I'm into my 8th year post Dday2, when I finally left with our 2 children (who were between the ages of 5 and 9 at the time). We were together for 16yrs, married for 11 at the time we left.
He became an addict (started with cocaine and alcohol, graduated to anything and everything after we left) the year our youngest was born. As with most addiction in families, there were times of sobriety in between times of active addiction. He would get clean long enough for me to trust, then slide back again. No infidelity at that time, that I'm aware of.
The infidelity started when we moved to a new city (for a fresh start). He had developed mental health issues from the substance abuse, and I was in it for sickness and health (unhealthy, but I didn't know what else to do).
Then I busted him with OW1. Kicked him out, he was gone for 6 months. I listened to his sob story about his mental health affecting his decisions. He used my loyalty against me and I allowed him back in the house because I wanted to save my marriage.
That lasted 6 months. Caught him again. This time, something was different for me. All those previous years of his mental health and addiction issues played into my own codepedent issues. He always told me he didn't know what he would do without me. And I believed him. But him CHOOSING to FUCK other women (twice) made me realize that it wasn't ME he needed. He just needed ANY woman.
I told him we were leaving. He threatened to kill himself. Then he ran into our basement (where he had been staying since I kicked him out previously) and locked the door behind him. I left the house with the kiddos and went to the neighbours. I called 911 from there. Police show up, I tell them what's going on and they go to check on him. The police come out about 20 minutes later, saying that my then husband was fine and he wasn't a danger to himself or others so they had no choice to but to leave him at home with us. The female police officer pulled me aside and said she wouldn't tell me what to do, but people like him that can wind people up and then present themselves as perfectly calm to authority are the scary ones that can't be trusted. She asked if I really wanted to raise the kids in this kind of an environment, where their dad was so far over the edge that trying to kill himself with the kids in the house was a good decision and yet he STILL refused treatment?
The kids and I never moved back into our house. The neighbours let us stay there (our kids went to school together so it was like a big sleepover, which I will forever be grateful to). Every day after work I looked for an apartment for the kiddos and I (needed to be in the school district so my options weren't plentiful) and I got lucky and found one down the street from the school.
The kids and I lived in a 2bedroom apartment for 4yrs while I worked on my career and money opportunities.
Now we live in a good sized house with room for all of us. I have an amazing career. I run a business on the side, because I'm still their only parent raising them. Their dad is still an active addict (I'm surprised he is still alive because now it's meth and opiodes and fentenyl).
I have a wonderful boyfriend (just celebrated one year). We won't be blending our families (his ex wife has similar issues to my ex husband). Our kiddos have been through enough. But we do a lot of family stuff together that they enjoy.
There is life after infidelity. There is also life after addiction. I just wish I had left sooner than I did. But life is now wonderful.