Thank you for all your support, it's been 2 months now and I thought I would post an update...It's been a very interesting ride that would make for an excellent romantic comedy filmed in a tropical location.
When P returned he was in a cloud of NRE and not sure of anything, either way he knew he needed to live alone. M had a dream where she and I were friends, and she seemed more optimistic about it. Around the same time I had a dream that M & I were having sex! Anyway, P and I moved out to separate living spaces. Supposedly we were "taking a break" but we couldn't help from seeing each other and having passionate forbidden "break" sex. I traveled to visit my family, all of us sort of on standby to see what would happen.
M soon embarked on her solo trip to Hawaii. A few days in, she stopped returning P's calls and messages. He didn't hear from her for days and when he did, he got a messages that sounded like she would never talk to him again, "have a good life," and something about a world famous hypnotist! M's communication was always awful but suddenly she disappeared. Somehow P managed to save her from a dangerous cult that wanted her to cut ties to everyone she knew! But still she kept him in the dark, continued her romp around the islands, and he was heartbroken and betrayed.
When I returned from visiting my family, P finally told me that, even though he hadn't heard from M and expected not to see her, he had bought tickets for Hawaii (the price randomly dipped to half the usual amount so he had snatched them up on a whim). I was heartbroken. I could not understand why he would chase after her when she treated him so poorly. We were both very confused. He said he loved me, and I know he did. But he knew he had to do this.
He went to Hawaii, and M finally contacted him. When he saw her he knew that things were different between them. She had broken his trust. The NRE bubble had popped and with sudden clarity, he realized that his perception of M and who he thought she was were complete fantasy. In a few days it was over and he left her to go surf the North Shore, accepting that he may never see her again.
P and I had been talking through all of this. I had been doing some serious soul searching. I finally demanded a solid answer. If it was truly over between us, I needed to break away completely and drop all communication with him for as long as it would take me to heal. His answer was to buy me a ticket to Hawaii.
For the next 10 days we experienced a tropical honeymoon (without the whole getting married part). Romantic dinner dates, surfing in the sunset, long walks on the beach...we re-evaluated our relationship, it's strengths and weaknesses, what we learned about ourselves, how we had grown. He told me how he had realized that M was what mystic spheres call his "twin flame" (a star splits to form two new souls, but while they experience an intense connection, it is unstable, and they must love from afar). He realized that she was the complete opposite of me, and had none of the qualities he valued in a partner, while I had everything that he valued. Especially trust, loyalty and communication. Throughout the whole drama I never wavered in these, and through the pain of his broken heart, he experienced just how important these qualities were to him.
We are taking it slow, still living separately, absorbing our lessons. After 4 years, we now have an opportunity to set up something newer and stronger. I has been an interesting ride, and I am wholeheartedly thankful to the angel M for the new level of clarity and commitment she has brought to our relationship, a blessing in disguise.