EasyAsABC
Just like when I was a BS, I find myself going through phases where I’m obsessing over the affair, but experiencing this as the OW has been much more of an emotional rollercoaster. 
There are days where I feel strong, and happy. Where I feel blessed to have dodged a metaphorical bullet. Where I see all the positives and none of the negatives of him being out of my life good. After all, he spent almost a year lying to me, lying to everyone he cared about. He swears I got the truth no matter what, but that can’t be completely true. I jeopardized and sacrificed my morals to be with him because he told me repeatedly he didn’t love his partner, that it was me that he loved, he was just in a tough position. They had a child, she was talking about ending her life, she didn’t have a job, etc... so him leaving would have destroyed her too much, he had to wait for a better time. And I bought that, but if it was true, then when things blew up in our faces, why choose to stay? Unless he lied the whole time about his feelings for her. 

I can see all of that objectively now. But I still have days like today, where I can’t stop thinking about him, I’m missing him, and I’m fighting the urge to reach out and talk to him. This is probably not helped by the fact that he texted me a week ago and said “I’m trying, but I can’t stop thinking about you, all the time”. 
I still have that message, just sitting in my phone. And every time I open my messages it’s just there staring at me. I can’t bring myself to just delete it. 
And now I’m wondering how much I’ve lied to myself that I’ve moved on, and that I’m ready to embrace my life without him, and that I’m ready to meet someone new, someone that will be much better for me. 

There is is so much literature and research regarding BS recovery, but there is nothing about OW recovery. I don’t know how long I should expect to have days like this. It’s really eating me up. It would be so much easier if when I ended things, he didn’t keep insisting that he was still in love with me. I just don’t believe you can be in love with two people, but his insistence that he still loved me almost makes me feel like there’s no closure. 

Im just sort of ranting here I guess. I’m keeping myself busy so I don’t make a mistake. 
BS to an abusive H 2009-2018
OW 2018-2019
I wear many hats.
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ThrivenotSurvive
A couple thoughts:

1.  Leaving that text message there is a mistake.  It's like a constant itch that wants to be scratched.  If you aren't ready to delete it altogether, consider taking a picture of it and then putting the picture in a file on your computer or somewhere you won't see it unless you go looking for it.  I had copies of some of the text/emails that the AP sent my husband after DD and while he had deleted them, I was still trying to understand her thought processes and wanted to mull her choice of words.  So I did something like what I am suggesting to you - and then as I became ready to let go of it, I deleted them.  But being out of sight meant I thought about it a LOT less.  

2.  Let's take the most difficult case scenario and play it through to its logical end.  While there is a lot of evidence that he's full of crap, maybe he's telling the truth.  So let's say for arguments sake that he does, in fact, love you both.  There are people who feel that they are quite capable of loving more than one person romantically (it is the basis of polyamory.)  So let's say it's true.  That still leaves you in a scenario with a man who a) doesn't want to be, or isn't capable of being, in a monogamous relationship (you mentioned that this is NOT his first affair and I doubt it will be his last.)  Are you okay with that?  If his spouse called you tomorrow and said that they had decided to have an open marriage and you could have him 1/2 of his free time (separate from family time with their kid)... would that really be enough for you? 

In addition, just because he loves you doesn't mean it is a healthy love (for you or him.)  Does it build you up?  Does it make you feel peaceful and good about yourself?  When push comes to shove is he going to put you first?  He actions don't suggest so.  That he would have put you in the position he did after knowing what you'd been through makes me think that if he does love you - it is not a kind or giving love.  Not the kind where you want more for them the you do for yourself. 

Add to that, that he was willing to make you a party to dishonesty - that is not a component of healthy love.  I would never dream of asking someone I love to do something that I knew was against their morals.  I could not be that selfish knowing that they would suffer internally for that decision.  Do you WANT to love a man who puts his needs consistently before your own?  Didn't you already do that before?  You deserve more.  

I know about this first hand.  My first love was intense.  He loved me deeply and I was insane about him.  But I thank God regularly that we didn't stay together.  He had issues with substance abuse, the law and in later relationships - issues with being faithful for more than a year or two.  It wasn't because he didn't love his partner - it was because he used attention (and alcohol and cocaine) to fill a black hole inside himself.  He was charismatic, charming, loving and kind.  But he was so broken he'd have made my life an exciting disaster. 

3.  I think you are going through the VERY NORMAL stages of the end of any relationship.  I have felt this way even when I was the one who wanted to break-up.  Because even if you know the person isn't right for you, there is still a loss.  

