That always strikes me as ''I'm not sure if I can make it on my own, and since you pay the bills and I have a good lifestyle, not sure I want to give that up just yet. If I could have my marriage AND my lover, I probably would stay, no question. But, since I have to make a choice...hmmm, I'm so confused.''
Funny, she was only confused when she got caught.
Not sure why, but it seems like many people treat us women like we're children. We don't know what we're doing, we're confused, we need help, we are unable to make good decisions, etc etc. Meanwhile, if a woman were posting this, you wouldn't see the same responses towards the wayward husband. The OP's wife is an adult, and she knows exactly what she's doing. She CHOSE to have an affair. She CHOSE to betray her husband. No one accidentally falls into bed several times with another man. While she might need help, she is still an adult and needs to totally own what she did.
Yes, there are many men who also get the affair fog. But we are going by general situations based on experience and what has been provided by expert data. "Not just friends".
1 - More women than men, become emotionally attached to their AP.
2 - More men than women, are just in it for the sex.
3 - The AP in this thread has a history of cheating, he's a user. A player.
4 - When men cheat, they will attempt to stay in the marriage, twice as much as women.
5 - When women cheat, they will more likely leave the marriage than recover - about twice as much as men.
6 - While in the fog, man or woman - they are on a chemical high from the affairs. They do not see the reality of their actions.
7 - Affairs tend to hurt women more than men (emotional vs. just sex)
8 - A reason to tell the OM's wife about the affair is that its the #1 way to get him to go away. He'll run to his wife and beg for forgiveness. Showing the WW that all she was to her AP was a penis warmer.
9 - The people who are cheating (Men and women) are selfish, only thinking about themselves. They are hurting more than their SO, they are hurting their children.
Yes, she chose to have sex with another man. Why? Affairs happen to more than half of all marriages. 80% of cheating is not caught (likely ONS, very short-term affairs).
When there are cracks in a marriage - no matter WHO IT IS.. every ONE OF US, has the capacity to cheat. Most don't plan too. And when they do, their brain has to find ways to justify their actions. "She doesn't put out enough" "he doesn't hug me enough" whatever.
So what type of affair is important. An Exit affair = no chance of saving. Just sex = easier to fix unless it's a full blown narcissist. Most of us know how work-place affairs happen... most are by accident, but some are planned... some its sexual harassment.
If both the OP and his wife want to repair the damage, its up to them. If only one of them wants to save the marriage - then its toast.
If the OP wants to save the M, he will eventually need to ask his W what she wants. "If you don't want to try and save our marriage - then its time for you to go."
OP should go with his kids to the beach, etc. His wife should stay with her parents and sort out her crap. She shouldn't go. It'll give her a taste what its like to co-parent, not be with her kids. If he does this, he should also not give her much in a way of details other than "we had fun".
Of course, for the next few weeks, his emotions are going to be all over the place. Love her, hate her, stay, go, reconcile, divorce, my options, date other women, stay with a cheater, etc... and all of that can happen in 30 minutes.