One of the other things I figured out is that I have put up a roadblock in our reconcilliation because I want my SO to do something I guess he's just not ready for. I want him to admit, apologize for, and then do some wayward kind of work, that he cheated on me too. That even though he never got a response to those OLD hits and never actually went out with the woman he asked out while we were figure shit out, he cheated. He attempted to. He was unfaithful in his heart and mind, even if it was never physical. I guess at this point all I can do is keep trying to get myself to grow up, step up and get better. But, when I feel sorry for myself and angry, the thought of this makes me take two steps back.
Part of why I chose to cheat is because I crave attention.
That was part of it for me too. Being the youngest of a large family, my parents' attention was understandably stretched thin. Add to that, at the age of six, I was thrown into the middle of about 500 strangers (that was part of my rather unique FOO issues) so what attention was available was stretched even further.
I craved attention from anyone that would give it to me, not just my H. From that background came the sense of entitlement. I deserved the attention I hadn't had as a child.
It's a good start but it's only a start. The fact that you acknowledge and accept this about yourself, that you think any attention, positive or negative, is a good thing sheds light into the darkness that's inside us.
You can help your SO heal by accepting that his timeline for healing is not yours. You'll both heal on your own time. Don't push. When he's ready, he'll let you know.
All affairs are variations on a theme. No one has 'Beethoven's 5th' to everyone else's 'Chopsticks'.
What were the circumstances surrounding your BH going onto OLD sites? Was he done with the M at that time? Was it retribution? Is it just a matter of you and him not being able to understand where the other was at during that time?
Communication is for certain one of our biggest issues. I get mad, really easily. I am aware of how ridiculous a lot of my anger is. Even in the heat of the moment, I am thinking "dear Lord, this is so dumb!" I think I'm getting better about it, sometimes. Other times, not so much. Anyway, my SO is a "stuffer". He admits this. He holds things in until he just explodes. Recently, he's decided what my response is going to be in his head and figures that if we discuss things I'll get angry so he doesn't discuss, he just waits til it's about to happen and tells me it's going to happen. Which makes me angry...These are things we are working on in MC.
I think, Clarissa, you are right. I just want things to be ok, better, or what have you right now. It takes time and work and the healing just won't happen overnight. I guess what I'm saying is that I think the healing could be faster if both he and I are super honest in what has gone on in our relationship and both do the work of a madhatter. For truth, I am slacking in my IC...as in, I no longer have one and have not done much about finding a new one. My SO gave me a card to call someone. I just have to do it.
Another thing WS must accept is that the marriage/relationship will not be the same, regardless of outcome. By our choice to have an A, we killed the one we had. It's dead and there is no resuscitating it. However, if R is attempted, the opportunity to build a different relationship is there. One that's healthier since both partners know where the weak spots are, know what needs torn down and rebuilt and where the walls and windows need to be.
But one thing to keep in mind is, regardless of how strong the new relationship is there will always be the stain of the A present. That's one thing that will be built in no matter what. It will always be there. However that doesn't mean it has to be a weak spot. Through consistent work we can shore it up so it doesn't compromise the stability of the relationship.
As for communication, it has to be both ways. I understand getting sngry over what is essentially stupid shit and I'm something of a stuffer myself. I was taught from an early age to keep my temper under control. Which I took to mean I wasn't allowed to get angry.
One thing that might help you is, net time you have the thought "WTF am I pissed about? This is stupid!" is say it out loud. Just stop and say "It's stupid to be pissed about this." It'll break the tension and make you think about why you're actually angry.
With your SO you could help him by letting him know it's safe to share his feelings with you. That's why I'm a bit of a stuffer myself. I didn't feel safe sharing them with anyone for fear of dismissal, that my feelings didn't matter to anyone but me. That led to stuffing them then getting angry because I "had to" stuff them which led to stuffing that anger and so on. Vicious cycle which eventually led to a total meltdown where the stupidest thing set me off. Now, I feel safer sharing what I feel with my H because I know he won't just dismiss them as being of no importance or of having no relevance.
One last thing to keep in mind. R takes a lot of patience on both sides. Your SO needs to be patience with you as you work on your issues and repair your brokenness and you need to be patient with your SO as he processes this hell you put him in. Neither of you should try to rush either process. It will happen when (or if) it happens.