BS here. My EX had gay affairs. He felt just like you, what I didn't know wouldn't hurt me. Who the AP is, really makes no difference. I thought I wouldn't be welcome on this site since my situation is also different. What I discovered is the behavior patterns of WS are all the same.
The bottom line, my EX thought he was "protecting me from pain" and in reality it was much, much different. I knew there was something wrong, but he denied it "was him" because he didn't want to expose his secret life. He blamed me. Just as you are placing a LOT of blame on your W. How many times have you already mentioned she is depressed? My WS said I 'was mean" or "not happy" or "too busy with the kids".
He didn't want to lose his life, his cute wife, his cute kids, his big beautiful house, his standing in the community. He wanted to APPEAR like a really great guy. Just like you want to APPEAR like that too.
So, did I deserve to know that my husband was gay/bi and cheating on me with men? He thought I didn't. Take out the fact they were men...and replace with women...now I don't deserve to know? Right? (We had a "normal" marriage, we maintained an active sex life even after 17 years together)
What is your fear if she finds out?
I did find out. My EX never confessed. I was contacted by the AP. Even after finding out about the A's, even a long term A, we tried to R. Ultimately, he couldn't handle the pain from me, and sought relief with a former AP. When I found out, I left and never looked back.
He told me he never thought that I would give him a chance after I knew everything. Well, he didn't know me very well. He put me in a box in order to have the A's. It was easier for him to think I was "mean", "sad", "busy" then to see me as someone confused and hurting and searching for the truth.
We are now 3 years out past D-day. I moved away from him 2 years ago. The first 2 years WS pretty much checked out and lived his new life. Now, he is seeing the devastation he caused. He told me just a week ago, (after we were trying to work on a summer visitation schedule and he was treating me nasty), I said, "Wow, you are grumpy!" His response, after about 15 minutes of silence, "I am sorry I fucked everything up."
I had more respect for him when we were trying to R than I ever did. When he was open and honest and trying.
He told me that he tried to do what you are doing. He had an early A 5 years previous, knew it was wrong and "wanted to stop". So he did. He says he felt like he was committed to the marriage...but he wasn't. He had to tell lies on top of lies to cover the A. I was questioning him because I could sense it. To "protect me", he lied. The lies snowballed. He hated himself a little more, then blamed me because I was questioning him. So, I would pull back because I knew something wasn't right. We went to therapy during this time to "work on the marriage". I discovered later he confessed to the therapist but forced her not to tell me. I thought we were working on the marriage, but in reality, he was just trying to "throw me off the scent", which in turn made me feel horrible about myself. I kept trying to be a better wife, since there "was nothing on his end", therefore I thought the problem in our marriage was ME. Maybe I WAS mean. So, I would try harder... and be met with no change on his end because the wall around protecting the affairs was high. Covering the truth is what destroyed the marriage.
I did deserve to know the truth. It was my marriage too.
Yes, if your wife finds out it will be a hard and rocky road. But, not an impossible road to travel. You may end up with an open, honest and mutually satisfying relationship. Read on SI how the successful people do it. The BS on here will tell you how to be successful. Listen to SI, and it is possible for your marriage to survive even with the truth out.
me...BS, 43 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings