And to echo soconfusednow, My WHs parents had an acrimonious divorce, but he still cherishes a picture from their wedding day. There was hope and promise there. But his brother had to pull some strings to get that picture.
Take care. The pain will lessen with time, regardless to which route you take.
Married for over 15 years
2 beautiful boys in elementary school
The before group I look at with regret because I find myself wishing I could some how warn that younger me of what was to come. And point out the many warning signs.
The during group I feel pain when I look at or think of them. Everything in that time was a lie. My happiness was based on being lied to. Had I known the truth then I would not have been happy. So much was going on under my very nose. OM even came and visited us and stayed at our home for a week. I thought he was just a friend and I wanted WW to be happy so I was supportive of her friend and drove them around to the local sites. I feel pain because I was so stupid. My intuition was SCREAMING at me and yet I refused to believe. WW was lying to me but during this time I was betraying myself by lying to myself.
The after group is shadowed by what came before. Everything is tarnished now.
I think its impossible to forget memories like this. Our brains just wont allow it. Putting away old pictures and such just keeps the reminders at bay. The memories are there though whether the reminder is there or not.
Every so often I run into items I deliberately put aside from my XWH. Some I keep out of respect for his mom, that I feel for her situation, having to see what her son was capable of. I know that the items were precious to her. I know that giving them back will cause her more grief. So they sit in an unused file.
Let time clarify it for you.
When the dust has settled, and you are in a good place, you may see things differently.
Likewise, I'm glad I didn't burn my wedding dress as I considered doing at one point. (I do NOT regret burning the defiled couch, however.)
Give yourself the gift of time; pack the stuff away.
[This message edited by sad12008 at 8:45 PM, October 31st (Thursday)]
My struggle has been what to do with the rest of the pictures of my kids from during the A. My daughter's birthday party, for example, included MOW's children, and I now know that my H was texting MOW the entire time. So when I see the picture of my beautiful little girl blowing out her candles, all I have are terrible associations with the A.
It feels so selfish of me to delete pictures of my own kids - so I haven't - but I sure hope that someday I can look back on these family activities fondly. Just another thing that the A stole from me.
Glad to know that I'm not alone.
Even after a year, I cannot look at pictures of the two of us or our family without thinking of the A. Those memories of romantic trips are ruined for me...possibly forever. I don't know.
My fWH and I are going to see our MC next week in order to discuss this very issue. In another thread, I asked how we can have such different perspectives on this topic. I don't understand why he doesn't look at pictures from that time and see his smile as a lie, or that person as a lier and a cheater.
I totally get how others feel and that they can re-claim their happiest memories, but I am just not there yet.
So, I guess my point is that these are MY memories. And I want to keep them, despite the fact that I may have been married to a person who was, at the time, an idiot.
For me, the A was about 6 months. I have gotten rid of most photos that he's in or bring bad memories. I deleted a family photo taken during the A, but when I needed photos for my daighter's graduation, I ended up asking for it off his computer because it was a good recent one. It's hard though. I want to enjoy looking at that photo because its my "family", my awesome kids and all. And yet it's just a memory of what he was doing to me that very day.
As for wedding photos, that's harder. We had a good wedding day and many good years following, so I don't want to get rid of those and there are many great photos that I'll ways keep. But just yesterday I was doing some redecorating and moving framed photos around and getting rid of some. And I did go through the thoughts of "just get rid of it all cause its all in the yucky past". But I didn't.
As for gifts, my second Dday was Christmas Day, so everything he gave me that day is tainted. And yet most if it is something I either specifically chose and sent him a link to, or bought and gave him to wrap. . I did recently physically destroy the jewelry chest he gave me for Christmas (that I chose). I tried to get last the triggers but couldn't. I seem to have lost the earrings I finally decided to get rid of. If I ever find them, they're gone.
I think only you can really answer this question for you. I wouldn't do anything too drastic too soon though. I lived with the jewelry chest that I loved for 9 months before deciding it just wasn't worth it.