One thing I wonder is if at times, you give him credit for saving you. Because he was there to empower you at such a low point in your life. Granted there will be those that say he only helped you because he was a user... but people are rarely black and white, good or bad. Maybe he was a GREAT friend - but that is where it should have stayed - as a friend. Because his issues seem to become far more apparent when it becomes a love/sexual relationship. I've know a LOT of people like that - loyal and trustworthy friends who'd do anything for you... but the worst boyfriend/girlfriend you could imagine. Because adding that element to the relationship triggered all their issues.
Regardless - there is no going back. And it would be impossible to just be friends at this point and truly detrimental to all involved to even try. But to go back to my initial thought... are you sure that you aren't giving him 90% of the credit for your surviving this difficult time - when maybe YOU deserve 75% and he deserves 25%? Is it a way of unintentionally demeaning yourself by giving someone else the credit (and love/attachment) that rightly belongs to YOU? And is anger the only way to disengage from someone? I've had relationships with friends and lovers where it just became obvious that we weren't good for one another any longer. I didn't have to hate them or think they were awful. I just had to KNOW with certainty that they were not the right person for me. That they were not bringing me joy or happiness. And clearly this guy isn't the right person for you. Not as a lover. Maybe he was good as a friend. But that ship has sailed. And as a SO, he sucks. Even if he wasn't attached, he has a LONG history of cheating. That doesn't change without a LOT of therapy and work. That is something in him. The whole "meeting the one that makes you want to be faithful" is a myth of the highest order. I've NEVER, EVER seen it happen. Eventually that couple hits the same bumps or new ones, and the old messed up coping mechanisms fall into place. What are you doing to find the magic - the feeling good - inside YOU? Therapy is great - but it's for healing the broken and painful bits. How are you working on finding JOY? If you have friends - start getting out with them. If you don't, join MeetUp or other groups and start doing something with people you enjoy and meet some friends (preferably female until you are a bit farther down your healing journey.) Ride bikes, play kickball, take a photography class, join a gym, mentor kids, help out at the retirement home, learn to box and think of your ex when you throw a punch(both of them). Find ways of getting out of your own head. And connecting with new people. The void is there. You need to find a way of filling it He was your friend, he was your support. You have a counselor now - they can be support. So find friends. Join a support group for survivors of abuse, or volunteer to help other women. Set a goal to run a marathon and start training. Set a goal to read a book a week about healing and resilience. Find whatever works for YOU to start replacing all the holes he left in your life. You can do this - you left an abusive marriage. As you know all to well, MANY don't - or they leave in a body bag. Your emotions have come on line again. That is a blessing even if it doesn't feel like it right now. But its like your heart was sleeping (like a foot) and he helped wake those feelings up. But you are experiencing the pins and needles... but as we all know if you keep flexing that limb and pushing blood to it, the pins and needles pass. Keep pushing blood into your heart. But focus those feelings of love and care on YOU. YOU haven't come first for a long time. Take advantage of this time. Rediscover YOU. There is a amazing woman in there with a wealth of experience and new found wisdom. You might find you really like her company. I know you are struggling Easy - but I also know that you have already shown you have the mettle for this fight. Just remember this fight is for YOU - to build a life of your design with the love you deserve. I think if you can hold tight through these days/nights, they are going to come less and less. And your joy and self-confidence will return. I for one am in your corner, rooting for you all the way.
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