Meanwhile, I did find the text of the Dry Adultery Part Deux, which I had saved. It was posted by Uncertainone:
I had posted something about this a while ago. I've seen some post here wanting to save their marriage, relationship, but not often themselves. "What can I do?, what should I say, how do I help, fix, prove?!?, I get it now, I see it. I know now what I want".
All good questions, all great reassuring statements. Then often, poof. They're gone. Their marriage over or things aren't better fast enough. They may not have another affair. They're a dry adulterer. Just like a dry drunk may never have another drink yet not ever be sober.
There's so much more to healing from the choice to have an affair than never cheating again. You need to develop and grow spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Without the digging and the work, that initial guilt and shame that seemed so fresh and brutal fades.
The marriage you were terrified you lost seems to be at least temporarily saved and now those changes you committed to become stifling and confining. "I'm not a child, I have been good, I haven't lied lately, about anything like that". Your BS that you viewed as the love of your life, how could you have not seen it, is now jailer, parent, nag. "Will they ever trust me, get over this? It's been (fill in the length of time) I've done everything I could".
Nope. You haven't even started. You're still impulsive, discontented, restless, selfish, and now you have a healthy dose of judgmental and critical tossed in because you get it. You don't do that stuff anymore like those idiots. You have morals. You are now a finger pointer at those losers who can't get it together. In one word, insufferable.
You've never dealt what the affair caused you to lose and what it meant. Your escape, your validation, your holes, your boredom, your ego, your attention habit, unresolved FOO issues. All those toxic dysfunctions still alive and well but not having a secret,a person, people, ready and waiting when you slip away to fill, assuage, stroke, feed you. Now you have depression, numbness, just a hint of tapped down rage that echoes with a sharp remark or silence. Withdrawing, detaching, distancing.
You are in a full blown affair again, without the other person. No fixes, no health, no growth. Not fucking someone else mentally or physically is not being faithful.
There are no short cuts. Do the work. Get healthy mentally, emotionally, physically. The initial pain is what so many mistake for a wake up. It isn't always. It takes consistent focus and progress.
Make goals. As you achieve, high five yourself, pick the next one. Make them realistic. If you've never told the truth in conflict don't pick I will never lie again. It's not realistic. Pick I will think about something before I say it. When you fail, fess up immediately.
No contact. No mental contact. That doesn't mean no thoughts will come but don't obsess and daydream.
Transparency isn't a punishment for cheating. It's the only way to love an authentic life.
Honesty is not an option.
Don't just profess your love, live it. Songs are changed, tv shows are paused and addressed. Hugs aren't ended by you. Conversations aren't started by them. You don't ask if you can go out with the boys/girls. You know. You say no thank you and don't run home to tell your spouse how "good" you were. You're an adult, not a child.
Live your remorse. Carry your own water. Self sooth.
Embody your potential rather than just referencing that you have it.