I've been kind of waiting for you to let us know what your decision was (regarding if you intended to work on the marriage or not). However, you bring up some really important things - don't really want to let those go too far:
The worst part is that he still works with this woman.
Our advice is very simple: if he wishes to work on his marriage, either he, or Jezebel will have to leave the job. Yes, there are objections - bad economy, need the money, etc...
Consider this: if he lost his job in some other way what would happen? Would he not have to find another? Part of the consequences of cheating involves the hardship it creates.
So I have the daily fear that they are talking or seeing each other at work, or going to lunch, etc. I also have no access to his work email (nor can he allow me access) so I just have to take his work for it that they are no longer in contact.
No, you do NOT have to take his word for it. This is part of the problem with staying where he is, in constant contact with this woman. It is why the concept of No Contact involves leaving the job.
Two things to consider:
1) You will always have this fear, as long as he is around her. The fact that it is insulated from you is one of the biggest impediments to his being able to build up a reputation (in your eyes) of honesty. Even the hint of it is damaging to you.
2) By remaining near this other woman, your husband is damaging his ability to recover and return to your marriage. In his 'foggy' mind, he compares you to her. Even if he is not actively pursuing a relationship with her, her physical presence will always refresh the comparisons he was making between the two of you. The affair is going on because she offers something he thinks he needs (or actually does need). He gets this need filled by her. To the extent that THAT need is filled by her, to that extent, he doesn't want you around.
And if, even in the middle of recovery, some setback occurs - he will see her, and think about how SHE didn't do whatever YOU did to him (imagined or not.)
The only avenue out of this is for him to arrange complete and total, permanent No Contact.
Your fear is justified. They ARE seeing each other at work - even if only for a few seconds at a time...
He seems to think that they can one day be friends again, which I am COMPLETELY against, obviously.
You're right - they can never be friends again. That will have to end that if he wants to remain your husband. A question to ask: why would you husband WANT a 'friend' who is willing to destroy his marriage?
I have been acting like everything is okay, because I still have to work, and have to be there for my kids, but inside I am truly a wreck.
It depends on what you mean by 'acting like everything is ok'. Things are NOT ok, and keeping that in mind and out in the open is a very strong incentive for him to change. If, on the other hand, you mean exploding in emotional outbursts at your children, etc. then - you are right to maintain your composure. My advice (which is pretty hard to follow) is to approach this from a rational
rather than an emotional viewpoint. You'll always have your emotions: they tell you something is amiss - but you can make the decision, and then choose the actions accordingly - which express to your husband that his behavior at this time is NOT acceptable, and that things need to change.
He also does not want to talk about any of this and gets very angry with me when I try to. He wants to act like everything is fine, still sleep in the same bed, still have sex, just like we are okay, when this is killing me.
No one wants to talk about uncomfortable things. People don't want to face the pain of surgery either. I can imagine that you probably didn't want to go through the hassles of childbirth: but the end results far outweigh the temporary troubles, eh?
This is where you will have to be very clear about your boundaries. For the next couple of days, start thinking about boundaries unceasingly. Don't discuss this with your husband until you have determined what you can and cannot put up with - and then discuss them with him. Allow him the choice to accept them, or not - and be ready to keep your boundaries when they are challenged. I'll see if AC can free up some time to write a little on that for you - she explains it so well. If not, you'll have to put up with my dense language - or, someone else can do it for us!
The key to getting through this is dependent upon thinking more clearly than you ever have before. It means making sure that everything is clearly defined and understood. The reason I say this is because we are SO USED to reacting
to whatever happens to us in life that we almost cripple ourselves when it comes time to be deliberate.
Because I beleive that so strongly, I do weird things in my posts like point out that trust
isn't the issue: what you trust someone to DO is. Also, in the case of your quote here:
He says he loves me, but is I had not caught him, I wonder if this affair would still be going on. And yes, he has defended her when I have said that she is a horrible person. It made me want to throw up to hear him defend her.
We are so used to thinking of love as some sort of emotion - actually, it is not. Affection, lust, desire, appreciation, etc., are emotions. Love is ACTION. It is the action of treating someone in a way that respects and honors them. It is the action of doing what is best for that person.
So...your husband says he loves you....but gets angry if this other woman (the one that is willing to sleep with a married man) gets some negative feedback. HE says he loves you: is he treating you with respect and honor? Is he doing what is best for you? Or, is it more likely that he is doing those things for himself - and instead, finds things about you that he appreciates (stuff you do that helps him?) or maybe desires sex with you?
If he truly loved you, he would be willing to work on the marriage. Why? Because working on the marriage IS loving you.