I don't remember my exact DD.   My marriage was not a marriage in the sense of an intimate connection long before my H disclosed his affair and when I learnt of his other relationship it was horrible but put the whole situation into context rather than being the huge shock that it should have been.   I guess this is because it is third time he has had a relationship with someone else during our marriage. Now that he has been gone for 3 or 4 months life is finding a new normal with me and the children  moving on with our lives  and  WS and I get on well in our dealings with our five young children.   My heart still yearns for him to want to be my husband and a proper father to our children and I often dream of the comfort and completeness I have as he is beside me only to wake up and find he is not there.   I guess I feel (or maybe I am a bit delusional :-()  like God wants us to be a couple and my husband does not see that yet but if I trust in God then one day my husband will come home and be a better husband than he has ever been because he has come to a place where he really knows what he wants in life rather than chasing dreams that never give him the contentedness he thinks it will. 

I am placing boundaries in our relationship and in some ways I find that hard to do.   Yesterday he asked if he could come to my place and do some washing as he has been using a laundromat and that is getting expensive.   I could see his point as money is too tight to be running two households (we are all doing without in one way or another because of the lack of money)  but that is what we have to do now he has made his decision to leave.   After thinking about his request I let him know I was really sitting on the fence about it as if he was a friend who was asking to use my washing machine as theirs had broken down then I'd definitely let him use it but he has made his decision to leave and one of the consequences was that he had to find somewhere else to do his washing.   He responded that he felt angry when I talked like that (which was actually an improvement for him as he never usually tells me how he feels).   I said I was sorry but I could not act like his best friend after the hurt and pain  he has caused me and suggested perhaps he could do his washing at his APs house (although I don't even  know if he is still seeing her as I have asked that he does not talk to me about her as I find it too upsetting). 

I would love others thoughts on the following:

  • Do you ever get to the point of treating your WS as you would another person without taking their betrayal and the hurt they have caused into account?   (Part of me wants to treat my WS like I would any other person  but part of me wants to make him understand there are consequences to his actions)
  • Do you ever get to the point where you just see the person without seeing the affair as part of who that person is?
  • Is a person's slate totally clean when you forgive them as if the past never happened or do you need to hold on to a certain amount of the past to protect yourself in the future?
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I am not sure if I am the right person to answer but I will anyway!  It sounds to me like you still love your husband, whereas mine hurt me so much in the end I began to hate him.  Now he has left I probably don't hate him, but I still dislike him for causing me so much pain and I would never be able to take him back, so we are in different positions.

I am not sure even if we had worked it out, whether I would ever have just seen the person, and not the person who had an affair.  Maybe after many years of trustworthy and loving behaviour that would change, but now I will never know.  I think that was one of my h's huge hang ups, that he felt I would never truly love him again.  But unfortunately that is the risk they take when having an affair.  It does become part of who they are and shapes who we are too in our fight to deal with it all.

I am not sure about the clean slate question either!!  I forgave my h over and over and he kept cheating on me.  I don't think we need to intentionally hold onto the past to protect ourselves, it's just something we do subconsciously.  But in the end, nothing you do can protect yourself from the pain of another betrayal if it happened.  I think what is more important is that you know in your own mind what you are willing to accept.  And if you decide that the next betrayal is one too many then you have to stick to it and do whatever you need to do.  That is how you ultimately protect yourself, by having the boundaries and consequences firmly in your mind.  I used to say to myself "next time he does it will be the last time"......but I didn't stick to it.  With hindsight, if I had, I would have saved myself years of pain and anxiety. 

Different people will have different perspectives on this depending on the outcome of their story.  I will be interesting to see what others think.
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