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I destroyed her best memories... how do I let go of them?

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theseseatsRtaken posted 5/24/2014 03:17 AM

I am having a really hard time with this aspect of things. My beautiful BW has had every good memory we shared, in particular our wedding, my proposal, the pregnancy and our DS's birth just completely smashed to pieces. She can never look back especially on the wedding and ever feel the same comfort and love that she once felt. All she finds is pain, betrayal, confusion and more. This I understand completely.

What I am struggling with is that i dont want to let go of them. Whether you believe me or not (BS perspective welcome) I truly believed in the love I told my BW I felt for her and so all of those memories are truly happy and beautiful ones for me. The best of my life.

How do I reconcile my own desire to hang on to these memories with the reality that I have taken them all and defiled them and ultimately, let go? I just want to be strong enough for my BW. I feel like theae feelings are weak from me. Like because I crushed our vows and promises, I need to suck it up and have a tea spoon of cement! Is this the case? Do I need a smack up side the head? Im happy to take all feedback. Im here to do what I can for BW not make myself feel better!

[This message edited by theseseatsRtaken at 3:19 AM, May 24th (Saturday)]

BrokenButTrying posted 5/24/2014 03:35 AM

I might be wrong but I'll give it my best shot.

I don't see how you can just obliterate them from your mind. They are significant and you'll probably always remember them. So don't get too hung up on that.

I think what you have to do is add to those memories that your BW feels differently about them now. To her, the memories are tainted. So you have to let them go in the sense that they are special memories that you share. Remember them, but not through rose coloured glasses, if you see what I mean?

If you're in R then focus on creating new memories with your BW.

BeautifulEmpty posted 5/24/2014 03:43 AM

I'm a BS and I don't have an answer for you. My H struggles with this as well. He will get upset or shocked if he's trying to reminisce and I'm unable to join in. I can't tell our stories with any pride any more because I feel like a big joke. I feel like the years before everything got going were just a set up for what came later and while I know that's not likely, I also know it WAS true much later during a few years of false R.
It becomes very hard to know what's real.

I guess I'd suggest letting them go and create new ones.

What else is there to do?

I've heard of some BS who decided after a time that the infidelity was going to be thought of a blip in a speed bump out of all the much longer better once the anger settled, they were able to still retain all their good memories for what they were...their memories, untarnished.

I don't know your story but it's possible that your wife might get to this place at some point.

I know many wives don't but I think replacing memories with good, new ones might be the best bet once the damage has settled.

solus sto posted 5/24/2014 07:37 AM

The easiest advice to give--and the hardest to take, I think--is to feel your feelings and think your thoughts. A corollary is to give up trying to influence those of others.

Your wife is the custodian of her thoughts and memories, and you of yours.

You don't have to manipulate either.

Your memories are yours alone. Hers are hers. They may soften, and they may not; it's not your responsibility to do anything to influence this, other than to uphold your other responsibilities to yourself, your marriage, your family.

Trust me, I say this with kindness. If you knew the effort I went to to make my stbx think the way I do, you'd shake your head and have me committed. As I said, it's really hard advice to follow.

I think it's critical to good (individual and marital health, though.

[This message edited by solus sto at 7:38 AM, May 24th (Saturday)]

deena04 posted 5/24/2014 08:46 AM

BS here...I see your struggle. Maybe try creating new ways of looking at those. For example, can you renew your vows? This doesn't have to be extravagant. You can do it just you guys in your home or somewhere serene or a place she's wanted to go. Just speak handwritten vows from the heart. I don't know where you are (separated or together), but this could create a new special you might both find nice. Also, propose to her again. As far as your child's birth, maybe try a special celebration honoring her as mother of your child. I hope it helps!

redsox13 posted 5/24/2014 08:54 AM

Your memory and your W will never be the same. Your W will always view those memories as tainted, and you won't because you know they meant something to you and were real. But we can't know how you were thinking and feeling at the time - certainly not in the first 2 or 3 years after D-Day.

There are some things you can't fix, and in the end you don't have to. This isn't something I expect agreement on from my W.

In time when it is clear you are reconciling the early memories begin to change, and the BS will start to remember them more fondly. But they will never be as we remembered them before. Of all the think A takes from the BS, I think the destruction of happy memories is among the worst.

shatterdrightnow posted 5/24/2014 09:16 AM

BS here. I'm so on the side of your wife right now because that's just where I am. I just wanted to offer you a thought that my WH suggested that is starting to sit well with me. Sort of. It's the best he's come up with so far regarding this...
instead of "renewing our vows" which just feel like building a foundation on shit, he has suggested "getting married again". Like really starting over. New rings, new vows, new marriage.
This is a little easier to swallow than just agreeing to renewing the shit we have already done. I hope this makes some sense.

wontdefineme posted 5/24/2014 09:50 AM

The memories of life and the initial first love feelings are what are supposed to bind you in tough times. They remind you why you love your spouse when things get tough. The memories are of a love story that tie you together. They are the foundation of who and what you have become as a couple.

