Total newb to trp. I recently discovered trp and mrp trying to find some answers to save my marriage. Been reading through posts and ordered all the prerequisites from amazon but they wont arrive until tomorrow and I feel I am in the middle of a critical shit test that could set the tone for how my marriage moves forward. I apologize if this post is long and rambling a lot of this shit I just have to get off my chest and I am coming here seeking advice because this shit is too embarrassing to talk about with anyone I know in real life.
Background: Both early 30s, lived together 11 years, married 5. 2 kids one hers that I adopted when we got married and one together. In the early years of the relationship I feel like I had at least some alpha qualities but looking back it has been a slow descent into full betadom. Up until the last couple years she was pretty much completely reliant on me for everything financially, socially, emotionally, etc. She had no friends devoted all her time to home and kids. I had all the power and the trump card of being the sole provider for her and her daughter (still am) which I often played in fights. I still did shit with my buddies (mainly smoked weed and played video games) and I wished she would find some girlfriends or something so she would stop guilt tripping me every time I left her home. Right before we got married we got a house (100% in my name, she has never contributed any money towards it) where it was easier to smoke my weed on the down low and stopped hanging with buddies except for the occasional ball game. I would take her out from time to time which she told me she wanted to do more of both verbally, and physically but I basically blew it off like everything else she said. I worked all week and was tired. She started to go out on her own and eventually made friends. 6 months ago she befrinded a divorced mom from a nearby city. They went to concerts together travelling to each others citys and took a couple road trips. She has always complained she had trouble making friends with other women because they were so catty so I thought it was great at first. She'll finally have someone besides me to talk about her feels with I thought. Before long they were going out very frequently and I started to feel like it was a little much. All she wanted to talk about was going out, people they met, etc. I felt like she was slacking in her duties as a wife and mother. The house was less clean, wasn't keeping up with grocery shopping, couldn't handle the few grown up things I asked her to. But I wanted her to be happy, didn't want to rock the boat, so I was just a passive aggressive bitch about it to her.
Exactly one week ago things hit rock bottom. I could feel it slipping away for a while. We hadn't had sex in months. My gut was screaming at me that something was going on with her so I checked her phone and discovered that she was flirting with another man via text. I screenshotted what I could and contained my rage long enough to get the kids to bed and left the house without any explanation. I drove around screaming and cursing her for a couple hours. She didn't even text to ask why I left abruptly with no explanation. When I came home she was asleep. I woke her up and confronted her. She claimed the guy was "gay as hell" (which made some sense based off the selfies he sent her wearing flower crowns and shit) but his texts definitely seemed like a man trying to get in her pants, telling her how perfect she was, he was obsessed with her, etc etc. Not only was she not shutting it down she was flirting back. I told her this was completely unacceptable, she cried and admitted it was inappropriate and she was completely wrong and sorry. She claimed it started as harmless shit gay guys do with girlfriends telling them how pretty they are but she was starting to get a more serious vibe and should have stopped it but didn't because it felt good to hear those things. She swore she had never done anything physical with him or anyone else during our marriage despite opportunities and only exchanged numbers with this guy because she thought he was gay and was friends with her friend. We had a pretty honest conversation about the state of our marriage. She told me how she felt like she was married to her grandpa and she couldn't be herself around me because I was snarky and judgmental when she tried to talk. I told her I wasn't thrilled with her performance as a wife and mother recently and felt like she was checking out of the family life we had planned together for years and that was why I was acting that way. She didn't deny or apologize for it only said she wanted to live life to the fullest and I didn't and that she couldn't waste her life watching me go to work, come home, and sit on the couch anymore. We had nothing in common and she was uncomfortable here with me being a bitter asshole (my words not hers) and if it wasn't for the kids we would probably have broken up already. She had changed, it wasn't me it was her. I admitted I had been pretty down on life lately and was in a rut feeling like there was nothing left for me other than work, pay bills, raise kids, and die.
Being days before Christmas we agreed we didn't want to do anything rash for the kids' sake and left things open. I barely spoke to her for the next 2 days and she slept on the couch. I discovered trp and started reading. The harsh truths stoked my anger toward her at first. She never loved me. I was a meal ticket for her and her kid and now that she locked me down with a marriage and a kid of my own she was out slutting around with her divorced friend. She'll never admit it if she actually did physically cheat. How can I ever trust her? Was it even worth trying to save this for the sake of the kids?
