Thank you for answering my question. I am pleased the kids on either side don't know about your husbands A. I continue to believe this is the best course of action for our family as well...and am comforted by the fact that it is your choice of action as well, especially since you are in a small town too.
I, like you, never want to hurt a child. I am still shocked both my wife and her AP chose to endanger and hurt 7 kids through their selfish actions. Any WS that says that they didnt jeopardize the kids involved, didnt harm them in any way, is simply going to remain a WS for life.
You win the prize for BS of the year!
That is kind of you.....but
No way I could have set across from him and been able to eat.
....don't sell yourself short.
..it didn't ruin my evening or even put me in a bad mood.
YOU ALMOST DID EXACTLY WHAT I DID....just lacked food in front of you! You are doing great!
What would have happened to you if this same experience happened shortly after your DD? I am betting I know the answer...it would have ruined your event.
I am doing nothing more then other BS have before me...including you. This is a process. I am grateful that I have progressed to being able to do what I do when around the AP, because it will forever be a part of our life and there is a good chance that future run ins will happen...due to the "small town" thing.
Early on I wished for a great number of things that all BS wish for. Insane wishes really...things like I wish my wife never chose adultery, I wish she didnt give him head, I wish she didn't tell him she loved him, wished they had used protection, wish her AP wasnt such a prominent person in our community, wish he didn't drive a very common vehicle for our part of the world, etc. etc. etc.
This was a part of the process but, like some other parts of this, it was me holding onto a hope for a better past.
To be VERY sure....for 6 months when I was close to the AP if he so much as blinked in my direction I would have stomped his head into the ground until my boots felt earth! Yep, that is the truth...the ugly truth that blakesteele had to learn to live with. Never thought I could be so "ugly". I felt like a silver-back gorilla protecting his troop. Very immature, very primal, very understandable, and...eventually...very easy to accept that this was a part of me (that acceptance came from lots of IC work and praying! My rage took me 3 months to get in touch with....and, boy-howdy, did I get in touch with it!).
So don't think where you are at now is where you will be in the future....I can tell you even recognize your progress to date.
We may have had a bad start but we can choose to have a great finish!
I really noticed substantial change in me when I concentrated on being grateful.
I am grateful my wife did not get an STD...particularly the HPV thing, which I understand is a precursor to cancer.
I am grateful for our daughters...a blessing from God.
I am grateful for my job that allows income substantial enough for MC and IC to be an option for us.
I am grateful my wife found remorse at levels that are condusive to learn to R.
I am grateful for my health.
I am grateful much of the other parts of our lives are low-stress. (Job secure, debt gone, healthy spiritual life, no addictions)
My growth away from the "silver-back" mentality occured when I nurtured compassion. Compassion through acceptance and understanding.
I am accepting that I was not a "perfect" husband. That I did indeed do things that took intimacy out of our M. Accepting this caused me to look into the "whys" of those actions. Finding answers helped me identify parts that I needed to change, things I didnt know I needed to address. They were all things inside me. They were ugly things BUT I could control them...they were inside ME! I feel empowered by this fact, even though it is painfully ugly hard work...I can do it!
I am accepting that my wife is not "pure evil"....and, in fact, far from it. This is occurring via her openness and my refraining from getting angry and defensive as she shares things I don't really like to hear, but need to hear....things that need to be exposed and addressed.
I am accepting her AP has his own battles and struggles. Seeing him, his 5 kids, and his wife at the restaurant was very very sad for me to witness....not a word was spoken between him and his wife, his kids kinda did their own thing, she picked at her food, they both sat at 30 degree angles away from us in their seats. This part of my journey is made more difficult by his choice to find yet another woman to comitt adultery with, and reports that my wife was not his first taste of adultery....but, even with this information I am seeing my compassion growing for him...if for no other reason then how it is affecting his family. I pray for them as well.
To be sure, I dont feel sorry for him...dont feel sorry for my wife. That is not what compassion is...that is more like pity. Compassion to me is feeling the suffering of others. My wife and her AP made choices...the consequences of which are suffering. Without passing judgement I am learning to recognize suffering is suffering...and it generates compassion within me.
Please dont think the above description of my journey is linear...it is anything BUT linear. I still cry spontaneously and for no reason. I still question Gods will...pray for things as if I know better then He does what I "need". I still do hurtful things to my wife, I still struggle to stay in every moment while with our daughters....this is tough stuff.
14 months out and I can breath deeply again. Sometimes a couple of hours goes by that I don't think of what my M went through and what my M is today.
I had serious moments of temptation during the past 14 months....RA was a real hazard for me, and I was tempted to loosen one of the few boundaries I had throughout our marriage. My thoughts have not remained "pure" through this journey....
Whether your realize it or not, you are growing past your "silver back gorilla" phase.
I can tell by your well put together profile that you have all the introspective skills I have, and then some. They are serving you well...take peace in that.
TIME is a big part of this process.
Regardless....you are now a part of my specific SI member prayer list...a list that, sadly, continues to grow.
God be with us all.