Hope I can be of some service - you've been through some hard things, and it is very easy to get discouraged and feel helpless. However, there are some things you can do that will help you - and your wife, in creating a much better marriage.
Here's the problem. I've been fighting for more than a month to get her to make this commitment to us. But now ... do I want it?
As you point out in another section of your post, Scripturally you do have the option to divorce. But, as you say, it is never God's desire. I suggest, at least for the moment, that you put aside your feelings (which can change like the wind) and concentrate instead on what would please God. Making that choice gives you a clear avenue in which to operate.
I do want to point out that your situation is not unique - nearly every person who has an affair follows a script - as the affair starts, while it is in full swing and while it is dying. Hence...
Over the last month it has progressively gone from:
1. I don't love you anymore, but no there is nobody else ...
2. there is someone else, but NO it was never physical, I promise ...
3. Yes it was physical, over the course of a year
4. It has been 2 1/2 to 3 years of 2 separate long term affairs
5. I told you I broke off contact 3 weeks ago but that was a lie, but NOW it's broken off ...
...is exactly what you should expect your wife to be doing. Not that it is pleasant or comfortable for you (or her...)
I can forgive the one affair. Two makes it harder to know that she has caused me that much pain. Then the repeated lies, the unwillingness to give it up, the fact that I know that her commitment such as it is, really is for the kids and God and nothing about me ...
The fact that she had two affairs points out that there is a problem in your marriage. Unless your wife has some sort of (extremely rare) psychological disorder, those problems are the result of things done in your marriage that destroy the love and intimacy you once had.
All of the reasons she offers for staying, while not entirely to your liking - are valid ones. They are a good starting point. The commitment to God is especially important, because this is the means by which your recovery can be toward something much better than what you had. Your marriage can easily be built on these roots. Consider this: in cultures where marriages are arranged, there can be happy and fulfilling relationships. The key is in building on what you have. Your commitment is the starting place. Feelings of love should follow
that (in our society, I believe we have reversed the roles of those two parts of marriage.)
I love her. But it's so much to take. In so many ways it would be easier to end it, and just go find someone that I'm more compatable with, and who wouldn't treat me like trash like she has...
I'm so torn and don't know what to do. I didn't know I could hurt this much. I don't want to try and make this work, only to go through this same pain in another 2 or 3 years, or in 9 or 10 years when our kids are out of the house and it's only us left. I want to be happy and with someone who appreciates me and the things that I do...
Is your wife willing to work on the marriage? Are you willing to work on your marriage? If so, ALL of the things you wish for in the above quotes can be yours.
Remember that while she has done things that have caused you pain, there were things in your marriage that left her vulnerable to the affairs in the first place. Affairs do not happen in a vacuum. They are inappropriate responses - incorrect, wrongheaded, evil ways of attempting to find solutions to problems.
Keep this in mind, please! The work you must do on your marriage can never be to reestablish 'the way things were'. It is obvious that 'the way things were' was not acceptable to one or both of you. The work you must do on your marriage must be such that it establishes an environment in your relationship where an affair is the last thing on either of your minds.
Some things to consider: Why your wife must cut off all contact with the other man
. A great way to build a Christian marriage. The ways and reasons affairs start. Four things you can do right now to save your marriage.
And - as suggested in another post - Marriage Builders