On the 3rd night I got into her phone again and read texts between her and the friend. The messages after our fight are remorseful. She tells her to tell the guy she was texting she cant text him anymore that she is a married woman. Wtf was she thinking? I am a good father and provider but she isnt happy and doesn't think I will change. She worries that I am telling our family and friends and that I am talking to my lawyer and will take the kids. She says she has to figure this out for her kids sake and wonders whats wrong with her why she's not happy with our family life. Reading back in the text thread she complained that I wasn't fucking her and she needed to get laid. She said she just wanted to know what it was like to be pursued by a man before she was too old and that she had always felt like the pursuer in her past relationships. The friend downs me, refers to me as her "has been" tells her she deserves to be happy, encourages her to talk to other guys. My rage toward her turned to rage toward myself. I had been such a beta bitch faggot getting high and watching porn on my phone while my attractive wife is wishing I would try to fuck her. I had been stoned for 15 years and completely missed what she was trying to tell me all those times she got pissed off when she asked me to make decisions and I was just a wishy washy bitch about it. After reading some MRP I realized I was the Drunk Captain hiding from my duties as my ship sank. Looking back there were so many times she told me exactly what she needed but I was too blind to see. I thought she was just being a nagging bitch who couldn't do anything on her own and turned to my weed to hide from the negative feelings. I woke her up had her come back to bed to talk. I told her I realized I had not been the man she needed. I would be making changes for myself with or without her to be a happier and better person. I wanted the marriage to work and I wanted her by my side through the process but I was not doing it for her I was doing it for me because I needed to be happy too and my old mindset of ignoring my own needs for the good of the family was actually destroying us. We had a good Christmas eve and Christmas with family. I stayed sober, made a conscious effort to engage her and try to be more fun and playful. On Christmas with family over we had a moment alone in the bedroom. She asked me if I liked my presents I said "yeah but the one I really want to unwrap is you" she said "you can unwrap me tonight if you like" told her I would love to and gave her a kiss on the neck and a slap on the ass and went back out and worked on being more social and charming than usual with the family. That night after everyone left I felt like she was stalling on going to bed. She always goes to bed before me but she was staying up watching a movie on tv she had already seen. When it ended and another one began she did nothing so I announced I was going to bed. She followed. I began to initiate, she seemed pretty uninterested, acted like it was all an inconvenience for her that it was late and I had waited too long. She got naked and said "ok are we gonna do this or what" I said "yeah but I need you to participate if my dicks gonna get hard" she just said wow and started to turn away. I rolled her over and just started ravaging her, rammed it home and started pounding her, pulling her hair and telling her in her ear how hot she was and how bad I'd been wanting to fuck her. It was short and sweet, we came together and both went to bed satisfied.
In the days after we talked and started making up she told me she was no longer going on a girls trip out of town she had planned for NYE and we decided instead we would take the kids shopping to spend their xmas money from Grandma. I told her not to do it for me. She said it wasn't for me she didn't want to go anymore. She also asked if she could go visit her divorcee friend one last time to give her her Christmas present and "break up with her". I gave her my blessing and thought ok now she's realizing this bitch is a bad influence and not healthy for her life. Well last night was the visit and upon returning home not only did they not "break up" but she tells me she's thinking of going ahead and doing the girls trip for "one last hurrah" since they wont be going out together anymore after this. I probably should have shut it down with a hard no immediately but I reverted back to my BP bitch thinking and told her I didn't really think it was the best thing for our family right now we had been making a lot of progress in the last few days and needed to be together. She said if you want to say no then say no. I bitched out and just said you're my wife I think you should be with your husband on NYE. She said come with us then. I immediately agreed, thinking it could be a good chance to show her we can have fun and go on adventures together. This morning I could tell she didn't really want me coming, she acted annoyed and bitchy, said we need to change reservations at the hotel now blah blah blah. I didn't say much about it, went through my routine before work, tried to kiss her goodbye got the cheek, ignored it and kissed the kids and left. I need some advice on how to handle this now because I feel like I fucked up and am falling back to my old ways before I can even get started. These are the options as I see it now.
Go on the trip. Try my best to be fun and awesome around her friends. I know she will probably be weird and bitchy toward me now. Don't let it affect me, stay fun and positive.
Reverse my decision and tell her no. I don't want her going she needs to stay home with me and the kids and do what we said before. Give her an ultimatum that if she still goes it shows she is not doing anything to change and doesn't give a shit about me or the marriage. I am filing for divorce asap.
Let her go without me and try not to give a shit what she's doing. Have fun with the kids and do what we originally planned without her plus something more fun that I come up with. Try to show her we don't need her and will be just fine, if not better, without her around.
I just need some advice about how to proceed from this point on from some more experienced RP guys. I know I need to change with or without her but I don't really want to blow everything up before I can even get started with the basics because I really do want to save my family.