After having some suspicions something was wrong (noticing a second facebook account with no public content when going to her page, her hiding her phone, no sex for two months, etc.), we finally had sex one night and later it dawned on me that there were at least two condoms missing from the box.
I woke her up and asked if anything was wrong between us. She said no. I asked several more questions, pushing more each time, and she gave me the "I love you, but I don't know if I'm in love with you." I suspect this is essentially a code phrase for women to rationalize cheating. More questions, and a delay before answering whether she was seeing anyone. Eventually she confessed she was, and when I asked if they were having sex, she said yes. She wouldn't say with who or how long, except that it was somewhere in the few months range. I asked if she was going to stop seeing him, and she said, "I don't know." I started sleeping in the spare bedroom and have avoided contact with her over the last couple days since the conversation.
A little over a year ago I our marriage was a bit rough and I tried to take action and be more involved with her life and more attentive. Things seemed to get quite a bit better. I detected there was a "friendship" going on with a man and I told her I was uncomfortable about this. She claimed she had no romantic interest in him (I was unsure this was true), but she offered to break off contact if it bothered me, and confirmed this on her phone, etc. He texted her a couple more times and stopped.
For context, we're both in our mid-40s. I have never cheated on her, though I was tempted a couple times. She's been going through a lot of mid-life transition stuff, unsure of who she is, etc. I have too, but am working through it without fucking around on her. At one point, before the affair, she said she felt like she was changing in a lot of ways and that it was difficult to express that it with me, which made sense to me and I told her I was open to helping her with this.
I'm still processing this because it's pretty overwhelming. At one point when I confronted her, I mentioned her avoid sex with me because of him, which she insisted was not the case, and doesn't really enjoy sex with him. Two condoms were missing, and I suspect it was just two times (she has a latex allergy and we use special non-latex condoms). Where I'm at so far, is that two things are happening. One, I was laid off in August, through no fault of my own. Financially, we are fine because of a severance package, but it was required me to so some rethinking of career options since it's a very specific and limited field. Second, I think she's built up some escapist fantasy life around this guy (I think it's the same one from a year ago. If so, he's divorced with a long-term girlfriend, and I think he was actively pursuing my wife).
We have four kids, the oldest is now an adult, so she's going through figuring out who she is after defining herself as a mother for so long. I've encouraged her to read books on this, try counseling, etc. but she just wanted to "figure it out for herself." Well, she did a pretty fucked up job of figuring it out by hurting me and destroying our family. I think I'm pretty understanding and supportive, and have tried to help her through this transition, but I think this is it. I even thought at times about talking to her about the possibility of a slightly open relationship (I have at least one female friendship that could be closer, but I have kept up a boundary, so admittedly I was thinking of this largely for my own benefit), but that's very different than learning of lying and betrayal. I think she's in for a rude awakening when she realizes what a ridiculous fantasy she's created. She can be very passive, so I think in her mind somehow this guy will "save" her. I don't really know him, but I suspect a divorced guy with a long-term girlfriend pursuing a married woman isn't too interested in anything real with a woman with four kids (3 under 18).
Part of me wants to tell her to drop dead an walk out the door forever. Without kids, this would be it. But, I love my kids, and love them more than I hate her though at this point I can't even look at her. I think I might try to stay legally married, but we live our own lives, with our own bedrooms, and no relationship beyond a parental partnership. We would separate our finances, though I'm sure I'd end up paying a significantly larger share of expenses (she doesn't even have a job right now, but that has to change). When the youngest is older (9 now), maybe separation and divorce. Unless, of course, she decides to leave and marry someone else, which would probably be preferable. At one point in talking with her about her “I’m becoming a new person” talks (turns out that new person is a lying cheating bitch, I guess), she said she was “sick of being a mom,” so maybe she’d walk out on them too, though I doubt it (the guilt of being such an obvious terrible person would keep her from it, even if she wanted to). I just know as the man, in a divorce I would likely end up with a bad deal with my kids and financially.
Mostly I just want to say fuck it all and disappear.