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Can anyone explain this?

GraceLove posted 12/27/2018 05:28 AM

I don't understand how it is that my ex is almost irradicated from my memory? I mean I still have angry moments and such, however, I am still in the house we were in and there are very few if any memories of him. I would have to actually stop and think about him ever having been here.

My youngest adult DD has mentioned something similar as well.

What is it that happens? Do our brains protect us from the shock and trauma? It has only been 1.5 years. How can I have 'erased' almost 3 decades of marriage?
Am I in some sort of denial?

I'd like some insights into this for those of you that have experienced this. I am not really even sure how to describe it.
It's like he wasn't there all these years and that I have memories of myself and the children and he is somehow erased. At times I think maybe it's because he was never 'really there' in any way shape or form. Still, doesn't make sense.

[This message edited by GraceLove at 5:29 AM, December 27th (Thursday)]

shakentocore posted 12/27/2018 10:25 AM

Could it possibly be that you did all the work to make your life together happen? Decorating the house, planning the trips and activities and family events?

So often WS have checked out of the family long before they had the A. Perhaps your WXH was ďgoneĒ already, but you didnít realize it.

AlphaSilvr posted 12/27/2018 11:37 AM


I am experiencing something similar. People ask questions and I have to think about it and even then its vague.

I could be a coping mechanism, to be honest. We block and, as you said, erase, them from our memories to protect ourselves.

I can remember things, but its always as a fact of what happened, not as a "real" memory with emotion... it just is, like a picture or video I have no attachment to.

We all cope in different ways, but you aren't alone in this. :D

GraceLove posted 12/27/2018 14:38 PM


This resonated with me. Yes, I did do almost all of the work. And definitely all of the emotional, psychological and spiritual work for me and the family. However, I also did alot of the physical work even though I had been sick for much of my marriage. I realized now that my illnesses where because I was living with an abusive partner. He was literally making me sick.

Since the separation my health, vitality and energy have returned. It's been another bonus!

The only thing he did was plan trips, do laundry and he at one point did yard duty and go to work (where he made money that funded our family and sooooo many 'other' families...). That is really all of his contribution.

I planned activities and social things for our family and kids. In fact it was only after everything blew up that I realized I had been married to myself. There was nothing coming back from his side really. Nothing sincere and real anyways.

It makes sense that he checked out long before the affairs which must have been pretty early on. I suspect and have lots of reasons/evidence to believe that this was only the first time he got caught. Which means he would have checked out a very long time ago.
In hindsight, when he was at home, he was never really 'there'. It was like his body was there but he was soooo checked out. Watching tv, listening to music and later the computer and then the phone. Constantly having the phone in hand, going to the toilet, bathing, and freaking out if he lost it for a moment.

What a waste of my life! And precious time and energy!! No wonder I have erased him from my memory. He doesn't deserve a place there or anywhere in my life.
I can only hope my daughters don't waste their precious time and energy engaging with him and giving him empathy, like I did. I have no control over what they do though. It is their journey.

GraceLove posted 12/27/2018 14:42 PM


I can remember things, but its always as a fact of what happened, not as a "real" memory with emotion... it just is, like a picture or video I have no attachment to.

It seems that I am getting to this place, thank God. I have recently been having dreams of XWH where my anger is coming out.

I am soooo grateful that my mind isn't ruminating like it did a year ago and that for most of the day, I don't think of all the horrible things he did over the last year and the years before that.

It's taken a lot of work and alot of therapy and a lot of God to get here. Each day can be a battle though. Sometimes moment to moment. I do finally seem to be getting more reprieves which helps me keep going on the days I don't want to anymore.

Thelastknight posted 1/20/2019 01:38 AM

I feel the same way. It was a long time ago. My kids like the fact that they have lived in the same house from birth. That means something to me. I get to preserve something for them.

honesttoafault posted 1/20/2019 09:07 AM

I've been going through a similar thing for a long time, but lately the roller coaster has started again for brief periods. Every once in a while, I'll realize something that happened in the past that I mentally and emotionally rug swept and I get really angry for a few minutes. And then, thank God, it's gone and I'm back to living my own life forgetting him.

I believe it's part of the healing process. We have to focus on the here and now in order to move forward.

cancuncrushed posted 1/20/2019 12:44 PM

You could research trauma is a wall....I was considering this lately...its very strange...

We have been separated 9 months...and D is underway....I cant remember his face...I have forgotten so many details...of the entire A and aftermath. I had those facts, cemented in my mind...Now that we are Ding, they have left me..I have no doubt its protection...The D is overwhelming...I think I only have so much brain to deal with overwhelm...

ITs funny..I sometimes miss my husband in the most desperate way...I cry...but I realize I miss my husband of 20 years ago...that's the face I remember...his face of 20 years ago...the life we had 20 years ago...I miss it terribly...
However, I am angry at husband in current time...I hate him..I cant remember all the terrible things or his face... I think I block it out...I have wondered if the 2-5 yer healing, is because we start to forget things by then?

In reality, this is when I saw WH changing...becoming an alcoholic and serial cheater, and I went into my denial...mind is a funny thing. I found some pictures of 20 years ago...Yep...that's him...I miss him terribly..I still love that man...and he was pretending... I spend time researching this...I don't want this to continue..I don't want that 20 year old memory to become some exaggerated love, some shrine that I cant replace.

HIs life, his health, his looks, his actions are all unrecognizable now..Hes a stranger.

[This message edited by cancuncrushed at 12:52 PM, January 20th (Sunday)]

CatsEye posted 2/1/2019 02:54 AM

My exhole was so neglectful that I have very little to forget. And looking back, it seems that he was not simply checked out but actively working to keep me from being involved in his life. I didn't throw up a wall as protection from trauma; he built a wall to keep me from interfering with his extra-curricular activities.

So what's to miss? In the early part of the divorce, I racked my brains and came up with one nice thing that he did for me. One. In thirty years. The POS didn't give me any memories to forget.

But maybe that's a good thing.

CurseBreaker posted 2/6/2019 18:11 PM

It think itís a way that shows your disconnecting from the pain of betrayal and moving towards a fresh start. The closer I got towards acceptance, the less anguish or anything I felt towards the D and X.

Iím not even a year out, and emotions tied to memories of M and STBXWH are fading, most more ďmehĒ than anything. I occasionally get annoyed when I reflect on the As, understandably, but not consumed with she-hulk rage anymore.

I have found myself playing out memories of the before ďusĒ times, ya know- the years before we met, with more frequency than I did at anytime during M. Memories of old trips, old BFs, of old friends, college years, etc. with a sense of nostalgia. Itís like looking at an old VHS of past summers or Kodakís of youthful Christmas holidays. Itís a nice deviation from the mundane routine of wake-work-sleep that takes up a majority of our week, and serves as a reminder of what I am capable of and worth. :)

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