hybrid, welcome and sorry you are going through this. I know it is probably the worst thing you've ever dealt with. However, we have a lots of experience in dealing with WAS/WSs on this forum, so you came to a good place. Understand that the feedback and advice can be blunt at times, but that is for your own good. Please remember, the people that try to help are doing it for no other reason than to try and help. Plus, most of us have been there!
Get DR and read it. You did the right thing asking her to leave. You are doing the right thing by not being at her beck and call. You need to focus on you, take all focus off of her. GAL like a madman. Keep working on you (180s and self-improvements) and detach and learn to be happy by yourself.
By the way this whole paragraph:
Originally Posted by hybrid
My therapist told me the years of depression, baggage she's never worked on with her family (father and religious baggage), baggage with the old lover (now AP), her job, Covid, etc. caused her to have an early midlife crisis. She reverted back to her college years and attached her happiness with this guy from college. Keep in mind, this guy was a terrible person to her, has never had a LT relationship, and is a struggling artist. Her emotional relationship has now become physical. I'm starting to worry there's nothing left I can do. I've kept her from living the original life she used to have. I'm not letting her have her cake and eat it. I've offered her a path back. She just seems hateful and mean towards me. My W has been emotionless the entire ride as if she's never loved me. She seems like a completely different person. I'm not saying we didn't have problems in our marriage. We both avoided them but they are fixable problems. I love her and would regret moving on to find out she was just in an affair fog. Any advice would be appreciated.
Look the reasons behind what she is doing isn't important. LBSs, especially we LBHs, think if we can diagnose the problem, then we can fix it. The fact is that the reasons are extremely complex, you'll never fully understand, and most importantly: YOU CANNOT FIX IT.
That last point is important. RIght now you need to be removing all pressure and pursuit. That means zero pressure and no pursuit, period. Remember, focus off of her. Stop trying to save the marriage as it is impossible to do alone. It takes 2 to make a marriage. Unfortunately, it only takes 1 to get a divorce.
This sentence saddens me: "I love her and would regret moving on to find out she was just in an affair fog." If you move on, who cares if she is just in an affair fog. Go read Steve_'s threads. His wife has cheated on him 5 times! SO what if that is just 5 affair fogs? To me it is pretty easy: Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Affair fog. MLC. COVID. Depression. The AP has a magic unit. Her dad was religious (shame on him! -sarcasm-). None of it justifies her running back to an old college flame when things in her marriage got rough. Nothing she could point to in that list or the list you gave in your OP JUSTIFIES sleeping with another man. And that you are willing to chalk that up to "affair" fog and are willing to waltz back in just by saying "I'll work on the marriage" is sad.
Here is the thing. DO NOT let her come back until she is already doing the work to return. The worst thing you can do is, the minute the AP flakes out on her, let her come running back. She needs to earn her way back. That means:
-No contact with AP including a cease and desist letter approved by you sent to him -FULL TRANSPARENCY. She agrees to a shared location phone app where you can see where she is at all time. She shares all account and PWs with you. You have access to every SM account, email account, online profile etc. -She agrees to go back to MC and actually work on the marriage. This means doing all of the assigned homework the MC might assign -She agrees to get into IC to deal with her issues
Anything short of that list and you are setting yourself up for affair fog #2 at some point.in the future. Also, feel free to add anything you want to require to that list! But the point is that she has to be doing the work already to come back!
M(52), W(53),D(17) M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017 Ring and Piecing since March 2018