Thanks for the advice and support.
Mono, I think you are right on about letting go of the big picture right now, I think those thoughts can trigger me because I am not sure what the future holds or will look like. I just know I have to let go of what ever vision I have been holding for the last number of years. It seems like the message of monogamy bombards us everywhere, songs, movies, commercials, books..and that is currently the thinking I am trying to restructure.
Crisare, you asked some good questions I'll try to answer because I agree processing happens in asking the right questions and thoughtfully considering the answers.
First of all I gave my blessing because I love my husband and support his happiness. During the 7 months we had together to process the affair and rebuild our relationship I began to realize the love he had for Mary was real and wasn't going away. It was quite an ego blow but something I have worked through. I also realized the love he had for me was real, he loves me deeply and didn't want our marriage to end. I also realized during the affair that I wasn't necessarily a possessive person so an open marriage could possibly be an option.
I never felt like I had to offer it or risk losing my husband, I knew I had to offer it to have a happy marriage.
I haven't decided if another partner is a necessary element for my happiness. My husband would be supportive if I ever chose to pursue that option.
Mary is not going back to her husband, she would like her primary relationship to be with my husband. She understands that he will never leave me and is happy to have whatever time she can get. Mary and I don't have any real relationship at this point although there is a very long history of us being friends, we have only spoken once in person since they began seeing each other again. My husband would like to keep both of us in his life, for the rest of his life. He is a very passionate man and loves 110%.
Thinking this through, I think my pain is around the unknown of the future and letting go of a dream I had for my future. I have been inspired by the success stories I have read on the forum and am trying to create a positive vision for my life. It has just been a lot to assimilate in a short amount of time...no real warm up period where I could get used to all of this in baby steps. I have already experienced the tangible benefits, my relationship is more intimate with my husband. I am uncovering many things personally that I need to deal with, regardless of the status of my marriage, and I always see the positive opportunity for personal growth. But again, the actual day to day still has some pain, he just left to see her and I can't say I am overjoyed.