Re: BS with long time update
StillSearching, I'll give you major props for being honest with yourself. It may not have been the choice others would make, and it doesn't appear it would be the choice you would make now in hindsight, but things change, we grow older, we acquire assets, family dynamics change and your reasons for staying now are likely completely different from the reasons you stayed originally, but you are being honest with yourself (and us) about your reasons then, which you may now regret, and your reasons now.
We see so many other BH's that choose R and then live a life of self-deception ... many of them are the most ardent supporters of R on these forums. It is pathetic watching them try to convince others to R, when they're really only trying to convince themselves that they did the right thing.
However, a BH CAN find happiness from within over any number of things, as long as they are honest with themselves, and NOT dependent on their WW's meeting their expectations of what you once thought you had. The hardest part for me was making peace with myself and accepting the consequences of my own poor choices. Now, I'm not excusing my W's behavior by accepting any blame for her choice, but I had ample evidence prior to M to see the red flags waving that I ignored due to being "in love" that could have allowed me to avoid the whole mess altogether ... THAT'S ON ME, and was part of me being honest enough with myself to acknowledge my mistakes and move forward from them.
I am painfully aware that I'm very capable of making major life screw ups ... now I focus on not making the same one's over again.