For us, the hard work looks like this:
MC, IC, talking talking talking talking, taking risks, getting outside our comfort zones to communicate and interact differently, being present in our relationship every moment.
We're in a much better place now than we have been for the last year. But here is an example of what my version of the hard work looked like yesterday:
I ran across The Letter while I was cleaning out a closet. This is the letter H wrote me where he came completely clean - detailing every lie he had told, correcting every misconception I had about the A due to his TT, filling in all the missing pieces of his A. I hadn't read it since the day he gave it to me. I decided to reread it, to see if the pain associated with those words had lessened at all.
Well, the pain had lessened, but it was HARD to read. H was at work. I wrote out all the pain I was feeling, and I thought long and hard about what was underlying those emotions. Then I took a break, and went about my day. Then later, I reread what I had written, changed some things, and thought about it some more. I gained some useful insight in thinking about all the emotions that we're bubbling to the surface. I took more breaks, then thought and wrote some more.
Finally, I sent what I had written to H. It was hard for him to read. I had plans last night, so he had a few hours to think about it and digest everything before I got home. When I got home, he asked me about what I was feeling, I freaked out for a few minutes, then got to a calmer place, and we had a great talk. It was a rough day, but I feel like we've turned another corner by dealing with some of those deeper issues head on.
The hard work for us is just DEALING with the pain, processing it, and connecting with each other.
I will add, though, that for probably 6 months, the hard work was just functioning, and doing the best I could to wrangle my emotions. I wasn't in a place to gain much insight while the pain was still so raw. During this time, the hard work was focusing on helping myself get stronger, and trying not to spontaneously combust, which is what I felt like was about to happen every minute. We were still reading, IC and MC, etc..., but just trying to connect to myself again was hard enough work for me for a long time.