Q&A Should I Start Over While I Still Can?

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We are 21 months into recovery and I can't decide whether to stay or go.

For the first 6 months, my husband was ambivalent, left for days or weeks at a time, continued to text the AP, and said very cruel things to me which are still hard to forget. Since deciding he wanted the marriage, he's been kind, affectionate, and reluctant, but willing to go to counseling. He's a hard worker, generous, and everyone tells me how lucky I am to have him. However, he's taken a passive approach to recovery. We attended EMS Weekend after I set an ultimatum. I make the counseling appointments. I've done Harboring Hope, individual counseling, and read almost every book there is on marriage, attachment, and men. He says that kind of stuff just isn't for him.

Several months ago we experienced a major setback. I was struggling with severe depression and less than 12 hours after disclosing to him suicidal thoughts I was fighting, he left for a week long hunting trip. (Before you think me a manipulative person who was just trying to sabotage his chance for a restful week, I moved away from family, friends, and career to a remote community so that he could have a career as a hunting guide. He still takes several of these 1-2 week personal trips per year. And his affair was with a female hunting buddy. Also, I was supposed to come on this particular trip, but he and his friends rescheduled it at the last minute and I wasn't able to change my work schedule in time. While my depression may have been triggered by the trip, there was no manipulative intent to stop him.)

Not since D-day had I felt so abandoned. I almost left then, but after explaining my feelings to him, he was remorseful and began to try harder. He now says he wants to be safe for me. When I'm sad he asks what he can do for me, but there is little follow through. After several times finding me in the fetal position crying and begging for him to do something, he may act. He's not proactive with recovery, with marriage, or with his spiritual life. So I've finally reached the point where I can't answer him anymore when he asks me what he can do. Why doesn't he try a suggestion from one of the amazing resources available to him? Why doesn't he find a mentor or counselor to ask? It feels like I keep making myself vulnerable and handing back my heart to a little boy who is only going to drop it again and go hunting once I dry my tears.

I stayed because I felt that God was calling me to stay. But I can't figure out why God kept me around for this. I often wish I'd left when things were horrible; when I had my get-out-of-jail-free card. Our marriage is so much better now. He's so much sweeter. But I am still desperately unhappy and lonely. I want to start a family so badly and probably only have a few years left for that. So do I take a risk with him and trust that this is just going to take time? Or do I start again while I've still got the chance?



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