After all that has happened and the time that has gone by, I no longer feel in-love with him.
I love you but I'm not in love with you is an MLCer mantra. We've all heard some version of it--most the exact version. And what have I said about that?
Many say Love is not one of these but another; I say it is all of these things and though it cannot be fabricated, which is making false, it can be created--realized. To real-ize is to make real.
To me, a yes answer to either of those last questions is evidence you need to give him a chance if someday comes. Divorce is harmful to everyone and leaves permanent scars on children, but that doesn't mean you should martyr yourself. Choose and create your joy and do with your life what is meant to be for your life.
I know that I am supposed to forgive it all, and I am trying. I swear I am trying to forgive.
Are you confusing Forgiveness with Reconciliation? Reconciliation is not a requirement of Forgiveness. Yes, Forgiveness is important. You may also be further along the process than you know. It doesn't mean you remain married or remarry your MLCer if you are divorced. It means you can, there are no have to's. Forgiving your MLCer does not mean you will find your lost love for him, or even that you are supposed to find it.
If my MLCer wants to come back and says he is sorry, what do I do?
Determine whether you believe he is sorry and keep your mind open to change. It may help you find the love you lost if feel his motivations are authentic. Set boundaries and conditions that he must meet before he can return. He must show good faith in his efforts to rebuild your relationship, acknowledge your pain and his part in it; work toward understanding why he chose to step outside of your marriage so as to set up a protection and prevention for reoccurrence and understand that even if he meets all of those requirements, you may still be unable rekindle your feelings for him.
MLCers return early, but what about when the return is no longer early and he is genuine--even if he is still broken, then what? I truly believe couples can make a more beautiful marriage after this crisis. They can, not they will. Are you willing to give that a chance? I'm not trying to tell you what to do; rather I'm simply placing the ideas out there. Instead of making a decision, open communication:
I am not in love with you. But I wish I were.
I want to forgive you and I need to be able to do that regardless of your actions. But to begin to feel in-love, I need more. I need you to show me that you have and will change and that you are aware of the pain we have felt. How do you feel about our pain? Does it hurt you too? Are you willing to help us heal that pain? I want to forgive you and love you, but I also want you to forgive and love your Self.
I cannot let you come home. I want to trust you and do not. Are you willing to show me you are trustworthy, or that you will work to become trustworthy? What do you plan to do to show this?
If you want to be my spouse and lover, some things need to happen first.
I will not give you a guarantee that I will fall in love with you again. But I will promise that I want to. I want a beautiful marriage for US and for our children. But I will not consider this unless we work together to heal our wounds and become equal partners.