Thank you for posting your story, m87. You will find reaction from a few who have been in a similar place as you and from many who have been wounded by spouses who made choices like yours. My hope is that we can all learn from each other in a context of graceful honesty.
I want to comment on your pastor's desire for you all to stay together in the same church. While I commend the hope for a kind of healing and restoration that is complete and even forgives wounds 7x70 times, I honestly believe this scenario is likely to be damaging for all of you. My counsel to churches when an affair has happened between two members is to encourage a structure in which healing can happen in a safe environment away from each other
. This has got to be painful for everyone involved.
In large churches with multiple services or locations, this can sometimes be accomplished by a mediator who helps each family come to an agreement about when they will participate in services that are not back-to-back in the same place so there is no chance of encountering each other. In smaller churches, unfortunately, it often means that one family should be encouraged to attend another church for as long as it takes for stability to be realized. THEN you can make a determination about whether to be part of the same congregation again.
If you would like, you are welcome to give your pastor my contact information and I would be happy to communicate with him via email or phone. I work with a number of local churches in helping bring healing to marriages wounded by affairs.
Our church runs around 1500 people but we sit on the same side. I believe the other party have moved on. As far as us...well...look at us, we are separated. I just don't know if I should keep holding on? Or let it go. Or just wait. I feel so lost and I have no one to talk to. I can't even reach out to my friends.