...I believe I have started forgiving him. Unfortunately, none of it has really resonated with my DS - he is still keeping his phones and still seeing his AP, for this reason i have gone on leave... Divorce is not really an option for me at this stage (dday was 8 months ago, he is still in the fog). What can you advice? I still need help...
In_limbo, thank you for the update on your situation. You are doing your best in a difficult situation. Divorce is not an easy option for many, I know. Until you have the ability to make a more independent move, you have "separated" from him as much as you can. That's good. There can be no reconciliation when he is without remorse and continues to act in ways that serve himself rather than his family/marriage.
You can offer him whatever measure of grace you are willing to give (kindness, including him in meals, etc.), but you are not obligated to do so. The fact that you are willing to forgive is a good thing, I believe, but I'm glad you understand the difference between forgiving him and trusting him.
There is an exercise I sometimes ask clients to do when they are considering the condition of their life and the changes they would like to see in the future. I'll attach it here in case it is of any use to you.
One of our Community members, LadyFinn, once posted a message to another betrayed spouse that I thought was really powerful. Let me paste it here:
“You and I are on a journey that millions of women have been on. Some say their marriage is better than it has ever been. Some divorce, some never rise above the anxiety, catastrophic hurt, the shock and absolute trauma. Some withdraw from life and become bitter old cat ladies. Some commit suicide, some stay in a hopeless painful imitation of a marriage. Some rage until no one dares be around them, destroying what is left of their lives.
“Some have revenge affairs and leave their children with a legacy of two cheating parents. Some stay on their feet, go through the motions for everyone else while inside they are certifiably dead. Some stay with the cheating spouse and punish them in every way imaginable until bitterness bleeds from the rafters.
“Then there are some who find a way through. Some use compassion and forgiveness, work on changing the way they think, their self esteem, their co-dependency and whatever childhood injuries have been assaulted once again by the actions of a betraying husband. Some do the extremely painful work of taking a personal inventory, assuming accountability for their own pain and its healing. They cry to flush away the losses and find a way to push past their pain, or walk along beside it. They do not allow one more second to be consumed by the fallout of someones else's inadequacies.“I am limping down that path. That is the choice I am making. I am in control now... of ME. I am nowhere near the finish line, but there is room for you right beside me. I know who I am trying to be. Who do YOU want to be?”