This is probably directed more towards older folk (say late 50''s to 60''s) whose long term marriage has suddenly ended by their (loved) partner leaving.
One of the good things in a long marriage is the common history and memories of happy times which can support the marriage during periodic rough or bumpy times.
These happy memories are also used by all of us to maybe help us get through some disappointments in life or periods when we are feeling a bit low.
They can even be used to divert our mind to a better place when undergoing something a bit stressful or not very pleasant such as a spell in hospital or a visit to the dentist etc.
When a marriage is suddenly and abruptly ended by one partner leaving for another, the dumped partner is left in utter disbelief and devastation that someone they have spent half their life (or more) with and still love, suddenly now could not care less about them or what becomes of them.
Couldn''t care less if they never see them or speak to them ever again.
But another terrible injustice of the situation is this......
The leaving partner will always see the happy memories as happy memories as they move on to their new future.
But what of the dumped?
Now all these said happy memories have become tinged with heartache, sorrow and pain and a fearful place to go.
In my own situation, the memories of the past 30+ years have now got to be avoided when I catch myself drifting there.
So what do you do?
Try to delete or erase the memories of half your life?
For younger folk this hopefully will be a temporary condition as they have the chance to rebuid their lives and in a few years embark on a new relationship.
But for some of us older folk with grown up children and perhaps grandchildren, the inclination or energy to "start again" is just not there, especially when we had been looking forward to spending our autumn years with our life partners.
The "timeline" of our life which once made sense is now bent, broken and distorted and the past a place to be avoided.
Hi, I dont know how old you are but I am 51. My ex was a serial cheater and I stayed in the marriage for as long as I could bear it and until I could summon up the courage and balls to end the marriage which I did following his last affair nearly 2 years ago. I didn''t take him back this last time and he hates me for not doing so and has remained with this lady.
I had a couple of relationships following our split but have been well single for a year now and I am at my happiest I have ever been. Two girls at uni and one in the 6th form so lives at home. I don''t know what I will do when she goes off to uni, but I am not dreading it, I am looking forward to it.
When my ex first left for this woman I was a mess, then as usual he begged me to take him back but I was strong and for the first time ever I took no notice of his tears, suicide attempts etc etc. I hated him.
Now? I feel sorry for him, but occasionally when I am out and about a good memory (cos my life with him wasn''t all that bad) crosses my mind and I smile. If one of the girls is with me we will chat and remember it together.
I was married to my ex for a very long time and am pretty sure that I do not want a relationship again, maybe a date here and then, but I truly am happy as I am.
I''m not quite in the late 50''s bracket yet though nearer than I''d like to be!! But having spent all my life, well since I was 16 with my partner I completely empathise with everything you said.
Last night I managed to go out to a quiz night with a few people from work, first time I''d done that. Too many questions had me wanting to say ''I know the answer to that because we...''. A couple of questions were on his favourite film, I was ready to break down there and then. It doesn''t seem fair that something so innocuous as a quiz night should floor me so completely.
All you said rings so true. For me any memory of him is so painful it is unbearable. For him, well, he has told me that our life and love together was great, it was just for him, over. He makes it sond so siple. He looks back on the past with good memories. I have to lock the past in a box which I must not touch, if I go there I crumble.
Hopefully one day you and I will both be able to remember our pasts without it being so painful, to remember and feel good about the long and happy marriages we had.
Until then I think we just have to keep taking those baby steps to create a new life and maybe once we are comfortable with that we will be able to look back without so much pain.
LW your post made me cry because it made me think about the memories that I usually try to avoid because they are now forever tainted. I can more or less date the beginning of the personal crisis that sent my stbx looking for a new relationship but what about the 30 years before that? Did he ever love me, or just go through the motions because he had no one else? I''ll never know so I try not to think about it.
Oh dear. Yes, thoughts like these do bring tears. Well, I feel like the old lady of the community and I can tell you that the age thing does matter a great deal. Being rejected for a younger model hurts at any age but when you''re older the fear of going into old age alone, with one person''s money when you''d enjoyed a very comfortable life with a double income is frankly terrifying.
He said the years with me had meant nothing to him so all those years are packed away and I dare not revisit them. I doubt that they have happy memories btw.
The worry for me is that I think it has affected my memory - yes, I know it''s probably age related - but if I must not remember 20+ years how can I select what I''ll remember and what I''ll forget? Another wiki told me her Dr had said the chemistry of the brain is altered by distress and trauma. I''m hoping that in time, when memories are less painful, they will return. I never was good on names and as wikis have two names - it''s a problem!
So the sad days and lonely nights have to be endured because we never want to return to being deceived and lied to. No one knows what the future holds but be true to yourself leftwondering and take good care of yourself.
Like Pixy, your post made me cry too. I try not to think about the past because I find myself wondering if he ever truly loved me. He gave up on ''us'' so easily and put our marriage in the ''too hard basket''.
I am in my late forties and spent 25 years with my stbx. Frankly, the thought of falling in love again and sharing myself with another scares me because I don''t ever want to risk feeling this pain again. Letting someone into what''s left of my heart, is unfathomable at this stage but in saying this, I really miss the feeling of being loved and cared for.
LW, you''re right - this is unjust. Especially for those of us who loved and cherished our partners and our marriages and looked forward to growing older together.
Like Dees, I too am not quite in the fifties bracket but had spent a lifetime with my STBX. I totally get where you are coming from.
The memories can be so bitter sweet for us to often unlock and bear and then you start thinking, was it all just a pretence? Was it ever really real for them or just an act? That''s when it hits you, the reality that it might have meant far less to them than it did to us. I know not the correct answers to those questions, but I do believe what Mitchum has said, no matter what went before, the fact that the lies, deceit and cheating took preference for them, makes me believe that I did not deserve that (nobody does), so unfortunately the loneliness has to be endured until such time as we can feel strong enough to let those happy times run free in our memories, without breaking down at everything that once was.
Ohh and Dees, a quiz night, a movie, but in my case it is music...it is still lost to me and sets me off, will I ever be at peace with what was the biggest passion in my life? I do not know but I understand how you felt on your quiz night, on a positive, a huge pat on the back for making the right decision in going in the first place, however hard it may have been.