My wife and I have been married for nearly 7 years. We have 3 children, 9, 6, and 1 year old daughter. In December 2010 my wife had an emotional affair that went on for a couple of months. She ended up kissing him and confessing to me immediately the next morning. She was completely remorseful and we had some of the best passion in our marriage after this experience. We reconciled quickly and I felt that we would not go down that road again. We went to counseling and she did contact him a few months later. We continued counseling and she eventually saw the error of her ways and he was completely out of the picture.
Fast forward to July 2012. My wifeís grandmother passed away at the age of 92 after heading into the hospital for a few days. This was very hard for my wife to handle. We ended up conceiving our one year old daughter later in that summer. Things between us were very good. This was also the summer she met her OM. They were just friends at first, of course. As the summer ended and we moved into the Fall 2012 her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The doctors said there was nothing they could do and that the best choice was hospice care. They gave her until Thanksgiving 2012. Later in that fall she was pregnant and she mentioned she wanted a divorce. I asked her if there was someone else and thatís when she mentioned the OM. I told her to stop talking to him and we needed to work on our marriage. She told me that she would stop talking to him but secretly she kept contact.
I trusted that she stopped talking to him and I didnít suspiciously check the phone records. If I had I would have seen how much she was talking to him all the way back to January 2013. In any case, I was a trusting spouse and my wife was going through hell. Her pregnancy was very hard on her and her mother was dying. It was and is one of the hardest times of my wifeís life. She started to depend on her OM for emotional support. She would try to talk to me and I would try to ďfixĒ her. I wanted her to feel better. I didnít listen to her as much as I could have during this time. She would try to tell me that there were things I could have done to help her. She needed more ďsupportĒ but I thought it just meant more help around the house, domestic duties. She was working 3 nights a week and Saturdays while I worked full time during the day on the weekdays. We barely saw each other. In May her mother passed away three days before our daughter was born. She made it all the way past Thanksgiving and we were hoping she could see our daughter. It wasnít meant to be. My wife was devastated. During this whole time she was still talking to OM and getting her emotional support as her feelings continued to develop. When the summer 2013 ended the OM moved into our neighborhood. His kids live in the neighborhood and he was going through a divorce of his own. He had been living with his parents in a town far away but now he was close. It was around August 2013 that my wife became physically involved. There was only kissing at this time but it had progressed. She continued to keep it a secret.
Her work schedule was brutal and we were just trying to keep our heads above water with a new baby and all the financial pressure. I would have loved it if she could stay home with our baby but our finances wouldnít allow it. I donít make enough money and we have quite a bit of debt. In any case, I barely saw her. The passion and intimacy that we had shared was gone. She was depressed about her mother. I wasnít there for her like she needed and she went outside our marriage to have those needs met. She said that she thought she could control it. Anyway, the OM came over to our house to fix our washer at my request. He had been to our house the year before to fix our A/C and now our washing machine was broken. Iím not handy at all and he is. I suggested that he come over to fix the washer not knowing the extent of their relationship. They became sexually active with each other this February 2014. He came over to fix the washer at the end of April 2014. Something about the way he looked at me just made me feel very suspicious. Like he was guilty of something. I had known him from back in summer 2012 and from the previous summer 2013 when he fixed our A/C. I had too much trust. What really has thrown me for a loop is that my wife then invited him to our daughterís first birthday party earlier this month. What?!? I had to check the phone records. Sure enough, I saw that she had been talking to him every day, texting and calling him at all hours of the day, even late into the night. I confronted her about the phone records and she told me she had feelings for him but that they hadnít slept together. I was furious and nearly made a knee jerk reaction to divorce when I saw the records. When she told me that she hadnít slept with him I decided to try and work it out. For a week I tried to woo her back with flowers and gifts. I showered her with love. She was unresponsive and I expected to make love to her. She wouldnít. She is very very sexual. I knew something was wrong. I finally told her to tell me the truth. She confessed her relationship finally to me and the full extent on Thursday May 22, 2014. I was devastated. I couldnít believe this was happening again. She expressed her apology to me that she had hurt me. We have had many conversations