People say I push him to much. Maybe they are right. Maybe I should just let him hate himself instead of me...
S- apparently, I didn't. Never thought he'd cheat...
My first husband cheated. It took me six months to get through the pain and the nightmares. Once I did, I began to try to look at things from his point of view. I realized that when he came home to me, he felt like an abusive, selfish person. When he went to her, he felt like a hero. She didn't get the treatment I was getting from him. Also, she had something huge in common with him: she used hard drugs. I did not.
The funny thing is, he told me later that he had planned to move out and then go live with her. She had a young child, too. He did leave, but ended up getting his own little place. You see, at the time I was about 6 weeks pregnant with our daughter. When it came down to it, he discovered that he didn't want to move in with her. I was the one he truly loved and I was carrying our child. Her child was not his child. I ended up leaving him though because of his serious drug problems. The JW's, who studied with me here and there & the lifestyle also played a role in his decision to step out and see this other woman.
My point is that your husband may be doing the same thing, trying to find fellow feeling and attention from someone who thinks that he is "great". He may love you still very much, not realize it and not understand how it will feel to lose you and the children.
As for being hard on him, it's one thing to encourage him to try to be the best he can be. It's another if you unwittingly say things to him that are not encouraging, but more stinging. Stinging comments, between you, accumulate until they are big enough to bowl you both over.
I hope that this works out better for you than my situation did. I left him on his knees, crying out to me not leave. That was the last time I ever saw him, though we spoke on the phone once and wrote each other letters. He ended up marrying a second time, a good lady with two daughters. Then they had two more daughters and a son. She nursed him while his health declined, up until he passed away at 34. I wasn't notified of his death until 3 years after it happened. My daughter never met him and she is grief stricken over that until this day. She wonders why he didn't seek her out to meet her and to tell her good-bye. She doesn't say it, but she does blame me for that, too.
I think you are wise to take your time and not make knee jerk decisions. Especially is this so if there is genuine love between you. You have young children, too. There may be a way to find out why he is really talking to the other woman. And it may be more about being accepted and looked up to, like you have mentioned. We all want that don't we? To be accepted, validated and important to those we love.