First I would like to say that I am completely blown away by the support and kindness that has been shown to me. This has been a very isolating experience, because I am not exactly what to share with whom and the genuine care and support given here is AMAZING!
So after a week of quiet contemplation, reading all the links that Loving Radiance gave me and some crazy holiday preparations I have realized that under all the pain and struggle are some concrete issues I can address. I have to trust myself and the real love that my husband and I share. Because it's in my insecure moments, where I second guess myself or my marriage or I am feeling hurt, that I REACT without breathing in ways that are damaging to me and my marriage. It is those moments that have added unnecessary stress and negativity in my life. The good news is the one thing I have control over is how I choose to react to a situation, the bad news is that I am also held accountable for my reactions. I have realized if I can breathe before I react and then express my feelings and needs but not create the drama those feelings can stir up. I have never been a fan of drama in my life and I don't like to admit that I have been the one creating it, admission is the first step to elimination, right?.
As a person I am much better at expressing my feelings, the needs part is a little more difficult...but identifying my needs and having them met is another wonderful gift that this situation has created. So the insights are happening regularly, now the challenge is intentionally changing my patterns. Not as easy as the epiphany!
The day to day is getting easier, time is helping. I think it was Redpepper who mentioned that routines get created and life continues on as things settle in. It does feel like that is happening to a certain extent. And the relationship with my husband is the best it has been in years. Because of the limited time, our time together has more intention and intimacy.
I haven't spoken to Mary again and I am still struggling with being really ready to do the work to repair that relationship. Are there stories of successful long term V's where two are respectful and loving but from a distance? I am guessing it depends on if your desired outcome is to create family.