Hi Hulk -
I am sorry to read your story.
1. During and after the A, did you continue to blame your BS for the "negative" things in the M?
YES. I think re-writing the marital history is common during an A. We are experiencing cognitive dissonance and telling ourselves a lot of justification so that we can feel better about what we are doing.
At what point did you realize you were focusing too much on that or exaggerating (if you were) and bring back in the positives?
For me, the A was over 2 months before I confessed. I went straight to counseling to work through my next steps. I began seeing patterns with what I was saying to IC, I was reading here which gave me a lot of clues of things to look at, and I read a lot about affairs in general. I was able to take responsibility for projecting my expectations as my H's expectations.
2. Even after the A was revealed or admitted, did you/why did you continue to lie about OP?
I didn't do that. I confessed and had read enough that I knew I needed to just rip off the band-aid. But, I will say that had I not read enough prior to being caught or confessing, I can understand that a lot of times it's just trying to control the situation - control how you are being seen. It backfires badly. So badly, but that's why - self preservation.
3. I've read about limerence and it's hard for me to say that my WS is in it, but did you "rewrite" the history and memories in your relationship to
justify leaving your BS for freedom/OP?
Yes. For me, as it often seems to be - it was an escape from reality. I wasn't coping well with my life at all, and was miserable. That really had nothing to do with my husband, it was my own coping mechanisms and thinking I couldn't cause change. I am not good at conflict either so it seemed easier to me to follow the fantasy world where everything was unicorns and rainbows and not watch my life falling apart. The more I escaped, the more fell apart, the more that fell apart the more I dug into the escape. It was terrible. AP had a DDAY, dumped me immediately, and that woke me up.
4. When proposed with R, if/why did you reject it?
I didn't know what I wanted or what to think about everything when I started counseling. After two months, I confessed because I had learned enough that I understood better the psychology of what happens in affairs and I wanted to save my marriage. My husband has never proposed R, he doesn't even call it that (he's not on this site) but I am so thankful he wanted to work it out.
5. Did you try to find anything/everything negative about the marriage to "move on" or move away?
YES. During the A and in the aftermath I did do this. I realize now that I was only trying to move on from myself. Had I gone anywhere I would have just taken the same issues with me.
6. What was your moment when you realized, "what have I done" or "I maaay have made a mistake". What was the trigger for that?
AP dumped me. I know it should have been something better or more nobel. I started thinking about what I thought love was, and saw who actually had always loved me and I took him for granted. I could still have gotten a divorce, but I realized that I would be foolish to leave the best thing that ever happened to me, the man who took care of me and the kids, and my best friend and partner for decades. Instead, I decided to get my shit together, and I still work on that on a daily basis.