Let me begin by saying I haven't read all the posts - if only because sometimes this topic makes me nuts.
NO ONE can definitively say staying for the kids/leaving for the kids is the right thing to do. What matters most is what you do with whatever situation you are in. Everything outside of that is just about logistics. I've seen people stay and be bitter and miserable. I've seen people leave and chase one relationship after the other while their kids sit on the sidelines like spectators. Every situation has it's own considerations - and the right decision is one that weighs each of those honestly before making a choice.
Now, stepping off my soapbox...
Of course you are confused! Infidelity changes the whole dynamics of the marriage. Some people (since we are in the R. forum) are able to step back in with both feet. Some people never are. I'm finding I'm in the later category. And while some may claim that that's unfair to a remorseful WS - and perhaps it is - it's also how this experience has changed ME...not just my marriage. Sometimes I do better than others. But unfortunately, the better I do, the more it touches that scar - and I'm in that cycle. Additionally, there just are "the sound of hoof beats" in life - and having been run over by a pack of zebras, it's no longer easy for me to assume horses.
It just is what it is.
I once so struggled with this...this idea of trying to get back to where I once was - in the marriage, within myself. I still sometimes question if there is something wrong with me - and I sometimes think about trying out a new relationship just to see if it really rides any differently. How do I really know otherwise? It's a gnat that flits about in my brain at times.
But I also know, deep down, that this whole event wasn't just about love lost and broken dreams.
It was also about shattered illusions.
And that's when I realize that what I'm most looking for is courage.
Courage to be both in and out.
Courage to love - not without fear but in the face of it...in the midst of it...and without asking/expecting to have it taken away.
Courage to share my life while understanding that I am also ultimately alone.
And mostly, courage to go forward without the sanctuary of those illusions that tell me it is possible to live differently "if only...".