When the affair turns into a relationship
I'm hoping some of you out there might be able to offer some advice on this one. I will try to be brief.
Last September, I discovered my wife had been having an affair for 5 months. Looking back over the summer (it was horrible), I should have suspected it, but I just couldn't make myself belief she could do that to me.
Anyway, I discovered it, confronted her, and it was bad. She was in deep and said she loved him. I essentially had to force them to stop - we have a 9 year-old daughter and I was to be damned for them to continue any longer. We live in a small town and the affair partner was a teacher of my daughter - no way was this affair going to be discovered by the greater community and then it get to my daughter, shame all of us etc.
So it ended and we went through 6 months of hell where we both knew deep down that too much had happened. I didn't tell any of my family and she didn't tell hers. I wanted badly to expose it to family, but just decided it could only potentially harm my daughter if I did.
In February, we legally separated. Although I knew we were done, I was still reluctant. After all that had happened, I still cared for her and didn't want to break our family apart. Nonetheless, she wasn't very open to counseling or working on things - as I mentioned, she got in deep with this guy and I don't think she ever let go of the idea of being with him again.
So - here I am today, riding that roller coaster that so many people talk about. Our separation has been quite cordial and we've been doing things in the very best interests of our daughter (I'm trying to keep her as my focus and reason to keep this to myself).
However - here's my most recent kicker. Soon after our legal separation, she began seeing him again. Am I surprised? Not really. But I was pissed off because I hadn't moved out yet and it was just more lying/deceit/disrespect. I hadn't nearly enough time to get over the shock of all of this and now this just felt like their thing was put "on hold" until I was moved aside.
And now she has just very recently gone on a first open date and it appears that an actual relationship will ensue. Despite her being very remorseful, and being given word that he is also remorseful and wants to be able to work with me in the future if they have a serious relationship.
I have tried to stay on the high road with all of this. And I have decided at various times that I would do my best to find a way to come to some kind of reconciliation with this guy if they do develop a real relationship - only because I want to protect my daughter from conflict/confusion/etc.. She's certainly worth it.
But now I find myself struggling with it as I am dealing with a new place, reduced income, being alone and the intense anger and resentment that comes with having someone intrude into your family like this. I am queasy at the idea that I might have to be in the same space as this guy, that he might become a part of my daughter's life. He's a surprisingly respectable community member, but it doesn't matter much to me. To me, he represents a terrible, terrible time in my life and because of his lack of respect, our marriage received the final nail in the coffin so to speak. And all of it affects my daughter - if they had of been discovered and the affair exposed, it could have been horrible for my family.
Sorry - I promised to not be long-winded.
How do I do this? How do I stay on the high road and move forward? I will still be in situations where I will be with her family on occasions as we are very close - how do I keep pretending? Does it get easier? harder?
All of this would have been easier if she would have moved on with someone else. Now I am going to be force-fed the affair partner - gross.
Just looking for insights, experiences, points of view, suggestions, etc..