In our case, I think the years separating the end of the affair and my discovery are quite possibly the thing that will allow our marriage to survive. I’ve spent a lot of time mulling this over the past few weeks, reading and re-reading the timeline. Seeing how deeply she was immersed in her fantasy life with her AP, I do not think our marriage would have survived had I discovered it during the A or anytime in the first year after it ended.
She thought they were in luuuvvvv, true soul mates in life. She had decided to end our marriage as soon as DD graduated high school and WW received her PhD. She actually bought into the fantasy of them running off to CA to teach at a small private university. It did not dawn on her just how badly deluded she was for almost a year after the affair ended.
I don’t think I could have sat and listened to how much she loved him without throwing her out and filing for D. Both she and MC looked shocked when I said as much in session a couple of weeks ago. In truth, what I said was ‘the first time I heard that soul mate crap, star crossed lovers bullshit, I’d have Hefty Bagged her crap and changed the locks.’
She has had fourteen/fifteen years to realize the truth, process her true feelings and I think she is truly remorseful. She is doing everything I ask and more trying to help me come to terms with her infidelity, her lies, her betrayal. She even offered to send letters to people in Atlanta (that knew about the A and helped cover it up) telling them the excuses she used at that time, getting their assistance in covering up the affair, justifying her actions, etc., were untrue. Apparently, she told people I was ‘unambitious, ‘unsupportive’, and ‘unemotional’. I’ve told her ‘thanks but no’, I never want to see or hear from any of them again as they are definitely not friends of the marriage.
These were people we socialized with, people we invited to share our beach house, couples we invited to backyard cookouts. They knew me better than that! They knew I did almost all of the cooking, cleaning, attended school functions, and supported the family while she chased her dream of a PhD. They knew, but still came to our house, drank my beer and single malts, ate our food, AND SAID NOT A DAMN WORD TO ME. (for some reason this hurts almost as much as the A itself)
I have IC twice a week; fWW has IC once a week. fWW’s IC told her she could drop back to once a month and fWW told her she wanted to continue weekly sessions to keep reminding herself the affair may be old but my discovery is recent,my pain current and debilitating.
In addition to IC, we have MC once a week although we will be cutting back to twice a month after the first of the year. The latest stumbling block, I am having real problems with being ‘the backup plan’. MC and IC both tell me to look at it as ‘she chooses me’ but I am finding that difficult. Maybe if she had been the one to end the ‘A’ I could believe ‘she picked me’. The way I am looking at it, he dumped her, threw her under the bus when his BS found out and she was stuck with me. She didn’t pick me, she settled for her second choice (me) after her four yearlong A went to hell in a hand basket.
Time will tell, time does not heal wounds, it is what you do with the time that heals the wounds although the scars may be there forever.