over the past few days about the affair. She says that she has never been in love with someone like this before. She has agreed to no contact but it isnít a commitment to do so. She is taking it day by day. She hasnít committed to reconciliation either. She is taking all the actions that a WS would take to try and reconcile but her emotions arenít in it. Iím going crazy. When she told me about the affair (on the phone) I told her I wasnít sure I still loved her. But once I saw her later that night I knew I still did. I have professed my desire to reconcile with her but she says she canít open her heart to me right now. Iím not sure she will ever be able to open her heart to me. Iím in terrible pain and I can tell that our conversations about the affair are starting to upset her. I need to back off because she is getting ďannoyedĒ. I love her so much and I want her back in my life as my loving wife. I have accepted what has happened and I am willing to move on but she is stuck in a holding pattern. She has agreed to counseling. I donít know where to go from here. I donít know how to act around her. I donít know how to talk about anything but the affair. Iím soooo hurt. She hasnít really tried to make me feel better. She will accept my affection but she wonít give it freely. I will hug her or give her a massage. I have listened to her and tried to be non judgmental. Iím trying to do all the right things. Nothing is working. How do I get my wife to feel remorse for me? Will she ever feel remorse for what she has done? Is the WS fog going to affect her forever? It feels like this is going to last forever. I canít even imagine this taking months and months. I can barely make it through the week so far. I am so overwhelmed and the prospect of losing my wife and family to OM is devastating. Please help me. Tell me that this will all pass and that I will find happiness again. I feel like that is a million years away.
One final note. I told her about the fog last night and that she was in it. That the affair love that she feels isn't real. She even said to me two years ago when her friend was having an affair that it was a fantasy and that affairs aren't real life. Yet here she is believing that OM and her are "in love". Her rationalization for that one was, "Well, I wasn't in the situation." She clearly knows, logically, that affairs are fantasies but she can't break free from it. I'm very frustrated.
[This message edited by VeryHurt1 at 9:26 AM, May 26th (Monday)]
Read everything in the Healing Library, & also the threads with the "bulls-eye" in the yellow circles. Remember to drink a lot of water, drink protein drinks if you can not eat, & if you can not sleep, go to the doctor and get a prescription for medication to help you sleep.
Please trust those of us who have been down this road, that it will not always feel this painful----time will help.
Sending you strength.
It is very important that you know, this is NOT your fault. This could have happened if you had showered her with attention, etc. In the fact this has happened 3 times in varying manners, should be proof to you that the challenges are with her. You have had some of the same pressures, but you did not chose to have an affair.
I know it hurts, especially when you love your spouse so deeply. One of the biggest mistakes I made was allowing my spouse too much leverage in the decisions about contact with the affair partner (AP). I did not make a clear stand that I deserved better, that I deserved a committed relationship, that I deserved someone who only loved me and that I was not going to accept anything less. I also allowed my wayward spouse (WS) to make the decisions. That was wrong thinking on my side. It wasn't until I was ready to end things that he came out of his fairy tale. The truth was I was ready to end it too. It took me a while to get there. However, as long as I allowed him to make the decisions, he couldn't decide where he wanted to land. It is a hard place to get there emotionally for the betrayed spouse (BS) sometimes, it was for me.
Reading the healing the library is very helpful. Also read on the 180. That may help you get through some of the healing that you need. Remember the 180 isn't about her, it is about your healing and getting through this.
Please note, if she doesn't want to go to counseling or goes begrudgingly, she isn't going to participate much. Don't count on that as your main tactic.
Keep posting, we are here for you!
If she refuses, you need to file for divorce.
That is really the only answer.
If you can't enforce this you are in for a world of pain. I can't tell you how many times I've given this advice. And the only people that manage to save their marriages are the ones who are prepared to lose it. EVERY single time a BH (men in particular) who do not enforce NC with the OM, they have lost their wives.
please take this advice very seriously. I have seen a whole lot of men try to "nice" their wives back. begging, pleading, buying flowers, bullshit. the moment your wife spreads her legs for another man you have to exert your dominance. either she's on your team or she's out the door.
If you want to keep your wife, you need to shut this down immediately. She doesn't get a fucking choice in this. She may be foggy, she may not be remorseful, but if she doesn't go NC you have to file for Divorce. immediately.
best of luck.
