I am new to SI, how I wish I would have known about this sight 4 years ago on my DDay. Ever since I would consider my wife and I fully reconciled, which is just a few months ago, I have really been wanting to help others. So here are a few things I learned though my experience that I wish I had know back then.
When I first learned of my Wife's A I had the attitude of ok I know about it now so stop and lets move forward. In my mind we were still in love and it was still just us. It took me months to realize her emotional attachment or even addiction you may call it to the OM. I find through my experience and others it is almost impossible for the WS to go NC immediately. If you are truly wanting to R you must be prepared for them to break the NC, it is going to happen. No matter how much the WS wants to do right there are just to many triggers.
Before R can truly begin the WS has to be completely over the affair. This is why this process takes years and not months. There are so many steps that take time. It took my wife at least a year before I could actually see change and new she was over the affair. As a BS I would always wonder how long it would take before I went a day without thinking about it. But something more important, how long is going to take the WS before they don't think about the OP.
It is so hard to understand the range of emotions we go through. I would need my wife close to me and then when she got there I would pull away. You love them will all your heart but hate what they have done to you and your family at the same time. Both need to be prepared for this. Once my wife was truly over the affair she fully committed to me no matter how hard. She was over the affair long before I was. I was miserable but she never gave up. She used to tell me, we may be miserable for ever but I will never give up and divorce is not an option. I thank her now for that, without that attitude from the WS I think nobody can ever really heal and move forward.
Years and hard work. Affairs don't just fix them selves. We would have just lived together if we both at some point didn't fully commit back to each other. It is hard, very hard but it can happen. It takes both of you, I learned it wasn't just my wife that needed to fix herself. After two years of living a miserable existence, I saw the changes she made and picked myself up and fully committed back to the marriage. It took two more years after that before I felt true love for her again. There were so many times in the first couple of years I thought why am I still here, I can't live like this forever. But once we both fully committed back to the marriage true healing started.
What I wish I had known before the affair, marriage is hard. We are all human and make mistakes. Understand situations that you should not be in and stop them before anything happens. We talk about this a lot now, we will all be in situations in our lives that could lead to bad outcomes. Know them when you see them, communicate them to your spouse. Always work at staying connected and honest in your marriage, it takes work.