Sorta feels like a knife twisting in your gut. My son was also the trigger that caused these damn memories to return. My son, who was 11 at the time (same age I was when the abuse began) had two friends over. We checked on them periodically, of course, but didn't hover over them. A couple days later, a mother of one of the boys called and told my wife that the other boy coerced my son into taking off all his clothes, and then the boy proceded to rub his penis in my son's butt (99% certain there was no penetration). Got my son into therapy immediately, and he's really doing great. Anyway, little snapshots of memory started to flicker in my mind, one here, two there, until I started spiraling out of control, culminating in me being unfaithful to my wife, her finding out, beginning marriage counselling, me disclosing the abuse, then individual counselling with a revolving door of counselors, and so on.
So, to answer your questions, based on my experience:
1) Is it possible that his memory has slowly returned over this time? YES
2) How does this process, if it is gradual, feel to a survivor? YES, it is gradual. The feeling is literally physical pain (body memories of feeling like I was practically being torn in half - three years after the memories returned, I'm still feeling that pain; fun when it happens in the office and I can't help but grimace - coworkers must think I have Tourette Syndrome), sickness (headaches, nausea), an undescribable level of embarrassment, and depression.
3) What goes on during this time? Leading up to revealing the abuse? For me, as I remembered the abuse and abusers, as well as the bullying in school, I questioned my manhood and masculinity, and my very self-worth. I beat myself down harder than I was ever beaten down by anyone else. I started to fantasize about sex with men. I thought about holding the control. I acted on the fantasies - I strayed. When my life and marriage were close to the last cycle down the toilet (and immediately after a couples' session), I finally blurted it out.
In the aftermath, I did attempt suicide. I loathed myself, but I guess not enough to finish the job. I am still having great difficulty with trying to forgive myself, and trying to make it up to my wife, who unbelievably has stuck with me.
I don't know you, I don't know your husband, but I thank you (for him) that you are trying to make things work. It's hard to put into words just how awful, dirty, disgusting and used a man can feel when he remembers what other men did to him. God bless you.
Wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
About a home Iíll never see
It may sound absurd...but donít be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed...but wonít you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
Itís not easy to be me