Dear lsb:<P>Your pain is so intense right now you can't see what relief tomorrow will bring. The relief that comes with acceptance and forgiveness. <P>Forgiveness comes in time when you feel you have been 'justly compensated' by your husband through his remorse and regret. As your trust in him rebuilds itself through both your conscience and concerted efforts, never for one moment taking each other for granted ever again, the trust, the forgiveness and the grace will slowly surround you both.<P>This does not mean that you will not regress occasionally, because there will be times when you will. There will be fights, arguments, disagreements, but I believe the trick is to not ignore them. To talk them out from beginning to conclusion until both of you feel you have resolved the issue.<P>The heart will heal, not without scars, but it will heal. Nothing will ever be the same again, yet be better than ever in many ways. The whole thing seems like a grotesque paradox at times because before you stands the love of your life with whom you had a mutually exclusive relationship with, to whom you are the only person entitled to have a child with, who has grossly violated your vows and trust, who stands before you remorseful, ashamed, desparate to repair and restore the marriage, who may in time, become the husband you deserve.<P>We must be consciencous of what brought us to this place and to be sure we never fall into that trap again, whether it be general malaise or seeming indifference. <P>lsb, you are going to go through stages. You are still traumatized by the discoveries, still adamant about contact and may continue to be so (as am I) and only the honesty, the closeness and bond you redevelope, entering into the Policy of Joint Agreement and meeting each others' needs will keep you both feeling safe, happy and in love. Give it more time. Give yourself a chance to work through the stages of discovery; the sadness, the grief, the rage, and finally the acceptance.<P>For the rest of your life, you will feel the sadness of what happened deep in your soul. It never leaves, but it does lessen. Don't expect too much from yourself or your spouse right now. Now is not the time to make decisions or promises for either of you. You must heal yourselves first; the focus must be on you and the marriage. There is no room for the OC in your lives right now, perhaps never. But now is not the time to decide anything on that and your husband's acquiescence to you on that issue is very telling, lsb. He wants you and the marriage first and foremost, as it should be.<P>I don't believe your husband will hate you or resent you for something he himself did and caused. He knows the guilt lies with him and you are completely innocent. He must know that this is something so completely unacceptable to you that in order to stay in the marriage, he must sacrifice for now, something he feels an obligation to, knowing his first obligation is to you.<P>Wait it out, lsb, and don't borrow trouble. Don't worry about the tomorrows for they have not yet arrived; don't look at the yesterdays with their regrets and heartbreak; only focus on today and what you can do to make today the best day of your marriage. Give him everything you can and accept everything he offers you and see where today will bring you. In a year, you can look back at all your 'todays' and see how far you have come. Work through the anniversary dates and triggers with grace as best you can-for you.<P>One day at a time, one small step at a time.<P>I know how you feel, lsb, and understand completely. I realize how absolutely painful and soul killing this is for you, but there are better days ahead if you stay focused. Tell your husband how much you appreciate his willingness to put the OC issue aside to allow the two of you to heal through this, how important this is to the survival of your family. He'll appreciate your acknowledgment of his difficult decision.<P>Catnip =^^=