You said you're in MC (marriage counselling) with your BH (betrayed husband) are you in any sort of IC (individual counselling)? Because the reasons for your A (affair) don't lie in your marriage, they lie in you.
It sounds like your marriage had some issues but I suggest exploring how and why your coping mechanisms that would normally allow you to cope with those issues, failed you. Please do not blame this all on your BH, you need to accept full responsibility for your decision to cheat.
The FAQ and articles in The Healing Library are a fantastic place to start (yellow, top left hand corner of the web page) and the book 'How to help your spouse heal from your affair' is essential reading.
There is also a thread on here 'things that every WS (wayward spouse) need to know', I'll bump it for you so you can take a look.
You have a long road ahead of you but it sounds like you're determined. Wishing you and your BH the best of luck.
[This message edited by BrokenButTrying at 3:36 PM, May 6th (Tuesday)]
My Ddays - Jan 2010 & 12/04/14
His Dday - 23/12/13
Chin up. Unwavering. Fight. I can do this.
What led to my vulnerability was my husband is OCPD
Bzzzt. Wrong. You made a choice to betray him. That was 100% on you.
we also need to work thru the emotional abuse that I'm trying to understand and come to terms with
The emotional abuse you inflicted on BH by cheating and lying? Or were you referring to something else?
How long were you M before the A? Did you know about the OCPD before you got M?
Many of us here presumed our spouses would leave us once the A was exposed. The better questions might be; why didn't you get a divorce before you started the EA and the kissing? Why did you have to go down that path? Because by choosing to have the A, were you hoping to not be the bad guy and letting your BH end the M on his terms? See...it's really some messed up thinking. Don't get me wrong...I did the same stuff.
I hope you find some answers here.
He withheld his love and positive emotions towards me. He has admitted that he felt if he told me that I was pretty or beautiful I might leave him. In the end I was not getting the emotional support that I needed from our marriage
I hear you. My BH did exactly the same, said exactly the same thing. He used to put me down and deliberately keep my confidence low so I would feel grateful to be with him and wouldn't leave him.
Thing is, it's still not the reason I cheated. It isn't yours either.
Your self esteem shouldn't be linked to what other people think of you. Your value and self worth should come from within. If it did, you wouldn't need external validation and wouldn't have gone looking for it outside your marriage, outside yourself.
I think it is very difficult for the WS to separate the problems in the M from the whole A thing. Yes, we know we cheated, we see too late that we inflicted almost unimaginable hurt, except that it is something our BS's don't have to imagine because they are experiencing it first hand. So, there are pre-A issues in the M. Fine. We get that. And that is something you two can hopefully work through. There is still work to do to figure out the things that BBT points out above. Why do you need the external validation?
You have a level of mess added to this since his OCPD is directly related to your self-esteem problems. How were you able to handle it earlier in your marriage? What finally snapped that you could no longer handle it and had to get involved with another man?
buried my feelings for so long I didn't recognize the hurt I was going through.
IMO, this is pointing towards your "why." And hopefully towards fixing you. Why weren't you able to stand up and say "I deserve better than this."
I know, I've BTDT. Instead of putting in the positive work of fixing the things around me, I took the quick fix of an A. Every day I wish I would have had the courage to speak up.
Lots of good stuff to read here. Good luck.