I haven't been here in a while. DDay was almost 16 years ago (unfortunately it took me 2 years to discover SI and learn I was doing everything wrong.) I stayed all this time because I didn't feel like I had a better choice; I won't go into details.
We've had our ups and downs, I never truly felt like WW was remorseful. I had to work to get apologies, or for her to put any effort into healing. I got us into MC about 5 years ago for other issues, but eventually the affair bubbled to the surface and never left. I've been in IC for about 1.5 years; the first year was not very effective, but the last 4 months my new therapist has been great.
In MC, I've strongly and repeatedly expressed that I have not felt true remorse, sincere apologies, or any indication I was better than the AP. WW generally listened to my complaints quietly, or argued that I don't accept the (forced) apologies that she has given. The MC would remind me that WW was with me, I won in the end...I just never felt like it. From our discussions about the AP, I knew that he was a better communicator, smart, wealthier, had a nicer house, was more successful professionally, and to top it off, had a longer package than me.
In MC, I repeatedly said that WW is putting it on me to heal the wounds she caused then blames me for not healing faster. Yet WW just really struggled to tell me any ways that I was better than the AP. I always had to ask, her answers always seemed forced, always brief and always evasive. This really bothered me and became an obsession. There were a couple of instances where I tried to prove to myself and WW that I was better. I performed tasks that I knew AP failed at, but when I pointed this out to WW, I hardly got acknowledgement; she forgot that AP had failed these tasks...so even when I tried to point out that I was better, it was minimized.
Eventually, MC acknowledged we weren't getting anywhere, and maybe we should discuss splitting up or no longer returning to counseling. We stopped going, and I did start looking at law firms without her knowledge. I pretty much shut down.
A few weeks later, we went out to dinner. WW asked why I compare myself to AP (how can I not compare myself?). I responded that I felt like she already made the comparisons and I lost. She then spoke to me in ways that sounded sincere. She said AP met some communication needs that I wasn't providing at the time. She said I am definitely smarter, definitely better looking, and my package was better. She got a little descriptive, more so than ever before, so I do think she was being honest.
And, for the first time in a long long time, I felt good about myself. I felt like I was living with a person who wanted to be with me. This actually happened a couple of months ago, but I haven't felt the need to share. I also haven't obsessed over whether I am better than AP.
I have expressed that I am angry at her for taking so long to tell me how I compare favorably. I have asked her why she did that, and she doesn't really have an answer. Could she be lying about me being better? Possibly...but it is really on her. She repeatedly pointed out that I wouldn't let it go after 16 years...but she also refused to help me for 16 years...so that is on her.
Thanks for letting me vent. I have felt pretty good about things for a few months.