I have to say that this place is amazing. All of your advice and kind thoughts are so very appreciated. Because of your help I don't feel like I am compeletely lost. I was feeling very hurt and scared. I would like to share my current feelings so that anyone who reads this and is struggling like me may benefit from experiences.
Carma,your post gives me hope. And hope is a powerful emotion. For me, hope can be as powerful as jealousy. So it feels good that I can displace some of my negative thoughts by realizing there is a good chance that this will work out just fine. Thank you for that.
Sagency, you provide a perspective on reality that insightful and helpful. I think you are correct in saying that it would be better for me to not think of them lying to me and instead understand that they were afraid of hurting me. Which means they do care about me.
As this progresses I am learning some things about myself. First, I really need to stop defining myself entirely through my marriage. I have all myna eggs in the one basket of 'being the perfect husband' and somewhere along the way I lost me. I lost what happiness means to me other than making everyone else happy. So I am going to try and spread my wings a little so I am more independent and less reliant on my marriage as the be all and end all for my life.
I also have learned that i need to build a little self esteem. I always worry about being strong enough, good enough, smart enough, etc. The fact is that I am strong, good and smart and I should take a moment to realize this . I am not becoming cocky or arrogant. I am just realizing that I offer a lot to my wife in our relationship and I should have faith that what I offer is meaningful to her. Hell, she stuck around this long through some tough times. So I can't be all that bad, right.
Today she told me she was going to meet T for a little while. My immediate reaction was like I was being punched in my stomach. But then I thought about all the things i have read here about jealousy, about the human capacity for love, about viewing my wife holistically, and about the typical cycles of emotion associated with these circumstances, and the pain receded. And she came home to me and she was happy, loving and caring. And I felt great at that points. What a great lesson about patience and about not thinking the worst.
I know i have a rough road ahead as we transition into whatever this will become. But I am starting to see that I have the tools, the strength, and a solid relationship with my wife - and this will get me through this. And if it doesn't, I will survive and live to see a day when I will love again.
Crazy that I am so optimistic today. Hopefully this will continue. But I reserve the right to completely freak out tomorrow.
Again, thank you to all who posted replies. I have read them all. More than once. And each of you has provided me a tool to put in my emotional toolbox and use as needed as this progresses.