Well, where to begin........ I apologize in advance: This will end up being much longer than I want. I'll try to stick to the salient facts...
First off, if you knew my wife (BS), you'd also know that I was the stupidiest guy in the world to cheat on her. She's externally beautiful, wickedly smart with a great sense of humor, a lifelong athlete with a body to match, and she's a great mom on top of it all.
I feel compelled to tell the whole backstory leading up my infidelity, but none of it matters. My actions were disgusting and inexcusable. The backstory only matters in that we have other issues to address. We both know it.
We have two beautiful children and I'm fortunate enough to have a decent job which affords me a ton of flexibility and a decent paycheck. Those things are still in tact, mostly (as far as I know). My wife and I, and our two kids are still living together. I go "into the office" about 1x per week and work from home the rest of the time.
The chronology of my slide into hell: we went through a 14 month *zero sex period* where I spent a whole lot of time reading about "sexless marriages" on the internet, wondering what the hell was wrong with me. She spurned all of my advances. Although, I was crazy with frustration, I never sat her down and said, "hey, this is a big f'ing problem for me." Instead, I became sure she was cheating on me. (I remembered the saying, "if you're not screwing your wife, then someone else is....") I was SURE she was cheating. Who goes that long without sex voluntarily (oddly, I was faithful this entire time???).
I went as far as installing a keylogger on her computer. I quickly ascertained that virtually nothing was going on. I became disinterested, depressed, hyperfocused on work, etc. Neither of us really remember much of this time period....
About two years after we resumed having sex (still not as frequently as I would've liked, with several month+ dry spells mixed in). I started surfing Craigslist, and then migrated to Ashley Madison for sex partners. I was amazed at how many miserable people are out there. So, I made my situation worse by beginning to acquaint with them. First view chats, then for coffee...eventually, I met two of them for sex. Then, to really F things up bad, I wound up sleeping with one of my wife's friends.
So, for the record: who knows how many online conversations, maybe handful of no touch coffee dates, a one night stand, a long term affair, and another massive one time mistake with one of her friends. All over the course of about 16 months after 11 years of marriage. I suppose I had several emotional affairs with people also as I shared things with other women that I shouldn't have.
I am probably the world's worst cheater. I didn't take many steps to cover my tracks. My wife trusted me completely. I gave her my laptop, already logged into my email, where she found some absolutely deplorable conversations between me and the LTA person. Disgusting. Revolting. I cringe at the thought even now.
I eventually turned over everything to her: usernames and passwords, receipts, cell phone records, facebook, email, blah blah blah. It was all a bunch of meaningless junk. I thought it mattered. It didn't. I want my family. I want some type of acceptable life for us all. I hate that she now spends time consumed with my failure as a human being and partner. The unfairness of that alone is almost enough to make me leave. It's only because she is strong, that I am able to stay.
I wanted a fight. I was ready to be even more deplorable and, sadly, I'm capable of some really evil stuff. And she met me with kindness and compassion. I know I will never have anything close to this with another human being again. I'm not sure I would even want it. I want to be the best person I can be for her and my kids every second of every day. And if that means I stay, I stay. If she wants me to leave, I'll leave. She owes me nothing. Every second we're together now means so much. It's like borrowed time after getting a life sentence. I live in constant fear that she will grow tired of this mess. She could easily thrive without me. She could be gone any second. She should be.
We are trying to R. I'm in IC now as is my wife and we are looking for MC's. One interesting thing I learned is that I basically lied (lies of ommission) to her about EVERYTHING all throughout the marriage leading up to this: finances, medication, family stuff, anything for convenience. I went to great extremes not to "trouble her" never realizing that she was capable of dealing with a whole lot more adversity than I was....
R is hard. I never imagined she would have it in her to even attempt forgiveness. I'm not sure I would have - at least initially. It's very humbling. I never wanted to lose her, but I convinced myself that she didn't care about me. I turned her into a different person in my head. I betrayed my best friend. It's clear now that we could've talked about anything. I don't know why I didn't see this in the past. I wish I had.
As for sex, it has returned with a previously unknown vigor. Also, it seems sustainable? She is genuinely interested. I think it was the lack of communication that was the problem. I guess maybe I am lucky that the best sex of all is with my wife? I really don't understand how it could possibly be better with someone I didn't care about as much?
If you've read this far, thanks and please wish good thoughts upon me. I appreciate any and all advice.