My wife and I have been together for about 8 years now (married for 6) and we have two gorgeous children. My wife, unfortunately, has been suffering from mild depression for quite a while, long before we even met so probably about 15 years. It comes and goes, some months she's fine and others she isn't. She hides it well so it's hard to know when she is feeling down unless she mentions it.
Before we had our children, I gave her my utmost attention and affection. We would do all sorts of things together constantly like going out, watching films, playing games etc. When we had our first child (4 years ago), I regretfully changed. Obviously having kids is a major event in any mum's or dad's lives but I became more distant towards my wife. I didn't think of it at the time, I gave our first child a lot of attention and not enough towards my wife. This continued with our second child (2 years) ago.
During these 4 years, she mentioned to me several times that I wasn't being there for her. When she told me, I would be more attentive towards her but this only lasted for maybe a few weeks then I went back to how I was.
I had an epiphany a few months ago and made a promise to become a better husband. So I started to hold my wife more, hug and kiss her. Gave her more attention. After a few weeks, she told me I was trying too hard. That I was suffocating her and not giving her enough space. She also mentioned that she pretty much gave up on wanting to spend time with me because I did the same to her previously which is understandable. So I try to take it slow and be with her when she's not busy.
For almost a year now, she has been fairly addicted to an online video game. She would play on average between 6 - 10 hours a day easily. Sometimes she would play from 8pm to 4am. She has made contact with other people and has gotten quite personal with one person. So personal in fact that they would talk about sex. Not in general, but having sex with each other. How I found this out is not relevant but my wife told me that these were just jokes, that it was only a fantasy and not real. She admitted she was doing this for attention (which I clearly did not give).
This caused me, and still causes me, so much pain. I found this out a few weeks ago. I would not have minded much if they made lame generic sex jokes. But describing what sexual activities they would do to each other made me almost physically sick and now it's all I think about. Day in, day out, at work and at home. I get distracted thinking about this and everytime I see her playing her game, I keep thinking what sexual thing are they talking about now.
She tells me she loves me and that she wouldn't leave me or the kids. I trust her but at the same time, I'm not sure if I should tell her how this whole conversation thing makes me feel. She told me if I did the same to her, she would not like it but it's not a big deal as going to see the person physically. I am afraid of creating more tension between us and she getting closer to her 'friend' if I told her how I felt. But she also doesn't seem depressed when she talks to him so maybe it is good for her to have this fantasy?
I don't know what to do. I haven't stopped giving her attention and affection and I feel I could do so much more but I don't want to do too much too quickly in case she rejects me. I have told her how I utterly regret my actions during the time I neglected her. That it was completely wrong of me to do so and how I want to desperately make it up to her.
I guess what I am trying to accomplish is for her to stop having sex chats with her friend. And if she wants that kind of attention then she could get it from me. But I don't want her to think that she should stop talking to him (she won't since it is her choice). I am afraid that talking about this with her would result in an argument and could potentially cause a rift between us. I am trying my best to ignore the negative thoughts I have about this but I feel it will come to a point where I might just breakdown.
What would be the best way to discuss this with my wife?
(PS. Feel free to edit the question title and/or body, not sure how to word all of this at the moment).
Edit in response to comments:
Is the "how you found out" really not important?...You don't need to share, but it might help us gauge the level of this relationship of theirs
The chat log was saved in a file which I had no idea what it contained. After reading some snippets of it, I realised what it was and could not read any more.
Does she have friends (real life, not online), and a social life, or does she stay home 24/7?
Not real friends, more like acquaintances from the gym which she goes to 3-4 times a week.
You say you withdrew your attention in the past. What caused you to do this?
It started when we had our first child. I think I suddenly became more of a father than a husband.
She has admitted that she has an addiction to it which started a year ago, the same time she told me she was feeling depressed.
She usually plays an hour or so in the morning and then all night. Our youngest is either asleep or watching TV. She does not have much of a social life (quite like me). She does go to the gym 3-4 times a week for an hour; I also go with her once a week so that it is something we both do.
My wife does look after the kids. She plays an hour in the morning then spends time with the little one. And she picks up the other from school. She does the usual house chores: cleaning, cooking, washing etc.