| | Re: Starting the recovery, have to be strong for her
It has now been 3 weeks since it happened and I told her.
Things have been, for lack of a better word, amazing. We have spent a ton of time together, we have discussed a lot of things and have been open and honest with each other.
I have had to deal with some things that were small steps on the way. I have never deleted text messages, or facebook messages and I have had conversations that were inappropriate. Not that they were every cybersex, pics, or anything like close to that, but I discussed things that should not have been there. I also cut contact with a female friend of mine. My wife asked me to do that, so I did. She has been a friend for about 7 years and it made me sad, but it needed to be done. It was not an EA, but I know it made my wife uncomfortable, and that is all that matters.
Another thing I am dealing with is coming to terms with now deep my issues with pornography have run. I know that people have different views here, but I cannot justify it anymore. I have been a user of it since I was 12 years old, and it has consumed a lot of what was meant for my wife. It became an obsession, multiple times a day, a variety of subjects, and ultimately into fantasy. That fantasy helped pave the road to that woman's hotel room. I allowed myself to believe a lie, a lie that has stolen from my marriage for over 16 years. She did not deserve this, and she did not deserve who she married.
We have returned to physical contact, however, rather than risk anything, we are waiting until 3 months to resume intercourse. That is to ensure I did not contract HIV. Yes, it is a very small chance, but I would rather wait than know my choice sentenced both of us to death.
In some ways, it is refreshing to not have the option. It is more like we are dating again and there is not a rush to get to that step. We are enjoying each other slowly, kindling what should have been there from the start.
The 3 month test will be about a week before our 17th anniversary. She recently made mention of renewing our vows. I was thinking about planning a surprise ceremony on the weekend of our anniversary, nothing overly fancy, just some good friends and family. If possible I will make a short 'honeymoon' for us that weekend after the ceremony. I am not sure how it will all come together and I feel like this is overly cheesy, but I think she will appreciate it and love it.
In addition to this, her wedding ring was lost and mine no longer fits. I am going to get us new, matching rings. Not sure what they will be right now, but I think it is important. She has started wearing a place holder ring, since all of this started.
Anyway, that is where we are. Any comments and advice are appreciated.