I am happily married male, mid-thirties, Central Europe, two nice kids. With my wife, we have a great relationship and no big issues, just the normal ones (if she only didn't burn the meal that often :) ).
Couple of years ago, we moved to her birth town, which led to me losing literally all of my close friends (we make visits on a yearly basis, but the closeness of our friendships dissipated). The acquired loneliness troubled me quite a lot and it was basically my only big problem at that time. As an introvert, I don't need many friends, but I need at least a few really good ones.
The situation changed half a year ago when I stumbled over a woman who turned out to be very "compatible" with me. She is also married and has kids, so it all looked utterly innocent at the beginning. My wife likes her and I like her husband and we even meet together and all works well. My wife knows we are very close friends.
The problem is, that while she bravely fills my social needs, we are also getting closer and closer together. When she was desperate, it was me rather than her husband who helped her out of it (her husband is not into these things much) and same situation happened the other way: she helped me tremendously while my wife didn't really care or have time at the moment. We can talk about many things which our partners dislike discussing. We have a lot in common. These facts made us really very close friends and at some point I realized I fell in love with her. It looks like she might love me too.
- Neither me, nor her want to change anything. We know we want to keep things and families as they are.
- We are completely positive that there will never be anything physical between us (we both have quite traumatic experiences of being cheated on).
- We both see our relationship as something very special and helpful and if possible, we'd like to maintain it.
My question is: What's the best way to discuss this relationship with my wife without ruining what we have?
My goal in this conversation is to get her opinion on that. Something like "stop it now, or I am leaving" or "I am fine with her as long as..." or "it's ok, I actually also have a similar friend".
Update: In some comments and answers there is this "How can you know there will never be anything physical between you two?" topic. I just know, that's not an issue. That was actually my mantra last couple of months: "It kinda feels like more than just a friendship, is it still OK? Well, we'll never touch each other, so it must be OK." But then thanks to placing my question here I realized, that emotional affair is exactly what I am going through. And they state that it can be as harmful to the marriage as the physical affair, which destroyed my "no touching, no problem" theory.