HardtoHandle, I'm going through and have gone so much of the same stuff. Five months ago I found out my wife was having an ongoing, heated online affair. Found out, started to leave, and she begged me to reconcile, and after much dragging of feet to get the affair to end on both the part of his wife and by myself.
We had a really crappy year, including her going through thyroid cancer treatment. The day after I drove her home and had to be out of the house while she was radiated, I now know she almost immediately started a heated online affair with another guy. Not only had she done that, but going back to just a couple months after I thought she was done with the first affair, she resumed some of the same behaviors that had led to it in the first place, including hanging out online in this game with another man I know she was having at least a light inappropriate relationship with.
I fell into the trap like you did. I asked her how she could be doing this, I begged her to wake up, I tried my hardest to hang on for the good of our children and what I thought was a lifelong commitment. She had me believing she wanted to reconcile, was asking me to come back home, was telling me she had stopped talking to the guy, etc. But I found out not only was she not done talking to him, but she had upped the ante into putting on full on cam shows for him.
Through it all, the first affair and the second, she was blaming me for the faults in the marriage. Like a sucker, I had bought into them and was working my ass off to improve things including getting us into counselling and really working on myself, all the while it was just a fake R on her side and she was doing nothing on her end to fix things.
I made the same mistake of telling myself that she was still a good woman, was just confused, and it was my job to try to get her to wake up. Like other posters have pointed out to you, I was fooling myself. I was clinging to something I had created in my mind. The reality is a good woman would not be doing these things to her marriage and her family. Even if I was the worst husband in the world, which I'm not - there's just no justification other than the fact she is selfish and has far less of a conscious than I, or I'd like to think most people, possess. The truth is I may have had made my own mistakes, including playing an online game way too much in the first year of our marriage, but I turned those flaws around on my own to make her happy. I am a great husband and was a fool to allow her to make me believe otherwise, to blameshift and maker her choices my fault, which is still her default any time our relationship comes up.
Like you, one of the things that gets me is how she has just completely shut off any emotional connection now. I exposed the hell out of her affair to many people, including her mother, which infuriated her. I also told the OM (some young carefree ********* in Ireland
) that she had been reconciling, even making love while she was having her relationship with him. I think all of that pushed her even further away, but I'm glad I did it. People don't get to just walk all over others like this and get off scott free.
It's funny, because she can turn on the friendly charm when she needs me to do something and there have been a few times I let my low self esteem allow me to help her like fixing the toilet, going to feed her cat while she's out of town with the kids. But I realized last night, no more. She wanted to throw our marriage away for online friends and an online relationship? Get them to do the heavy lifting. See how wonderful of friends they are then, because words are easy, it's the actions other people are willing to do on our behalf that make them true friends. I'm sure my refusal to help her with anything that doesn't have to do with the kids will piss her off, but too bad. She chose to end this marriage as brutally and horrible as possible, and her days of playing me for a sucker and using me for anything are over.
One thing I'm questioning myself on now though, is what another poster in this thread pointed out: she claims she wants an amicable divorce and feels like we can be mature enough to work it out on our own. I wanted the same to save on legal fees and the like, but now I have to really examine if she is just playing me for a fool again.
Anyway, hang in there. You're further along in the divorce process than I am. Don't waver, you deserve better than this woman. Hell, I'd say most people deserve better than to be with someone who could take something like marriage so lightly and toss it aside so easily. Even considering the children like I have to, we deserve better than this. Your job is to love your children and do the best you can for them, not suffer through an unnecessary
hell for them.