Further, you now have to go through the healing process for both WSes and BSes. If you don't feel the grief, anger, fear, and shame of being betrayed, you're not letting yourself heal. Being betrayed is traumatic no matter what context the betrayal occurs in.
Your H cheated using your A as his enabler. I agree that he probably wouldn't have done so if you hadn't cheated - but most BSes do not cheat. Your H needs to change from betrayer to good partner, just as you do.
Your H has made R more difficult, but it's still eminently doable.
Thank you sisoon, you captured what i was trying to say better than I wrote it. Lots of BS come here to SI in the most dire of straights but many of them will tell you that cheating or a revenge affair never even crosses their mind, or if it does, it is a passing thought a best because it is just not who they are. Believe me, as a MH I totally get it, in fact, this is going to sound really strange, but stick with me. I am the first to cheat in the relationship with my wife. When we were dating and within a few weeks after our engagement in 2009, I had a ONS with someone. I was about to say proudly...but I'm not sure I would say proudly for something that is a "duh" moment, but I can say that while we have been married I have never been physically with another woman. That doesn't mean much because I had a couple of emotional affairs, one in 2013-2015 (at the time neither my wife or I would classify this as an EA but she wouldn't have called it okay either) and most certainly one from 2017-2019. So again, I threw the first three rocks (I'm including the prior to marriage infidelity) at our relationship. I knew she was having an inappropriate relationship at some point in parallel to my 2017-2019 time frame, at the time I didn't have this community nor the vocabulary to describe it, but it was an EA. In December 2019, after going through a monthly dance where she said she wanted a divorce and I kept pushing for more counseling, more help, etc, after I had been NC for months and I had been working on myself in therapy and trying to be the best husband I could be. None of it made sense. She moved out of our bedroom, into a guest room in the house. She started even telling me that I was free to go be with other women, which I would get in the immediate aftermath or a very bad failed R situation, but no, I had committed to her months prior and had been absolutely NC and was really putting in the work. I had been on here as a lurker before finally getting the stones to signup and post when I did. She had been pushing me and pushing me to sleep with someone else. It was so strange and made no sense.
On Super Bowl Saturday (the night before the game, sorry sports events help me contextualize events around dates) she confessed to me that the EA I thought had stopped...oh no, it never stopped, it went underground and had become physical...and that day in December where she dropped the divorce hammer and moved out of our room...dirtbag had fucked her in our marital bed that afternoon and that was as she says now too far for her. But all along from early December to that early February weekend, she had been pushing me towards having a PA because she wanted things to feel more like an even footing. This is where it finally hit me that I was a BS, while also being a WS. Yeah, like I said, in the timeline of events and incidences of my infidelity, I was a WS long before (about 8 years or so) she had her EA that lasted until NC message sent in February 2020. Of course, my wife had been the BS long before she became a WS, but when she was the WS, she didn't let me know for some time and actually was trying to get out of the marriage without being caught in her EA/PA. Once all of our cards were on the table at that point, it was and has been at times trying, difficult and being a MH means that you are one day identifying more as a BS and the next as a WS. Again, the sort of irony in everything that happened to me is at no time when I was learning of my wife's more extended infidelity did I consider having a RA, despite of course having shown that I was quite capable of betraying her. Now, my wife is right in this, that if international borders and visas weren't an issue, as my AP lived in Mexico, that I would in fact have committed physical acts that put things no a more "even" footing, and I do not dispute that for a second. Here is the thing, nothing ever makes you even, it isn't ever going to be and in order to move past it, both partners have to make peace with that and understand the pain and impacts and work to learn from it as they create a new marriage.
I tend to think of it this way...my wife and started a new marriage in 2020. It was a new relationship in a lot of ways, but instead of all those unknowns and butterflies you got when you first started seeing your spouse, in the way before time, when you barely knew them as a person, maybe hadn't even kissed them yet, well, all that is gone. The relationship we had changed drastically from what we had and I wouldn't go back there for the world. If I had a do-over, we would absolutely not have gotten there through the massive detours of infidelity, but the fucked up situation we had was also the reason we decided to sit down and give it a shot one more time and that one more chance got us to where we are today...so I guess sometimes you really have to take the good with the bad. My advice is to recognize that both you and your MH are going to swing between both identities and that this is an opportunity to communicate and grow your relationship on new grounds.
Before I finish, let me give a teensy example of what I'm talking about. A woman I manage, in a casual conversation this week, sort of got onto a topic with me that was absolutely inappropriate. Broad strokes story (I promise my wife knows every little detail), she had to take some time off in Jan of this year and she told me that she was having an operation. I had no reason as her boss to know any details, just that she was out those days and she is a friend she shared that she was having a procedure. I asked her at the time if she was okay or she needed anything, because I care about my people and I have empathy. She told me it wasn't expected to be serious and she was fine. Well, this week, a discussion her and I were having, she had mentioned that she had her tubes tied after the baby she had about 16 months ago and I said, so that is the procedure you had done this year. She corrected me that the procedure she had done this year was quite obvious and was surprised I didn't notice or mention it. I was confused, as this was a MS teams call, not an in person meeting. Apparently, the procedure was for her to remove her breast implants. Now, mind you I don't see her but maybe once a week post pandemic with our hybrid remote/in office work stuff but even when I do see her, it's usually brief and we are very busy. So in this time I hadn't noticed nor have I ever kept tabs on her bust. She seemed surprised that I hadn't, which was genuinely true. I quickly got us off this topic and all I could think about was man, with my position here, this could be a mess and I need to get out of it. I told my wife that night the whole story and we agreed on a path forward. When I saw her yesterday, I had to have a sit down with her and tell her that while I'm friends with my team and I work hard for my people on building rapports where they feel that they can share things, that going forward, I would ask that we not discuss those topics, out of respect for my wife and my marriage. She felt so terrible and a bit embarrassed. Because she wasn't telling that to come onto me or anything like that, it was just her telling me that she removed her implants because it had been causing her other medical issues like headaches, rashes, and her doctor counseled that she rectify a mistake she made in her 20s. Apparently, I'm the most clueless guy in the company for not noticing all this, but it also was a chance for me to be very up front and honest with my wife about the whole situation. My boss, who saw me on Tuesday following that discussion knew something was wrong, as this whole thing upset me as I was uncomfortable and a little worried about how this would be perceived from an HR point of view. When I told him yesterday what happened, after talking with my wife, he was actually relieved, as he was thinking that I'm finding another job and he thought I was struggling with telling him that.
I leave you with that story because it shows that growth is possible. As I'm typing it, I almost cannot believe I did that, because well, I know that old guy I was and frankly, the topic of discussing another woman's breasts would've been something he encouraged/pursued. I just think differently now, I texted my wife right after it happened and I told her we need to talk about something at work, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't exactly good. The old me would've never told her and then she wouldn't be pleased when she learns about in an different way. This way we can talk about it openly, I don't have to keep a secret or worry about what lie I told to one person to keep the story straight. I can just be me and live life.
[This message edited by Bor9455 at 9:16 PM, Thursday, April 6th]