Thoughts in a minute. First followup questons:

"DB squashed bc I broke trust or did I finally get to the bottom of why it is just a plain no go from her working on the marriage?"

What trust was squashed? If you are suggesting you squashed trust by snooping, stop that. What's worse, carrying on an inappropriate relationship with someone else, or snooping on a spouse's phone?

Maybe you did get to the bottom, maybe you didn't. This is why snooping is generally frowned upon because it leads to more questions than answers.

That leads into my thoughts:

The problem with snooping, and especially getting caught snooping, is all you did was to train her to take her inappropriate messages deeper underground. To take be more stealthy about what she does and who she does it with. I remember our first MC session last year, I mentioned to the C that full transparency was important to me. She was opposed, especially at that point in our sitch. And then she said something that has stuck with me: "The truth always has a way of presenting itself. If she is doing something inappropriate it will eventually come to light."

My W was sitting right next to me when the MC said that.

Snooping hurts you more than it hurts her. WWs will always have a 100 explanations and rationalizations. You could find them in bed with 3 other guys, and they would either rationalize or explain it away. Plus they can play on your desire to believe them to gaslight you. "He didn't say that!" "Are you sure that was the right day and time for that message?" "I think he was talking about something that happened at the office, not you."

Snooping rarely gets you anywhere. True, some will advocate for it early on in the name of "recon", but Choppy your experience is a perfect example. Your instincts for this are a better indicator than your "recon" in this instance.

M(51), W(52),D(16)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018