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How do you stop thinking about the good memories?

Merti posted 9/5/2020 20:58 PM

Hi,
I removed myself from the limbo, and have been staying alone away from my H. I am not expecting anything at this point, R is not possible, and I just need to focus on my own well being.
When I think about everything my H did to me, I tear up. So much psychological abuse for so long. I know that I donít want to do anything with him but I struggle when I think about the past. This was a 13 years of marriage, and before A, I had a really good man who loved me, cared about me and shared a wonderful life with me. He was honest, supportive, funny and wonderful. That man is gone but itís so hard to forget those good memories of 10+ years. I have reminders in every corner. How do I deal with this?

[This message edited by Merti at 9:00 PM, September 5th (Saturday)]

Chrysalis123 posted 9/5/2020 22:01 PM

I know this is not helpful at this moment, but the cure really is time.
Lots of grieving about the dreams and plans you had for the future. Plus inner work to understand your "whys" for accepting the abuse etc.

Step by step, day by day you will heal. For me it was a very slow process and then one day I realized I was feeling better and doing better and was finally free.

Merti posted 9/6/2020 12:02 PM

I always think that if he was a serial cheater, or a horrible person, a lazy boring man, it would be so much easier.
He was none of the above. Other than the trauma he inflicted on me, I had no bad things to say about him.
Perhaps many of us are in the same boat. Perhaps many of us felt the same way about their WS until DD.

[This message edited by Merti at 12:04 PM, September 6th (Sunday)]

Marlita posted 9/8/2020 20:39 PM

I saw this at the perfect time!
I can totally relate!
Iíve learned that Iím not a good forgiver....and what heís done to me, and our marriage, is beyond my scope of forgiveness!
Found out 6/24/18, when our 5th wedding anniversary is/was 7/6/13, and weíd had been together since 2008, that he had been with the OW for 14 years!
Weíre still legally married, but Iím emotionally divorced!
Iím stuck, unhappy & am just praying for a way out!

The1stWife posted 9/9/2020 03:33 AM

People can and do change but not always for the better. Unfortunately.

Itís hard to recognize that someone has changed for the worst too.

But time will help you tremendously. You may start to piece things together and see he wasnít always so wonderful all the time. Itís called ďrose colored glassesď b/c you may not see things as clearly. You make allowances. You let things go.

You donít have to hate the X. Just get to a place of indifference. Acceptance of the affair. Acceptance they were not the same loving spouse they once were.

Marlita posted 10/21/2020 19:32 PM

The1stWife, thank you! Iím not the type of person to hate or have such strong feelings towards anyone, however, itís more the disbelief & deceit thatís killing me! I feel so dumb & angry at myself! What a mess!

BearlyBreathing posted 10/21/2020 19:51 PM

Merti ó do not feel dumb or angry at yourself. So many of us did not see the signs, or we explained them all away because our ďgood spouseĒ would NEVER cheat. In hindsight, we can see things, but then, in the moment, we were doing the best we could with what we knew.
We did not know that our spouses had changed, so donít beat yourself up (easier said than done, but really try).

The good memories have faded back to that place where memories of old boyfriends and things exist.. hazy, mildly pleasant, not something I think about all that often. And as Chrysalis said, time and healing are the main things. One thing that helped me was to brutally pull off the rose-colored glasses and push him off the pedestal I had him on. Until the cheating he was a good husband- but not the ďPerfectĒ on that I imagined him to be.

Hang in there ó it gets better. Really.

Striver posted 10/21/2020 19:54 PM

It does take some time.

At first, it was a way of mourning, thinking about those little things. And it was usually littler moments for me.

My ex left me for someone else whom she married. She knew him before we ever met. That invalidated what we had together anyway. It's come more to that now, just someone that I used to know.

99problems posted 10/21/2020 21:15 PM

Merti,
I remember you from years ago, you posted some really neat things in reply to to some of my posts. I hope to respond in kind.
The happy memories are just that- memories.
I have many happy memories of life (very few of marriage, as my situation is so different) before.
But I don't let those memories define who I am or how I feel now.

I just have them and let them give me some comfort at times.

Our day is today. We make the life we want to live now.

I know you are an intelligent person with a good spirit. You can make an awesome life for yourself, starting right now.

We are here for you. Like you were here for us. (((Internet hugs)))

LadyG posted 10/21/2020 21:46 PM

Other than the trauma he inflicted on me, I had no bad things to say about him.

As soon as I read the Title of this topic, my thoughts went straight to all the good memories I have of my beautiful children. My WH is a blur in the background of our lives.

I am looking forward to a good future for myself now 🙏🏼

Luna10 posted 10/23/2020 06:08 AM

Iím sorry youíre here and I wish you wouldnít hurt so much. My answer to you is more pragmatic and I apologise for this. Iím not divorcing but I also struggled with ďhe was the perfect man before the AĒ concept and how am I to deal with all the good memories.

