I, too, am married to an adulterous addict--one I took back for all the wrong reasons, one who kept up the EA (unknown to me for months), one I love deeply but who could be left now because I am strong enough after much hard work and study and research and therapy and self-help.
The pain IS still there for me, too. I get teary probably every day. Maybe it's a post I read here; maybe it's something sweet that he says; maybe it's something insensitive that he says; maybe it's seeing something on TV or in a movie; maybe it's seeing another person's FB post. Life triggers me. Even moments I don't get teary, I still have a tight throat. Know what I mean by that? I'm sure you've felt it--just don't know the words to describe it. And, honestly, I think some version of that pain will be present forever. Regret for what might have been or for what shouldn't have happened.
Still, I find that I am happy. I feel happy overall. There's a whisper of doubt because my logical mind knows he's an addict who hasn't reached recovery yet. That worry is especially active when he leaves on business, but it's different from my gut. Worry happens; worry is second-guessing myself; worry is stressing about what I should be thinking/doing. My gut, though, has been so quiet lately. And it has NEVER been wrong.
Twice this week, because there's a work conference here in town, I've gone out to dinner with him and with men he works with. Last night, our table was 9 men and me. These men--scientists and engineers--are traveling from all over the country/world and are without their wives. Even so, he's asked me to come and to spend time with him and them. It tells me a lot about where he is right now: he loves me, he's proud of me, he enjoys spending time with me, he thinks I'll like his friends, he thinks they'll like me, we don't have to hire sitters anymore, etc. And it HAS been fun.
But I'm sharing that because of what one man said/saw. During the first get-together, earlier this week, he'd been drinking a lot. There were 25 people in this yard, so I was mingling, making new acquaintances, sharing smiles and glances with my WH, chatting. I hadn't talked with this gentleman until the very end. He made a comment about how my husband must be one of those guys who paid for a photo of a woman to frame and put on his desk, who paid for me to accompany him to company parties and pretend to be his wife. He meant it in a complimentary way to me. I know. But since my SLAWH DID pay for escorts, it stung just a bit.
That man's comments came up, in a pleasant enough manner the next day. His eyes got wide and he was horrified that he'd insinuated that. So at dinner the next night, he apologized as soon as I got there. And he kept watching me the whole night. At the end, he said he didn't get it, but that I absolutely adored my WH (and he, me), I glowed, I looked 10 years younger than my age (he couldn't even imagine I'd hit 40), and he loved my attitude about life.
So my happiness is obvious. It's real. It's hard-won. And I attribute it to several truths/practices: a google search that led me to SI, a determination to learn everything I could about what was happening to me/us, a religion I believe in wholeheartedly, a belief system that encourages repentance/forgiveness/acceptance, a new focus on self since the A surfaced, a therapist who didn't dump me when my insurance company changed and who has been seeing me pro bono, weekly, for 18 months now, a best friend who has stood by my side and supported me.
Does it help that my WH has been trying, too? Absolutely. But in that respect, I left him in the dust from Day 1. This has been MY metamorphosis. I have to life with myself the rest of my life and need to be worthy. Every action I take is with that end result in mind. Will I crumple if my WH falls off the wagon? Likely. For a day or a week or a month or so. But my backbone is (and was) made of steel. I'm strong. I can do it. I can do whatever needs to be done.
Sounds like you're there, too. There's just one more thing missing to get you to that happiness stage. What is it? I don't know. I wish I did. My inkling would be to focus more inwardly, more selfishly on you. Just a bit. Whatever is needed to get there. You owe it to yourself. You'll be your constant companion the rest of your life--whether that includes your fWH or not. Just keep searching and praying and meditating and reading and asking and researching to find ways to increase your joy. Honestly, now that I type that, I think part of it is the realization--through S-Anon attendance--that I can't control him. I control only myself. And I've funneled all that frustrated, pent-up energy (because it'd be nice to be able to "fix" him) into myself. Finally. I should've done it years ago.
You can do this. You've got it. You're past the worst of it and it just looks up from here. (((sri)))
[This message edited by RippedSoul at 1:26 PM, June 27th (Friday)]