Phoenix
My BS has never wanted our kids to know about my infidelity until we separate. Today he took my daughter to by sugar cookies to Walmart and he sent me this through a group text not realizing it was our group family text, “We are going to target South Gate to get L**** cookies
Ok
I know just didn’t want to go target period .
Oh
Then why don’t you go to another Walmart instead
Or to an Albertsons
Didn’t want to remember how happy you were to see tony
They have sugar cookies at super markets to
Then don’t go”

so i texted him privately, 

You know you are texting in group text
“Didn’t want to remember how happy you were to see tony “
You put this in group text
I know
So you meant to do it
No but it’s done
Which means
I am not apologizing for it
To who?
To you .. L**** didn’t ask so if she ask you I will let you explain who tony is ..
You can explain
I guess it doesn’t matter anymore
I tried to cover it up in the text but I guess it doesn’t matter anymore
And I’m not asking for an apology
So it’s for me to explain your affair and who tony is and was for you ? Really ?
You are with her now, that’s what I meant. I’m sure she is questioning in her head what’s going on
Ok if she ask I will let her know who tony is for you and us 
And what he still means to you
I don’t think she needs to know details and traumatize her the way you are
I hope your goal is not to hurt me through her
We can talk to them but they don’t need to be traumatized

so so I guess the cat is out of the bag
 
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ThrivenotSurvive
I am sorry Phoenix.  I think trying to open the possibility of reconciliation sent your husband spiraling.  Accepting that a part of you still wants this person who harmed you and mistreated you so, makes you feel incredibly weak.  It makes you question if there is something wrong with you. 

In turn, these feelings cause you to feel a level of vulnerability that is like nothing I, personally, have never felt before.  It's like having been nearly mauled to death by a tiger that you'd lived with for years.  And then, while you are wrapped in bandages from head to toe, barely able to keep food down, the tiger wants to come rub up against you and snuggle.  It wants you to understand that it got scared, or confused and hurt you by accident.  It still loves you and wants to go back to the way it was before.  And on some level - YOU DO TOO.  But on anther level you are thinking - I can't, and don't even want to try, to live through another attack. 

I have always scored really high on emotional intelligence testing - even 20 years ago before it was a "thing".  But I found that i was having to learn new skills of self-control, self-soothing and impulse/fear regulation that I didn't know existed after DD.  My heart loved my husband, but every other part said RUN.  

I think your husband is in horrible turmoil because one part of him wants you and the life he thought he had back.  The other part needs and wants to see you suffer for the pain you have caused.  

A big turning point for a BS is getting to a place of acceptance.  This happened, my fairy tale is broken and there is no way to start over and get it back.  This is a very, very bitter pill.  And yet, until you can accept it, you can't start to change the narrative.  Maybe the new narrative is that it is still a fairytale, but one with a very dark and evil event that was overcome by the hero and heroine together.  Or maybe the new narrative was that the fairytale was a stupid book for kids and you grew up and made a blockbuster movie for yourself.  Or a thousand other things.  

He has to realize that he CAN'T rewrite history (which as I said is a bitter pill, especially for romantics/dreamers) BUT we can write the ending.  That is where the his (and all of our) power is.  

Until he can reach this point, there is no path to rebuilding.  Just this inevitable loop back to this place.  

Your husband seems to be a slow healer.  That is NO ding on him.  Just a fact.  It took him two years to even reach the point of considering reconciliation.  That is a point I got to by two to three weeks after DD - and then becoming FULLY committed to my marriage somewhere between 12-18  months (there is a lot of back and forth in your emotions due to fear.)

That means you are likely JUST NOW reaching where I was at 2-3 weeks after DD.  And given how slow his progress has been to this point, it may continue to take a really long time to get to each milestone.  

I think he is capable of getting to those milestones - and healing.  But I think some combination of his upbringing, personality and the specifics of your betrayal are going to cause it to be an unusually lengthy and painful experience.  And my heart breaks for what you might have to endure to get there. 

