For me,I would like to be a better person, that is, more assertive (I'm always working on this), less conflict avoidant (this too), more self-actualizing. I've always tended to be a follower and, since my BS has lots of ideas of good and fun things to do, I love to be a part of that. I would like to be more able to initiate things to do myself.
For our relationship, I want to continue to be honest, to understand why I do what I do and have done, to be heard and have good conversations.
I want to live with my BS and continue to do the things we enjoy together: taking walks, eating meals together, travel, seeing family and friends, reading, watching sports and movies...lots of things. I want to live with him until I die.
I would have more expansive goals, if I wasn't so old!
For him, most importantly, he wants to understand why I betrayed him and lied to him for so many years so that he can move towards acceptance and forgiveness. In our final years together, he wants to continue enjoying the things we like to do together, things I've listed above.
TWD, thanks for sharing your vision and highest hopes for the future. By and large, a worthy vision for this final chapter imo. Wholesome. Positive. A "riding off into the sunset toegether" kind of thing. I hope much of this if not all can be reached by and for you both. I now know where you hope to go and Ill assume your BH feels similarly unless you correct that assumption. I am also keeping in mind this comment:
What we're doing is trying to figure out how to live with my betrayal in the best way.
Now to what I believe are blockers/impediments to achieving this vision:
The first is one you've already laid out and it is formidable:
He vehemently disagrees with me and strongly agrees with you. I'm glad I'm here to discuss these things, although it makes me very emotional. As I believe I mentioned before, our final D-Day was on our 50th anniversary. Since I stopped hiding things then, I thought we could begin R, but I have taught him to distrust and disrespect me. I think we've made progress since then, but he's not confident that he can trust my word.
The context here was that you were responding to this question:
Does your BH agree with you that the marriage was not ended/severed by your two year betrayal and therefore reconciliation and beginning anew were never needed?????
In order to move forward into your mutually held vision for the future, there must be a "meeting of the minds" on this point. Has there been any movement on your position? Can you now affirm that the betrayal, deceit, and decades of trickle truth are basically seen as marital scorched earth by your BH? Gently but firmly, when you clarified further the immensity of the trauma inflicted on your BH with this:
Here is some background information: When I first told him that I'd had intercourse with another man, it was 7 months after the day I did it. I told him I hadn't seen AP since that day. BS thought I wasn't too bright (naive), thought that AP forced himself upon me, and believed I never saw him again. He says that, at the time and with these beliefs, he could imagine doing what I described himself.
The truth is that I saw AP 2 - 3 times a week during that 7 months before I told him that I had sex with AP. During that time, I visited him at his workplace...now I see that I was stalking him.
I let him go to the AP's workplace and confront him while he was believing the lies I told him about the affair. It was dangerous and cowardly of me.
I'll continue later. You've given me lots to consider.
I saw an inferno. I like word pictures. They act as bridges for truth, understanding and wisdom. I see the fact that you told your BH tbat you only met with your AP once in 7 months when in fact it was 2-3 times per week for 7 months, so somewhere between 50-80 times, like a raging forrest fire. I used to live in a place surrounded by national forrest. Beautiful but mercurial. Every summer there would be fire season and when there were large fires, they could consume thousands of acres and that scar could remain on the land for decades. Ever so slowly though, new growth would appear and recovery would progress over many years. Your betrayal was that fire. It laid waste to your old marriage. Every trickle truth was a new fire that burned up the new growth of recovery. I am not trying to trigger shame, just lay out the facts, hopefully deepen understanding and affirm your BH's perception. Can you now accept his perception? Will you meet him at his pain point and mourn together the death of the old marriage? As a former betrayed, I believe this is what he needs. I also believe it is what you need. So you can both heal. So you can not just survive, but thrive in these remaining years.
Meet him there with wholehearted acknowledgement, and I believe good things, maybe even great things can happen.
From what youve shared, i believe this to be the largest impediment to progressing into your vision.
If there are more from your pov, please feel free to share.
Two final thoughts on this. I challenge you to embrace both radical ownership and radical transparency. The likes of which youve never lived before.
Again, let me illustrate. As to radical ownership, I referenced a BH that still triggered muliple times a year, some 30+ years later. His WW was so in tune to this that she still holds his hands and tells him what he needs to hear and, just as importantly, what she needs to say. That it was all her. Her immature and toxic need to attention and validation. Just affirmation of the truth yet again until he breaths deep and the storm calms in his soul. Radical ownership.
Radical transparency relies on communication. There is a couple I know of that are solidly in R and she, the wayward, has embraced this BUT she is not as good a verbal communicator as she is at communicating in written form. Shes a processor, like me. Her BH knows this about her and understands. When they get into intense duscussions about her marital treason, she listens and jots notes. She carries a little notebook with her for that purpose. He is fine with this as he knows she is engaged and reinforces this by asking insightful questions without defensiveness. He knows that in the next day or two, he will recive a hand written letter, or card, or an email, where she affirms his feelings and describes her thoughts and feelings on the same topic. This of course leads to more in depth discussions and they hold nothing back. They challenge each other to be better. Shoot, they challenge me to be better.
On that note, if there is yet ANYTHING that yet needs to be disclosed to him, now is the time. Sweep out those corners of your mind again and disclose any and all. Radical transparency. Like a freshly washed window brightly lit by a sunny day. Just for him.
So, radical ownership. Radical transparency. I hope you can discuss this with your BH and embrace this like never before in your time remaining. I believe that this is the best way to move forward.
I look forward to your thoughts.
ETA: Radical ownership and transparency will naturally address the concerns of your BH that you described in his vision for the future.
ETA2: Remember the old addage: You cannot grab hold until you fully let go.
[This message edited by DobleTraicion at 3:15 PM, Tuesday, September 5th]