That's what I felt too. And I still feel like DD and I have this stigma now, or aura of failure about us by being so rejected and replaced.
I hear all the psychology and "it's not you" talk and sometimes can fathom it.
FWIW, people who hear that I finally filed the papers are starting to come quietly and slowly forward and say they are "Sorry and Proud" of me. Even inlaws have said it shouldn't have gone down the way it did and showed support, but esp. my family friends and even parents of school friends of DD have patted me on the back. Some have offered tremendous support in their own time of illness or hurt.
So for Hurt, you sound soo much like me. I'm still afraid, but chugging along the road to D even as we type. It's one of the scariest things I've ever done and nothing known or concrete is on the other side.
Now Perv tells me one thing and his lawyer tells me another, but I hold a few things near and dear to my heart and I hope they will help you:
-I Did it! I didn't roll over and let that man do it too me, even though I fought so hard and wanted M. I did it.
-I didn't let him walk on me and it will go down in history with me as "Plaintiff" and not him.
-I didn't sit and wait any longer but took control over what I could.
I feel a tiny bit of self respect coming back and other things are happening. People are seeing me as a person and not part of a couple and overshadowed by him. People are getting to know me and it's pretty amazing.
It's lonely as hell and all the strength and money I can find, but I did it. I faced it and am not a "mrs" anymore, but maybe there's more to life than being married to a dirty, foul man?
When I am stronger, I am starting to wonder what's out in the world that I've been missing. I want to live, I want to travel, I want to breath. I want to get off this mountain and be part of this world.
One thing that moved me like a mountain was allowing myself to wonder what it would really be like.
And I had to learn for myself that it was a dead marriage if Perv was not even here and ...all the awful stuff he's been doing.
Your WH, Hurt, is already living his own life if he's off on craigslist, as Perv was, but not telling us.
I had to also learn that I wasn't being fair to me, my own self and I was actually allowing the behavior. Uggh.
Believe it or not, there are people on "the other side" and one thing I do is play a game-I spend time recalling anything I can think of that I knew or was in my life before that man. It was 20 years ago, but the very first thing that came to me was, the sun.
And I am going back to some of those enjoyments or looked up old friends and finding new activities that have nothing to do with the memories or person.
I'm sorry to write so long and wish you well, for those are my shoes, too. I feel fear and grief every day and every night, but somehow am still living. I am searching always for things that matter and realize that only a few things and one person in my life changed, but now, at long last, I can take back some control over my very own life and live for me.
I hope the same for you, as well as peace and clarity in the days to come.Ashland 13
The only thing that stays the same, is change. -M. Etheridge