[This message edited by mike7 at 10:19 AM, May 26th (Monday)]
I feel for you. I heard so many things that mirror my situation. Affair while pregnant, 2nd go around with a wayward, her Mom died, tough sledding at work, tough pregnancy, etc.etc. I can empathize with the utter disbelief you are going through right now. I made the mistake of trying to nice my WGF back to me. The truth is she doesn't feel real remorse. The broken she has inside doesn't allow it. Unfortunately, you probably don't have all the information. If you decide to pursue any reconciliation I would recommend you get into IC immediately. There are likely truths coming that will shake you to your foundation.
None of the infidelity was your fault. None of what she did is because of you. You need to help yourself and your children now. Reconciliation can come later if it is meant to be. Right now you need to remove yourself from the insanity and focus on what's right for you and your kids. She is not in a state of mind to be reasoned with.
Take care of yourself. Seek counsel from those that are healthy and positive. Make time to heal. Take care brother.
Your story saddens me. Everyone one of us here are so familiar with the devastation associated with infidelity. My situation was "different" than yours but also very much the same. My wayward wife carried on an affair for a year behind my back even though throughout that year I knew something was wrong and brought it to her attention. She of course assured me all was well and made excuses for the sudden behavior changes. Once DDay finally arrived I handled it swiftly and exploded on her. I went to the OM's house and ended the fairy tale with a nuclear bomb.
I attribute that to the fog being lifted immediately. I haven't had to deal with my wife fence sitting and not knowing what she wanted. She immediately begged me to come back and has since remained transparent and is working hard.
I can't give you specific advice on your situation but have read so many stories on here. Since it's a holiday weekend and you may not get many responses today I'll try and help. Others with direct experience will respond to you and give you sound advice very soon though.
You cannot nice your wife back into returning to the marriage. When you beg it makes you look weak and gives her the upper hand. You need to lay out ultimatums right now. You need to let her know that you love her but her actions and behavior are intolerable. Tell her that if she wants to stay in this marriage there cannot be 3 people involved. She needs to cease all contact immediately no exceptions. She doesn't get to have time to think about things. That's not fair to you. Life is all about choices and consequences. You are in control now and it needs to remain that way.
I'd also suggest getting a free consultation with a lawyer ASAP. Keep any and all documentation (proof of an affair). If you wind up in divorce court you're going to need it. So many men get shafted even though their wife is to blame for the divorce. You could wind up paying spousal support and child support. Imagine yourself having to pay her spousal support while she is with the other man and her and him are living off your hard work and you only get to see your kids every other weekend. Get angry about this scenario immediately and stand up for yourself.
This man that she is so in love with is a piece of shit. You know that, I know it, but she can't see it. What kind of self respecting man pursues a relationship with a married woman let alone a married pregnant woman? Which brings me to my next question. Is there a doubt in your mind that the baby is yours? I'm not trying to bring additional anguish on you but it's something to think about. If you know for sure then forgive me for suggesting it. My mind cannot fathom a man carrying on a relationship with a married pregnant woman but for one reason that the baby is his. Why else would this sack of shit move into your neighborhood? You don't have the whole story friend and you need to start digging deep for the truth because you only have the tip of the iceberg at this point.
You need to lawyer up buddy. Your wife is not your friend at this point and you need to realize that. She only has her interest in mind at this point. I'm not saying that things can't change for you and her and reconciliation could very well be in your future but you need to protect yourself and your kids first and foremost. Start detaching immediately and give her the 180 hard. It is a hard thing to do when you love someone but it has to be done. She needs to see what she's about to lose and feel the consequences. Without consequences her behavior will not change. It's almost like dealing with a child at this point.
I'm sorry for your pain brother and wish you the best. Keep posting and reading. You'll find the best support group in the world here and will get advice from people here who have been there and done that. Without knowledge you will make many mistakes with her that can be avoided by simply putting into practice what you get from here. That's not to say that every piece of advice you'll get here is the gospel but do yourself a favor and listen and analyze everything.
Your wife is a repeat offender.
Your wife is a liar.
Your wife is a cheater.
The OM moved closer to be near her. To get her to leave you.
They are both losers.
Now file for divorce. Tell her your conditions to R.
Until then the divorce runs and you focus on you and your kids.
You need to show her that you are strong and will not tolerate her infidelity.
