You've gotten good advice so I'm not going to repeat, though I do want to comment on one thing you mentioned:
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 “trust” her.
Fine. But there are loads of ways she can chat with or call someone without it appearing on your phone bill. I'm sure you know that. I'd suggest you take a look at her phone for messaging or calling apps like Kik, Viber, meow, line, snapchat, wechat, wicker, BBM, whatsapp, etc.
You are not going to "nice" her out of the fog. Women are more emotional about sex and therefore have to in most cases need to be KNOCKED off the fence by you being tough action because for a lot of them it is NOT just about the sex like with us guys in most cases. We seem to find it easier to let go once there is no chance for more sex.
She has to understand this time, especially since it is not the first time,that this behavior will NOT CONTINUE, and that the time for her deciding which boundaries she will accept are over. if she does not believe that you will not end this well.
1. No contact with OP whatsoever
2. She stays in the home
3. We enter MC
All of these things are what I need from her. I want to feel emotionally connected to her but she is having trouble with withdrawal from OP. Until proven otherwise I am getting the essentials met that I require and I don't see a need to file for divorce. I may be asking for trouble as many of you have said I should file. It's been 6 days. She told me I need to be patient. She also said she isn't going NC because I told her to. She said she is doing it so she can find her own clarity. She realizes that she made a mistake and her judgement is clouded. She needs to remove herself from him to find out what is really important.
Many of you may come at me and tell me I'm wrong and that this is a much harder road to go down. But I can't just jump into a decision to file for divorce and regret it down the line. She called the MC to set up the appointment herself. That was another one of my needs. I needed her to show me action. Something that said she was willing to work this out. The simple act of setting up the MC spoke volumes to me. She is trying but she's very emotional and having trouble with her feelings.
I read her this letter:
I told her that is exactly how I'm feeling right now. She understood a lot better how I was feeling after I read that. I choked up a few times and had to pause but I didn't shed any tears. She knew that it was hard for me to say what was written in the letter. One of the biggest problems in our marriage was that she has always felt like I didn't love her. That I didn't show it enough. I feel like if I file for divorce and completely cut myself off from her emotionally that I am just proving her fears right. She will move forward without hesitation.
I can't just file for divorce without giving it my all out best effort to see if we can get past this horrible thing that she did to me. I need to see if she can get out of the fog and work on real reconciliation. If she fails to fulfill the needs and wants of the recovery then we will eventually get divorced. But it's too early to throw in the towel. Maybe I'm making it harder on myself and setting myself up for failure anyway. But in the long run I will know deep within my heart that I gave this marriage everything I had and that I won't have any regrets. If I can move on without regret then I won't dwell on what could have been, what should I have done, etc. I'll know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I did everything I could and it just wasn't meant to be. I can live with that. I can't live with making a quick, emotional decision that will affect my life and my children's lives forever.
I welcome any and all comments on this tactic. I know you've all been down this road before. From what I've read I am probably doing the wrong thing. But it feels right to me. It feels like the thing I need to do for my own sanity down the line. It may hurt more now if it doesn't work out but I'm a big boy. I'll survive. What would hurt the most is constantly wondering, "What if...?"
I can't just file for divorce without giving it my all out best effort to see if we can get past this horrible thing that she did to me. I need to see if she can get out of the fog and work on real reconciliation. If she fails to fulfill the needs and wants of the recovery then we will eventually get divorced.
You don't have to file right now, but you should at least know what your rights are and become familiar with the process. Is there a mandatory waiting period where you live? Are there certain requirements you need to be aware of? For example, here in Texas there is a mandatory 60 day "cooling off" period before any action can be taken once the petition is served, then 30 days after the divorce is final either party cannot marry anyone else.
And yes, seeing an attorney is not comfortable at all. It brings the situation closer to reality, but it also helps you break a little from your own fog as the betrayed.
No matter what, get yourself into a position of strength mentally and physically, as soon as possible. You will think with more clarity about your own situation.
At the very least you need to think of protecting you and your 3 children for the future while you and your WW try to work on reconciliation. Be prepared for the worst, and be prepared to lose the marriage to save the marriage.
That being said, I attribute my husband's fog clearing to a combination of reading "Not Just Friends" (with me) and going to marriage counseling. And here is the one thing our MC said to him about the AP that really helped him. He said, "When you find yourself missing the AP, remind yourself that you are missing the good feelings in the affair, and not her." And you know, it is really true. (And you will learn later that the affair is not all it is cracked up to be. It is not a Shangri-La full of love, sex and romance. It is two, hurt, broken and desperate people using each other to fill a void. Like a drug.)
The drug analogy is apt -- your wife needs time away from the AP and some perspective in the form of reading, counseling, and starting to see you again in order to "kick" him. It can happen - I promise. You won't believe the difference if she and you are up for the challenge.
Hang in there.
[This message edited by bionicgal at 9:28 AM, May 28th (Wednesday)]
I also want to warn you about the risks of starting MC too early. I would recommend IC for both of you, first. You can try MC now, but be ready to hear blame shifting and marital history rewrites like you can't imagine. For me, it was actually detrimental. I lost huge respect for my XWW during our first MC session, which is hard to believe considering that she had betrayed me.
Your wife doesn't seem particularly remorseful, if I'm reading this right, so keep,that in mind as a HUGE red flag. Can you imagine cheating on your wife and the when she learns about your A you don't feel unbearable remorse? I'd be concerned that something beyond a "fog" may be causing that.
I think it's great that you are sorting your needs from your wants.
I think that starting MC fairly early can be ok, but you have to be very careful which MC you select. My experience was that a MC not well-versed in infidelity can make your situation worse. On the other hand, if your MC can help your wife clearly see the positives of your marriage and what she stands to lose, and quickly see her faulty thinking, it can help your WS refocus. Give the first MC a try, but please do some research on your own. There are many different styles out there, and you need to choose one that works well for both of you.
And sometimes MC doesn't work for other reasons. My WH ended up diagnosed with NPD, which made MC seem insane until he had more IC under his belt; and it also rendered our path nonlinear and nontraditional. That leads me to my next point...
VeryHurt, I feel for you, as do many of us, and please realize we are not trying to force you into an unpalatable situation for yourself. I think one benefit of this terrific board is to hear a variety of advice, and decide what is best for you and your particular situation.