Hope everyone is doing well and healing here. I've been off for few months collecting thoughts, living life and as it turns out, moving on. Some things I came to grips with that maybe will help others in simliar situations:
1. She is never going to be the same person ever again. I got a strange email from her during a time when we were somewhat civil where she appologizes for hurting me and knows what she did was wrong. But she follows it with this:
You and I are just so different and I changed to be what I thought you wanted me to be. But I can tell you I was never truly myself when I was with you. I didn't think you would like the real me and I don't think you would like the real me now. We are so different. Someone can change for so long but eventually the real person comes out and the real me is not what you feel in love with...I'm so sorry I hurt you and broke your heart. I wish we could have had the happy ever after and I guess we could have if I would have tried harder to be someone I wasn't. I'm so sorry I hurt you...you didn't deserve that hurt.
So if I understand this, we were together 15+ years and you were never you. I just shake my head. Okay. Whatever.
She is getting married next month to the OM. I couldn't care less. Good luck.
2. She could really care less about me or what might be truly best for our kids. I have repeatedly asked her to re-examine the monthly payment I make her. It is a strain on me to pay her what I do because I already pay for the house that keeps the kids in school, the taxes that go with it, the health insurance, etc. Then I pay her on top of it. She doesn't need all I pay her. So I will cut my budget to make it work. It's a 5 year deal at this point, I just have to continue on. Lesson to all, stick to your guns when you can. I let my lawyer talk me into a deal I never liked even if in the eyes of the legal world here in PA it was a good deal. I was the one who had to live with it. The financial strain makes it very difficult for us to get along. I have no inclination to be nice to her or to help her out.
3. Look out for number 1. That means you and your kids if you have them. I battled, battled, battled to take care of things for my kids. Keeping the house was number one as it kept them in school and me in control of things for the most part. I wouldn't change my approach even now. I didn't spend enough time on me. Like other I lost a lot of weight, stopped eating, stopped working out. But I was thin and thought it would be good. But unhealthy. Now I workout at a CrossFit facilitiy, something my EW would not let me do (funny how she could have an affair at the gym but I couldn't even go to a gym). It has become my true therapy!
4. Don't rule out therapy. I did. I was the tough guy who was strong and could work through anything. Well maybe not. I was angry. A lot. Everything was being taken from me. Although I needed time to heal, I probably needed to vent to someone who could help me. I'm surely not healed still, but in a better place. I had an amazing network of friends to vent to, but part of me started to think "They are probably getting tired of hearing me complain, whine, etc.".
5. Get out and have your fun. I didn't concentrate on myself much early and I was busy in the whirlwind of what turned out to be a quick divorce. But I did go out and start dating which most here would say was a big no-no. In some ways it was too soon. In others it was not. This is a touchy subject that some have to make their own judgement calls on. Some of it depends on your intent and how serious you want to be. To some extent, enjoy your new found freedom, you deserve it. At the same time, find those things that make you happy. My two cents, nothing else. I also realized that my decisions for me can't make everyone happy. I was so worried about making others happy that I forgot about me. I'm going to make decisions others don't like and that is okay.
6. Live life, move on, know there will be pitfalls, etc. Fill in with your own favorite statement here. We hear this all the time here (oh yeah and "time" of course). Always good advice from the folks here. A wealth of experience and knowledge. I totally got to a point where I had to say "I need to stop worrying about her, what she is doing, what is going on with her". I needed to stop worring about her time with the kids. It is out of my control. If she screws up her life, not my problem. She won't screw up our kids life because I'll be on this end giving them security and stable lifestyle.
The first annivesary of my D-Day is coming up next week. It is on my calendar as a reminder of the worst day of my life. It also reminds me that is was the first day of my life. My better life. Here's to everyone here having that better life too.