Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Keep or throw away past memories

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Pages: 1 · 2

catatonic posted 10/29/2013 23:37 PM

I would love some thoughts and advice on how others have dealt with their memories and special moments they shared with their WS prior to DDay. I ask this question because I have different views concerning this at different times. reading different posts, and reading different books, Bs have stated that after the affair they begin new. The marriage before the A is gone. My Ws and i are working on R. After D DAy I removed all our wedding photos and the family photos that were taking during the A timeframe. At times I want to pretend that those special times did not happen, or were at least not real. How could it be. My WS says they were special times, even though part of him was elsewhere, and we should remember. I see conflict. But then there is a part of me that wants to remember how I felt at those times. Not what was going on in his head. How I felt with my children. But then again I think it wasnt real. And how about your wedding day. Any advice on how to deal with these emotions in a constructive, therapeutic way. I hope this was not confusing. Because I know I am very confused.

plainpain posted 10/29/2013 23:53 PM

I have really struggled with this, but for me it really has been a matter of leaving the old life behind. I can't look at family photos. I can't even tell the story of how my husband and I met anymore. It's all gone for me. I'm barely salvaging the births of our children. It was all a lie. I was not married to the man I thought I was married to, and so everything I did or said in that relationship was based on a deception. I told him that I have divorced that husband. I hate him. I am on my second husband... if that old one comes back, I have a restraining order out on him. We took new vows - ones that actually meant something to us.

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.

Lowlow posted 10/30/2013 00:31 AM

I'm with plainpain on this one. I have disposed of everything (almost) that he gave me during the A. It's either in the garbage, donated to charity or given to someone who can appreciate it. I have tossed all our vacation pictures from that time. I can't bear to relive those memories. In fact, I'm not really into picture taking anymore.

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.

Marathonwaseasy posted 10/30/2013 04:03 AM

This is difficult. My life and my happiness is mine. Not his or worse hers
My wedding day wasn't the happiest day of my life anyway. I was too insecure about how I looked and my narcissist brother took me away from fwh for a chat for ages and both me and fwh were too weak to say that wasn't a good thing.
The years since fwh's breakdown were mostly awful but our gorgeous dd was born in 2010 and I've done some serious work on me since then which is helping a lot with coping with life right now.
I hope I can reclaim the good from our old marriage eventually. And even from the A season. I'm not negating almost a year of my children's life - no way. But I'm getting rid of anything that reminds me of any aspect of the sordid mess. Especially the guilt purchase of an ipad he bought me last christmas while he right in the middle of the early lurvestruck A madness
Anyone want a cheap ipad????

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.

soconfusednow posted 10/30/2013 04:30 AM

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.

TrustGone posted 10/30/2013 07:43 AM

I took down all the pictures of our wedding, especially the one I loved the most of us dancing to our wedding song. Everytime I looked at it it made me cry. I did dispose of all the cards I had been hanging onto however, the rest I just boxed up and put away. Maybe someday, if we R, I can put them back up.

AFrayedKnot posted 10/30/2013 07:48 AM

The good memories are the things I struggle with most. How it wasn't real. All the lies under the surface. How much better it could have been if it was real.

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.

heartache101 posted 10/30/2013 08:02 AM

I think you keep pictures put away clothing throw away or donate.
I am thankful we didnt have a wedding. JP wedding here.
I think in time you will see your family photos differently. A story of trial pain and happiness!

LA44 posted 10/30/2013 08:12 AM

If you are not sure what to do right now catatonic then may I suggest you do nothing. I looked at all the cards, letters given pre-A, read them all and decided to keep them. Yes, I did rip one photo in particular to shreds. I loved that pic and knew he did too but its gone now.

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)]

plainpain posted 10/30/2013 21:43 PM

The happier the memories I remember us having, the more my heart and mind say, 'How could you??' I thought we were the happiest couple on the planet. The betrayal is too brutal. Now, in light of the A(s), all those little things I overlooked, forgave quickly, didn't ask about, defended in him... they all come back to me now as one big fat lead up to the biggest devastation of my life.

catatonic posted 10/30/2013 23:36 PM

MARATHONWASEASY, I could trade IPads with you. I received similar this summer for my 50th. Except for the fact that it allows me to be on SI privately. I want to throw it in the woods.
As I told my WS today in MC , " I bet when the A was discovered You thought I would be most upset about the sex aspect. Wish they would have had some empathy for all the emotional crap that happens after. And the pain that goes with that.
Driving into our garage tonight, our wedding song came on. That really hit hard. Really used to like that song!!!

Jacobell posted 10/31/2013 01:51 AM

I think this is an area most BS find difficult to deal with. For a while I had to remove all photos from our computer onto an external hard drive. A year later I have put them back on the computer but not our wedding photos, I have not been able to bring myself to look at any of them since and I couldn't celebrate our wedding anniversary.

I personally think it is impossible to completely let go of memories from before DDay but now some of them are tarnished.

shatteredheart7 posted 10/31/2013 07:58 AM

I say keep them, but put them away somewhere safe. Especially pics and videos. One day you may want to look at them, or your children will want to look at the wedding album.

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.

karmahappens posted 10/31/2013 08:08 AM

We are over 6 years out.

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'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.

shatteredheart7 posted 10/31/2013 08:16 AM

Beautifully said Karma! That is exactly how I feel now and why I cry over my busted wedding video.

Maybe one day I will learn to not be such a hot head in the heat of the moment!

karmahappens posted 10/31/2013 10:38 AM

Is there nobody that has a copy shattered?

That is exactly how I feel now and why I cry over my busted wedding video.

shatteredheart7 posted 10/31/2013 11:48 AM

Nope, A friend of ours shot the video for us. He only made the one. It is one of those mini vhs like tapes, so I have been thinking about trying to take it somewhere to see if the tape part of it is salvageable.

losingmyground posted 10/31/2013 11:51 AM

I kept all mine. Regardless of the affair, those were/are happy memories that were formed and are part of me. I will not let that be taken from me.

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.

ascian posted 10/31/2013 13:37 PM

For myself, since my WW's affair was short there weren't presents or other things like that between us during that time.

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.

hopefullromantic posted 10/31/2013 16:39 PM

I agree with those that say to put away those momentos for the time being, if you don't want the triggers they elicit. What purpose would it serve to destroy them forever, when you can just hide them? If you eventually succeed at R you will likely treasure those memories again, because they represent the whole of the marriage, not the part that was tainted by the A. By all means, get rid of anything that represents the actual A time tho.

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?

Pages: 1 · 2

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.     Privacy Policy