Things have gotten better for me with time, but not much better.
Super short recap: I found out almost three years ago by finding a motel receipt, it went on for 18 months, he was more than half my age, half her age. We have kids, they were a huge factor in deciding to give it a try because of my upbringing and desire for them not to have to experience that.
My wife has now been the best partner anyone could ever ask for and it keeps getting better.
She cares about me, greets me at the door, wiggles with excitement in my arms (every time it seems).
She is highly sexual, or at least highly playful. Our sex life and her desire for it is so much better than it ever was. She actually grabs "things" and seems all consumed by me, which was never a thing before.
She thinks about what gift to give me, puts thought into it, she gets me things I like spontaneously. She actively listens to me, pays attention and remembers (I talk about a lot of topics, some technical). We spend every night together, every weekend, we do nothing, we do something, it's always together. Even just going to the store to grab one of something. She watches the same shows and movies that I do and she really seems to like them, I can tell because she will talk about them the way I do. She now cooks, cleans and is an active part of the household even though she is the only worker and practically demands that she do it (because I would otherwise without thought).
She asks me if I need to talk, she listens if I do, cries, says sorry, we move on.
She's perfect. I would consider myself the luckiest man alive if it weren't for the gigantic, pierced hole in my chest.
I do love her and I know if I ended it I would not bother finding anyone else, because she is everything I've ever wanted. But it's not the same as it used to be for me, not how I used to look at her and see her and "us". And I think I am sabotaging it because of that feeling, that sense of loss, at least for myself. In addition, I am still trying to "find out" things, get the exact number of times, determine if this was a lie, if that was a lie and I am driving myself crazy over it. Thoughts just pop into my head and they stick there.
She lied a LOT at the beginning, and I found out something new (because of my irritating persistence) just 6 months ago. I know why she doesn't/didn't tell me everything, I even get that she might not even remember certain things or misremember but still...
I have asked her from time to time how she feels about everything and more importantly how she feels about herself and what she's done and it's always really negatively, which pains me to hear, and worries me at the same time.
Is it an act? Is she pretending to get through her pain, her guilt?
I am exactly the same person, I have not changed at all, I am no better or no worse than before, other than paying more attention to things she does, sometimes too intently for my own good, I am the same. The same guy she did this to.
And she is the same person who would text me randomly in the middle of the day and say "I love you so much, I am so lucky you are my hubby" an hour after booking a motel room. The same person who was so good at lying (and taking advantage of my unquestioning and stupid trust) The same person who did things with someone else (not sexually) that she never did with me.
Can she be this new person, the new and improved version of the person I married again? Can someone do all the (vile to me) things she did and come back from that? Love someone she so easily fell out of love with and back again? Or am I just the "new" replacement? Just "next"? Each iteration of her and her personality getting more attuned to a relationship?
Is it some psychobabble about someone wanting to be who they are but couldn't because afraid of seeing real me and needed someone else to bring it out in them and realize it's alright yadda yadda?
I have been to several therapists, mostly it has been a negative experience. My GP (doctor) knows about it because I needed something the first few days and he still tells me, years later, "you're living with the stress point" if my pulse or BP isn't literally perfect.
I am not sure what I am after by posting this, maybe to just let it out? Wonder if anyone else, or everyone else, goes through this and perhaps some light, if there is any at the "end" of the tunnel.