At the same time, I find myself signing up for our couplehood in coming fall plans, family and friend and holiday events. Is that the main reason people Reconcile?
Wasn't my reason
Am I supposed to count my lucky stars that he wants to stay together? Is that real and valid? I don’t quite believe in it.
That's very good question and very good thinking. The ow affaired down with your H. He is damaged goods, even though you didn't realize it for 30 years. But wanting to stay together is one indicator that staying together is possible, if you want to, too.
From reading here it seems reconciliation is a long struggle and I suspect for us, I am the one who will do the main struggling.
Not necessarily. I've been happy for many years; my W is still working on her own pain.
I saw my W's A as a symptom of illness in her (not in our M), and I signed up to stay with her while she healed ('in sickness and in health'). I had to go through a lot of pain, but after 6 months (your timeline may be different), we started to have good days together. So it was a long struggle, but life kept getting better during it, and eventually it became joyful. Besides, M - living one's life with another person - has elements of struggle anyway, because we don't always want the same thing.
I R'ed for these reasons:
1) My W was committed to R and to rebuilding our M; and
2) I thought I could heal from the pain of being betraued;
3) I thought my W would heal herself;
4) I thought we'd make an M that served both of us very well.
IOW, I saw R as the best way to a joyful life for me.
I've often written that it takes 2 things to make a successful R: 1) both partners want R, and 2) both partners are willing to do the necessary work - the BS to heal, the WS to change from cheater to good partner.
I've also often written that R succeeds when BS heals BS, WS heals WS, and they both work to build/rebuild the M they both want.
Three ways of saying the same thing. I hope at least one of them helps you.
And NOT BTW, don't discount D. If even one of the conditions for R is missing, I think D is the best choice.
My reco is to start by focusing on yourself - what do you want? Is R or D the more likrly way to get it.
Also, you don't have to decide now. You can work on your M for a while and then decide when you have data about your H's actual behavior....
I strongly recommend NOT "Just Friends" by Shirley Glass.