He came to me today and said basically everything I have been wanting to hear for the past year.
He apologized deeply for everything, for hurting me, for having the affair, for causing so much damage and grief. He said if he could go back in time to when he first crossed the line with AP, he wouldn't do it again. He wants to remove AP from his head and heart. He said he wants to fall back in love with me and (like he just figured this out) that he couldn't possibly have those feelings for me right now when he's put a pin in them with another person. He needs to remove that pin and is going to do everything he can to do so. He is planning on treating it like an addiction and working with his IC on it, that he'll have healthy activities like hiking and cooking (?) to lean on when she pops up in his head.
He talked about M2.0 and that he wants it and can envision it and wants to work hard towards it. That he knows there were a lot of little ways that he was intentionally or not being a d!ck to me over the past 2.5 years because he wanted me to D him. That he'd built up all these justifications in his head for why the R with AP was the right choice, but now he sees it was purely selfish. He doesn't want to be a selfish person. He doesn't want to be a liar. He wants to end the behavior that was causing him to lie and thinks once that is over, he can once again be an honest person. The deception has been tearing him apart for years and eating at his soul. He doesn't want to be that person anymore.
He wants to invest in me, the children, and our MR. He says he knows I don't trust him but that he will show me how he loves me and is investing in our MR, that he will be loving and cultivate loving feelings towards me by demonstrating loving behaviors. He said I haven't seen him do that for a long, long time and he will show me through his actions that he's serious about recommitting to the M.
He said this time, he's making this decision and commitment on his own for himself and for us, not because he felt coerced into it by me, and that (to him) will make all the difference. He wants to never talk to AP again and to relegate her to the status of someone who he thinks of occasionally, with fondness, and hopes is doing OK. He wants this for himself and not because I'm asking him to do it.
He acknowledged that a part of this decision is motivated by fear, and while he doesn't think fear should be the basis for any decision, that it is fear for the well-being of the children and he thinks that is a healthy fear. But that is just part of the reasons for the decision. He loves me, never stopped loving me, loves our children and our life together, and wants to rebuild the emotional intimacy between us. He's willing to read the books or do the programs or whatever it takes.
I was pretty shocked, to be honest. Also I'm totally exhausted and don't really know how to process any of this right now. He seemed very different from how he's seemed in these conversations in the past. I asked him what changed. He said, he went looking at apartments and one came through. He could move in tomorrow. And when he got that email he realized that isn't what he wants. He also spoke to his mom and brother and good friend and thought a lot last night after we talked. His brother helped him see he was being selfish (haha not me!). His friend told him that as a father his number one responsibility is to protect his children, and by not giving our MR 100% and ending the A he is failing his children. His mom told him she thinks he would be making a horrible mistake to leave. His dad sent him some Catholic videos about being a man (H has always been very very Catholic, the entire time I've known him he has gone to Mass every Sunday, until, surprise surprise, a couple of years ago he stopped unless he needed to take our Ds in for CCD) and he watched them and a couple things said in there really affected him and made him think about who he is and who he wants to be. Fundamentally he doesn't want to be a man who is a selfish liar.
(FWIW, I texted his mom yesterday to thank her for her support, tell her she should know she could always reach out to the kids through me and not feel like she needed to go through H. That I was very sorry but I felt I'd done everything humanly possible to give the girls a chance at a happy two-parent household but wasn't sure I could go through any more of this. Previously, I'd told her I was standing for our M. She didn't text me back for like half an hour and said she loved all of us, was at a loss for words, and continued to pray for a better resolution to all of this. It sounds like in that half hour gap she texted H that he was making a horrible mistake and his dad sent the videos over.)
He also talked about the MLC aspects of what had happened to him and the fears of not living the life he wants to live. He wants to work together to incorporate some of the things he felt I always prevented him from doing into M2.0. (He does have a point here, I was a b!tch about a lot of stuff.)
But, he understands if I don't want this, if I can't trust him, if I still want to D. It is my choice and I don't need to make it today.
I said OK. I need to think on all of this. It is a lot.
And there you go. He left to run some errands. I think I'm going to take a nap and not think about this for the afternoon.
Me (45) H (41) M:13 T:17, D8 & D10 4/19 BD #1 ILYB 8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA 12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA 2-5/20 R attempt #1 6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP 8/20-present R attempt #2