HURT: I understand where you are and you seem to be on the exact same path as I am on, just a few steps back. I am sorry you have had this thrust upon you, but am glad you found us here.
As others have said, NONE of this is your fault. Your husband could have chosen a better means to deal with the “lull” in your marriage. Instead, he chose the worst option available. This was 100% his decision and is 100% his fault. NOTHING you did or didn’t do gave him permission to violate the trust between you and hurt you this badly.
I, like you, am the BS in our relationship and the first IC I went to helped me a great deal. Eventually, I reached a point where he could no longer help me, so I looked around for another IC. I called Focus on the Family and talked with one of their counselors. He gave me 1 ½ hours of his time at no charge. I’m not saying they will give you the same amount of time, but they can guide you to someone in your area who can help. They certainly did me. Perhaps if you ask your husband to go with you to see the new counselor, he might say “yes”. My wife did. Now, she sees her own IC to deal with the issues of why she did what she did. So you may want to find a counselor who deals with WS’s.
Kevin Jackson put out a series of e-books which helped me a lot, but they are geared toward men. It did help me understand all the pain I was going through and all the pain yet to come (sorry to give your that type of news). He, though, encouraged me by saying that it will get better, and it has. The first book I bought was entitled “So Your Wife Cheated On You”, and even though it’s geared toward men, it may be of benefit to you. I can honestly say that for me it was worth every penny.
It is good to hear that your WH is “remorseful”. WS’s usually are when they first get caught and for a while afterward. Only you can tell over time if he is remorseful of what he did or if he’s remorseful that he got caught.
What you’re going through is absolutely normal. You have been through a traumatic experience. Notice I did not say a bad, or terrible, or awful experience. This is on the level of a trauma, as if you have lost your left arm in comparison to getting a small cut. Many of us in this situation have many of the same symptoms of those going through PTSD – it is that significant. Don’t sell yourself short on the importance of what he did to you. He lied to you, probably gaslighted you, deceived you, and worst of all, violated the trust you had in him. Add to that took the risk of bringing home an STI to the one he loves. He was to be your safe space in this world and he turned around and abused you. You have every right to hurt, get mad, mistrust, and anything else you want to throw in there. He needs help, and so do you.
I would suggest that you (at least you) and he get yourself tested for any STI’s and HIV. If this girl was with your husband, she possibly was with other men and you have no idea what may have been transmitted along the way. If you ask her if she’s been with other men, do you think she’d tell the truth? So don’t trust, get tested.
You are doing the right thing by seeing an IC. Don’t forget to take care of yourself during this process. Do something you like to do every week. Something special just for you. You need to keep your mental health up for this very long journey ahead of you. It has been said that working through this trauma takes 2 to 5 years, so take care of you!!
Just remember that here we want to help you, and that you are not alone.