They all keep saying that wouldn't have been able to leave their kid. They would have stayed in the house.
Unless they’ve actually been in the position of WW/mom, they haven’t a fucking clue what they are talking about. Because affairs and infidelity are taboo and shameful subjects, turns out that folks who have not been in the midst of it really shouldn’t have much to say about their “what ifs”. I wouldn’t be surprised that these friends also have a sense that your BH had something to do with your shitty choices. Before I had a clue what my WH had been up to in my M, I’d said things like I could see why the WS cheated because of something I didn’t like about the BS – makes me want to vomit today. I have friends and family that love me deeply. I have one CLOSE friend who’s been in an A (20+ years ago she was the WW. I disapproved then and told her so, but remained a loving friend who listened to her, supported her and told her I loved her as her M fell apart. And now, when I’m the BS, she has done the same for me – with the bonus of being able to share her experiences as a WS). She and another family member who is a psychologist are the only people who get my attention on INFIDELITY related issues. And I guess I’m lucky bc everyone else has just been pretty decent and supportive without trying to tell me what I “should” do or what they “would” do if they were in my shoes. Imagine you’d been raped. Do you listen to a bunch of men who have never been raped tell you what THEY would do or what you should have done?
I'm the one that's missing all of that because of what I did. It is killing me that I can't be there to do any of those things.
Gently, do you see how you are victimizing yourself here? Something tells me that not once during your A did you ever consider these CONSEQUENCES. And that’s all this is – a consequence of your bad decisions. Say I got a DWI. I got drunk. I drove my car. I got caught. Now I’m losing my driver license, but still have to make my car payment, and I have a bunch of other shit to contend with. Instead of recognizing that I’m taking the bus for a year because I made an awful choice, I spend my time griping about what an asshole the cop was, and how he shouldn’t have pulled me over to begin with, that it’s not fair, given I was only a “little” drunk, and "just" the humiliation of being fingerprinted was enough for me to KNOW I'll never do it again, etc. Again, the measure of our character is not that we fuck up – as humans, we all fuck up. The true measure is how we respond to them. How we accept responsibility and consequences. How we make amends. How we find GRATITUDE for the life lessons we learn from those consequences. How a WS deals with the aftermath is just as much a CHOICE as having the A to begin with.
I want to go back because I fear that [not] being home will make it easier for him to file those papers because he can't see me making any effort.
I’m assuming the [not] I inserted was supposed to be there – ie that you fear being physically S bc he won’t be able to see your efforts. First, this is also selfish thinking – aka WAYWARD thinking (at least at this juncture). Why? Because it’s all about YOU and why YOU don’t want to be S. I suggest you work REALLY hard on trying to recognize that you are S because your BH needs to be – and he needs to be S because of YOUR poor choices. These are consequences. He needs – no he DESERVES – to have some space to breathe. To get some footing. Some space to learn to cope with the remnants of his life, his identity as a husband, his sexuality, his emasculation, and a host of other stuff even the most remorseful and empathetic and hard working WS will NEVER understand. WS always seem to think that S is all about THEM – when the reality is that it’s painful for the BS. It’s not a punishment for YOU – it’s a healing need for HIM. Remember – NO BS EVER ASKS TO BECOME A BS. We didn’t want it. We didn’t expect it – hell, most of us never even IMAGINED it could happen to us (because, you know, our marriages are “special” and we are a “team” and all that stuff that is now in the toilet). He feels like you have thrown him, your M – and even your child – away like trash. That’s harsh, but a cursory read of the posts here by BS will bear that out (it’s an oft repeated line- I feel like I was thrown away like garbage.. something I wrote on day 1 in my journal and was kind of surprised to find SI weeks later and see how many others used the exact same language).
So, the S is a consequence of your A. Now what? You can choose to see yourself as a victim in this, or you can choose to use the time apart wisely. You have 100% control over what YOU do.
Also – the "I fear not being there will make it easier for him to file" is just you trying to control the outcome. I suspect other WS here will tell you the same thing- you MUST let go of that. The reality is you have zero control over whether or not your BH files for D. The A, all by itself, is reason enough to file. He owes you NOTHING on this front. He does not owe you one second to make any effort. So- if he does file for D, does that mean that you halt all of your efforts? I sure hope not – and I suspect every other WS will tell you the same thing – you must work on YOU and address/change everything in you that made having an A an acceptable choice. You must do this whether or not you D. You must do this bc you will NEVER be a safe partner for ANYONE unless and until you do. As many times as you tell yourself that you KNOW you will NEVER do this again, there is a post here on SI from a BS whose WS has had ANOTHER A - sometimes years after the first one (look at my own tagline for an example).
I know this is harsh. And I can see how hard it is for a WS to try and navigate thinking and working on themselves (their whys, their hows, their entitlement, etc) – which has selfish aspects - and simultaneously focusing on (or rather, having empathy for) their BS.. There are other WS here that have posted on this stuff that I suspect would be helpful (and – shameless plug for SI – a paid membership that provides access to older threads can be a great tool – to be able to read through the journeys of others who no longer post on SI has been very helpful to me).
As awful as I’m sure this all feels, if you read around on the wayward side to some of the other early posts by WS, you will see that you are actually doing a lot REALLY WELL! Making a solid attempt at a detailed timeline is a giant first step. It’s kind of ripping off the biggest bandaid, so to speak, and as much as this immediate aftermath sucks, it allows your BH time to process his new reality.