I honestly don't know where this leaves you.  If you leave - I think he will see it as another (the ultimate) betrayal - even if you are just trying to help him rip the band aid off that he won't.  That is deeply unfair.  But I still think it is likely how he will see it.  But I can't, in good conscience ask you to endure verbal and emotional abuse for another 2-3 years either (after the 2 you already have.)  The two of you are caught in what feels like a no-win situation.  You cannot be expected to pay for your mistake with being unhappy for the rest of your life.  Even as a BS - I don't think that is fair. 

But, on the flip side - nothing about this situation is fair for him either.  He didn't ask for any of it.  And it isn't fair to judge him because he wasn't emotionally prepared to deal with being betrayed and lied to for decades.  

I honestly am at a loss.  I think you will have to search YOUR heart and decide what you can live with.  Will it be easier for you to live with staying and trying for another year, giving it your all, and then reassess then to see if any meaningful progress has taken place?  Or is it breaking you down too much?  You need to preserve your self-worth and mental health for yourself and your kids.  You don't deserve to sit in your car and cry alone after two years.  You did not forfeit the right to be happy ever again.  

I wish I had more wisdom to offer in your situation.  I wish I could help light the way for your husband to find his way out of this dark hole of pain he's trapped in.  You may have put him there - but truth is that only HE has the power to climb out (whether that is combined with leaving or staying is his choice).  Not fair, but still true.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Keepabuzz
I’m a slow healer too.  I am unashamed about that, I should have never had to heal from such a devastating wound. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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ThrivenotSurvive
I don't disagree, Keep.  It's just a statement of fact - not judgement.  None of us deserved this.  And we get to heal as slowly or in whatever way we choose. 

But Phoenix will need to decide how much she can endure because staying in a place of shame for years can make people suicidal.  That outcome would not benefit him or her kids.  The pain, shame and lack of hope that BOTH the BS and WS experience for years in the aftermath of an affair is a HIGH price for everyone to pay.  And these two people (both in extreme pain) are also the backbone of their family.  I find it hard to believe that their kids can't sense something amiss between her depression and his anger. 

Something will give at some point.  It is my sincere hope that his heart will soften as he sees her hold fast - but I can't promise that - no one can.  What I KNOW I don't want is to come on here one day and Phoenix isn't posting because her depression got to a untenable point.  I know that seems like histrionics - but it is always a real possibility for both BS and WS.  All people have a breaking point.  I am just encouraging Phoenix to keep an eye on hers.  
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Keepabuzz
Thrivenotsurvive,

I didn’t think even for a second you were judging. I was just saying that I can understand clearly where he is at. Today is/was my wedding anniversary. My wife again wanted to celebrate, but let me decide. For me I don’t have a wedding anniversary, that marriage is dead and gone. I’m over 4 years out. So today wasn’t a “bad day”, it was just “a day”. I truly understand how slow healing is for someone like me, and her husband. He has far, far more to get past than I did.  I agree about suicide. There was more than one occasion that I sat in my truck, on the side of a dark road in the middle of the night with a loaded pistol in my hand seriously contemplating eating a bullet. My kids are literally the only reason I’m still on this side of the grass.  
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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UrbanExplorer
Sorry, Phoenix. My kids know about my affair, at least the older two do, and they know who my AP was. My BS wanted to keep it between us, but it became a major topic of public gossip and led to some lifestyle changes. It was at least as bad/shame-inducing as my BS finding out. All I can promise is that you will get through this.
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Phoenix
Thank you everyone. Everyone has made very valid points.  always learn so much when I post and get so much help. 
Thrive, I am sure my kids have a notion of what is happening. My son when he is around us spends a lot of time quiet and observing. My daughter is in denial. I can see the toll it is taking on my son. My daughter is super busy, senior in high school, athlete in school and out, involved in the community. 
Keep, I know your wife made you feel unloved and less than. You're not you have been such a valuable asset to this community. I don't know you in any other part of your life but for you to stick around after your wife's affair says so much about you. Only the strong survive. 
Urban, I can't imagine how horrible you felt. I am sorry that happened to you. As of now the only ones who truly know are my mother in law, one of my friends (mentor), and my mother in law. If we divorce I am will be speaking to all of our friends in person and apologize for being a fraud. 
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