Originally Posted by sinew
The best I can do is say that I feel I can practice with the pain of them snuggling and kissing for a while, and see if I can get to the point where that feels more okay. I have to be able to give them *something*, but there's nothing yet that would actually be easy on me.
And then I wonder, how fair is it to tell them to go ahead and snuggle and kiss, while I in my suffering make them feel bad every time they do? And how frustrating will it be if I promise to try to get comfortable enough for the next stage within a couple of months, but then it takes much longer?
You won't make them feel bad. They will feel what they feel. You are taking care of you. Remember, it is you who were wronged, deceived, and betrayed and it is you who are laying the ground rules they must abide by to earn your forgiveness and acceptance in order to move on. They should be grateful and feel blessed by your generosity.
I think your terms of allowing snuggling and kissing is more than a fair place to start.