Thank you all. This has provided me with a lot of insight and material to think on. It really did help. it is always amazing to me how things can get so turned upside done in the midst of pain. How people can justify things they would normally never do.
Pain begets pain. It's why I think places like this are so important. Hopefully we can learn more about each other, heal and stop the cycle. I see that your past could play a HUGE part in how you perceive the betrayal (and allow you to assume others will feel it in the way you have.) I have experienced a lot of pain in my life - but mainly from "Acts of God" - death, accidents, etc. I have been fortunate that those around me were genuinely kind, if messed up, and so I had little to no experience of betrayal or lying to those you loved. In my family, if there was a fault, it was blunt honesty. So I was ill-prepared for this betrayal. The first thing I asked my husband was when he'd started hating me so much. Because I could not believe that you could have one good feeling about someone and do this to them. You would have to hate them wholly. I assumed she had to hate me too, because I could not imagine doing it to someone I didn't like, much less someone I did. It never occurred to me (and I still struggle to understand) the level of disassociating with another living, breathing person that it would require not to think of their pain. But the way you explained it I could see how both your past and your interpretation of her mindset could allow you to justify your choices. Given that my husband and I were having to live apart and I was rarely visiting, the AP likely used many of the same justifications. Of course she didn't know I was helping my parent's with a cross country move after losing their home to foreclosure and nursing my daughter back from a severe bout of bulimia. My husband has said that they only talked about me in the beginning when they were just "office friends". First about how much he missed me. She told me this herself the one time I met her months before the started "hanging out". Then later as his resentment grew he shared how distant he felt I was being and how bummed he was that I couldn't/wouldn't visit. But once they started seeing each other outside of work - even as friends - he said they stopped talking about me. Once they were sleeping together it became an unspoken rule not to reference anything about his "real life", because it made them both feel bad. I think she thought I was "disconnecting" from my marriage because my husband was angry and hurt by what he saw as me putting everyone else before him (there's a history with my workaholiscm that fed into his seeing THIS circumstance as a continuation of a theme he felt had played throughout our lives. Him wanting me to be with him, but me choosing to prioritize something/someone else.) As I said, I need to think about all this and roll it around in my head - but I really appreciate each of your responses.
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