I don’t think I can ever forget what she’s done. Everything she did for him can now never be special for me. Sex, hugs, kissing, all of it. It’s now tainted.
How do I move past this insane feeling of sadness and loneliness. Going out with friends makes me sad. I can’t even imagine being single again. Makes me sick.
I like being a family guy. I like being home with them. I like not having to worry about finding someone else to not be lonely.
I don't think any of us ever forget. But... we do get to the point where we're not thinking about it every day, and in time it does feel like something that happened in the past rather than like something which is always happening. Trauma plays weird tricks on our sense of time. Triggers can make us feel like we're reliving the moment and those triggers can go on for years. EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprogramming) can help with that though. It kind of mimics the brain processing we do in REM sleep. Experts don't really know why it works, but I've tried it myself and it can help. You don't forget what happened, but the visceral reaction you have to a particular trigger can be dulled.
I'm almost 7 years out from my dday now, and it took me about 5 years to feel like I had really healed from the injury. My WH and I were married for over 30 years at that point, and I was wrecked, like bug-meets-windshild wrecked. I had gotten into his email and seen way too much; videos, photos, etc. I don't recommend creating more triggers than what is strictly necessary to make your stay or go decision. Miraculously though, we're still together. Like you, I did a lot of things right on dday, so there was no mistake in my fWH's mind about where I stood. He was either going to shape up, get to the root of his malfunction and fix it, or he was going to be kicked to the curb. So, if you're thinking about trying R, the good news is that you're already approaching it from a position of strength and that's a good starting place.
When you're talking about your feelings though... the sadness, loneliness, the pain of the betrayal, there just aren't any shortcuts. We can't go over, under, or around. We've got to go through and feel what we feel. There's a certain amount of grief we need to process, and most of us will experience The Five Stages; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The stages might show up in any order and repeat themselves over and over until finally one day you come to some form of "acceptance" that sticks. This kind of intimate betrayal is a BIG DEAL. It messes with your mind. For those of us who experience it as trauma (and heck, I'd have to say that's most of us), it changes the brain. We find the amygdala (fight, flight, freeze) stuck on high alert, startling frequently and releasing adrenaline and cortisol. It felt to me like some invisible entity yelling "boo!" in my ear a hundred times a day. At four months out, I was so sick to my stomach that I'd have divorced my WH on the spot if I though for a minute that it would make that nauseous roiling in my stomach stop. Instead, I saw my medical doctor and let her put me on some medication.
I do think it helps to understand what is happening to your brain and how your mind affects the body. Toward that end, you might read through a copy of The Body Keeps Score by Bessel van der Kolk who is hand's down the world's leading expert on trauma. I felt so much better when I understood why I felt the way I did. Another good book that will also inform you on the brain/body connection is The Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson. Even though that one is geared more toward people who have split, it helped me more than just about any thing else I've read. The author reminds us that we are hardwired from birth to cling to our primary person and to fear abandonment. It's why we cry for our mother as infants. And that attachment can transfer, even though we don't realize it or need it any more. We can become enmeshed with our primary person in such a primal way that when our attachment is severed, like it is when we're betrayed, it amplifies ever other abandonment wound we've ever had and the pain becomes immense. I also like this book because she's got a few exercises to get us started relearning emotional self-reliance which is key.
Anyway, there are a lot of things that helped me heal that you're probably not ready for yet. Right now, you're probably still trying to make your stay or go decision. What helped me with that was taking ownership or my choice and reminding myself that I'm free to change my mind later if I need to. For people who decide to try R, owning your choice can make you feel less victimized. YOU decide where to plant your feet and for how long to plant them and YOU are responsible for where you stand. It's empowering to look at it that way and it makes you feel less trapped.
Later on, I dealt with forgiveness issues. Hell, it took me all of five years to even be able to call it "forgiveness". I still to this day want to spit like I've got a bad taste in my mouth just choking on the word. Some things are just unforgivable, right? But what I did realize is that I could get to a point where I could "write off" the emotional debt. My fWH did all the right things and I can tell you honestly that if there was any power on earth he could employ to change what he did, he would. I basically made an accountant's trick of this part, totting up all that he had done right and then writing off the rest. They can't pay us back for the pain they've caused. It's just not possible. No matter how good they might become, this thing still happened. It happened and it was NOT okay.
All in all, if you decide to try R, it's a process, a long one. There are so many issues to deal with and all you can do is try your earnest best. In the long run, you'll either find ways to process the trauma which make sense to you, or you'll decide it was a good run but R is not right for you. Healing and grieving are going to take their own sweet time either way you go though and there's not a whole lot you can do to speed that up. But... we do get better. We're all living, breathing, squabbling proof that you can get through this mess. We've all been there and come out on the other side. And you will too.
Strength to you as you process.