My wife has been depressed going on a year. She developed it while pregnant with our fourth baby and life has been a challenge ever since. The baby is four months old now, but she continually says that she can't stand being around the kids, she wants to be away from them, doesn't want to be a mother any more, etc.
Last month, she began an affair, at first online, then it progressed to "real life", to her going over and "making out" with him. I was able to find these tidbits on her computer whenever she left it open. I let things go for a while to see what she would do, how far she would go, what kind of character would she show. It involved "secret" coffee dates after her regular outings where she would tell me she was going out with her girlfriends, sending pictures through email (not safe for work type pictures if you know what I mean), watching pornography together through video chatting including masturbation, going over to his house when his wife wasn't home until about 10 days ago it progressed to a "make out" session at his house from her account to her friend online. The wife still does not know from what I know and quite frankly I don't see any benefit in telling her and ruining her family as well.
The "make out" session was covered in a number of lies. I lined up the evidence, including pictures of our family vehicle sitting out side his house when she was at the "gym". I uncovered the evidence piece by piece and it wasn't until she was reading what she wrote to her friend that she admitted to anything. She was quite nonchalant about it all, trying to deflect blame, saying it was no big deal, it was over, etc. She eventually apologized, I remained quite cool and collected throughout and she promised to be trustworthy, faithful, that she "needs" me, etc, but that if I wanted her to leave she would. She told me she wouldn't fight for the kids - not that she could handle them at all, I do all of the childcare when they are not at a babysitter - she is a stay at home "mom". She said she would leave them all, including the baby. She told me that it would give her a guilt free way to kill herself since she'd have no reason to live without her kids. At that point I realized how sick she was - over my dead body would anyone take my kids from me. I truly felt sorry and tried my absolute best to treat her with respect and understanding in spite of my feelings of hurt.
During the whole month long debacle, I also found out that while we were engaged almost 10 years ago she had slept with someone else and never told me. This upset me too, she tried to write it off, but to me it's a serious strike. I'm not sure I would have married a cheater if I knew, but with 4 kids, it was tough to break it off.
Fast forward to Monday of this week. The guy with whom it was over, is apparently not over. Secret email and Facebook accounts and an arranged date for Monday morning. Digging through the secret account I found out that they had sex with each other (and apparently enjoyed it). This was after she had promised me the night before that I could trust her. Even after I found out, but didn't disclose I knew, she insisted she was sorry for hurting me and that she would never do it again.
I'm at a loss right now. A year of dedicated service, dragging myself around exhausted trying to run a household with 4 kids + 1 adult sized depressed kid has burned through a lot of my energy reserves. Thank God I'm fairly young by today's standards to have 4 kids otherwise I don't know how I could do it. I take care of the house, kids, money, work while she goes out, sleeps, does whatever she wants because she "can't" do anything else - too much anxiety, too tired, depressed, etc. Then I find out about an affair and a past cheating and am willing to continue, even step up my game even more. Then I find out about a third affair. It's so ridiculous I almost can't believe it.
Is it worth it, or should I just be done? What kind of example is this setting for our young children? I don't know if I want my kids to grow up in an environment where mom is off having affairs while dad is holding the fort up at home, where there is no trust. If we do separate, I would be on my own with 4 kids 24/7/365 for the next 18 years. I have the support of friends who will help, but it would be a lot to handle, but I know I could do it. God has given me unimaginable strength over the past year to deal with everything thrown my way. If you had asked me about raising 4 kids on my own a year ago, I would have never imagined it possible, now it is effectively reality.
Do I buy her suicide threats if I ask her to leave? Is there any liability on my part knowing this may happen if I end this? It's pretty serious emotional blackmail, but in my heart I know that she has made her bed and if she lies in it, it is her choices, not mine that would lead to anything happening to her.
She says she wants to work on the marriage, but less than 18 hours later she is in bed with another man after professing her love to me and saying that I can trust her and that she will not hurt me in this way again!!!
What do I tell the kids? How do all of this? I'm hoping to line all my ducks up in a row before doing anything. Apologies for the rant like nature of this post, I just don't know what else to do - I am so lost with this situation.