This is the decision that all of us BSs have to make, & it is not an easy one.
You don't mention if there are children involved---many BSs try to R to keep the family together ( I did, & at this point it is going well)---but I would never have gone back with a cheater if there were no kids involved.
Good luck with this, & sending you strength
What is a M ? Any M ? Two different people coming together to share a life and work out their differences. Is that part really any different ? Are the changes on his side positive or negative ? Therein lies your answer. You can be D for the rest of your life if that is what you want, what is the harm in trying a "second M?" Start out like you are dating again. Ask that if your H wants you to heal it is important that puts effort into winning you over, just like he did when you were dating. It also helps solve the self image problem too. At the same time wok on validating yourself, so it is nice to have the "extra" validation, but is not required for your own happiness.
Your behavior has changed, but has your core values really changed that much ? Core values are harder to change than behavior. Behavior is something within your control. Events come into our lives that push our behavior one way or another. The trick is to stick to your core values.
I can see that my behavior has mostly come back to good old self. I am still happy, but I don't rely on validation from others anymore.
For example, I used to spend lots of money on work out clothes. Why ? It made me appear like I belong there and people often commented on my appearance. It made me feel good and more likely to chat with them. At the end of the day, do I really want to waste my precious time on this earth talking to people that are only concerned about what is on the surface ? The answer was/is no. Why do I care so much about what other people think, etc.
Try working through that for some time. Go to the store without makeup. Pay attention to how people react. Make sure to separate reactions to a change in behavior to people that know you. Explain to them (not about the A, but say it is a person improvement project ahead of the new year).
As far as the grass is greener thing, is it preferable to be with the devil you know or the devil you don't ?
Your H, if he is remorseful, has really motivation to make changes that you would like to see in a partner. Someone new may not be. Statistically they are just as likely to cheat, even more so if you consider that they may not have had the painful growth experiences and consequences your H has had. He almost lost his M once. Almost losing something makes you appreciate it it more. A powerful motivator.
Hold your H accountable, ask for what you need and negotiate what you NEED (versus want) in a new M. If you want a date night every week, go for it.
DS 1, DD 6
Dday 8/31/11. ONS that occurred 3 years earlier. Lied to for 3 years.
Every truth comes to light in a long enough timeline.
I believe that events / circumstances can happen and we can choose to allow them to change us.
I pray every day that I can not allow my circumstances (which are sometimes out of my control) to determine who I am.
I wish you peace.
I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy
There's always a very small risk, with I think anyone you're with, that you will be cheated on. However, this risk could be vanishingly small if he/she is a good person and you have a good relationship. We live with risk every day, anyway. We could get hit by a bus.
With that said, I felt like my feelings weren't respected..That was the overriding problem in our marriage from my point of view..I stood up for myself on the various issues, but over the years I developed a resentment..
Fast forward to D day # 2, and false R for 2 years, I am now looking at D.....I don't love my WH enough to R a second time and he is un remorseful...D for me means dividing 1/2 of what I worked a lifetime for..
I had planned on living off of my pension when I was too old or unhealthy to work.. My pension, if divided, would not be enough to live off of without coming out of retirement and going back to work..
Why do I tell this story?
IMHO if one takes the risk to R with his/ her WS, one MUST protect himself / herself first...
To be honest, ANYBODY who lives life with a partner must protect himself or herself
Strengthen outside friendships, strengthen self to a place of being comfortable living alone, being alone...
Learn what soothes and comforts/distracts you during the bad times..
Have the resources tucked away so you will be able to live well on your own when or if needed..
Do this for the rest of your life even while living within a marriage..
Being prepared to live well on your own can give you the peace of mind that you won't HAVE to stay in the marriage for any other reason than love and trust..
[This message edited by doggiediva at 10:34 AM, December 26th (Thursday)]
But.. you know, perhaps that leads to bad personal growth outcomes, too, and maybe that's not a healthy thing to do even if you COULD trust someone completely.