Recap: 6-7 years ago my M was suffering and I couldn't put my finger on it. Around 6 years ago he got caught hanging out with OW, a (close) mutual friend of ours. It had been an 8 month long EA. I felt crazy and volatile. Things became emotionally explosive for weeks and one day I told him if he is not 100% committed to our M then to get out. To my surprise he did. For 10 months he was off in lala land having full blown A with OW. Our circle of friends blew up and I was humiliated. During this time I hit rock bottom. My father had died shortly before BD, my eldest D was a troubled teen (Bipolar) and we had to send her to wilderness & therapeutic boarding school out of state, and the double betrayal was too much. I lost 35 lbs, couldn't eat, sleep, think or function well. What got me through was a deep seeded belief that humans are resilient and that time is only moving forward. I knew that eventually things would recover and that I would be okay. I also had some wonderful and supportive people in my life.

I found this site and read often but didn't post. I developed a deeper and supportive friendship with OW's LBH, who was dealing with the same betrayal. I still didn't handle myself well and wasn't able to follow DB rules. Over time I did get better at GAL,180s and started to detach. Most days I felt like I was faking it. I did eventually stop contact and pursuit and would only email him about kids/finances. I think we were both able to protect our younger kids as well as could be expected. I wasn't able to shake my rage and devastation tho, which I am sure he knew. He often acted like a wounded, guilty puppy. He was less arrogant and cruel than what I have read here about WHs. I started to drop the rope and imagine a life without him and our family home. I started to get better at hiding my emotions from him. Turns out his A was all drama and not the kind of R he had wanted initially. After around 10 months he did a very fast turnaround. ... Now, I firmly believe you have to let them go before they come back.

I had conditions, but I accepted him back. He had to end things with OW and go 100% no contact. I needed proof and 100% transparency for all devices. Weekly MC. He would not move home until we were both ready. He also needed to continue to work on himself and accept responsibility for the damage he caused. He read the No More Mr Nice Guy book which fit him to a T! Even tho I was the person that wanted the M back more during the separation, I definitely have struggled more with understanding it and more so forgiveness. He has been consistent and patient in his commitment to our M and family in the last 5 years.

He has now been back in the M for over 5 years. It has been bumpy and messy. There have been times that I have seriously doubted if it could ever work in the long term and if I made the right choice. We did MC, we did our own IC, we attended Retrouvaille, we had the same conversations and tears. He has genuinely apologized and felt remorse a million times. I would say that my biggest obstacle has been myself and my feelings around his betrayal. It is not something I ever had thought I could understand and I don't know that I ever will. I do believe the man in front of me now is a good man, H and father. I think that is more important than our mistakes in the past. I have made mistakes too, I just haven't shared the details here. .... After BD, we often hang on to them so tight, but really, we are hanging on to the idea of them and what we had. When they return, the initial relief wears off quickly and the real person in front of us is tarnished.

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“Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.” – Nelson Mandela