There is something else that is troubling me. W communicated that during the last rub session with the OM, she told him that "I need to find a way to tell (MAJDEATH) about our meetings without him getting upset, but I haven't thought of a good way to do that, what do you think?" and OM said "whatever". Shortly after he left. In hindsight, she indicated that this made her upset at the OM, because she was waiting for him to say something along the lines of "well if there is no good way to tell your husband without upsetting him and he is the most important thing in your life, then we should stop what we are doing because it is wrong". Supposedly they had been friends for 17 years and talked a lot at times, all pro-marriage.
Now before all the forum naysayers tell me this is hogwash, I must premise this by saying that I have no way to verify any of this, it is hearsay. I know she is working closely and intensely with her own IC, and this subject was most likely discussed in their sessions. If it is true, does it mean anything or is it simply her trying to dangle a olive branch toward R by indicating that she was starting to resent the OM and would have ended the "non-appropriate" part of their friendship on her own? Or is it cheater-speak nonsense?
I don't know why I'm bothering, but here goes.
Your wife was beside you during a 3 year period of strife. Good for her. That's what spouses do.
Often, during times like these, the spouse who is being the 'rock' is not having their own needs met, because it's all about the spouse who needs the support during that time.
Enter the OM.
He was providing her with her needs for attention, intimacy, physical contact, etc., which I assume she didn't feel like she was getting during this period.
During this time, she knew it was wrong, but not WRONG. It felt good, it felt right, it wasn't sexual (I'll play along and say it didn't get any further than private foot rubs...)
She felt some
guilt about it, hence her saying to OM that she wanted to find a way to tell you about their footsy encounters. If she is to be believed, his response was 'whatever'. This implies his interest in her was likely more than foot rubs, and he realized at that moment that he was not likely to stick his penis in her. He was playing the long game, waiting for her
to make the first sexual move.
When she realized this (which I have no doubt she did), she came clean. Enter the real
guilt. Which brings excuses, lies, minimizing, deflecting and gas lighting.
So what you're left with is knowledge that the person you share your life with will get her needs met elsewhere when necessary. That she isn't, and wasn't, willing to sacrifice her needs for yours when you required it. This is a basic tenet of marriage. It sucks when it happens, and one partner has to sacrifice for the other, but it does happen (illness, job loss, depression, etc).
The mark of a truly good marital partner is when they step up to that plate and forsake themselves for the time required.
Good luck, Maj.