Ginger, these are good questions that have been posed to me before-- in fact, I was just looking at my notes on my phone and those same questions are there. What do I want for myself in a partner? I want basically a combination of the H I have now (well not at this exact minute, but I had in the spring) in terms of a partner, co-parent, thought partner, etc. It was weird to me that if I hadn't started wanting sex again, the H I had all spring was perfect, thoughtful, funny, doing his half or more of the day-to-day work around the around the house-- all my old beefs were gone. Plus, the H I had before the SSM started, who loved me more than anything in the world, would do anything for me, was romantic and kind and adoring and wrote me a letter every single day when he was deployed. Who always let me know I was his priority. And (since we're dreaming here) a more fulfilling sexual relationship and stronger communication than we had in the past. Not taking each other for granted. In general, outside of the children? I want trust. Respect. Love. Travel. Cooking. Learning new things. Laughing. Having FUN every day. Inside jokes. That's a start, at least.

Scout, thank you for this. H actually said to me the other night that I kept making threats and then not following up on them. I asked what he meant and he couldn't think of one except me saying I want to get divorced at a number of points throughout this and then of course we aren't divorced yet. I want to re-read through my threads and see where those little boundaries have been crossed... I know that I've been $hit at boundaries until more recently, but my IC just said yesterday that she thought I'd been doing a lot better in sticking to my boundaries now than a month ago, and that enforcing is a lot easier than establishing. I feel a little confused because both of you only know what I tell you and I don't think I say anything differently here as I do to my IC... so I need to think on this more. I know from back in January my main boundaries were I wouldn't work on our M with a third party in the picture and I wouldn't be friends if we Ded. I have obviously still been living with him with a third party in the picture both back in January and then again in June/July (and this past week), but we haven't also been working on our R during those times (MC, etc.) I guess in my head I would have booted him out the second he reengaged in June, and I didn't. But, my boundary was not that I wouldn't live with him, but that I wouldn't work on our relationship in any direction. Anyway, I welcome more thoughts on this.

And to your analogy... I know I'm nowhere near as good of a swimmer as you are, but I'm not bad, and all along I've said I'll swim through the deepest, most shark-infested parts if it reduces the impact on my kids. If there's a chance that we can actually rebuild our M without bringing the children into it, I will fight for that chance. Every time. Knowing it will be harder on me and the odds of success are low. And I'm not yet to the point of believing it is better for the children for us to S regardless.

I really am, though, trying to take focus off of him and put it back on me. I promise. smile

She called him today to follow up on their text exchange, and he said it was done, over. He went through the whole conversation with me. I'm not sure if I'm satisfied. Maybe I never can be satisfied, I'll never be able to trust that this is really it. I don't know. I told him I'm not ready to put my rings back on and I still wasn't sure if it it was enough for me to recommit. I need to think on it.

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