MJane.....it took my wife almost a year to find remorse and feel compassion. Dreadful year. 6 months of TT'ing, lies and morning the loss of her relationship to the AP. So I kinda get what you might be feeling at 9 months out.
Honestly, that first 2 months I chose some pretty dreadful choices that prolonged my pain and suffering and enabled my wife to continue down her destructive path.
Divorced parents here.....Dad totally disappeared after D. I was 12. Abandonment fears were born!
IC helped me work through what I was doing, opened my eyes to who I was/am, and guided me through to healthier choices. I did all of that with little to no help from my wife. That first 12 months were the worst of my life. Period. End of story.
BUT BUT BUT!!!! That was the start of my healing.
It was if I was breaking sod and planting seeds....growing a crop in a field that was mostly weeds. Had been weeds for decades. It was a lot of dirty, sweaty work. It would have been nice to have a spouse sweating next to you....but then I don't think I could have grown stronger as I did.
I had MANY MANY moments of wanting to quit.
My healing really started about 3 months after DD. That is when I gave up my disgraceful codependent ways. I did this kicking and screaming!!! (my poor therapist really earned her money!!!) I finally accepted that my wifes decision to choose adultery was her decision to kill our original marriage. It was dead.
The energy I spent trying to revive that old M was then able to be diverted internally...to the work and healing I needed to do.
7-9 months out is when I really found RAGE!
Have you had the rage-phase yet?
I so want to get power back and feel more like myself.
Gently...this is a flag to me. Power struggles are not healthy in a M. Check into the feelings under this. I get the powerless feeling....we were totally duped by our spouses, our children at high risk because of their selfish actions. Anger made me FEEL powerful...but feelings aren't facts. Fact is, we can't control other people. Fact is, a healthy marriage is a combining of individual power into one power source. Two become one. Fact is we retract when pain is applied. Fact is.....R is a gift. It spits in the face of what modern society tells us to do, it goes against our natural logic. R is not awarded, it is given (as all gifts are).
It is your choice to give or not give R to your husband. Similarly, he can choose to accept or not accept your gift of R.
22 months out now...and I can say with confidence that when I feel like my old self....it feels uncomfortable. But that first 9 months or so after my first DD....I was fighting so hard to keep that old self alive, that old M alive.
I don't believe in coincidences...so I must have had to have gone through that.
I still struggle with this thought though.....
"Did adultery really have to be a part of our relational history for us to change?"
I guess it did.
Change only happens when the pain of same exceeds the pain of change. I needed a tremendous amount of pain for me to change from my "same" to something new.
We were in ruts....repeatable cycles. Ruts are nothing more than graves with the ends kicked out.
Your husbands lack of ability to feel the pain he has caused (to himself, to you, to his family) is a blocker to him changing. It was a blocker to my wife changing. She had spent a lifetime of ignoring and denying her feelings...particularly her painful feelings....so it was a tremendous struggle for her to face the consequences of her actions.
FOO coping mechs are strong! Deeply imbedded!!!
We all have to make our own choices with regards to R or D.
I suggest you wait 12 months. Kind of a "we aren't divorcing" stance....period. Your husband has deeply wounded you. You have experienced trauma. Your husband has been traumatized too...he is just not as aware of it yet. The bull shit that is an affair relationship hides that fact. My wifes AP was into another affair within a month or two of dumping her....that "drug" will delay him facing the trauma he is causing (both for himself, his wife and his 5 kids).
Also, as my therapist reminds me, peoples threshold of change varies as do the process's by which they change. Just because Mr. MJane is not choosing his steps as you are doesn't mean he is not changing.
9 months out and he is still professing love for his OW is not good, but it is not out of the realm of normal post-WS syndrome (made up term by me...not full on fog, but a lingering avoidance). My wife avoided her AP early on not so much out of respect for me our our M, but because she was scared she would get back into relationship with him. Yeah, sucks to realize this...that my wife was actively and intentionally choosing another man, another relationship built on lies, deception and fantasy over her M to me and her role as a Mom to our girls. But that is what happened.
It happened because of her brokenness....her internal pain, internal fears.
That is where I found some compassion for her. I have internal pain, internal fears.
This is also where I find hope for her and us. I have changed. It is hard work but the harvest looks infinetly better over that which I was harvesting in my pre-A M.
I had to decide if adultery was a deal breaker. It was not.
I had to decide if I was really in a M that I wanted to be in pre-A. I was not.
Since adultery was not a deal breaker and my old M no longer looks good to me....I have seen fit to offer R to my wife and to set about changing what I can change.
Continue to heal and change what you identify within you. Your M WILL change....you will NOT be where you are today forever.
I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I am not where I was! --Joyce Meyers
A good friend of mine past away last year. He knew the end was near so he wrote a letter to us, his friends and family.
Here is what he said about marriage.
"You must believe in marriage. And believe it will work."
Had I NOT seen fit to change and changed over the past 22 months....would I not be unlike my wifes fAP? Would it not have been likely that I would repeat my part of the unhealthy, intimacy limiting cycles that were a part of my original M to my wife?
If I had D upon my DD or shortly their after....I would most likely have felt justified (adultery is a biblical reason for D) and very likely repeated my parents cycle. To this day one blames the other for their failed M.
Wife and I sooooooo didn't want to recreate the M we saw in our parents (her Dad also abandoned her, even before her parents D). To do that is taking more work and guidance then we ever thought. We had a marriage by default....we knew what we DIDN'T want.
Now we are trying to find and visualize what we DO want.
It is happening in our M now....but it has taken time plus work.
I have added you both to my SI prayer list.
This is tough. I have no direct answers...only my own experience to share.