| | Found out about PA 2 months ago, now feeling lost
This is going to be a long post, but I thank you in advance if you make it to the end and can help me...
2 months ago I found out my wife was having a PA with a married man at her work. I had little "hard evidence" other than phone records, but when I confronted her about it she admitted to it rather quickly. The hardest part of all this is at the time I found out, she had just given birth 2 months prior to our first child. The affair began after she got pregnant. The EA started before however.
After a difficult weekend of us experiencing all the emotions you can imagine, she called the OM and told him it was over. I was on the call as well and told him if he cut off all contact with my wife, I wouldn't tell his wife. My belief was telling the OM's wife would run the risk of pushing him and my W closer together. I also figured the less drama and "spreading the gossip" that occurred the better chance we'd have to repair our marriage. I know TOM's W and I actually wanted to spare her the pain I was going through since I figured she was probably happy with her life as I was mine.
For the next month or so I struggled to make sense of what this meant, questioning my W frequently, communicating how much she'd hurt me. We agreed to go to see a marriage counselor.
During this time, I never seriously considered us getting divorced, I just wanted to figure out why this happened and how to forgive and move on for the sake of our new family. We had sex several times during this period. We actually continued to live life almost as if nothing had happened, only we were both sad/depressed about what had been "lost".
About 3 weeks ago, I got upset with her about why I always had to convince her to have sex, while she was out getting it from someone else. She told me she wasn't as attracted to me as she used to be. This hit me pretty hard and then I found myself working to improve my appearance and being more helpful around the house (and I was already very helpful) in a needy attempt to be more attractive.
Since then I feel the power balance has shifted. Because of the counseling, she's started to ask if we're really meant to be together anymore, suggesting we might not be sexually compatible. I made the classic mistake (based on what I've read on this site) of suddenly appearing that I was afraid of losing our relationship. I told her I wanted to forgive her and move on like it didn't happen. She said she wasn't sure. Her "I love you"s became less frequent and I called her out on it and she got upset.
Last week she said she think we might need to split because she doesn't think she can meet my needs emotionally. That she's grown cold inside. I turned into a big wimp, started crying, telling her I didn't want to lose my best friend and soulmate. That I can't picture life without her. I had to leave for work so I told her we'd speak no more of it then and separating hasn't come up again since.
The last week or so has been "comfortable", but I still feel like her walls are up. She never says I love you unless I say it first. She initiates very little physical contact. She has started saying things like she wants passion in her life and time to find herself.
I just found this site yesterday and I read a lot of the advice about how to "Man up" and I found I'm guilty of so many of the things that make men become unattractive to their wives. Since reading the "Man Up" section yesterday, I haven't told her "I love you" as I'm trying to see if she'll say it first. I haven't touched her sexually and have keep my contact very casual and rare. Just enough so she won't think I'm mad or moody.
I'm trying to prove to her (and myself) that I don't NEED her.
So how do I proceed from here? She knows I can be a moody person so she may perceive my lack of contact/sexual advances as me being mad when I want her to see it as me re-asserting my own confidence in myself and other interests than her.
Has she lost respect for me because of the way I handled the affair? Do I need to bring up the idea out of the blue that I'm going to tell the OM's wife? I glanced at her work email the other day and discovered their is some contact there that's not completely restricted to work talk? That alone is grounds for me to tell TOM's wife based on our prior agreement.
Long term I want our marriage to work out because we had a great thing going and can do so again. I also get sick thinking about my child growing up being shared between 2 sets of parents. I want access to him 100% of the time. However, I don't just want go back to how it was before. I want her to be less selfish and more willing to meet my sexual needs. Even now she continues to cook our meals and "hang out", but it feels almost like being roommates.
If you made it this far I thank you in advance for any advice you can give.