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.