I'm really sorry you're in this situation, but you are definitely in the right place. Please keep posting and let us know how you're doing. Please also listen to these guys; they definitely know what they're talking about. Not to be sexist, but I think different tactics are often good for men.
Mike7 was spot on; many women don't respect men unless they act a little dominant in this sort of situation. I know it may seem foreign, but it's good advice.
A couple things bother me (most) about your situation. One is that she suggested divorce while she was pregnant. Women just don't do that sort of thing because our hormones are flying, and set up to nest, not to leave. So I found that troubling.
The other thing that stood out is that your wife is usually "very very sexual." Frankly, I think that this is what the OM wants, period. Why would he want to take on a woman who recently had a baby, has two other children, and he has kids of his own? Answer: he doesn't, he just wants to take advantage of her sexuality, and used the emotional ties to hook her in. Can you really see him wanting your wife to move in with her THREE kids, plus his on occasion? Nope, I doubt it.
The 180 advice is also spot on. This means doing your best to operate with your head for now, and stop following your feelings, difficult as that seems. Really, the 180 is so that you can pull things together for yourself and function with some self dignity, but sometimes a side effect is that the WS wakes up and comes crawling back.
So shock her, and feel great about yourself in the process. Stop the flowers, and all the niceness - be 180 degrees different from your usual self. Act aloof. Communicate only when you have to, be terse and act like you don't need her. Be John Wayne. (Ok, dating myself, sorry).
Lay down the law, have divorce papers drawn up, file for sole custody (on the grounds of infidelity). This last bit may be controversial, but in my opinion, most women will wake up rather quickly if they think they'll lose their kids. And frankly, she should lose them.
You sound like a really nice guy, and she frankly doesn't deserve you, but I hope this all works out well for you.
That being said, when it is said - especially by the ones who have told you that - it is, in fact your best play. I know these guys, they don't speak lightly. Read Uhtred's post a few times.
Loving her with the flowers and all is all very well and good. Thousands of us do that. Automatically. Don't kick yourself for following the only script you knew how to follow, and like mike said - this is going to be hard for you...I know - because you're changing scripts now.
The thing is, your true value is not in how much you can lay down and continue loving the boot sole that's descending on your face. You need to stand up. Love yourself - and not allow that.
That's where your true value is, in loving yourself.
STOP explaining things to her.
Change directions brother. Instead of wasting your life energy on managing total dysfunction outside, TURN IT AROUND - 180! - focus on inside. Inside is worthy. Worth it.
Until you let us know differently, the only scenario I can imagine a fucked up poser fucking a prego & moving into the neighborhood is because it's his.
I don't say this lightly:
I am new to this site myself - May 17th. I am also fresh to the pain you are feeling - almost one month since I found out about "things". Naturally because of me being new I cannot offer any advice since I am still seeking advice myself.
The title of your discussion is very similar to my discussion posted earlier this morning in the "General" forum. I was wondering about the fog of my own "wayward common-law wife" as well - and the role I have now.
I am so sorry you are in pain right now. I mentioned on a post recently that I would not wish this pain on anyone.
One thing I can say now though - I agree it is not your fault - just as it is not my fault either. They made their decisions on their own - we did not force them. Unfortunately their selfish decisions affected us as well. It is now our decision to decide what we do next - and taking care of ourselves is the best decision. You also have the added consideration of your children as well.
Good luck for a well deserved and speedy recovery.
My daughter is definitely mine. She is not the OMís. I know this because she is a spitting image of me and when she was conceived me and my wife were actively trying to do so. Therefore, I would appreciate that any and all future posts do not reference my daughter as the OMís. I know I didnít make that very clear but I am 100% positive that my daughter is mine.
