Since my partners formal disclosure, I now know that there was literally no time period or place that was safe from his addiction. He acted out with sex workers during or near major milestones, including when we traveled abroad for our wedding, took our child back on a trip to meet her grandparents, or visits to family and on trips to cities I love. This means I now can not think of those happy times without immediately thinking about the betrayal. So it currently feels like all those happy times are now ruined or tainted. Any tips for moving beyond this. Is there a way to reclaim memories or places for myself?
What’s interesting, there is you had a different experience. And that was still true to you now as a couple, that’s different, but your memories there are yours, not now. He did do those things in those places, but you still have those memories or images where you had a good time. So that’s one part, but the repair would actually be him acknowledging the lies, the betrayal, and it would be him. Identifying how wrong that was because it was wrong. It was hurtful. I can’t take away the fact that he betrayed you in some of the deepest and most profound ways.
Now, if you are still together, that’s the work that he would need to do to talk about the deception, the lies, and that minimization, or hiding his behaviors, the gaslighting that’s the work that he would need to do. If you’re going to heal. Anyway if you’re going to move beyond this, if you’re in the relationship that’s what he could do, if not, you might want to go to some of those places mentally in your mind, you might do some EMDR eye movement, desensitization, and reprocessing related to those memories and some of the pain, and actually put other experiences in those memories.
For example, you might think of a best friend with you there in those memories. Now that may sound a little strange, but there’s no reason why we can’t think about those places. And at least in terms of those, the emotions you felt, those were real to you. He was living his lie but those places for you, if you enjoyed them, they were your place and they still can be good that way. Anyway, that’s a really interesting question because it’s hard when those memories are tied up with their betrayal.