So for a spouse to completely ignore the marriage is like destroying the foundation. Look at a house with a bad foundation, the structural integrity of the whole house is destroyed. A foundation can be repaired but there are the cracks in the walls, in the floors and other damage that will only be filled in but always there to remind you that the foundation was not as strong as it should have been.

As a bs I understand the attraction of another person, hell we all do. But our foundation gave us clarity and made us stronger. I was married to a cruel man, but my promise to be faithful, loving and forever meant forever because I promised him it would.

I guess I just never understood how the memories never meant the same, why they didn't tie him to me like they did for me and why those memories weren't like a reason to say no.

But I have come to understand that I didn't need external gratification if I was bored with life or him, I had a lifetime of memories that reminded me to keep going and life was always changing.

However, you now have a whole new romance in your memory that you will take to your grave. That will taint your marriage/life together memories. When she looks back at something that she remembers, you were also remembering the ow as part of the memory. Imagine looking on your wedding as something shared just as you and her, but find out later that she was thinking of your best man instead of you. Try putting yourself in your bs's shoes and think of a memory from childhood and then imagine if it wasn't true, and how it would affect you.

AFrayedKnot posted 5/24/2014 09:54 AM

Differing view of the history of a relationship is inevitable after a betrayal because there really are two different histories. There is the reality and the perceived reality.

The WS has the advantage here because they were the compartmentalization manager. They know what box each thought and feeling went into and where those boxes are stored. They know what was the truth and what was manipulation. They know what was real and what was fantacy.

The BS knows none of that. Picture this:

Have you ever watched the TV show hoarders? The owners of the houses know where every item in their house came from, where it is, why its there, what its purpose is. And the BS is the viewer on the couch just thinking WTF!!!

For me, I had to view Dday as the death of the old and the birth of a new relationship. And everything that goes along with that, dating, courting, vulnerability, learning to trust, building memories, Ect.

Skan posted 5/24/2014 13:05 PM

You need to give it time. You need to give her time. Keep your good memories they are YOUR memories, but realize that those memories are quicksand in her mind right now. There's going to have to be a whole lot of settling, acceptance, and healing before she (and you) are going to know if she can get any of that joy back. I'm almost 2 years out from DDay, and I still cannot celebrate our anniversary, I still cannot remember certain things without a great deal of pain.

I surprised my FWH with a trip to Paris about 4 years ago. One of those bucket list things he always wanted to do. A place that I was meh about going to, but once we got there, it was truly magical. We built such good memories there. We bonded so much there. It was like a second honeymoon,

I still cannot look at the photos. He used a couple, taken during times that we were SO happy and bonded, to advertise on AFF what a international traveler he was. On a sail we did in San Francisco, I took a photo of him that is/was my favorite photo of him of all time. The joy and daring in his face made my heart flutter. That was his profile photo for another f-me site.

He took my precious memories, of times that I felt truly bonded and whole, and used them to troll for orifices to f*ck. When I see those photos, when I remember those places, I see him trying, desperately, to pimp my memories to get laid. Still.

You have your reality of what you feel for those memories. She has hers. Both of you have a right to your realities and feelings. Just be aware that you have thrown a whole load of crap on her reality. Yours may be all bright and shiny, but that's no consolation to the person who has to try to dig out the Aegean Stables to try to salvage what she can.

Allornothing posted 5/24/2014 19:59 PM

Gently, why do you want to let go of them? They are yours, and they are significant to you.

Your wife's feelings about these memories are to be expected, but that may change as the shock wears off and the pain dulls.

Everybody is different. Some people never view these memories in the same light again, others remain ambivalent for years, and then there are those that will not allow the pain of betrayal to take away memories that were essentially good at the time they occurred.

Maybe instead of letting them go, you can hold on to them to remind you of what it is you're doing all of the hard work for. Build new, beautiful memories with your wife, and build a beautiful new life with her and your darling son.

Keep going, and good luck

PollyA posted 5/25/2014 12:47 PM

I'm still unsure if I want R. My H Broke his vow of fidelity over 140 times.

He never truly married me if he could do those things. He swears he's understanding himself more and is a different person, etc, etc. what did marriage even man to him? I still don't know.

IF he can figure that all out, I might be willing to marry him.

It can't be a renewal of vows for me since he abused the first vow so thoroughly. you know what? I'd like to divorce. Then maybe we can start fresh!

RegretsTillIDie posted 5/25/2014 21:52 PM

You realize you have ruined all the memories the two of you have had together. Im not really sure how you can see them as good memories unless you (like me) live in some compartmentalized world where you can separate what you did with your whore and what was real in your life. You blew it all up. If you guys are still together and shes willing to keep working at your marriage then be thankful for that. Acknowledge youve ruined the memories and out the where she wants to put them. Good luck building new memories

justinpaintoday posted 5/25/2014 22:25 PM

Time...give it time. If you can successfully R the memories can be restored IMHO.

theseseatsRtaken posted 5/26/2014 06:34 AM

Thanks guys - more food for thought. Thank you so much :)

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