I have taken every response here very seriously and I really appreciate it again. Many of you have said to file for divorce. I totally understand where all of you are coming from when you say that but emotionally I am not ready for that. I just found out less than two weeks ago about how much she was calling him and the full extent of the affair just 5 days ago. Itís too much to try and process in my fragile brain right now; the prospect of a divorce. I do realize though, that I must not try to ďniceĒ my way back into the marriage. I am beginning the 180 right now. In fact, I started it yesterday. The only reason I didnít respond yesterday is because my wife and I took our children to the local riverwalk for a ďfamilyĒ day. Boy oh boy was that awkward or what? We had promised not to talk about the affair for the whole day because she was ďburned out talking about itĒ. Ok, fine. I didnít want to talk about it either. But the whole day sucked. All I could think about was the affair and the situation. Whenever me and my wife have gone out together as a family in the past we have always had a great time. That is when we are at our best. And it was anything but our best. Both of us thought about ďitĒ the whole day. She wanted to take family pictures of us in the paddleboats, we got ice cream, went to the park, the whole nine yards. We went home and grilled burgers and brats. It should have been the perfect day. The worst part was when someone would look at our daughter, then look at us and smile. They had no idea that we were anything but the perfect family. I stuck to my guns and I didnít bring up the affair. I did ask her if she had a good time or how she felt about the day once the night arrived and the kids were in bed. She said, ďAwkward.Ē I didnít say anything else and the conversation ended so I went downstairs.
She came down and she started talking to me about things. I only allowed this conversation to happen because she brought it up. In any case, we discussed the affair. I told her that I still loved her and that I still wanted to work things out but I couldnít invest in her emotionally anymore. I was beginning to detach from her. I needed to think of myself and protect myself. She asked me why Iíve been so secretive with my phone lately. Itís because of this site. I donít want her to read what Iíve been writing and see all of the responses. This is my safe place and itís not something she should or will have access to. I did tell her that Iíve been researching about the situation from all angles. What should I do and what would happen if things went south. She broke down and said she hasnít contacted him and doesnít have any plans to do so. She said she wants to try and work things out because sheíd never be able to forgive herself if she didnít try. But sheís fence sitting. She still has feelings for OM and she canít see past her ďloveĒ for him. She wonít commit to a true and honest R. She has always dreamed of having the perfect family she said. And she feels that she has screwed it all up. Uhhh.. yeah! This isnít exactly the way to keep your family intact. Her constant fence sitting is driving me up the wall. She says she needs time. I donít want to argue with her or put rules on her. She sees them as rules. I told her that they are boundaries. Things that protect me from further harm. She is not to contact him again. I mentioned a NC letter but she is reluctant. Itís too overwhelming for her to think that she will never contact him again. She just tries to make it through each day one at a time. I reminded her that she had mentioned affair love as not being real a couple years ago. I said, ďIf you were to make a pros and cons list of OM you would only have pros and no cons. Thatís not real.Ē I donít know if I should be trying to reach her logically so she will see the folly of her ways or if Iím a fool and just pushing her away. But honestly, I donít care. This is how I feel and the 180 is already starting to take effect on me. Iím feeling better and I feel like I can breathe again. At least a little. She finally got upset when I interrupted her as she was talking and she went to bed and stormed off. It was midnight and we had been talking for an hour and a half about things.
At this point, Iím detaching myself from the emotions. I checked the laws in my state and adultery does not play a role in a judgeís decision for alimony or child custody. Fault divorce wouldnít make a difference. Iím the primary breadwinner and I would be screwed financially. Hpv50ís post yesterday gave me a glimmer of hope when she mentioned I should file for sole custody and keep the house. I realize now that is what scares me the most; losing my kids and my home. If she was to move out and divorce me but I got to keep the house and kids I could live with that. I could move on. The thought of moving into my parents basement while she gets the kids, house, alimony, child support all the while ending up with OM; I want to rip my hair out just thinking about that scenario.
In the end, Iím willing to R. Iím not ready to file. She knows this because I told her so. I will continue to do the 180. The more detached I become I think I will get closer to filing as long as sheís fence sitting. I have a GPS tracker on her phone (she wanted me to have it) and I check the phone records. She gave me these things so I would know where she is and that I can ďtrustĒ her. She is making all the right choices for R but she isnít making the most crucial choice regarding R which is to emotionally commit to it. That is the struggle we face right now.
Glad you're doing 180.. Just remember that's for you, not her. If it causes her to figure out she can't have her cake and eat it, too, fine. But now you need to detach. You cannot control her thoughts or behavior. The Fog has to be a wonderful place since so many WS's resist leaving it.
