Sorry to hear that your recon is not at a good place right now. All I can say is that if my W had a PA, and then stated that she wanted to recon, came home and was avoiding all physical contact, there is no way I would tolerate a refusal to provide transparency.
The red flags on this thread are all consistent. She can't admit fault/apologize because it 'hurts to much'?
I have a huge amount of respect for Amp. He is tough, strong, resourceful and determined.
He was the 'adult', in the recon. And there must be at least one. This is what I mean by that: He fixed his stuff first, and only the did he gradually but firmly apply pressure.
And at least twice, he showed the courage needed to risk losing the marriage, in an attempt to save the marriage.
I don't actually recall how he discovered that his W had reconnected with her EA, and was in a false recon.
MEM & Others: Thank you for the kind words, and I do have an update.
For starters, the locked computer. Turns out she locked the computer because she was tired of our daughter taking it, using it, and then leaving it somewhere where my wife can't find it and often with the battery nearly dead, and sometimes finding that some important school document that she was working on is gone. We gave our daughter my wife's old laptop and she is allowed to use that one, but she is terrible about putting it back on the charger when she is finished, so often times would just take the wife's new laptop. This is what she told me when I brought up the password on her computer, and she shared the password with me, which turned out is the same password that we usually use when we are securing a device from our daughter. (My tablet has the same lock/password on it for the same reason) So I'm thoroughly convinced for now that this was not her attempt to hide anything. Thus far, she has never once tried to stop me or express concern when I have asked to use her computer. (Her laptop is pretty new, mine is six years old and chained to a desk in our basement so when I seldom need an internet device with a keyboard, I ussually just use hers)
I'm not sure which part of my story you are referring to about her reconnecting with her EA... I believe all of my wife's affairs were physical, not EA only. I also frequently number them out of order, especially since I found out about the first one about 18 months after it happened, and 3-6 months after I found out about the 2nd and 3rd. I found out about the 2nd by checking her computer, the 3rd and 4th by checking her phone.
Thus far, I have never seen a password of any kind on her phone. Further, she knows that once upon a time I had put a keylogger on her computer and tried to put on one her phone, which I agree was taking it a little too far. She trusts me now with her devices as it relates to that. But with that said, I still agree with Sammy's approach above. If she wants to cheat, she'll find a way to cheat. Whether I catch it immediately or a few weeks down the road, it doesn't make much difference. Living in a "surveillance" marriage can only go on for so long before everyone involved is resentful of each other and it's certainly not conducive to rebuilding love/trust. Secretly locked devices are completely different of course, as has been noted, but I think I've found a comfortable position in the middle as far as transparency.
A couple months ago I read "Married Man's Sex Primer 2011" which was a fantastic read that I recommend to anyone. In the past, I have read tons of other marriage books from the Five Love Languages to Love & Respect, to saving broken marriages books like Love Must Be Tough, Winning your Wife Back, I Don't Want a Divorce, etc. This past week I finally started reading "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and it too is a winner as far as I can see. I'm exactly 44% through it according to my kindle, and I am already seeing a lot of value in it. I think for men in my position, NMMNG and the Married Man's Sex Primer 2011 standard reading assignments.
I think No More Mr. Nice Guy describes me well, as far as my feeling a need to be the "perfect man" for any woman, mostly based on what men have been told by women since the beginning of time. In Married Man's Sex Primer, we learn that women don't REALLY want the "perfect men" they often describe. They want that at times, and other times they want the classical Alpha male that is so often ostracized, and it's our job to be able to switch between the two. It also describes how "Nice Guys" will often go after women who are "damaged goods," such as victims of abuse, poor childhoods, no father, etc. Looking back at my wife and girlfriends before her, most of them grew up without much of a father figure, maybe had been raped or worse, my wife had a baby that she gave up for adoption when she was 16, etc. I have also definitely had a habit of covering up my mistakes, telling white lies to get out of a situation that might make me look bad, and resented her enormously for not putting in the kind of effort that I have put in. The "Covert contracts" bit was pretty interesting as well, which I'm sure I have employed many times, with the current example being my "no sex" assurance that I made to her, with the "unspoken but generally hinted at" end of the year timeframe.
Anyways, I'm going to keep reading the book. I also told her today that I believe we need to combine our finances in some form. I have known lots of couples who mostly manage separate finances, and we did it that way for the first few years of our marriage until my wife had trouble avoiding overdrafts on her account and we combined our finances with my bank. Right now though, I pay the mortgage, all of the bills, groceries, I usually pay when we eat out, plus the usual other stuff I need like gas for my car, occasional lunches, etc. From what I can tell, my wife pays for her own usual stuff (gas, lunches, etc.), most of my daughter's Boys & Girls club fee's (about $25/week) and the rest is sort of her "fun money", which admittedly often gets spent on stuff for the house, not just for her.
Nonetheless, I often struggle to get everything paid that needs paid, and frequently get creditor phone calls that stress me out. Not long before she moved back home in June, we discussed finances and she said very firmly that she was not willing to combine finances again because, as with sex, she wasn't at a place where she could trust me fully just yet. She wanted to maintain that small element of independence. Yesterday she told me about a whole bunch of school fee's and payments that are due really soon that she doesn't have the money for and is stressed. She didn't ask me for the money specifically, but that was clearly the reason for telling me the situation and describing her stress. I told her that if those things need paid, we can get them paid (with my meager savings) but at this point I'll need to insist that we combine our finances "in some form" going forward. That could mean going back to us just sharing one checking & savings account ideally, or I might even be comfortable with keeping the separate accounts as long as I have access to her account as well. (She already has access to mine, I gave it to her months ago, in typical "Nice Guy" fashion hoping it would get her to share her account access with me as well)
We'll see what happens. She did say "Love you" when she gave me a hug goodbye this morning, but I can't dwell on that.