It took me 3.5-4 years of consistent R behavior to get comfortable that we had succeeded in R and that we now had to keep our M going in a healthy way. I suggest that you'll get more comfortable with your R decision as time goes on, whatever happens.
I'll also suggest that if your go down into the rabbit hole years after you've R'ed, it's because of only a few possibilities. Maybe the issue comes up again because you rug-swept years ago. Well, one theory (obviously not SI's) is that rug-sweeping is the way to go. If you accepted that and it's not working, you made a reasonable mistake, and you can stop rug-sweeping. It's harder years after the fact than when it first happened, but you can still heal yourself, especially if you forgive yourself for making a mistake - after all, no one is perfect.
Maybe the issue comes up again because you didn't heal as much as you thought you did years ago. Same approach - forgive yourself, do what you need to do to heal.
Maybe your fWS is cheating again. Back to square 1 - you aren't failing; your WS is. Heal yourself. Give up trying to control the outcome. Heal yourself. Do what's best for you.
Above all, if you R, you're accepting the risk of not completing R. If it doesn't work, you have to again choose between doing the work of healing and not doing it - but if you don't get inyour own way, you'll probably choose to heal.
After an A, you can lead a good life whether you R or split. If you choose R and there's another A down the line, you can lead a good life after you R or split. It may be easier, and it may be harder, but ... you've already done some healing work already, and you can do it again.
Keeping an M healthy is simply not easy. My W's A hit late in life, just a few years before our life expectancies when we were born. It did a lot of damage to a good long-term M for a few years. It did a lot of damage to me for a few years. My W was already damaged, predating the A, and she's still working to heal from that.
We rebuilt our M - just as our physical capabilities went into decline. In our late 70s, we both have lapses. Did I forget to do something because of a minor memory glitch, probably because there's so damned much in my memory, or did I forget it because Alzheimer's is staring to make itself felt? And what the hell do I do about my partner's lapses? Our whole way of life is changing, which means our M has to change.
Life is risky.
But just as that means there can be more shit that will get dumped on me, it means there can be more joy. I feel joy from being with my W every day. I guess life will get more and more painful as I age, but ... I am confident there will be a lot of joy, too. And I'll go for the joy even though I know it's not guaranteed.
I don't know if you read my post as a positive or negative view of life, so I'll say this about our M. We love each other. We show it a lot of ways. We both feel loved. Sex remains a joy for me and has become a joy for my W, though we have to deal with some physical pain. We're both physically and mentally active. We both feel all the feelings some of the time. We are glad to be together.
Have you seen the old commercial of a young couple walking in a park and overtaking and old couple who are walking on the same path? It's a commercial for God-damned diamonds. We are the old couple - and we know that love and joy come from within, no diamonds needed. We hold hands walking to the post office.
Sure, we both wish my W hadn't conducted her A, but we're both happy we were and are together. Hell, my W thought she wanted to be M to me even during her A, which is and and and and a whole lot of other emojis.
I understand you're uncertain. I know that's uncomfortable. I'll ask, though: How much of your uncertainty comes from life itself, and how much comes from seeing the posts form long-term BSes who are hit by newly assertive pain coming back into their consciousness.
Not BTW: I do not mean to appear to criticize folks who have come here years after the A(s). My view is that you did the best you could when it first happened and you're looking for something else to do to heal now. I'm sorry you're here, but I admire the courage that allowed you to recognize a problem so it can get resolved.
[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:26 PM, Sunday, September 4th]