I haven't posted in almost a year and don't know if there is anyone here who remembers me. I frequented this forum for several months starting in the spring of 2011. At that time, I had been more than six months of NC but was still hurting. It was two years since I last saw her in August, and two years since last emails in October. The first year was extremely hard. The constant hunger for contact, the wondering what she was doing, all of the things that seem to plague all of us. But just as people said, once the first round of bogus "anniversaries" came and went, it got progressively easier. Each so-called "anniversary" that went by without contact made the ending seem that much more final. But it took work. For example, I had to avoid important work-related conferences where I knew she might be present, so that I would not run into her before I felt ready. I am not sure I am ready for that even now. I have very occasional downs even now, but they are not a big deal. At my last meeting several months ago, my counselor told me not to worry about this, it was just part of being human.
Over time, a curious thing happened. I started feeling so much happier with my own life, grateful for wife, family, work, etc. I enjoy life again. I know I said all that even when we first broke off, but it is another thing to really feel that way. Now it has the feeling of truth to it; in other words, I am not just "saying" that internally to make myself feel better. Another curious thing: I no longer have feelings of resentment or anger toward her. I hope she is happy and the last thing I want to do now is to intrude on her life.
One reason I was reminded about it all and decided to post was reading about the very public goings on of General Petraeus and his crowd. We can all imagine very well what all those involved are going through now. It made me very thankful I got out of it without a D-day (and here's hoping I never have one).
So to all those who are going through agony now: I have felt your pain. But it does get better and you can be happy again. Please stay strong and stay focused on getting OUT of it and recovering. Please do not set yourself back with contacts and fishing attempts - my A was prolonged unnecessarily for almost an extra year because of breaking NC before finally ending it, and that meant an extra year of unnecessary pain for both of us. Looking back, I cannot believe I took such stupid risks with my life. But in the moment we are caught in that web of emotion and deceit and can't think straight. To be able to think straight again, you have to give yourself time to recover. For me that took more than a year with absolutely NO contact, and even then only gradually progressed until two years on I feel fine again.
Stay well and take care over the holidays - a particularly vulnerable time.