I cheated and then my wife cheated too. She said she wanted to work on things but she continues to go out whenever she wants and disregards my feelings on this. I am constantly left to take care of our four-year-old daughter. I do not know what to do.
So it appears that after the 'two can play that game' experience there are still some residual challenges. Obviously what was discussed and decided on regarding moving forward from the acts of infidelity was not followed through. Your wife appears to still be smarting from your unfaithfulness and believes she is no longer accountable to you.
If she is serious about working on things it would mean that her actions must line up with her utterances. So even if she is not at the place to offer forgiveness there must be a willingness to fix the wrong. It may be apparent to her that two wrongs don't make a right and there is no fulfilment in her retaliatory action.
It is always unfortunate when an innocent child is caught in the squabble between two adults who are executing their personal and selfish agendas. Both of you must recognise the responsibility you share as parents and not allow the conflict to negatively impact your parental obligation to ensure the child experiences the physical and emotional availability and presence of her mother and father.
You both need to sit down again and recalibrate the navigation system as both of you are drifting apart. The discussions must include putting behind you the wandering actions of the past and making a deliberate attempt to move forward in a focused way. It would mean rejecting anything or anyone who could create a distraction. All contacts and association with the other man and woman must cease with immediate effect. Your laser-focused attention must be rechanneled to your spouse and family.
Out of those discussions must be a recommitment to abide by the tenets of honesty and faithfulness in the relationship. You then must hold each other accountable and maintain openness and transparency.
Dealing with the emotional pain and hurt arising from infidelity is for some people a long and painful process and so you need to be patient with your wife as she navigates the process. She is probably hurting from the impulsive move she made in response to your initial action as she felt a sense of rejection and anger and wanted you to experience the pain she felt.
If you both are not able to have that life-changing conversation alone, then please reach out to a marriage counsellor as soon as possible as delay will only cause the marriage to crash.
Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor/.