How best to do this?
For the last few months things have been holding steady between me and my wife.
A brief history - some time in 2015 she began an affair with a neighbour, the unemployed dad in a family with kids the same age as ours who went to the same school/kindergarten as ours. It became sexual in October 2015. By the end of 2015 her behaviour toward me had become almost completely unbearable. In Jan 2016 she "broke up with me" only to subsequently agree to "try". Although I had known something was very amiss believed her when she told me there was nobody else. Over the course of 2016 the AP and his family went from being complete strangers to us to being our constant companions. I did not like him much but made an effort as my wife "needed this friendship." I partly renovated their house as he lacked the skills. We looked after each other's kids. My wife put him down as emergency contact re our kids at school and kindergarten. His wife baked my wife's birthday cake. We went on a holiday, the eight of us. In Feb 2017 my wife confessed. Some months later she went NC.
Throughout 2016 I engaged in IC and made a big effort to improve our relationship,. thinking we were both trying. I suggested MC but she "wasn't ready for that".
I realise of course that this all sounds incredibly dumb and on some level I knew it was screwy but I simply could not conceive of her being deceitful. I was blinded by trust.
So since Feb 2017 I have been working pretty hard and trying to make things work. I made it really clear that if she preferred to leave she should leave; actually pushed for her to leave as I didn't want her to stay unless she really wanted to.
A lot of times since then I have told her that the way things are just aren't enough for me. What compromises might have been bearable if she hadn't cheated are not bearable given that she did.
Lately, she has been focused on work with many deadlines etc. I support this. (For clarity - working from home, with me around, etc, I have no suspicion that she is cheating again. It is a focus on work.)
I haven't wanted to screw with her equanimity while she is so busy, so I have just been holding back. My idea was to talk when work settles down. Now she has taken on some study as well and work has not settled down. (I am quite busy also).
But what I want to tell her is that I am pretty well done. I have given up. But I feel that as time has gone by, my waiting has given the impression that all is well, that it is all behind us. It is not. I am still not doing great. More importantly though, I still find the present really unsatisfactory. We are in a sexless marriage. We talk but to me it is all superficial talk. I can't talk about emotional stuff because it is necessarily going to be about the damage she has caused. She talks about work and our kids and diet and exercise. We spend a LOT of time together which I think is bonding and reassuring for her but for me often reinforces the completely platonic nature of our relationship.
I will give an example that won't go away. Soon after d-day, standing in our driveway, she kissed me. It was a very 11/10 kiss, tongue, lingering, lengthy, etc. A great kiss. She has never kissed me like that before or since. She also said stuff about kissing post d-day. The clear fact is that she and her AP kissed like this. It is very obvious. So unfortunately I know how she kissed him. And it is obvious that no matter what I do or how long we are together, she is never going to kiss me the way she kissed him. It just isn't going to happen.
She kisses me goodbye in the morning and it's on the lips but chaste, like we are in out 90s or I am her brother.
This is the simple fact. She is never going to kiss me the way she kissed him, and I can't live with her if that is the case. Honestly, I don't see how anyone could or how she can imagine I could. I would rather be alone.
But... that was just an example. It's not specifically about kissing and there are hundreds of examples of much the same kind of thing. It is that she will never be, with me, the way she was with him. I want to be in an intimate relationship but she gave him intimacy she never has and never will give me.
This is why I feel it isn't fixable. But it is not really the day-to-day problem. Day-to-day, there's no affection. When she gets any emotional intensity, it is to express anger or annoyance at me. Again... probably would have been bearable without the cheating, but with the cheating history it's just... why would I take this?
We had to move suburbs after d-day. I left a home I had renovated largely with my own labour, and by renovated I don't mean painted I mean rebuilt from one end to the other. We recently sold it. We live in a rental. We have been looking at new houses to buy but I feel it is better to take half of the money each and move on.
How do I do this? Will my current feelings pass? I've wanted to leave before only to get optimistically again, but it feels like I have finished that type of cycle.
Our children are 7 and 9 and are used to having both of us, a lot. Can I leave for my own benefit when it will not be good for them? The thought alone of how they will react is painful. I am deeply, deeply afraid of it. The reality will be hard to bear. I am deeply, deeply afraid of it.
Do I start seeing someone else to fulfil my need for intimacy? I feel a lot like I have started to move on, emotionally, no longer really attached or committed.
But yes, I have been on the brink of leaving before.
If I leave how do I do it? If I stay how do I do that?