Here is where I am at 2 1/2 years out:
* I haven't totally forgiven him. Not sure if that will ever happen. Having gotten an STD from his A makes this more difficult for me. A constant lifelong reminder. As of right now, I am on semi-annual visits to gyno for checks.
* I have let go of anger/hatred towards OW. Well mostly anyway. Yes, 'it' was predatory. Yes, 'it' waited a half-dozen years until I was sick. But have decided not to let 'it' take up space in my head anymore. Maybe I am finally moving towards indifference. Plus the knowledge that the karma bus has run 'it' over, backed up, and run over 'it' again has probably helped a bit too.
* I am focusing more on me. My healing, my needs, are foremost for me. The old funny-line "You can't fix stupid" kinda reminds me at times---I can't fix him. HE needs to do that for himself. HE has to own/want that one. HE has to face himself in the mirror daily and face the demons and destruction of his own making.
He is there for me and me for him. However, he needs to go down this path for his own healing. All I can do is provide a safe environment for him, and him provide the same for me. A fine balancing act that I have become accustomed to.
*Triggers, triggers, triggers. They are still there. However they do not paralyze me as they once did. I don't break down into a snotty mess anymore. They have become a dull ache now. Maybe it is the ADs or maybe I have just gotten used to them as a constant companion in this. Not really sure. Sometimes I still grieve a little for the life I 'thought' I had. But then I snap back and realize that will do nothing to help me move forward.
*ILYs. These are still difficult at times. He says them to me often now, like when we were first wed. I can't let the thinking of "Well if you love me why or how could you have done this to me" get a foothold. It took a lot of soul-searching to figure out if I still loved this man. Then I realized.....I'm still here. I am fighting for this. I never stopped loving him. He isn't perfect, but then again neither am I. But he IS here trying everything he can give right now to this reconciliation. To repair the damage he caused.
*Mind movies...ughhh. Mind movies still happen. But just as with triggers, they have become a dull ache in my heart. He is definitely more tuned in to when they are happening to me. If we need to stop, we stop. He gets that I do not want to have them. He is quick to comfort me when I am having one. I try to remember-- HE is with ME, it is just US, 'it' is irrelevant to our life moving forward.
* Vulnerability. This is a hard one. At one time, he was the one I was most vulnerable with. I mean, he is my husband. The one person in the world whom my guard was totally down for. The one who swore before God to love, honor, protect, and forsake all others for. But also the one I swore the same as well and also in sickness and in health. Now I know his FOO issue and the mental break that was 30+ years in the making. How to get this self=protective wall to come down that was built after DDay. Now that my illness has recurred. This time requiring a surgery and making me even more vulnerable than ever before. It took me agonizing weeks to finally give the doc the okay for this procedure. But then I realized---it is not my illness that opened the door to his A. It was his issues, be it what they are. He had been hit on before by women, but it was never given a second thought. He is working in ICC to dig and find out why he collapsed and gave in when he never had a thought of doing so ever before. I have to let control over this go. If he were to cheat again , he knows very well there will not be another chance. I am not a guard, or God help me, his mother . Worrying or waiting for another A, that does me no good. He knows the consequences, so I have to let go of being an ever vigilant watchdog. Once again, be vulnerable, be willing, be open to him. Put the wall where it truly belongs, around us....not just around me.
So, there it is. This is where I am almost 2 1/2 years into this roller-coaster ride. What most veteran SIers say is true about TIME. It does help. So does having a remorseful and willing WS. One that owns their $hitstorm and is not afraid to get their hands dirty to work at cleaning up the damage in the aftermath. Without that, I don't believe I would be at the point I am today.
[This message edited by tryin2havefaith at 4:43 PM, May 20th (Monday)]