Divorce, Separation or Give her time?

My wife and I have been married 20 years. We have five children (youngest is 4). We are under a lot of stress right now raising kids and with financial problems. My wife has alway been a good wife and mother…until recently.

She started seeing another man about a month ago. I got suspicious with some of her actions and confronted her. First, she denied it…then eventually confessed that she had developed feelings for another man. I feel somewhat responsible for driving her into this relationship, as I should have shown her more appreciation and paid her more attention. It’s not that I didn’t love her. On the contrary, I absolutely love and adore my wife and I am fully devoted to her. But I didn’t do enough things to adequately communicate my love, adoration and devotion for her.

So now we are on the verge of divorce. She says she is very confused right now and doesn’t know what she wants to do. She says she still loves me. She is asking me to give her some time to sort it all out. I’m willing to give her this time. I, for one, want to do everything in my power to save the marriage and keep the family together.

However, she wants to continue to be in contact with the other man while we’re in this "transitional" stage. This doesn’t really sit well with me and am going to ask her to choose between continuing with me or move on with this other man. But I’m afraid this may lead us to a point of no return and no chance of future reconciliation. If she truly doesn’t want to be with me, so be it. But if there is any hope of future reconciliation, I don’t want to mess that up. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt…that she isn’t thinking rationally because of all the stress in our lives right now.

So as far as I see it, I have three options: divorce, separation or give her time to sort it out.

My question is for the folks out there who have done the cheating. Did time really allow you to "sort things out?". If your spouse asked for a separation, would you have dug in your heels and make the situation even worse? For those who did a trial separation, did that help? How long did the initial feeling of euphoria with the new person last? And finally, if you did eventually reconcile with your wife/husband, what made you finally decide to come back and how long did this process take?
Response to Karen Star:

I neglected to communicate my appreciation, devotion, and affection because I am not a verbal person. It’s easier for me write down my feelings.

Also, for me, I know she loves me just by being with me in the same car,in the same room or just walking hand in hand. So, stupid me thought these same things would apply for her also. Big mistake.

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