I am a little over 6 months out from my wife admitting to he

I am a little over 6 months out from my wife admitting to her affairs. I suspected about 18 months ago and she asked for a divorce a month later, she moved out at my request 6 months after that. I was trying to be nice and allow her to save money for an apartment since I'm the primary income provider. During this span I questioned multiple times about if she was having an affair and obviously she denied. After finally getting her phone on D-day of asking her to leave I find messages between her and someone she met online. She was angry, but she left a few days later. We separated 5 months and reconnected after this and talked about reconciliation. She moved back in and promised no contact but lied as she stayed in contact for about 2 more weeks. I threatened divorce as this was truly my final straw. She broke down admitting to 3 affairs over that 13 month span. Gave me access to her phone records and social media. Now 6 months later I still find myself very distrustful and sometimes angry if she displays certain behaviors. We started counseling after she moved back in, and she claims in her private sessions the councelor advised against giving details of the affair. However, I didn't want gory details but yes I felt I deserved to know how it happened, why and how many sexual encounters. Only when I get her to a breakdown do I get any information and she says she was in a dark place and wanted to be anyone but her. But then says she chosen to be a better person and that she doesn't need counseling that a person has the ability to just change on their own. I don't know. Now anytime I feel distrustful or have a trigger see seems to think enough time has passed and because she's admitted the mistakes it's in the past and we need to leave it there. She says I'm not moving forward and stuck in the past I feel that I want to move forward but catch myself looking for her to backslide. She hasn't done anything since breaking contact but I don't know how to move forward completely without reminders of her past. And if I bring them up I'm met with anger. They do come up still every 3-4 weeks when I have too much time to think. One big problem I have after seeing her phone records from the past is the amount of time she spent texting the AF. I've asked why I cannot get the same effort if I'm at work or elsewhere. She gets angry and says its not a competition and she spent too much time on her phone back then and has changed those behaviors and refuses to see its not a competition to me but a matter of effort. I'm just spinning my wheels wondering if I can ever truly be happy and trust her again. We've been together 21 years and other then on and off rough patches when we were young and the last 2 years the marriage was as good as it gets. We were happy and best friends. She also was diagnosed with epilepsy 4 years ago not sure if this plays any part. Any feedback is appreciated and I didn't mean to drag this out but its complicated.

One thing I do encourage is to avoid comparing a normal relationship to an affair. It is the same as comparing apples and oranges. Affairs generally fill one need of the wayward spouse and not much else whereas the normal relationship accounts for all the other needs. The challenge for the betrayed spouse comes in when they see the efforts expended to get that one thing. As you mention there seem to be a few factors to consider, and it is not uncommon for people to learn a little about themselves and then either believe they know enough or they get scared of what else they may find out about themselves. Are the 2 of you able to have discussions to try and understand your concerns?

At this point she says cannot continue to talk about the past frequently and says the therapist told her we should move on and only occasionally revisit the past. She can move on quickly from things and has memory problems from the epilepsy. And also says somethings she has no answer to and that has to be good enough and I need to just make a leap of faith to move forward. But she wants be to take a leap but she's unwilling to fully let me in an open up about the Affairs because she says she doesn't trust me that I won't be able to move past it even more so. I feel that if the information was given to me when I first asked and not a little over time and only when it's after a big fight. But she says as long as I get the information I should be happy no matter how it's gotten. She wants full commitment and go forward for me but still seems to protect herself emotionally. She thinks admitting the faults and saying she was a bad person is enough and that sometimes you just don't have all the answers or there really is no good reason for what happened. I'm a person who believes there is motive behind all actions and there is a reason. This is where we have a lot of disagreements. Should I be entitled to feel distrustful still even though for 5 months she hasn't done anything wrong aside from withholding past information and still over protects her own self interests.

@unsure.future I know I struggled to understand my wife’s reasoning at the time as I tried to apply logic, the sad part is that in affairs logic does not always apply. For example my wife is and was always very anti smoking yet she had an affair with a smoker. That is only 1 example of where I tried to apply my logic to her thinking. She also told me the sex was to keep him happy, she really wasn’t interested. Again so strange and seemingly illogical but that is the challenge, she didn’t want sex she wanted to help the seemingly upset person and he reassured her that being needed helped him. The best healing for us as a couple came when she understood for herself why she did it and then told me in her own words without me pressing her for an answer. In the end she needed to understand herself how it happened before she could tell me why it happened.

To have that conversation with her I had to let her feel safe to share her deepest thoughts and that was what was missing initially as I kept trying to pour in my logic and we never seemed able to get to the real reasons. In essence try to create a space where she feels secure enough that you wont shout or judge so that she can examine herself to help you both.

Thank you for the feedback. This is the last place I ever thought I would be in my life. Looking online in a group of strangers for advice. I always thought I was strong enough to overcome any obstacle without help and would feel somehow judged as someone who needs outside help or agreement of my situation to feel justified or right. It is so hard to have to be the one who didn't have the affair to almost be punished by having to make more changes and adjustments to prevent future chances of infidelity. I'm the type that if something or someone means enough if you make the mistake you will be the one to change and not blame others for the reasons of your actions. Regardless of problems in a relationship an affair whether physical or emotional is truly the fault of the betrayer. People have the choice to leave instead of risking further harm by trying to meet what they perceive as needs elsewhere. The grass may seem greener on the other side but you still have to mow it. Nothing is ever perfect, however openess and honesty is always better even if the truth hurts then the pain of later finding deciet and lies. Today everyone is always looking for something or someone to blame for their mistakes instead of looking in the mirror and blaming themselves.

@unsure.future I’m glad you came here today. I recall those days so very well. You are right that the betrayer need to own their actions. In my case that happened and it really helped. What also helped me was that I used the affair to become a much better person than ever before and that result was guaranteed by me and did not rely on my wife to succeed