We met with the mediator Wednesday. We had a bit of a blow up Tuesday night (probably caused by nerves & emotions) so I was a little on edge going into the appointment. It went well. We have some paperwork to complete and then go back to start making decisions. We have talked a few times about division of assets and support and I believe are pretty close to an agreement. We will start a co-parenting plan with our therapist soon. I will most likely not move out until after the new year for various reasons. Finances being a big one, followed by lack of affordable housing in the areas I want to live. Houses are selling very quickly right now and rentals are very expensive. As of now, we are cohabiting relatively nicely. There are moments its really hard, others where it feels like nothing has changed and other moments that feel easier without the weight of trying to “fix” us.

While I believe divorce is the best option for me at this point, I HATE thinking about how it is going to affect my kids. I think they are the reason I’ve held on. Them and fear. And a wacked sense of loyalty.

For a long time I had hope that things would improve between he and I. At times they did. I have some very loving, fond memories of our entire relationship, including some great times post affair. I also have some very ugly, hurtful memories. And it seems the bad outweighs the good. It seems neither of us are really able to let go of the hurt from the past and sustain vulnerability with each other. He says he has let it all go, yet his actions and words don’t support that.

I have let go of the pain pre-affair. I’m actually in a good spot with the pain of his affair. Its post-affair that I’m struggling with. It really boils down to his attitude about the affair and things he did not do to make amends. I mean, you can’t make it right. Can’t take it back. Can’t make it go away. But there are things a “cheater” can do to reflect their remorse and empathy. And that is what lacked. He had moments, chunks of time, that he was able to show it. I believe he tried to show it, but in his love language instead of mine, so the message wasn’t received. An example is buying me a car. That does not equal remorse and empathy in my book. Sitting with me, holding me and reassuring me while I fell apart is what I needed. And he did that…sometimes. I needed to let out my pain without hearing about the pain I caused him. I needed him to just listen to understand.  I needed him to come out of his comfort zone emotionally. I needed him to sit in the uncomfortable shit his affair created. I need him to stand up and tell me that he knows he was a complete piece of shit for what he did, that I didn’t deserve it and he will do what needs to be done for as long as it needs to be done. And he did that…once or twice and thought that should be enough.

In the midst of the occasional show of support, care and concern were threats of divorce. Continued flirting with other females. Other lies. Those behaviors coupled with the fact that the limited remorse and empathy were sporadic – were just not enough for me.

I have moments of anger, which is really just masked pain. I’m hurt. Hurt that he couldn’t step up the way I needed him to after he cheated on me. But if I dig deeper, I’m hurt because of how I treated myself. I didn’t stand up for myself. I didn’t value and love myself. I didn’t treat myself with respect. I didn’t treat myself how I deserve to be treated. So why am I so shocked and hurt that he treated me the same? I’m upset with myself for not demanding more of him right after his affair. For not standing up for myself early on. For not speaking my mind. For holding back what I really thought and felt at times. I wasn’t living authentically and honoring myself. And perhaps that is where the greatest source of my pain lies.

I know I have some rough times ahead.  I also know that some wonderful opportunities will show themselves when the time is right. I’m focusing on what I need to heal and be my best self. I’m educating myself on finances and ways I can invest and make passive income so I’m less reliant on him for support – and so I can live the future I dreamed of (being self employed or semi-retired making passive income so I can travel and live how I want).

My future may not be with him, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be great.