Last thread: A day at a time

Recap: Very briefly, H had a two year long distance affair, came clean in January but very ambivalent, she might be the love of his life, blah blah blah. We're now a couple months into reconciliation attempt #3 (maybe 2.5, since I don't know if we should really count the trip we took in August when he was NC with AP as a reconciliation attempt-- more like a break from hostilities).

This time around does feel different in many ways. We got to the very edge of S/D. He found an apartment he really liked. We agreed in principle to the financial splits and custody (which he has still agreed to memorialize in a post-nup, but we haven't done yet). We were working on what to tell the children (D8 and D10, who have absolutely zero idea anything is wrong). Then, H said he got to the very precipice of D, needing to pull the trigger on the apartment, and realized he can't do it, he doesn't want to D.

He came clean with a number of final lies about their relationship, including the fact that he'd kept a box of memorabilia which he threw in the garbage in front of me. He said things I'd been waiting to hear for the past year, that he was choosing our M, he was making this decision of his own free will (said in the past he felt coerced as there had been some ultimatum-ish deadlines I'd laid out), he was going to actively work on getting over AP, could envision M2.0 with me, was going to show me by being loving, etc. He said he finally realized that his fantasy D situation (where we'd all be best friends) was never on offer, from either me or AP. It only existed in his head. He had a conversation with AP and is now NC and transparent (I have his passwords, etc.), and it has been that way for two months now. I do trust that he hasn't been in touch with her at all.

After that, he went through some big swings. He got a little manic and wanted to make some big purchases which I'm not comfortable with given where we are, though we did start a renovation of our MBR which he seems to think is symbolic of us restarting together. Then he reverted to a total a-hole, alien, angry and depressed version of himself for few weeks. He came out of that and started to really amp up the non-sexual PT (his LL) and acts of service (mine) which is weirding me out.

We don't talk about the R very much and I haven't been really interested in doing it or starting MC until I feel he's completely over the AP-- a boundary for me has been hearing anything about how he feels/felt about her as it makes me feel completely bonkers. This bothers him as he thinks I don't "see" him and understand what he was/is going through. (I feel like I don't need to hear anymore how hard it is for him. too bad, so sad it is hard for you to break up with your GD sidepiece.) I have learned through all of this that we have horrible to nonexistent boundaries between the two of us and he really needs/wants to dump all of his emotional processing onto me, which I'm not OK with any more. I also tend to let my anger and frustration out on him, which I'm trying to no longer do, but he is very sensitive to me even being quiet or withdrawn-- that seems to freak him out. We have talked recently about either carving out time each week to talk about the MR and where we are, or going back to MC. No actual decision on any of this yet.

Right now, he's frustrated that I can't tell him I trust him and believe him 100%. While he's made some progress in taking responsibility for his actions-- he no longer immediately leans on the SSM if it comes up, and if you ask him, he SAYS he's taking responsibility for what he did and is sorry-- but to me it seems shallow and not really enough. He has twisted himself into knots around what it means that he did this and if it was wholly bad then doesn't that mean he is just a bad person and unworthy of forgiveness, either forgiving himself or me forgiving him-- so keeps trying to justify his behavior in his head, mostly around the idea that I was the first one to mentally check out of the M through the SSM. I also have heard so much stuff from him about how much he loooooooved AP, plus the fact that we tried this before in the spring and after 3.5 months she called him up and he reverted immediately to wanting to leave again, that I'm not really feeling able quite yet to let my guard down and believe that she is really gone for good.

As for me, I have an enormous amount of anger, frustration, and sadness to process (which makes him feel uncomfortable). I have a ton of rage towards AP which I'm trying to let go of as I'd prefer not to let her take up any of my precious headspace. I also have a huge amount of anger towards H that I'm trying to process without letting it overwhelm me. Easier said than done, but where I am right now.

Why didn't I kick him to the curb when the PA came to light, or when he relapsed in the past, you might ask? To date, I have been unable to see myself as the one pulling the trigger on breaking up our marriage, even though I know he's the one who had the affair and I have really done all I could to save the M if it ended tomorrow. Five years from now, I want to know to my bones that I did all I could to save the M and give my children a two-parent household. I feel rage that H even put me in the position of needing to consider not waking up with my kids every morning and what that would be like, let alone actually living it. However, I want to get the post-nup signed and have promised myself that if he gets back in touch with her again, I'll immediately call my mom and my other best friend (one best friend already knows) and tell them what has happened. I feel that will start the momentum going enough to make it possible for me to kick him out, even though I'm absolutely terrified and sick about the effect it will have on the children.

I am scared to lean in and let myself trust that this is real this time, that she's really gone, he's really invested in the MR, and think I will feel this way until at least as much time as passed as did in the spring (3.5 months) before the relapse. He keeps saying that things are different this time-- we have total transparency which we didn't before, 100% NC which we didn't before, he is choosing the MR with his own free will rather than felt coerced as he did before, he looked at the reality of D and decided he doesn't want that rather than imagining how amazing it would be; he has let go of his fantasy D scenario, and finally FWIW he thinks she is also done with him given how long he d!cked her around, and the only chance he'd have with her, if one remained at all, would be he'd need to already be separated from me and in the D process. Personally I think that is a gross thing to tell your W but as those who have been following this thread know he has never minced words to spare my feelings. At least that *is* something I can lean on here.

So there we are. I don't consider us in piecing-- more like working through reconciliation.

Last edited by job; 11/13/20 02:37 PM. Reason: added link to previous thread and placed it at the top of page 1

Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
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
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2