Thanks Valeska, SamCal, Sage.

The GALing has been going well, even with barely leaving the house. I haven't pulled the trigger on the hotel room yet, mostly because we're still on total lockdown here and it just doesn't seem safe. So instead I behaved as I would if I were at a hotel. I slept in (my H hates this), I read my novel, I ordered take out instead of cooking (H picked it up). I played board games with the kids, watched a football game of my home team instead of H's, spent gift certificates I'd been saving up on me. I put away all my affair reading and post-nup research. I just put that all out of my mind as much as I could and focused on being OK, gratitude for the small things.

Taking a bit of a step back from H is really illuminating. He was quite uncomfortable with all of this. At one point we talked a little about his conversation with AP. I don't think he's going to reach out to do the clarifying thing, the crystal-clear "please never contact me again" statement-- he feels it was clear from the conversation that the door is closed on both sides. And he feels it is his work now to detach emotionally from AP such that even if she did reach out at some point in the future he wouldn't care, that another conversation with her wouldn't help him in that direction. Whatever. His choice, his life, and for me it simply means I have less confidence in this iteration of a reconciliation attempt than perhaps I would otherwise.

I indicated this, grabbed my computer and walked away (to do some online shopping). H stewed for a bit and then came out and said I'd ruined the morning. That he'd been in a good mood and now he wasn't. I asked why? He said, when I think you're upset or angry it makes me upset. I saw you grab your computer and I thought you were coming out here to journal (and presumably write out all the bad $hit I think about him). I said, no, I was spending a gift certificate online. But you should think about why that bothers you so much. What is that pit in your stomach telling you?

Then yesterday morning he came to me and said, I feel like you're second guessing staying with me. I feel like you're thinking you made the wrong choice. (I have told him, I'm here, for now, I don't have a lot of trust in you or in this process, but I'm not prepared at this moment to walk out the door or kick you out. I'm OK with just being, for awhile, and seeing where this goes, seeing if you do in fact do the things you've finally told me you want to do, from consciously and with intention detangling yourself emotionally from AP to demonstrating loving behaviors towards me. But I'm not ready to put my ring back on yet. (His is on.)

I didn't really respond. The truth is, of course, he's right. That I'd already been redecorating the office in my head, thinking I didn't need to worry about the screen doors and the kittens so much (H is a fanatic about those GD screens), thinking about freedom, about not needing to incorporate his needs/wishes/desires into our family decisions, about my future philanthropist H who adores me and shows me every day. Rather than this half-@ssed man standing in front of me who simply can't be that person for me right now.

He said, that makes me scared (Pommy!!). He feels that being here physically and making this choice is a big deal and that I shouldn't dismiss it and only focus on what he isn't doing or saying yet. That this is typical May, p!ssed because I'm getting a B right now and only an A+ is good enough for me. That we need to be able to sit in this place for awhile, he needs time to be sad and grieve not only AP but the life he imagined living. Which again, is such a GD fantasy it makes me angry to talk about and so I don't. But it is simply so ridiculous. Sage, it made me think about your sitch, and that your logical perspective is that of course your H and the OW can't be seriously thinking about making it work together... but maybe don't underestimate the power of the fantasy and just how unmoored it can be from reality.

He's really starting to wrestle with his identity and what it means for him to have done what he did in the context of staying. (Still so weird to me that the context matters so much.) He said he has a really hard time imagining totally reopening the emotional connection with me, being totally vulnerable, and then looking at the enormity of the betrayal and what it means that he did that... how can he even process that? I listened. I was not really able to validate (felt more like saying YEAH what does that mean and to me it means you do everything within your power to fix it, not navel-gaze and feel sorry for yourself). But, I listened and asked if he'd worked on that at all with his IC. He said he's been so focused in IC on his ambivalence and what to do that he hasn't really touched on any of this other stuff and he'd like to now.

Anyway... listening to him, I get it. He has a lot of work to do both in getting over AP and in understanding his own behaviors and identity, and that work all has to take place before we are even remotely in a position to consider rebuilding our M. But I also have healing to do, anger and sadness and grief and how to process this betrayal from the one person I believed had my back no matter what.

It has felt to me all along that there were only two paths to healing for me-- one on my own where I can fully embrace that he is a fu%!kwit and I'm better off without him, and one where he is fully remorseful and crawling back on his hands and knees, ready to do whatever it takes, desperately back in love with me. This middle path is complicated for me and I can't quite see it, yet. Trying to continue to focus on me and sit in the moment without fast-forwarding in my head towards any particular destination.

SamCal, you're right in framing M1.0 as being over and not somewhere I'd like to go back to. There are parts of it, though, that I'm really grieving. The knowing in my heart that this person was the one I was going to grow old with.

Sage, he is trying. And trying differently than he did before, with a lot more honesty and transparency-- which is both positive but also hard in that he is categorically not going to say or do anything just because I wish it were so. It still feels a lot about him and what he needs right now and I'm not sure he has anything to give beyond what he's doing today. I'm still working on being OK with just being, in this moment.

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