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship” by Mira Kirshenbaum. There are a series of 36 questions to help you take a big picture look at your marriage; the focus is not on affairs, but there are questions about trust, intimacy, emotional connections.
A quote from her: "Staying ambivalent can cause tremendous damage. Being stuck can end up killing you emotionally if you stay when you should be getting out. And it can end up killing your relationship if you keep thinking about leaving when it could be fixed if you only put energy into it. You can end up being deprived of joy and freedom, of intimacy and hope."
You are so right ladies_first, the ambivalence is not good for me, the children and in the long run for the relationship. I had decided I wasn't going to leave, which was my first impulse, because I was in such state of chaos that I couldn't trust myself. I have however decided to stay because I love him and before the A he was a good husband. But now the doubting all the time, the pain when I think he is communicating with her, and not knowing for sure is just not something that I want for the rest of my life. As soon as I finish the book I am reading right now, I will read the one you are recommending. I so hope to find answers to my situation.
Thank you again all for your support.
Do you have an IC...not MC..for just you? Use hr (or him) as much as you can during this tme.
Focus on you...doing things to improve your health, self-esteem...nurture yor interests outside the marriage.
This may sound weird, but when I get really down, I work on what I call my plan B...if this doesn't work out....if he contacts her again... what new direction will my life take...what opportunities will I allow myself.I think part of what makes us anxious is the fear of the unknown.
I am in my 50's also and even though starting over seems scary at this age, it is also an exciting time of change...kids are leaving or will be soon, retiremnt and/or new career is still possble...just reinventing your life is still doable.
The pain and grieve doen't just dissolve ever but you do get past it...you are becoming stronger.
The Kirshenbaum book sounds likeone I need to read also.
Wishin you peace.