Like how to handle the situation with the kids. Since OM lives in the neighborhood and your families know each other, what are your expectations and boundaries regarding your children. That the environment of your home has now changed due to the affair whether the kids "know" about it or not. How would the two of you like work with the kids going forward? Should you contact the school and inform them that there is a "situation" going on in the home and that the school should know to keep an eye out. Should you get IC for your children going forward? There are things that should be discussed with WW so that you are both on the same page going forward. I grew up in a house where false R was going on for 6 years as my mother continued her A and it blew my family apart. My mother's "fog" is still going on 25 years later as she still pine's away for her AP. You need to discuss with her how to work with the children and what she could possible do to show them remorse. That does not mean telling them if you don't want to, it means how she can make up all the spent energy that she was having in an A where she could have been using that energy on her family. Point that out to her that is something she needs to do regardless of R or D.
Ask her about living arrangements. Both short term and long term if things should not work out. What do they look like to you in R or D? What do they look like to her?
Same with finances. Regardless of R or D, things are bound to get tighter do to her A. Living expensese, especially if you should separate. Possibly start to set aside a fund for care of the kids needs (IC, day care, etc).
These are every day practical things that should be discussed and are all consequences of her actions.
Then there is the discussion of your own boundaries and consequences. Not an ultimatum. But reinforcement of the boundaries that you set up. For example, if NC is broken, by either her or AP, how would you like to see that handled. If AP were to approach her on the street, or call her, what would be your expectation? What would be a plan for her to handle that situation?
These are all things that need to be discussed. What are the things that you need?
Affairs have consequences. Make sure she knows of the consequences and keep showing them to her in an effort to knock her off the fence, in an effort to get a plan in place for your children, and in an effort for your short term future.
Again, sorry you are here. Keep reading. Keep posting. Even if it's just to vent. We are here for you VeryHurt1.
She says she needs time
The fog is dangerous. You have no idea what kind of ideas this OM is putting in her head. She could have already seen a lawyer and you would already be behind.
You should see a lawyer right now if nothing else than to find out where you stand and get legal advice for this situation, you, your kids, your home and your finances.
I find it interesting and great for you at this time that she is now concerned about you and your phone. Keep it that way, let her wonder for a change.
I also find it interesting that she allows you access to the phone and gps tracking. Though there are 100 ways around those, so don't put 100% faith in them. If a WS wants to take an affair underground, they will find a way. And she since knows about those ways to track her, she will find a way around them.
You asked if you could or should try to be logical with her...that is very hard to answer. In my situation during the fog, as Mr. Spock (Star Trek)once said, logic is a little bird tweeting. In other words, logic was worthless and everything I said went in one ear and out the other.
You can try, and maybe she will hear a tiny but important piece of logic. Logic and affair fog do not mix.
Filing starts a process that can be stopped any time. So why the apprehension?
If you were to just admit that rather than not being 'ready' for divorce, that you are really scared of her leaving you as a result of your decisive action, then I think you will be taking a another positive step forward.
Like others observe, she has already left you, and it is not you job to win her back.
I've told others these points.
Have an outline of things you need to discuss
Support (child and spouse)
Property division (does fault apply in your state?)
Assets and debts (approximate good enough for now)
Time for process if uncontested
Time for process if contested
Fees and costs (if contested, probably per hour since you don't control how much fighting or stalling will occur)
how to deal with money and bills now. Should you move 1/2 of joint money?
Moving pros and cons re divorce, custody, visitation, support.
This way, you'll understand how it works in less than an hour.
Don't expect MC from the attorney. It isn't their job.
Most will consult for an hour for free or really cheaply. Just don't plan on taking more than an hour of attorney's time.
I know you're not there yet, but you may be on short notice. Thus the rationale for this post.
I sit on the other side of the desk, so I learned how to consult with potential clients in a useful manner.
Seeing a lawyer does not mean you are filing for divorce. Filing for divorce does not mean you are getting divorced. You're not divorced until the final judgment is entered.
[This message edited by doggiediva at 10:04 AM, May 27th (Tuesday)]
She finally got upset when I interrupted her as she was talking and she went to bed and stormed off. It was midnight and we had been talking for an hour and a half about things.
Seriously? She is no where near R. It is still all about her and her emotional rules and support. YOU are the BS. She should be listening to you too. Sounds like she needs to learn some coping skills in life. Be strong for herself instead of looking to everyone else to say ,"Poor you".
I am glad that you are getting empowered by the 180.
