I can tell you that when posters here used to tell me to focus more on myself and less on my WH, I couldn’t understand what they meant and I kept dismissing it. It was obviously about him as he was the one that cheated.
Naturally I felt that everything was circling around to what my WH felt and thought: is he still attracted to me physically, am I boring him, is he still happy with me, how can he claim he loves me when he cheated on me, how can he claim we had a happy marriage when he did what he did, why was I not enough FOR HIM?
Everything was about him, what he thought and what he felt. It’s normal.
Gradually though, I won’t lie I’m a slow learner, about the third year post dday, I was pushed into thinking about myself, who I am, my own growth. It was all triggered by me losing my steady comfortable job, which meant that in order to get and keep a new job I needed to force myself into listing my skills, my strengths, and who I was, what was my value.
About the same time I started exercising which gave me an additional motivation, physically I was feeling pretty fit, career wise I went for a promotion, then another promotion till I got to Senior level where I am now.
I kept challenging myself in various areas, initially because I wanted to keep myself busy and distracted from all the affair thoughts, it was fair to say that it was becoming debilitating, 3 years of intense affair talk, affair thoughts, and later on because I truly decided I want to actively and constantly grow, it gives me a type of personal satisfaction that I don’t get anywhere else.
The moment the focus shifted from my WH to myself, that was the moment when my true healing started. My self esteem grew with every adversity I overcame. Lost my job? I’ll get a promotion even if in the background I am a crying mess. And then another one. Got the job, I’ll perform amazingly even if my brain wanted to constantly shout that I was worthless. Oh look, I can run 5k. Now I can run 10k. I can bake amazing cakes. (Most recently I started painting and I’m constantly learning new techniques). I can cry but I can also laugh and have fun. I love completely, I’m loyal and a good wife as I wasn’t the one that cheated. Not even when my marriage was actually in ruins, a justification used by many cheaters.
You get the idea. I became my own cheerleader no matter how cliche that sounds. Not because my WH wasn’t my cheerleader, but because no matter how many times he would tell me I’m beautiful, I’m sexy, I’m clever, I’m fun, I would not believe it, he cheated on me. So unless I believed those things about myself, how could I believe those things coming from my cheating husband’s mouth?
Now once you believe those things because you demonstrated to yourself that is the case, you don’t actually need your WS to repeat "I am attracted to you/I do love you/I am happy with you". First because hey, you KNOW you are all those things it’s suddenly so obvious that your WS is lucky you gave them another chance, secondly because if they are too blind to see what a great person you are then it is their loss, you ARE a great person anyway, with or without them.
One thing I would say though: my WH was by then completely supportive working on his own growth, IC, exercising, discovering his whys, we discussed the affair and our feelings around it without any limitations until it naturally dissipated into the distance. He didn’t dare giving me any ultimatums, I wasn’t stupid anyway, I knew he had the same right to exit this marriage as I did, but if he would have actually said so, if he would have wavered even a moment, when he saw the colossal effort I was putting in, I don’t think I could have stayed with him with that threat above my head.
So this is a process of course, you’re not there yet. If you can try shifting your focus from your WS to yourself it would benefit you greatly either way, no matter what the outcome of your marriage is.