Thanks Blu, Unchien.

Unchien, I think you're right on in that I do need some space to process and I am feeling pressure to make a move on here, like yesterday, and WTF is wrong with me for not already doing it. I must be afraid, I must have no self-worth or self-respect, I'm using my children as an excuse, I'm willfully blind to my H's continuing transgressions. I *feel* the frustration with me coming across from some posters, and I get it. I really do.

But it isn't helping me right now. It is pushing me backwards, I think. And right now I need to feel the freedom to focus on me and what I want, not what other people think is best for me, or what other people would do in my situation, or EVEN what I might advise someone else in my same situation.

Blu, I think you are right on in that all our situations are different in a thousand ways. You're someone who has really helped me see that-- that we have different boundaries and values and bright lines. For me, where I stand today (recognizing this could change), I could never, ever see my way to allowing my H back into my life and my home if he left to go live with another woman. But when I look at you and your situation, I don't think-- wow, she must have no self- respect to be with a man who walked out on her and their family. I think, from what I know of you, you are incredibly thoughtful and empathetic and smart and giving. You are quite literally risking your life to care for others and have been for months. You spend time to come to these forums to help other people and do it in a more thoughtful and empathetic way than any of the other vets. You're not just pushing your own experience. You're trying to put yourself in the poster's shoes and figure out the best way to help them see more of what is happening, even when that is really hard for them. (me.) I am beyond grateful for all you have done and continue to do to support me.

To me, I see your R with your H and I think-- I admire you, so much, for being the bigger person, for forgiving your H and rebuilding your family and MR even after he did such an awful and horrible thing to you and your children. To me, what your H did is a million times worse than what my H did. It is unforgivable. That is how I feel and I know I could change that with time, but that is where I am and where I've been for more than a year, now. I hope I don't come across as judgmental or anything. And I know it was really important for you to see your H as almost a new person, someone who was 100% remorseful and ready to do the hard work to change before you allowed him back into your life. If it were me in that same situation, I can't actually see taking my H back even under those circumstances, but if I did, he would have to crawl on his hands and knees and prove to me over a long, long period of time that it would be worth it to even consider the remotest possibility of forgiving him. So, I think I do understand how it feels to say NO, this is enough. For me, that line is leaving, and he hasn't crossed that yet. I know that for you and for many others here, you don't see much of a difference between the A and leaving. I do. Maybe it is only because it hasn't happened yet. But to ME, it is categorically different.

The sharing of the memory box-- I actually don't see that as crossing my true boundary, which is hearing about how he feels about her. He was very careful not to do that. He did, finally, what I have been asking for over a year. I know I've said here, I've said to H, I've said to the MC, I've said to my IC... I WANT TO KNOW. I am a person who wants to know the truth even if it is painful. He went through every fact and figure and place that I wanted to know about. I obviously got a taste of how he felt about her from the love notes but he didn't say it to me. He spoke in the past tense. He did it while quite literally throwing it all away into the garbage. He was totally transparent. His eyes, his demeanor, his body language were miles away from how it has been in the past when we've had these conversations. He was open and engaged and willing, not hunched and brows low and sulky. He checked over and over to ask how I was doing, was I ok, did I want him to continue. He said I am telling you this because I want to stay together. Because I never thought you needed to know these things if we split. And I'm telling you now also knowing that this could be the straw that breaks the camel's back, knowing that it might be too much, too many lies, for you to ever believe me again. But I am telling you as a sign of my intention to be here, with you, in this M.

So, for me, I don't see it as him trampling on my boundaries. It was exactly what I have asked for for more than a year. And... I feel so much more at peace about all of it. It is weird, honestly, and I'm going to talk with my IC today about why this disclosure left me feeling much more peaceful and with a lot less anger. It may have been the context-- throwing it all away as we spoke-- but I feel far better about all of it than I did before we went through that little exercise.

The choice to ask him to leave is a big, big decision for me. And not one I can make easily. To me, the most important part of all of this is coming through with my sense of self intact. That no matter how my H behaved, I acted with integrity, honesty, and put my children's best interests first, always. (yes, I recognize that putting the children first may entail putting me first so that I can be the best mom I can be to them. I am measuring that every day.)

xx thank you all, honestly, for being there for me, even (especially) when I push back. xx

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