I am the wife and we have recently survived an online EA. For us it happened rather unexpectedly. We were happy with one another - sex was good and we were having a good time.
The online EA started when I was playing this game via FB. It was a team game and I was getting to be good friends with a particular group. It was still a healthy game when I was chatting and just playing. To get help with it, I picked someone from the group that was good at that game - and he was a guy. At first, it was just sort of a mentoring kind of relationship to get my game better. Eventually we were spending more time with each other than with the group. Then it became personal when we started sharing details about our own lives. I was spending more and more time with this person. I was looking forward to our time together and before I knew it, we weren't just saying good night politely but it started with a heart emoticon. Next thing I knew we were blowing kisses at one another and the emotional floodgates opened and it became an online emotional affair.
When I was first confronted by my partner I was clueless as to where he was coming from. I adamantly maintained my innocence. I was thinking he was joking about the whole thing. I was thinking even when my "friendship" with this other guy was going on, my marriage was still great. We were still having great sex and still very much affectionate with one another. In the next weeks that i would go online and my husband would ask about the other guy online I would get so annoyed and we started to fight about it. I claimed it wasn't for real. For me at that time it was just a person who I was flirting and enjoying playing games with. We were now arguing everytime I got online and I saw that he was getting devestated by what I was doing. I started to feel guilty and bad because my "real" relationship was going bad over my fake one. I felt resentful also for my husband not being to understand that it was harmless; yet I felt that I craved talking to this other person. Whenever I went online then, he would leave. He couldn't stand being in the same room. He said he couldn't take me screwing with another person while he was in the same room. I was still making excuses. I was now telling my online partner about my problems at work and he was so supportive. I never brought home my problems from work because I did not want to stress my husband about it.
One day my husband finally laid it down on me hard. He gave a detailed rundown on why it was hurting him and he begged me to end my affair and get back to him; to how in love we were with each other. He made me choose between him and the other guy.
It wasn't so hard to choose for me. I really love my husband but it was really hard ending the affair. I realized how hurt my husband was and I knew that I had to end the affair. It was hard because I was so dependent on the other guy. I needed to tell him my problems, I needed to feel him caring for me, I needed him listening to me and him talking to me. I realized then it was an affair because our feelings for one another was so real. When you start thinking about being together with him physically, then your real marriage is in trouble. We were even starting to have "plans".
The first step I believe is the confrontation and making your wife realize how hurt you are and how much it is destroying your marriage. The second is, you have to make her realise she has to choose. As long as I thought my husband could take it - I wouldn't have stopped. The third and most important part is her support from you. My husband didn't push me, instead he supported me - he prodded and listened to the things I needed and enjoyed with this other man. When he knew I was talking about my problems - he wanted to know them and help me with my problems at work. He was more gentle and patient and attentive to my every need. The less dependent i was of the other man, the more I became convinced that it wasn't fair to any of us. The thing I also appreciated much from my husband was he still trusted me even when i had already betrayed him and that he never involved anyone else with our problem. I know if he involved any other of our friends or relatives I would have reacted differently - more defensive and it would be harder to resolve the conflict. He was just patient and waiting and was there all the time. The communication was also constant - it's also essential because my husband did not only know things but we both realized what was lacking in our marriage. Don't stop talking even when you're both emotional and confronatational because at least things will get exposed. Then after patiently waiting he asked when I was going to end it - we pegged a specific date and planned how to close it.
In our case since my online guy was also jealous and suspicious, we had to be careful. We decided to close my FB account without him detecting anything. We started telling all my friends that I was deleting my account and opening a better one. We started migrating "chosen friends" - we made sure we did not include friends that knew the other guy. When the day came I went online like any other day and when we said goodbye we deleted my account.
Up to this day I never went back. i still think about it but my husband is all I need. I had cut all communication with him and ended it. Today our marriage is a stronger and we learned a lot from that experience that improved our realtionship for the better.
We have decided to start a blog some months back and planned to start it on New Year's day. It has now been published and if you want to read what my husband has to say about it, you can read about it here
Well, that's really what happened to me, to us. And I pray that you and your wife will recover from this.