180 is so darn hard. I'm having withdrawal symptoms from being in contact with him, so there is pain with that, but you know what I find? That kind of pain I can trust, where the pain I get from him can come from nowhere...or anywhere...I find hard 180 safer for my emotional being, FWIW.
I had a terrible time at the beginning, but was not given the real truth and had to find it out myself (OW's existence and the other cheating). It was kind of like an addiction, to hear from him when he first abandoned us, and simply to know if he was physically all right made me an emotional wreck until I heard from him every day at least once...like, he wasn't dead.
Now, it's him contacting more, just for money and kid things and I have to confess to having a lot of pride in that area. It's been a real battle but worth the effort and suffering to protect myself.
I hope you'll get there at some point, Brokenhearted.
I understand your lonliness, for I live it day and night, but you know, I think to myself sometimes, that no one can hurt me right now. No one can hurt my daughter right now, though we still suffer at his hands from the initial things. We can control our universe and only let in our bubble who we want to.
Legal separation I've heard of but don't know a lot about. I think it's putting boundaries on both of your lives and saying that you aren't together as husband and wife but also aren't going through a divorce process. It may put boundaries on money or child visitation if you have them.
I wish you well and hope peace will come so you can make some decisions. It's a long journey.
A person is a person, no matter how small. -Dr. Suess
Perserverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.