Learn to be happy alone.  When you get there, you will invariably meet the perfect person for you.  I've seen it happen over and over.  I will have a friend who's obsessed with an ex - or the pursuit of someone new.  They drive themselves crazy trying to find Mr./Ms. Right - and when they finally decide they are over the search - that maybe they will just relax and enjoy their life and their friends on their own.. along comes the ONE.  It's like God waits to see that you've realized that you are enough FIRST, so you don't use another person to gauge your worth anymore.  

Just my two cents.  
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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Sadie
The longer you keep the lines of communication open, the longer it will take to get over him.    Block his number on your phone.    Block him on social media.   He will also know that you are serious by blocking him.    It is like picking at a scab.  It will never heal if you keep picking at it.   
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EasyAsABC
Sadie wrote:
The longer you keep the lines of communication open, the longer it will take to get over him.    Block his number on your phone.    Block him on social media.   He will also know that you are serious by blocking him.    It is like picking at a scab.  It will never heal if you keep picking at it.   


You're definitely right. 
I did block him, so I thought, on every platform that we used to communicate. Which felt good. 
And then it turns out I missed blocking one of his many phone numbers, and got that text last week, and it really threw me off unfortunately. 
BS to an abusive H 2009-2018
OW 2018-2019
I wear many hats.
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Sadie
I am so sorry that you missed one of the numbers.  My wh blocked the ap’s number.  She tried to call him, so her number came up, but then was quickly dropped.   Thankfully, he showed me that she tried to call, but I will say that it took me back to almost square 1 of my healing.  I say almost, because at least he didn’t hide it from me.   
No contact at all really does help the healing process.
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Turmoil
I totally get you on this. But like you said, if you don’t believe that he can love two people then best to hold onto the negatives and keep moving forward. I’m glad you’ve ended things. I’m working on ending things too. I hopeful for you as that would prove to be hope for me! 
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Fionarob
What it comes down to now is an enormous amount of willpower............to not contact him or give in to his messages reaching out to you.  It's difficult and it doesn't  go away after a couple of weeks.  It takes time and you just have to put up with the pain and the desire to make contact.  You have to keep the long-term goal in sight constantly.  But it's tough.  Anyone who has been in love and that relationship has ended will understand, regardless of whether it was an affair or not.  In fact, I think it's almost harder when it's an affair that's ended, because the highs of the relationship were probably more intense than a 'normal' relationship.  Also, you never really get to experience it as a normal relationship, with all the boring bits.  It's always secret, intense, exciting, not knowing when you will next be together etc.  It makes it all way more difficult to give up.

I wish my ex-husband's AP had done what you are doing and had the strength of character to walk away from him and leave him alone.  He ended their affair several times, but she constantly messaged him for weeks each time, until he would eventually give in and start things up again.  If she had been stronger, like you are, and left him alone when he told her he wanted his marriage and children, not her, then maybe he would still be here now.  And maybe my children would still have their Dad and a 'normal' family life.  Of course he was just as weak - he couldn't give her up.  He could have tried much harder to resist her.  But he just couldn't do it.  He once told me he wished she would end things and leave him alone, so that he could just get over her once and for all and move on with his life.  But the pull back into it was always too strong to resist.

You are doing an amazing job of resisting.........just keep it up.  One day at a time. 
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UrbanExplorer
The feeling of attachment and loss really will go away with time, but you have got to do what you can to cut the cord. Don't keep anything around from the affair, not even messages (the new message was pretty manipulative of him, an attempt to keep you hanging on). Try not to let yourself obsess and rehash in a fantasy sense. When you do, remind yourself specifically of the negative things that happened and how you were hurt and also hurt others. Try to put the affair in context and use it as a springboard toward becoming your best self. When you have allowed yourself to be pulled down and abandoned your values, there is nowhere to go but up toward something good.
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UrbanExplorer
Regarding what he told you about loving you and not his girlfriend/wife, it's not necessarily a conscious lie, but it's his attempt to make himself AND you feel better about what you both did by slanting reality in one direction. It becomes justifiable to break promises, because this is true love between you, or some such thing.

Having a child does suck energy out of a relationship, so he probably felt like he wasn't getting attention from his partner and resented her and spun it into a whole story about that relationship being dead. Once the affair came out, he might have realized what he was going to lose and been jolted back to reality. That is exactly what happened to me.

However, by contacting you, he's still trying to have it both ways. He messaged you because he still wants you as an outlet, not because it is what's best for you. In fact, he is putting you at great risk of being confronted (again?) by his partner and having your reputation and self-esteem ruined. 
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