I wish I had a tough season, but I have nine years of cheating with a MOW and periodic shopping for a new mistress. He and MOW share birthdays near Christmas and made a point to celebrate that together. I have discoveries that started in September, the Winter celebration trigger, a devastating April discovery, another in July, then January, plus my favorite, the emails to an Ashley Madison recruit on our 23rd Anniversary, both before and after our dinner date. I can't look at those pictures, which used to be my favorite of us.
I took so long with my Discovery, and the deceit ranged over a decade with multiple women and websites, so I pretty much live in tough season. It isn't easy.
Part of my strategy is reclaiming or rejecting things that bother me. They met a lot at our local pub chain, so that is off the list for good. I don't care to reclaim it as it was never my favorite anyway. They took a trip to a dream location for me together, and that is off the list too. Moving across the country took a lot of triggers off the table for me. I have reclaimed some dates and locations that are important to me, most importantly our Anniversary. I let him take me out to a nice dinner to honor the date for him, but it holds no meaning for me. I chose a new date to honor our four decades together, based on the day we met, not the day we married. I'm not sure our wedding date or vows will ever hold meaning for me again.
When I am in a particularly tough season, I talk about it, even though he hates talking about it. For the past couple of years, I have reached out to MOW with questions or insults around the most triggering events. I wouldn't recommend that approach, as it only caused me more pain to see her blatant narcissism, and to be hurt by more details of how close they were, or how they were in daily communication all those years.
I make sure that I get paid back in time focused on me and what I want to do as compensation for the time and attention he gave to her. I make certain that I spend more on myself than he spent on her. I am sure that this is not the most healthy approach, but it is what I do to make myself feel better.
The sting is still very present for me, and they never ended the A, I ended it by threatening her away, so my bitterness and sorrow run deep. I try very hard to focus on the time we have left, and making the most of that time by living my best life as best I can with him, and by focusing on our grown kids and the lives they are building. I take lots of walks and am trying new hobbies to distract myself from the reminders that are everywhere. I may never fully recover, but I strive to find ways to reclaim my life and live with grace and purpose.
Good luck reclaiming your happiness during what should be a time of celebration. I like the suggestion that any day could be the triggery day, it's not about the date but the betrayal. Don't let the betrayal rob you of a happy Thanksgiving.
BW: 63 WH: 63 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth and so many lies. I got rid of her with one email but she still haunts me. Reconciling, or trying to.