Thundarr, are you suggesting that by cutting the chord entirely, doing "the 180" cutting her off emotionally even if by pretend, agreeing to a divorce, telling the world about her affair and shaming her, ripping my kids (especially my older one) apart, and actually living the life of sad man on the other side of town has better odds of a reconciliation than the approach I am currently taking? I mean, 4,300+ posts you are certainly more experienced in these dilemmas than me, but that seems completely backwards.
The "180" seems like a good move for a person who has been cheated on by a person who has no reason to cheat, a person who as truly a sc*mbag. And in that case, who would want to be with a person like that anyway.
My wife had reason to cheat. I should change the name of this thread to "My wife cheated and I love her more for it"
You don't love her 'more' for it. You just FEAR HER MORE for it. Fear she will leave you. So you are scrambling to keep her from dumping you. It's normal.
And the way you describe what we suggest is what EVERY betrayed husband says when he comes here. No way, I can't SHAME her, I can't LABEL her, 'that will only push her away.' If I had a dollar for every man who said 'it will only push her into his arms' here, I'd be rich. And we KNOW it sounds counterintuitive - get mad and she'll just leave faster.
But here's the psychology behind cheating women. They've already given up on you. And when they see you begging them to stay, you DISGUST them. Psychologically speaking, women need strong men. I don't mean 'mean' men, but strong men. Who won't beg. Yes, she wants you to acknowledge what you did. She doesn't want you to kiss her ass to keep her. A strong man will say 'I'm so sorry for hurting you; I'm not even blaming you for cheating. But that said, cheating is one thing I can't accept. I can't SHARE my wife with another man. So if you choose him, I'll understand. But I won't stay here with you and watch you going out with him, talking to him, and being emotionally connected to him. It has to be me or him.'
And as for exposing the affair to her important people, for the 900th time...IT IS NOT SHAMING. It is approaching them with full disclosure, telling them that you've been a sh*tty husband and you're not surprised she did this, given what you did to her, but you still love her and want to stay together; you're asking them to talk to her and convince her to give up the OM who is her 'drug' and yes, she's a drug addict; that's how affairs work - it becomes a craving. All you're asking is for one more chance for the marriage, WITHOUT the OM in the picture, so you two can attend therapy, figure out what went wrong, figure out if you two can keep the family together, for at least a few months without OM around. And, in the end, if she STILL can't find love for you again, you'll willingly walk away and wish her well; you're just asking them to talk to her and ask her to give the marriage and family one more chance without OM in the picture.
See? It is NOT shaming. It is exposing the truth so that she can try to see through the addiction, the affair fog, and look at her situation logically, without the PEA chemicals of the affair fog. And it is showing YOUR strength and humility in admitting your part in the problem and respectfully asking their help and then respectfully offering to walk away if she still won't stay with you.