I came to these boards May 2011 when I thought my world was falling apart. During the next 2 years the people here were supportive and sharing. I didn't post often, but when I did, the advice I received always made me think twice before I acted. Through my journey I stayed true to myself with my goal being to come out of this situation better, not broken or bitter.
I tried no less than 6 times to R with xWH for the the sake of our family. I was willing to do anything it took to give my children the family they deserved. I was even willing to sacrifice part of myself in order to do this. In the end, I couldn't do it. During our non-R times, I found myself again. I found the person I was before the A came into my life to destroy my marriage. I found the person I was when I first married and xWH and I shared a 3 year honeymoon. I found the person I like again.
In finding myself again, I realized, that the person I liked was actually a threat to xWH because of his own insecurities. xWH didn't like feeling in competition with me....I never was broken, I didn't need fixing, I was confident and happy and optimistic. All the things my broken xWH wasn't anymore. xWH found his solace in mOW because she was a bigger basket of crazy broken selfishness than he was. On our last round of R, I told xWH that he had to decide what he wanted out of life because I am who I am and I didn't plan to lose myself again. I would go to counseling with him and rebuild our M but he needed to be there with me. I wasn't going to try to "Fix" what we had because it was the two of us that broke, not our marriage. He chose to take the easy way out and went back to now-divorced OW.
Our D was finalized in May 2013. I have full placement of our children and he has reasonable time/reasconable notice time with them. I bought my own home. xWH fired me from his company where I worked for 12 years and that is the only stressor in my life right now...my unemployment. Other than that I am happy. My children are doing wonderful and although they wish they had a normal family, we are all learning that our "new" family is just as loving and supportive and fun. I have some wonderful friends that are there for me and my children. I have control of my own life and a future of possibilities. It's not the future I chose, but it is all mine and I plan to make it a happy one.
xWH is still with OW. They live together. I have not spoken to her (we were friends) or spoken her name since I learned of the A. I took the high road and never confronted her face to face. I did warn xWH to keep her out of my space when he dragged her to the childrens' events. She is mildly afraid of me so she stays away and won't even look my way. I like it like that. She is around my children, but more as a fixture. None of the children see her as anything more. They prefer one-on-one time with their dad, but accept her to be around. There is no doubt she is not me. The kids get irritated when she tries to copy my ways. I know she will not hurt them. Whether it's out of fear of me or xWH, I don't know. I do know she doesn't like how much time they take from xWH and she doesn't like him putting them before her. Ironically, he doesn't spend much time with them, so she really has nothing to complain about.
xWH is not a happy man. His face is usually pinched and strained. They do not have a good relationship...xWH and I discussed it recently when he tried, again, to leave her. I feel sorry for him, but remind myself this life is his choosing. We still argue over dumb stuff. He still tries to control my life and when he can't do that he tries to control the kids' lives. Other times we argue because he wants to tear me down. He isn't happy and the fact that I am pushes him to attack me on personal levels. He's attacked my looks and my parenting and more. Both of which were qualities he always highly praised and as recent as the day of our divorce, he complimented me on both. I've figured out his game. He pushed for the divorce, but he's never fully let me go. He knows I can take it and will not retaliate in the juvenile way OW does. He's a shell of the man I married.
A part of me will always love xWH. He is the father of our children and loves them as much as I do. I pray for him....pray that he finds a way to heal himself. I know deep inside there is still a good man. OW sucks the good out of him and drains him which adds to his brokenness. Someday, when he does find himself again, I hope we can be friends.
The moral of my long story is there is happiness after A. My life isn't perfect, but I have what is most important...my children and myself. With those two things, I see only good things on the horizon for us. If I am lucky enough to fall in love again, I will do it differently. But, I'm not even looking for that right now. For now, I am happy being a me. :-)