He has said that, in hindsight, she really meant nothing to him....he was just using her to fill the void he had from me being so far away and for so long. I'm not sure I believe that 100% because when I was home on leave, the affair was still in progress! He didn't stop communicating with her while I was home to fill this so-called "void". If she was just a "filler", then why talk to her at all during that time I was home??
Most of all...I struggle with my decision to give him a second chance. I have ALWAYS said to him - from DAY ONE - that there are only 2 reasons I'd leave him...if he ever hit me or if he ever cheated on me. How much of a schmuck must I look like for sticking around after the truth came out?? And, like I said, I often question my decision to stay. How do I know that it's the right decision?? Because right now, I feel like it was the pathetic and weak decision. The affair is ALWAYS on my mind. It's almost ALL I think about!? It feels like it'll never end!!! My marriage feels tainted; like damaged goods. His loyalty - the fact that I would've bet my life on him never hurting me - is one of the things I loved most about him. That's totally gone now.
Because at this point he was completely hooked that's why. At first the WS thinks they are in complete control. Each little step forward, each justification, every time they convince themselves, 'it's okay, it's only...'Then suddenly they are at the point of no return and it's like a drug they can't do without, an addiction and each little point of contact feeds the addiction even more. There's a great word for the feeling of euphoria the affair creates, 'Limerence' They are in their own little world and no one can touch them, but until they start to wake up to reality it's like nothing you say or explain get's through to them. I call it cloud cuckoo land.
In my case I knew things were still continuing between them even though I had outed my WS. It didn't seem to matter that I knew, it still carried on, so I asked him to move out for a while. That was back in March and the affair seems to have been off and on but I have no idea if things continue now. I've now just left him to it to make up his own mind, things may change in the not too distant future, I really don't know at the moment.
You're not a schmuck, you are an intelligent, hardworking and loyal person, but one who has had her loyalty tested to the limits by this incredible deception. But you are not alone in feeling like that! I couldn't believe I didn't know, how could I be so stupid? But of course, you don't know because it is all so underhand and secretive. I suspect a lot of us, too, have thought, no second chances, there is no way I could live with someone that cheated on me, but we all surprise ourselves.
And we stick around because we still love and care for them and about the years we've spent together. You will question things, a lot. And you made the best decision you could at the time, and it's hard because you really don't know what to do. but it's important to remember that over time things may change. You may become more comfortable with your choice. A lot of the time we decide to just stay in the marriage while things calm down and all the dust settles, because we really can't think clearly or rationally. It's one of the most traumatic events that someone has to endure because it's done to you by someone who 'supposedly' loves you.
It's a complete nightmare, the last thing you think of when you go to sleep, the thing you vividly dream about, and the first thing on your mind when you wake up. And the shock makes you feel that everything you had has gone, they are not the person you thought, and it's all been such a waste.
And we all feel like that at first. Someone said to me once, speaking about a family member who lost her husband after 60 years together, 'what a waste, and I said, how can it be a waste, when they spent their lives together? It's not a waste at all. And in essence it's a bit like that because you get to thinking, well, actually, it's not a complete waste, because I've lived that part of my life already, I did do and achieve those things, and enjoyed it at the time. The future I thought I would have might be different, but it's still my future and I am in control of it. That's how I now feel anyway. I try not to look on the past as bad memories because most of the time they were happy ones, if that makes sense?
Eventually things will become clearer, but you will have ups and downs. In the meantime work on you and making you stronger. There is no rush. In the end what will be, will be, but you will be ready for whatever life has to offer you.
So sorry you are in this place, and I really hope it all works out for you both,