What helps a lot is to realise (and this is documented in a few infidelity books) that BSes are also prone to re-writing marital history once the infidelity is discovered. Iíve read some of your past posts where you described your pre infidelity marriage, being the couple others envy and admire, always getting along and, less the infidelity part, you had the perfect marriage.

Once I read about the fact that we BSes also re-write martial history I started truly looking at my marriage pre-affair. True, my H didnít ever hit me, nor did he speak badly to me, he showed respect, we spent all our time together, we laughed, we appeared to be happy. But was he actually this perfect man I perceived, did he TRULY care about me? And this is where I actually discovered a side of him which ultimately led him to have the affair. The extreme selfishness. This reflected in almost all areas of our lives and I, by choosing to ignore those flags, I built him into the perfect man because we never argued, I just accepted it.

Next time you idealise your WH, take this info into account, we also re-write marial history and idealise the marriage we had.

As to the memories: all pre-affair memories are tainted for me. Those including my kids I cherish (and somehow my WH had disappeared from them) and warm my heart. Those including my WH became factual without any feelings attached. Trauma does this.

[This message edited by Luna10 at 6:09 AM, October 23rd (Friday)]

Cooley2here posted 10/23/2020 07:34 AM

He didnít really love you. He loved himself and the fact that you did too. Then along comes this shiney new thing and, bingo, your love wasnít enough anymore. His shiney new thing worships his wonderfulness. If he was a kind person he never would have said what he did. (I read your story) He enjoyed it. That is not a good person.
Please give yourself credit. You had happiness because YOU are a good person and assumed he was so you believed the false front he put out. The further out you get the less you will care. You will see that your happiness came from within and once you let go of hopes and wishes your happiness will come back. He doesnít deserve you.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 7:35 AM, October 23rd (Friday)]

Jambomo posted 10/23/2020 10:49 AM

I remember getting advice years ago (so far back I can't remember where from) that we always think of the good times when we look back and forget all the bad things they did. Remember all the bad times.

I do that, not just the infidelity but the times he got drunk and was an ass, or the time he let me down by causing an argument before we were meant to go to dinner etc etc.

I also try and think about a positive future thought. i.e I was thinking about where we used to go for dinner together, so I stopped and started thinking about all the new places I can go to dinner in my new city. Felt sad ab out the holidays we used to share, so instead I thought about a trip I am booked on next year.

Thumos posted 10/23/2020 16:01 PM

but itís so hard to forget those good memories of 10+ years. I have reminders in every corner. How do I deal with this?

Can I ask gently why you would want to stop thinking of these things? These are yours to cherish. They are the true marriage you were in on your side as a faithful and loyal and loving spouse.

You shouldn't go along with your WH's agenda for rewriting the history of the marriage that preceded the adultery as somehow tarnished or bad. What often happens is that WS's will over the course of several years begin to realize that they have been lying to themselves and others about the marriage, and that it was pretty damn good. They will start to panic a bit bc they realize they threw away something so precious.

But that's their problem, not your problem.

Here's the thing: I contend that most adultery happens in good marriages. It's the fault of WS's that they bought into false narratives from themselves or others about what they had.

It's not being cruel to say that they are just generally shitty, selfish, self-involved, self-regarding people with a strong sense of entitlement who have a hard time appreciating when they have a good thing and an even harder time practicing ethical reasoning and empathy.

Maybe they root that part of themselves out and start behaving as better people. Maybe they don't. But that's certainly the kind of people they were when they engaged in the abusive transgression of adultery.

If you have good memories, cherish them. Because they tell YOU you were correct in being a faithful and loving spouse.

You ran the race. You kept the faith.

Your husband did not. Now you see that he is a different person than you thought he was, and perhaps not a suitable or safe life partner. But that's not your fault and not your problem.

It's his burden. Don't make it your burden.

Liberate yourself from this by understanding that your memories are good and true and beautiful -- and that you can also move on into a new life without him.

[This message edited by Thumos at 4:07 PM, October 23rd (Friday)]

Thumos posted 10/23/2020 16:04 PM

You will see that your happiness came from within and once you let go of hopes and wishes your happiness will come back.

Exactly. Beautifully said.

crazyblindsided posted 10/23/2020 16:19 PM

Liberate yourself from this by understanding that your memories are good and true and beautiful -- and that you can also move on into a new life without him.

Love this! I can still hold the good memories and know the person he became. I am and will be able to move forward into my new life without him. So far it's been pretty good! Life is full of valuable lessons. This lesson was meant to heal ALL my trauma from past to present.

PSTI posted 10/24/2020 17:49 PM

I wouldn't want to forget the good memories. Even in a bad relationship, there are lots of wonderful times. I was with my xH for nearly 14 years. In that much time I know we had some lovely times.

The fact that he destroyed our marriage doesn't mean that we didn't have those good times. They are still part of my life and part of who I am.

I think the bigger issue is recognizing that while you HAD those good times, that they are over. Or that the person you had them with doesn't exist anymore. But don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

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