When Husband and I met, I was 21 and he was 26, and it was fair to say we’d both done some living before we became a couple. He’d lived all over the place, both in the UK and abroad and we’d both had long term relationships with other people, both of which had ended pretty badly in their own ways. We were pragmatic enough to know that we’d seen things and been places without each other and we’ve shared memories freely without it causing issues between us.
The other day, we were in the car on the way home from the farmers market and a song came on Spotify from a band we both love, who I’d been to see with someone from my past and it got me thinking. I think back to that gig with fondness (for the band) and complete and utter CRINGE for who I saw them with. I wish I could replace the memory with something that meant something to me, other than regret. I want to be able to think about seeing them in concert without having a whole bunch of other nastiness surfacing at the same time, but that seems almost impossible.
As I mentioned, Husband lived abroad for a spell, in the Alsace region of France and talks often of his time there; the locals who were baffled by the crazy English boy going jogging in the snow, the laid-back lifestyle and wonderful sense of community whereby villagers would open up their houses and invite anyone in for coffee and cakes. It sounds amazing, yet in the past when Husband had talked about us visiting together, I’ve felt really weird, like I’d be smack bang in the middle of memories of his ex girlfriend. However, the band epiphany has made me realise that it’s not about what we did before we met, or who we did those things with, it’s about sharing experiences with each other and using past experiences to enhance our lives together.
Now, instead of thinking about his ex being with him in France, I think about how happy that place made him and how much it means to him, which makes me think I’d love to visit. Instead of feeling rueful about having seen a band I love with someone I have horrible memories of, I think about replacing those memories and how much fun Husband and I would have if we saw that band together. We’ve even talked about taking Sausage to see them too, which would repair my rubbish memories one hundred-fold.
I’m not talking about rehashing the entire 21 years before we met, that would be impossible, not to mention something I’d really NOT want to do, and I know re-doing things won’t actually erase old memories but it would mean that I could share experiences with people I love and effectively reclaim old events for myself. Does that make any sense at all?!
What do you think? Do you avoid doing things or going places you’ve been with an ex or do you see it all as a wealth of experience to be shared with the one you love?
Let me know!