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Sentiments attached to memories

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sohurtbyhim posted 2/17/2014 14:57 PM

I have always been extremely sentimental. Those old hallmark commercials would make me cry. (Lame, I know LOL). So, when I got married and we had children, I treasured everything. In the beginning or our marriage, my husband would give me an anniversary card each month. I remember one month he didn't have a vehicle available to go to the store to get one so he made one...that meant the world to me. Throughout our first 30 years together, each memory we created together meant the world to me and remembering them got me through rough times. Little did I know that even though he did so many things that I thought showed he loved me, it was all a pretense to him. Well, maybe not quite a pretense because he has admitted that he was extremely selfish and the things I thought he was doing/giving to me and for me from his heart were actually his way of trying to get something from me. He didn't see it as pretending.

Before he disclosed his A, but told me that he was interested in someone and that I had to change or he would leave, he gave me his laundry list of things I did wrong. Basically, he tore apart everything we did together. When I told him we had all this great history together, he said yeah, we have history and it's all bad. Everything I have with the person he's interested in is all good.

His words hurt me to the core. I could agree with one area of his unhappiness, but not everything. Anyway, those words basically took all my precious memories, memories that I thought would mean something to him too, and shattered them as well as my heart.

Now that we're trying to R, he sings a different tune. He cannot understand why those memories mean nothing to me anymore. I've told him that it's not that they don't mean anything, it's that they hurt too much because they didn't mean anything to him. His response is that he was wrong to say what he did, that he didn't mean it. I don't believe that. I believe that at the time he did mean it, but now he realizes how good most of our life together was.

One of the things he keeps bringing up is something that he said a couple years before he began the affair. I had lost a huge amount of weight and when we were together, no one knew it was me. One night we ran into someone who I worked with when our sons were in Boy Scouts. Without even thinking I said hi to her and started talking, she gave me the dirtiest look and just walked away. I couldn't figure it out until she came running back in the building laughing hysterically. Her husband was in her vehicle and she must have told him that she saw WH with someone other than me. I had run into him before so he knew about my weight loss and must have told her it was me. She came back into the building, apologized and said she didn't know it was me and thought WH was with another woman. WH put his arms lovingly around me and said, "Sohurt will never have to worry about that". I really felt safe and loved by him.

NOW - he uses that to illustrate to me that he did love me and wasn't even thinking of cheating then so I should not be so sad when I think of our history. In his mind he thinks that since the affair was only 13 months out of our life, I should still keep the good memories from the years prior to that.

Can anyone help me explain to him how those memories are not tainted because to me, even though he wasn't physically cheating at that time, our marriage was not what I thought it was or more importantly, he wasn't who I thought he was.

OR - am I just being hard nosed in thinking this way. Any thoughts are welcome.

cancuncrushed posted 2/17/2014 15:49 PM

I dont think he meant it. Not all of it. I think when he said it he was rewritting your marriage history, they do this to not feel so guilty. If it was a bad marriage, they arent so bad for cheating. Its very common. THen when the fog lifts, they barely remember the things they said...THey were rugsweeping and blameshifting to feel less guilty. This is hard for me to grasp also. How could you say anything so mean, then act as if it were nothing? Same way you cheat, and act as it were nothing.its all rather self serving. fog is really strange thing
Because hes not who you thought he was, your memories are not true...It like you cant trust your memories either. Was he lying and sneaking then? Or wanting to? Did he love you then? You loved the person and experienced these things with someone totally different then who he looks like now.

[This message edited by cancuncrushed at 3:54 PM, February 17th (Monday)]

norabird posted 2/17/2014 16:40 PM

I have no wisdom to offer but I really think what you describe is the worst thing to deal with out of the whole mess of infidelity. Having to reevaluate cherished memories hurts and is destabilizing. I hope with time your WH can convince you that he was in a different head space when he said this and that he did care and appreciate what you had before the A during those years.

Skan posted 2/17/2014 17:53 PM

Reclaiming my past, is so hard too. I look at his timeline and I see a time that I thought we had something good going on, and there was this underlayment of porn and strippers. I see our photos of Paris, and I remember the site he had a profile that used the photo I took of him in Paris as proof that he was an International Traveler to potential f-buddies. The photo that I have always loved of him, on the boat that we sail, with the wind in his hair as he turns to look at me was his profile photo on AFF where he did manage to find a f-buddy. And so on.

It tore my heart out, seeing those remembrances, so casually offered up to whores.

I still have problems with a lot of it. It's no longer sharp knives in my heart, but a dull ache. I have to keep believing that the ache will keep dulling, or I will have to throw away those photos at some point. (((hugs)))

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