Five years ago this fall I introduced a dear girlfriend of mine to this site.
She had raised her children with a man she'd loved for decades. He changed. Became distant. She lived 5 hours away from me. We talked on the phone a lot. She did not want to believe that her H was cheating on her. But being well-versed in this subject matter, I told her to keep her eyes open. She did. She found condoms "sort of" hidden away.
He only ever admitted to an emotional affair. She buys that....or wants to buy that. Personally I doubt it.
I introduced her to this site. she posted for a few weeks, and read a lot of the materials and threads. I know it helped her a lot.
In any case the OW left her job (they worked together), and there was no more contact. But her WH did not want the marriage anymore. (were there others????...I think so, but sho knows).
A couple of weekends ago their lovely daughter got married. Lovely wedding. My dear friend "rocked", as she spoke at the reception. Her X didn't have the confidence to speak. Didn't matter. My friend spoke on behalf of both of them, and was eloquent, funny, graceful. And she looked like a hot tamale that night too :).
Him, on the other hand, did not have any friends there with him at the wedding but his girlfriend (not the one he cheated with,so that was fine). But ONE person on his side, other than family. My friend had a bunch of friends and their hubbies there.
She outgrew him. She had already outgrown him when they separated, but it was SO clear that she came out WAY ahead in this mess. And she desperately wanted to stay, at the time.
My friend was terrified five years ago. Had only worked part-time, in small town businesses, since she got married and moved to the country.
Now she has an excellent job, and neat apartment right on the lake, and a bunch of friends who love her like crazy.
So, if today you are where my friend Carol was, five years ago, realize that you CAN move on, and even do better.
Bursting in pride for my friend.