Years ago I I went through a particularly traumatic divorce from my first husband. No infidelity, but other issues. The divorce was so traumatic that whenever I went to the city that we used to live - that we still had family there - I used to start to feel panicked, anxious, palms sweaty, heart racing driving there. It seemed like it intensified once I would reach a certain mile marker. It was like this impending doom feeling and I grew to loathe these trips to this town. I did this for years - and then one day I asked my therapist if you could have a PTSD and/or triggers from a place. ABSOLUTELY my therapist confirmed - not only could a place be a trigger, but so could a day of the week, a month, date, anniversary, an activity, etc. It NEVER dawned on that a place, a landmark, a city, a location, could hold me emotionally hostage like that. With WH’s A he brought AP over to OUR HOME for their first tryst. I was conveniently on vacation and this is when the EA moved into the PA phase. I didn’t know about those details until much much later. In fact to make matters so much worse, the house we lived in had previously been a rental home years and years earlier. And the AP had LIVED in that home during her HS years. Talk about a gut punch. I actually found that out about a month after we started to reconcile - and when I found that out, I simply could not live in that home any longer. I hated that house anyway - it was only supposed to be a temporary home after WH retired from the military. That’s why AP felt so comfortable coming to my home to fuck my husband when I wasn’t home. She USED TO LIVE THERE! When WH went NC and blocked her and changed his phone number she went batshit crazy and stalked him, and the me and our son. She knew the whole neighborhood, this is where she grew up. We ended up selling that house and moved across the country. Anyway - to this day I LOATHE going to that town. Absolutely triggers the F out of me. I know that their meet ups were that one time in our home, so the house had to go, the furniture all had to go. She tainted everything- and so he had to buy me new furniture, new home, and new vehicles. They always met in secret somewhere in that town (hotel, her car whatever) - they didn’t "date", he was embarrassed to be seen in public with her so there were no restaurants, no stores, nothing like that. Always under the cover of night, always secretive. However - they did attend the same HS and graduated in the same class. 4 yrs later when we moved back to that area our son went to that same HS. So that was a little bit of a trigger - only because she was associated with that HS in some way. Because of that all of his HS reunions we will never attend. Because she’s usually the person organizing the reunions. LOL
Any memories my WH has with regard to this time period are all negative. Any places or landmarks associated with the A and/or AP are all negative. They reflect a time when he was in great pain, when he inflicted great pain on his family and children, so there are no "fond" memories; just disgust, disappointment, failures.
I think you need to do what feels right for you to reclaim that space. I know I HAD to move from our home. There was no way to reclaim anything good in that house for me, no way for me to feel like this was my "own" space. She once lived there as a child - that did it for me. She also mocked me once about that - that she knew the layout of my home. So yea - had to move.
It’s been 11 years since that A - and I still LOATHE going back to that town for visits. I feel like it still has this hold on me and keeps pulling me back. We have some family still there. And friends. And going and making NEW better memories helps me hate it less LOL. But I think I’ll never ever feel at ease in that town. The whole thing was so traumatic for me.
I wish you the best! I know how hard this part is.
[This message edited by Blackbird25 at 5:19 PM, Monday, October 2nd]