You need to take time to figure out what exactly you "need to forgive." You don't have all the details of your WW (Wayward Wife) affair at this point.
The first thing your wife needs to do is:
Formally END THIS AFFAIR. She must send the OM (Other Man) a NO CONTACT LETTER telling him this affair is over - and he is to never contact her again.
THEN, this married OM's wife must be told about this affair. His wife deserves to know!
THEN, your wife must be totally transparent; and give you assess to her phones, text, emails etc...SO, you can verify that ALL CONTACT with OM has ended and that she has no more contact with him.
You must remember: You wife did not come to you and "confess" because she felt guilty about this affair -- YOU CAUGHT HER.
And you still don't know if this was a Physical, Sexual Affair, or not...because your wife has continued to lie and "trickle truth" you.
SO- at this point: You don't know what you need to forgive, do you?
Take things one-step-at-a-time.
I'd suggest your wife needs to seek counseling to address: WHY she cheated in the first place; and WHY she can't be honest with you...since you caught her.
I can understand being alone; but I hate being with someone and feeling lonely.
I'm so sorry you're here.
Don't make any decisions yet...get IC and MC, and let time play out a bit to see if your WW is truly remorseful and how your feelings are processing. We're 7 months out from Dday#2, and still the hatred comes out of me sometimes, despite the fact that my WH is being NEARLY a model wayward.
It may be that your WW is truly sorry. It may be that she isn't. It may be that you can forgive her and rebuild. It may be that you can't. None of this can be clear at this stage in the game. That's the horrible, awful truth. Only time (and enduring huge amounts of pain) will give you the answer. (Wow, I'm really Ms. Sunshine this morning!)
OK, so optimism here: people CAN be truly sorry and people CAN rebuild. I think our therapist said that chances for R are very high (80%) when both partners truly want to. It's the "truly want to" bit that's the rub, however.
So sorry you're here, Nick. Right now you're just in survival mode. Focus on getting through this period, eating, drinking, and possibly getting meds. Whatever it takes. This is one of the worst experiences of your life -- don't be shy about grabbing every resource for support that you can. Including posting here!
I eventually let it go. You can't force forgiveness. I realized that for me and my H it's not necessary to R. If it happens, great. If it doesn't, that's ok too. I feel much better having let go of it.
We're all on our own journey but I wanted to share my personal thoughts on it.
Nick1234, IC made all the difference for me and my WH. I went through 3 before I found the one that worked well with me. And it absolutely helped my husband come to terms with why he did this and how he could go forward. I encourage you to do the same, if you haven't already.
I recommend changing this Q to something like, 'Can I maintain my self-respect and everything else I need to maintain while staying married to this woman? Is this a deal breaker for me?'
You can definitely R, if that's what you and your W want. What matters is what you both want and what you both are willing to do. The words used matter less, especially at this point.
Give yourself time to come to a decision, but if R is possibly in the cards, work on your M even now, without committing one way or another.
I found it very useful to define 'measurable' requirements for R - NC, IC, MC, honesty, transparency are normally requirements. I added some specifics, like my W had to arrange frequent dates for us, write me love letters, etc. The first 5 are recommended for everybody. You get to decide the other specifics that you want.
The idea with the reqs is: if you see her meeting the reqs, you'll probably lean towards deciding for R. If she doesn't meet the reqs, she's not a candidate for R, and you'll probably lean toward D. If she meets the reqs and you're still unhappy with her, maybe the A was a deal breaker.