Some questions for WS who had long-term affairs with intense emotional attachment and were able to recover.
My WW is having a great deal of difficulty severing for good all contact with the AP. I am trying to be patient with her, as she has finally acknowledged that she has deep emotional problems, will be starting intense therapy and new meds. She has moved back into the marital home with me and our young children.
I know so many of the hardliners on the forums will advise me to go NC and 180, but at this point she is really a broken woman who wants her family. I truly believe this. She is no longer seeing him but wants to spend all her time with me as she "does not trust her emotions." Meaning a big part of her craves the other life she built (at least in her mind) with the AP.
There are deeper issues involved here complicating matters. She was abandoned by her father as a young adolescent and associates strongly the AP with her father. Looks, personality, lifestyle. He meets those needs she lost from him. These needs were transferred to me when we met and over the course of eight years, but when the affair began she split those feelings, compartmentalizing her two lives utterly (the family life with me and the "single" life with him).
Now she is frightened of making that final leap and severing all contact. She claims she is afraid that she will not be able to get over not necessarily him, but the deeper feelings of letting go of the father figure, thus experiencing those feelings of abandonment all over again.
Again, I believe she really wants this to be over but is wrestling terribly with this final crucial leap.
I don't expect that any of you WS wherein the same exact situation necessarily, so I guess my questions are more universal:
If you were strongly emotionally tied to your AP but still loved utterly your spouse and knew that you belonged with your family, how did you cope with this after saying goodbye to your AP?
How did you transfer back to your spouse the feelings attached to the AP.
How bad was the withdrawal? (My WW fears the worst--a total emotional breakdown).
How long did it last?
Any advice on how I can help her get through this, and how she can help herself?
We love each other, but she is emotionally unstable to say the least. This has dredged up and has become tied to childhood issues so I am scared of the NC not"taking." And I cannot survive another false reconciliation.
Thank you in advance.