Maybe one day I'll be able to reclaim some of the old memories, but I've had to grieve them like I would grieve a death. It's sad, but life is lived forward, not backward, and so I'm focusing on what's ahead.
I haven't tossed my wedding album, but I can't bear to think about what used to be the happiest day of my life. I often wonder and wish I could think positively about my wedding in years to come... But right now, that's simply not possible.
FWIW, the tossing of presents and photos really helped in the early days after DD and I haven't had regrets about doing it. When I have rediscovered a present or item I have missed, I throw it away. Feels cathartic.
Actually I plan to sell it and give the money to my friend who picked me up off the ground post dday and drove me to the STI clinic and let me talk and cry.
"We're not broken, just bent. We can learn to love again."
I ask this question because I have different views concerning this at different times.
I would take the stuff, put it in a box & stick it someplace out of the way, where you don't have to look at it.
Then when your views stay consistent for a very long time you'll know what to do.
I've read posts where people regretted the fact that they trashed or got rid of things.
Family photos maybe something the children would want in the future.
Pictures, stories, souvenirs all of it triggers me.
What I have been doing lately is working on empathy. The understanding of how broken she was during those times. How she was giving all that she could, all that she knew. She was trapped in the double life. The harm inflicted was not only directed at me and our family but herself as well.
I did not keep any of the cards he gave me while the A was going on anyway. I guess I found them empty.
The wedding album - that wedding day was ours. His A started 12 years afterwards. I am keeping it.
We do have family photos on the wall. These were taken when the A just started. I thought about taking the ones of us out and replacing them with more of the kids but I didn't. I decided that I just wouldn't look at those particular shots until I was ready.
Almost one year in and I can look. I am glad I did nothing when I didn't know what to do.
Bottom line for me anyway, the A took up two years of our married life. I can't say that our life pre-A did not happen bc there is way too much good there.
[This message edited by LA44 at 8:13 AM, October 30th (Wednesday)]
I personally think it is impossible to completely let go of memories from before DDay but now some of them are tarnished.
Do not throw anything away unless you are 100% positive that you will never ever be able to look at it again.
A cautionary tale, when I first found out I smashed our wedding video into tiny bits. A little over a year later that makes me cry. It was a beautiful day, we were so happy. He was a wonderful man at that time. He wasn't the same man that had the A and he is once again that man that I married on that beautiful day. But I no longer have that video because of my very rash and emotional reaction. Luckily, he was able to hide the wedding album and the audio recording of my best friend singing our song during the wedding from me or it would be gone also.
I think I may be in the minority, but I embrace us.
I believe we are the sum of our parts, not one piece, not just the good.
I accept who we are, where we have been and I smile. We have been high and low and everywhere in between. The roads have brought us to where we are.
We are in such a great place. All of our healing and fighting to keep together what we have is only because of the past we shared.
I don't ignore it, want it to go away, pretend it didn't happen.
Our entire 27 years together is in our book and it will stay that way.
Every great love story has chapters you cry through...it's what makes you continue to read, to find out if they make it to the other side.
We made it and I will never burn the bridge we had to cross to get here.
Maybe one day I will learn to not be such a hot head in the heat of the moment!
That is exactly how I feel now and why I cry over my busted wedding video.
However, if it makes you feel better put it in a box and hide it until you can look and it and feel ok.
Don't let two weak people have that much control over your life.
The AP, though, was a good friend. I thought hard about whether I wanted to just dump everything he'd given our family on his front lawn.
In the end though, like karmahappens and losingmyground, I decided that I wasn't going to do that. My friendship was a genuine thing, and not something to be ashamed of --just as my love for my wife, even during her affair, was a good and genuine thing-- and I'm not going to discard that part of me because friends and family made bad choices.
Right after dday my H and I spent a lot of time looking at old photos and talking of the old days. It was a way for us to reconnect. It was partly those memories that made it hard for either of us to consider walking away. Overall, we have loved our life together. That's why we fought to keep it.
I am not among those who wanted to create a whole new marriage after the A, although we certainly changed elements of it. Even so, a fresh start does not require the total obliteration of the past, so much as a new way of relating to each other. After all, if was all that bad, why would you even want to stay together?