Wife having an emotional affair. How to handle it?
First, I'd like to offer a little bit of backstory.
My wife and myself have been married for just over two years. About a year ago, she began complaining of pain all over her body. Fast forward to this February, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. She's only 23 years old.
She fell into a state of depression for a long while and we grew distant. I was there for her the best way I knew how, but since we didn't communicate very well throughout the process, we failed at meeting the emotional needs of one another during a tough time.
In April, she began talking to a guy she works with, whom I actually know. They had worked together for three years but never really spoken much to one another. When she began to have insomnia in relation to the medication for her arthritis, she began devoting her late-night time to talking to him on Facebook chats.
Initially, it didn't bother me because the common belief was that the guy, whom I will refer to as Jim, was gay. As days passed, she began to spend more and more time online talking to him, and instead of doing it right next to me, she would sit in the recliner in the corner of the room as if to hide the chat.
Then came the point where she began to hang out with him more frequently. At first, other girlfriends from her workplace were present. As time drifted into late April, I began to suspect she was hanging out with him alone.
My suspicion began to take a life of its own when she "went out with the girls" to say farewell to another female co-worker who was moving the next day. I found out, however, that plenty of guys were around, including Jim, when a mutual friend posted pictures on Facebook.
As the month of May rolled around, she began to grow more and more distant. Still talking to him online, she began to lie to me in order to be around him. First, she began to use the "going out with the girls" excuse, and while one girl from work was present, he was there as well.
She began to claim she wasn't taking lunch breaks, yet I found out otherwise when I went to her workplace to get money from her for lunch and she was walking in with Jim with food in hand. I confronted her about lying to me.
She assured me Jim is "just a friend," which I know is never a good sign. As my suspicions grew, I began to log her Facebook chats without her knowledge.
She has continually assured me that she feels our marriage is getting back on track, slowly but surely, yet she told him in their chats that she was pretending everything is ok to make me happy.
Fast-forward to last night, she was again up late. I got up at one point to grab some water, and she acted very jumpy, making me suspicious. I just got home from work an hour ago (she is at work right now) and checked the Facebook log. Indeed, Jim and my wife confessed immense feelings for each other, of which Jim said they could never act upon.
She confessed to him that she compares me to him all the time, and can't stop thinking about him.
I don't know what to do... on one hand, I feel like I should say something and ask her to cease all non-work related contact with him, but on the other, I feel as if she has to come to this realization on her own. The fact that she hasn't left me tells me that she doesn't want to throw away our commitment to one another in one day.
Based on their conversations, I have deduced that nothing physical has happened, although it doesn't make the pain any less hurtful. I don't know what to do.