You don't have to talk divorce, but YOU DO have to lay down some hard rules and there needs to be consequences for them being broken. Other wise she will always sit on the fence, because you are allowing it. You don't have to go through the motions of D, but DO NOT let her know that it is off the table. Like everyone states...you will never nice her out of the A fog. She has to be shocked out. Scared out to lose her cushion at home. Personally, I would start the process just to scare her.
Don't give up hope. It takes them all a while to commit emotionally. But, the longer they have no contact with their drug...the greater chance they have of coming out of the fog. Though in your W's case...she is going to need a lot of IC. Since this is not her first rodeo show with infidelity. Like the last one...her crap wasn't fixed and she just moved on to a new one.
You can beat yourself upside the head wishing she didn't feel "love" for this OM, it is not going to happen any time soon. My fWH had an EA for several months. It took him nearly 7 months to no longer feel anything for the OW and realize that it was never about her, but about her attention. I know it hurts, but hurts just as much to linger on the "I Wish".
I agree with others too. You have no idea what type of crap the OM is subjecting her to. For all you know she could be fence sitting and planning to D you with him. Check out SWATs posts on that type of OM crap happening with his WW.
I didn't find this site till later in the A process. Take it from someone who allowed their WH run the after show their way for way too long. I put up with a lot of crap hoping to nice him out of the fog till one day I had enough and left him a Dear John letter. Once, you portray that you no longer think they are the center of your universe and are willing to lose them...things change. You don't have to wait to feel that way, like I did. You can fake it and make her think that is the way you feel.
The biggest shock to my WH was when I stopped saying "I love you" and refused to wear my wedding ring. Wedding pictures were put away. I just basically told him I was disgusted and didn't even know if he was good enough for me and wasn't sure I wanted to even be married to a selfish man. That I wanted out so I could find someone that would appreciate everything I did for him that he took for granted. Someone that would be a good role model for his children. That really shocked and scared him.
Your wife - Is a repeat offender. You were gracious enough to forgive and rugsweep the event and stay the previous time. Now this time it is really up to you to decide if she is worth the work of R. If she is then you absolutely have to lay down some ground rules. She will call them rules, she will say you are invading her privacy, and a million other ridiculous things. Don't listen. Her words mean nothing at this point. She has managed to lie to you and hid the truth effectively. Stop listening to her words, and start watching her actions. That is where it counts.
Your M - To have a healthy successful M your wife has to realize the pain she has caused, and figure out why she reached out to someone other than her spouse when life gets hard. She has to figure out her "why" and heal that within herself. If she doesn't then you will most assuredly go through this again, and again. How much soul crushing one person can take? That's up to you.
YOU- You and your kids HAVE to be your priority now, and as long as she "cant decide" and take her time to "think" you HAVE to protect your heart, and your children from her. This isn't a good mom, this isn't a good wife. This is someone who is equal to a drug addict in their thoughts and actions. It becomes an addiction, and impairs her ability to think, and make good decisions.
That being said you need to get thee to an Attorney promptly. D or R, it doesn't matter, you need to understand how this would play out, and what would most likely happen should she choose to leave. Don't operate from a place of fear and assumption. It often leads to horrible choices.
You also need to get thee to the Dr pronto. Get STD tested. This is the icky reality of the situation, and do NOT be intimate with your wife, without protection until she is proven NC with her AP, and has a clean bill of health from her Dr. If she says she used protection, do NOT believe her. Rarely in the land of Skittle shitting Unicorns is protection needed. She is a proven liar and cheater. Do NOT risk your, and your childrens health on this.
This is tough stuff, we get that. Read a few profiles, you will find those of us that have R'd successfully have a common theme. We all quit playing the nice guy, and demanded the love and respect we deserved. We all reached a point where we were willing to loose our M to save it.
Lastly, I see you accepting blame for her choices. Please do not do this. It is wrong, and it is unhealthy. Her choices belong to no one but her. Your M may have been hectic, and you two may have lost some of the bond, and romance, but this does not EVER justify cheating. It does justify spending more time and energy on each other.
You are stronger than you ever imagined you could be, you are smart, you are capable. Do not accept less than you deserve. Do not accept less than what you would want for your own progeny.
Stand up for you, your M, and your kids, and demand the love, respect, and honesty you deserve.