Four years IS a long time.....I'm a BS 2 1/2 years out. We were fortunate with good MC and IC early on. This is a wound like nothing I've ever experienced in my life. My FWH could be the poster child for good recovery. Not perfect, but when I can get out of the pain and see what he's actually doing today, THAT is the reason I'm still here. OW was a "friend". It blew up our world. And, I have the displeasure of running into her frequently. I look at how FWH handled my trauma vs. how OW handled it in her marriage. OBS and OW are divorced.
With FWH....in the first couple of weeks while going through "withdrawal" he was defensive, TT, etc. (gosh the behavior is SO typical). I had to acknowledge a pretty unpopular idea here.....I was 50% responsible for a marriage that was vulnerable to an affair. I didn't know it at the time, but there we are. I COULDN'T hear that from him though.....that just seemed like blame shifting. Still doesn't defend his crappy choices, but there we are. I also saw it coming and confronted my "friend"/OW and husband. The fact that I didn't protect myself harder, stings. But, as the BS you SO want to believe the lies.
I have a lot of trauma in my childhood. This pain stirred all that up. My idea of feeling safe again.....will never be the same. It is a constant struggle to remember that the affair has more to do with where FWH was at the time vs. me not being enough. I've worked long and hard on my FOO issues - this brought them all back with a vengeance . I had made FWH my safe place. The affair trashed that. There are days when I just feel like I don't want to live in a world where this pain is possible. I have choices. I could leave. I don't want to. The thing is, even if I left....I wouldn't trust a new relationship in the same naive way I had with FWH.
All that said, we made a decision that what we had/have is worth fighting for. Not for our child, but for us. I set a time limit. I would work on this for 3 years. We're 2 1/2 down the road from DD.
Things are much better. We have so many more skills. I miss the idea of just effortlessly being in a relationship. I'm jealous of the idea of limerence. I know I'll be ok with or without him, but most days I'm choosing with him. I'm STILL triggered. Not as often, but at least once a week. Sometimes, it is really rough. As a BS, I DO think we develop an OCD about the WS/AP. It's a crappy way to make yourself feel safe, and doesn't work at ALL. I still hope that OW gets a heavy dose of karma and that I get to pull up a chair and watch that bus from a safe distance. I think I'll never shake that. It is better when I can just focus on the present and NOT think about what happened during the affair. I can't change that. Though, NONE of this was something I could hear from my FWH. He asked me the other day, when I would see and BELIEVE where we are, where he is now. Truth is, the affair forever changes that. I will always know that it is possible....whereas before DD, it was unbelievable to me. That was a false belief.....all couples are vulnerable to affairs (doesn't excuse it though) I'm sure FWH misses the certainty and blind trust he enjoyed.....but that will never be the same from me, in any relationship I have.
As a BS you have two monumental boulders to lift.....fix your affair trauma....and fix your part of the marriage. Sometimes those are mutually exclusive. Sometimes fixing my trauma means I have to distance myself....because if I don't I'll full on be abusive toward my FWH just out of the pain and anger. RA was something on my radar....but I knew it would be counter to what we were trying to fix. We got in the mess because FWH and OW were training together to do triathlons and spent too much time together working toward an Ironman. I was just getting into the sport and she was "mentoring" me. She was all up in our lives. I've continued to train and race. Unfortunately, I run into her at many of them. It is super triggering. Doing the triathlon myself is monumentally easier than recovery work and triggers. The physical activity is SO much easier than the mental gymnastics.
H made an analogy that stuck with me. There is a car....rolling into a body of water. It's going to sink. We'll never get it out. Do we look at each other and say "you made the car roll", "the car is rolling because you don't listen", "the car is rolling because we're disconnected" or do we both roll up our sleeves, and push the car away from the water? Falling into victim mode is an easy cycle of me as a BS. Truth is, I am the victim. Though, it is not a place to dwell. I have a choice. I don't have to work on this at all. I can leave. Remembering that, is helpful to me.
Little and often has grown our trust....such as it is now. Him being involved, actively listening, being remorseful, showing compassion, empathy, being involved in our household, etc. He can't do those things if I'm attacking him. Those things have been the reason, I haven't cut and run. Though, I would, if I have to. Now, we're making new memories and adventures. Having those to look forward to helps me when I'm lost in the pain. That 3-5 years for recovery isn't something WS want to acknowledge. But, it is totally real.
It is the toughest thing I've ever done.....and there are no guarantees. But, we're both here today.
OW leveled the blame directly on OBS. She really behaved with him, me, and FWH as if she had no responsibility. I'm sure she's not as one sided as that, but I'm not the person to grant her more.
[This message edited by Ladybugmaam at 10:23 AM, Sunday, September 5th]