I'm in the midst of dinner prep but had to respond. Healing from infidelity takes 2 to 5 years. Not 2 to 5 months. If you lie, or get defensive, it adds to the length of time. There is no quick fix. So...If you want to stay married, lose the 'tude and find some compassion for your wife.
You cheated what, 2 years ago? Seems like forever to you. But for your wife, this is all brand new. Be gentle.
There's more but the chops are burning. Start with the Healing Library. Others will be along. And I'll try to bump some threads for you.
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?
#1. Did you ever truly heal from when your ex cheated on you or did you soothe yourself with a new girl? Infidelity is damaging and takes along time to heal from. Whether you divorce or reconcile. What was your healing process?
#2. Your wife is upset because while *you* decided 2 years ago to make her your one and only, all your wife can see is that you hid infidelity for 2 years. So how can she trust you at all? To her, the whole relationship is a lie because you founded your vows on lies and cover-ups. That's a brutal pill to swallow. So, what are you doing to make her feel safe?
#3. What have you done since you decided to get right 2 years ago? Have you figured out *why* you cheated? What happens when your relationship hits another rough patch and things get hard? What is your remedy for that? And I'm being realistic here. Because if you haven't fixed yourself from the past, you're going to reach for old, comfortable, self-destructive coping mechanisms.
#4. Have you told your wife everything there is to know about your affair? Is there any details you've left out or hidden? Have you filled out a time line?
#5. The reason your wife has asked you the same questions 27 times is because her brain is in shock and trauma. She hears you, but her heart is hurt so much, her mind is reeling, and she can't fully comprehend. It's like being in a near fatal car accident and having someone sit next to you reading the newspaper. You're bleeding out, machines are beeping, wires going in and out of you, and they're talking away. Sure, you hear them. But you aren't going to truly grasp the words. Because you're in survival mode. That's your wife right now. Patience and compassion will go a long way right now.
Best of luck.
I just want to put this behind us and keep my wife. What do I do?
You put what *you want* second, and what *she wants* first. You want to put it behind you. Well, she wants to talk about it and work through it. She wins.
I hate when she brings it up.
You know what's a great solution for that? Divorce. Then you won't have to listen to her anymore. So if you want to R, suck it up, drop your defenses, and give her a safe space to vent.
BTW, I guarantee she hates thinking about it. From what I've read on SI, BS typically think about it every day for a couple years, then the frequency slowly tapers off...but it never goes away. When she thinks about it, she needs someone to talk to. Who's that gonna be? You? Or, the guy she starts dating after your D?
She has filed and said our marriage is dead and never existed to her now.
The moment that something happens is when it is found out. My cousin did not tell me for five years that she got divorced... When I found out, it was like it just happened... Because that's when I found out.
So, for your W, the affair is very much new and current.
And yet, because it happened before you got married, you married her under false pretenses. You do understand why she would feel this way, right? She never had a marriage that wasn't marred by your affair.
What was the rough patch? What makes you think you will not default to this same coping mechanism the next time a rough patch comes along?
The rough patch was just adjusting to living together with kids. We were getting everybody integrated. She was confident with time and patience and structure we could do it. I was more like holy crap this is hard. We were adjusting the kids to one set of rules. I suggested keeping my kids rules and her kids rules. She said it wouldn't work that way and we needed household rules for everybody. I see now she was right. It was money, kids, and just life. Honeymoon stage was over and it was stay together or break up. I thought of breaking up and didnt know what i wanted. Wanted to figure it all out. This is when I did this. Now she says i should have just left. When this happened I snapped out of it. I knew then I wanted and loved my wife and didn't want to lose our life and each other. It's sad because she looked so happy our wedding day and was always a happy person. Now she is just sad all the time. She doenst know what she wants anymore and I hate that.
I am trying to figure out why I did this. My messed up life is why I think, but my wife says thats not an answer. I don't know what to do or think. She is running out of patience and filed for divorce. R is possible, but she refuses to do it in this marriage because it started without me telling her. I think she is just saying that to get out easier. I try hard to bend over backwards and truly will never do this again. I can't get through to her. Nothing is good enough.
Mate it really sounds like you arent seeing the big picture and you certainly arent putting yourself in your BW's shoes. And this is something you need to start doing immediately. If you arent able to look at things from her perspective, and relay that, it will be impossible for her to believe that you empathize and that you are putting her first.
Let me first tell you where im coming from - I had 3 OW. 2 EA's prior to our marriage, 1 of which spilled over into our marriage and then a PPA (partial physical affair 2 years into our marriage. Unlike you, I never accepted my actions pre marriage as cheating or even as that bad. I had zero intention of ever admitting any of it. It wasnt until I escalated into the physical and had an affair while my wife was pregnant that I began to reconsider my self image as a good man. I have since been found out, and like you, chosen to tell my BW everything there was to tell and we have been working on R for 5 months.
Here is what I have learnt that hopefully can help you:
First, you need to let go of your frustration that she keeps asking questions. This will continue for a long long time. Get used to it, and appreciate it for what it is. It may not feel like it, but to me this is a sign that she has not completely detached the way you did from your first wife. She is giving you a chance to demonstrate commitment to truth and to her - take it!
Second, as people have already said, you have completely destroyed your marriage and its validity in the eyes of your wife. Accept it, and if she is giving you a chance to enter R after D then take that for the gift it is and remind your BW that you are prepared to do anything and everything - by HER rules - to make things right.
Third, take the self pity, self loathing and hatred to a counsellor and keep it away from your wife. You have given up your rights to wallow in your own opinion of yourself and need to throw EVERYTHING you have into being there for her, her questions, her anger and her pain. I cannot emphasize enough the impact of always being there to hold your BW or if its her preference, support her from across the room, whenever she plummits into darkness. This is your job now. If you are serious about her, you will be serious about this. If you are feeling those things about yourself, still be open with your wife and let her know you are struggling with it, and reassure her you are adressing it with your IC. Just dont let it poison your recovery. She comes first now.
Finally, accept that you wont feel like you are "getting through to her" for at least a couple of years! Right now you are about as trustworthy as a serial con man. All of her illusions of you as reliable, honest, trustworthy, loyal have all been obliterated. You dont just regain all that because you say youll never do it again. You regain it through years of consistent demonstration that she comes first. And I say that with at least 19 months to go myself!
Get out of your own head, and get into hers buddy. I assure you the progress will come. I hope you get the chance. It takes courage to open yourself up to strangers and ask for help!
You can do it mate.