I started a response to your post and then I thought I should do a little background and read over your previous posts.
Gently, you have hurt your wife to a great extent. The affair was with someone she knew and possibly even became friends with. That is even more stuff you handed her that is hard to deal with.
I read about your wife dating, AFTER she made it clear to you that you two were no longer together. People have different views on this site about things like that. My view is your wife was honest, above board and it did not constitute an affair.
Your wife is in a very bad place and trying to figure out what she wants. You blew up the marriage and want and need forgiveness and probably want her in your life again. She is in a different space. To be honest she was probably angry that you said you were jealous after only a few months of finding out about your affair. She had kept her integrity and you had not. How would you have felt in her shoes?
Here are some suggestions that I hope help.
Don't go to bars with your wife. Not yet, give that one time. Drinking can cause difficulty in R.
Realize that you blew up the marriage. You told your wife with your affair that you were not comitted. She told you she was going to date and did. She did not leave you in the dark about that. It is her decision to R with you, no matter how long that takes. Of course you can have your limit too and choose not to wait it out.
You need to work on you and you alone. You need to become a man of integrity once again. I'm sorry you are still a baby as far as R goes. Mine has been going on 5 years and it would have been shorter had I worried about myself only and not been so pigheaded.
Work on yourself. Understand that your wife no longer considers you two married. Either accept that or leave quite honestly. Your wife is being honest with you, which is a huge thing. She has told you that she is having a hard time with coming to grips with your actions.
There is an old saying to let something go and if it comes back to you, you know it is love. Sometimes love is unrequited. Your wife does not need to love you again. That will be a gift if at some time she feels that you have earned her love back.
Gosh, it really must be hard to be in your position. My wife never dated anyone and has been here the entire time. I was so far above lucky I can't imagine. Become the person that your wife married once again. If she dates, let it go and don't focus on her life. Tell her that you want to be exclusive, like married people. Tell her that you find it difficult to see her date. Let her tell you where her mind is at and what she wants. Leave it at that. If she continues to date, move on with your own life and grow. If you wan't her back, DO NOT reciprocate with dating as well.
You can't compel your wife back to the marriage. You CAN become that attractive, good man that she married. You CAN attract her back by being that person, or at least you will have regained your integrity and will be ready for the next relationship in the future.
I hope I haven't sounded like I am against you. We here all know the damage our actions have taken on our marriages. It is tough to think we might very well have destroyed our relationships with no way to come back. My best wishes for you and your wife. I hope you get what you want, but that is only going to come if you work very very hard on yourself and can weather the bumps in the long road ahead of you.
Really should learn to read your other posts before contributing!
I see you are already separated and working hard to get back together. You have done an excellent job of devoted reconciliation, and your wife must be aware that she needs to acknowledge progress if you are not to lose heart and give up.
You had a strong marriage and your adultery must have been like a veritable knife to the heart. Carry on with your efforts to mend your marriage; your wife seems to be responding positively.
Your separation from your children can't be good for them. With that in mind I suggest this separation needs to end soon and further reconciliation should proceed in situ.
[This message edited by OK now at 7:30 AM, December 14th (Saturday)]
I know I completely devastated her with my affair and will have to eat a lot of crow for a very long time. Why this is different is it happened once before and she promised it would never happen again. I don't want to lose my trust in her, I'm trying to have compassion but at the same time have respect for myself. I'm learning its a fine line.
Why this is different is it happened once before and she promised it would never happen again.
What does this mean nevergiveup? Disappearing for a time or dating someone else? Did she tell you that she is wanting to be together again and work at R?
I give BS a lot of leeway. However, you have a right to know the answer to if you are having a relationship or not. The answer can be, no, I don't know or yes. You have the right to determine your own path.
It sounds as if you wife is so very confused at this point in time. Talk to her and in a respectful way tell her about your feelings. Come to an agreement, even if that is your wife does not know what she wants right now and accept it. Work with that and remember to keep you integrity no matter what.
I give her a lot of leeway as its deserved, but I feel if I accept this heavior more than once I will lose repspect for myself. I feel like her intent is to hurt me and make me give up but everthing she says is to the contrary.
I'm wishing you the best and strength to be happy.
I think you need to decide if you are ready to go on this roller coaster ride and how much you are willing to overlook for the sake of R.
From what you have written it seems you both are working toward R. In your position I would tell her that you need certain things in order to R. You have the option of the 180 at your disposal too, to protect yourself, not to add hurt to your wife. You could use that to keep yourself on a level and do the work you need to do. Your wife can make her own decision and may even find it helpful to clear her head.
A qualifier for the above. You do it with the idea that you are still married. That your vows mean something to you. That you don't do anything other than maintain total transparency. If your wife sees you not clinging to her, doing what you need to do for the family, not adding any new hurts to your lives and simply withdrawing your emotions till you feel safe to share them, you may get the results that you want. You can always end the 180 when you both can agree to work towards reconciliation of the marriage.
We owe the BS our commitment and hard work to change who we are to be a real partner in the marriage. We don't need to accept behavior that is detrimental to that. On the face of it, I would be concerned if my wife went out, was not in contact with me and returned at ridiculous times like your wife has. IF we had committed to R. I could overlook a few times and then I would have to talk to her and make my own decisions.
I am not trying to put your wife at fault, nor am I condemning you. This is the complete destruction that infidelity brings. I am sorry that this is difficult for you.
This was after my company Xmas party…This would have made sense a couple months ago but I was really surprised by this.
Trigger. Was the OW a work contact, or was the location relevant? Sometimes the strangest things can trigger memories, and then the BS feels hurt and angry all over again.
R will go much easier if you accept that there will be times when your wife is reminded of things and progress will take a few steps back. The good news is that if you can support her through this and own responsibility for her hurt feelings, things sometimes go right back to where they were before the trigger happened.
I feel if I accept this heavior more than once I will lose repspect for myself.
You may need to adjust your expectations a little. What was respectful towards before D-Day tends to be much different after D-Day for most people, for awhile, because of the level of anger involved. If she's triggering, she's right back in the thick of her pain, so don't expect her to be too concerned with how you're feeling.
I know I completely devastated her with my affair and will have to eat a lot of crow for a very long time.
This. This. This. Good luck.
She said she doesn't want to get into a relationship, date, etc with other people. I asked if she feels that way can we committ to each other while we work on this. She said she's not ready yet, why should she committ to a cheating bastard. She said shes working on it with her IC, among other things. It makes sense, I really dont deserve it all things things considered. The fact that she said she didnt want to see other people was enough for me. I believe her. I myself have been 100% committed since dday.
I did the 180 in the beginning when things were really bad, and I had some success. I think employing parts but not all at this point would benefit me.
The A had nothing to do with work, possibly the venue though my BS goes there often.
I need to be reminded that we will take a step back from time to time, but it doesnt mean its the end. I am prepared for the roller coaster still to come and whatever else it will bring. She is worth it, no matter how long it takes.
I really appreciate this safe place and all the wonderful people that contribute. It has been a big help lately.