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I don't know if this is the best place to post this, but I really didn't want to do it in the CWI forum.

I had posted on someone else's thread, and it got me to wondering about people who hook up with exes. In it, I asked the poster if they really were in love with their ex, or just the memory of the good times? Here's what I wrote (or a reasonable facsimile thereof):

Some years ago, (long before I met my W), I had tried to get back together with an ex GF. For days, I could think of nothing and no one else. So, I looked her up again, and while we hung out and talked, it dawned on me.

We had changed.

We were really not the same people who had fallen in love before. True, it had only been a year or two since the breakup, but we were young (19-20 the first time around), and a year or two can make a HUGE difference at that age. So, I wisely decided not to pursue her any further.

And then, a 2nd revelation hit me, even more significant than the 1st.

I didn't love her. I loved the MEMORY of her. The memories of the good times, the feelings that I got from the good times. And I shudder to think what would have happened if we HAD reunited. Even to this day, about 20 years after the fact, if I hear a song from the time we were dating, or smell freshly ground flavored gourmet coffee (she was fond of a certain brand), or even smell the hint of the kind of shampoo that she used, I am transported back to those days, and the giddy feelings that went with them. But I always keep the reminder: it was only the MEMORY that I have feelings for, not the girl.

So, I wonder: has anyone ever felt like this? Do you remember an old flame with fondness, even though you know the REAL person that they are? They say that a man never quite forgets his first love, and I guess it's true, but what about the people who run into an old flame, and destroy a perfectly good marriage or relationship because of it, because they fell in love with a memory?
 

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I think about this every time some random memory of an ex hits me. I have no clue as to who they are now as people and all that's left are the memories, very subjective ones, at that. When something reminds me of someone, I let it sit for a moment and then I'm on to something else.

It's important not to focus on the past so much that it interferes with the present, especially since I'm married and I'm recovering from an EA. Overall, I think that most people get caught up in the memories of past partners and get a shock when reality doesn't live up to whatever images they've been holding onto.
 

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This was the problem with my ex husband, he had an EA with his ex wife while we were married. Now they are back together in a fake relationship. She was/is a drug abuser, a cheater, a liar, and a complete phony person. Within a month of them reuniting, she slept with the guy she had been involved with while they were divorced! And he is STILL with her, for the kids! Those poor kids. Anyway...he was not able to let go of the memories, their history. They had been together since junior high, grown up together. He would not let himself past this, no matter how awful a person she truly is, and has even proven herself to be.
 

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I don't know if this is the best place to post this, but I really didn't want to do it in the CWI forum.

I had posted on someone else's thread, and it got me to wondering about people who hook up with exes. In it, I asked the poster if they really were in love with their ex, or just the memory of the good times? Here's what I wrote (or a reasonable facsimile thereof):

Some years ago, (long before I met my W), I had tried to get back together with an ex GF. For days, I could think of nothing and no one else. So, I looked her up again, and while we hung out and talked, it dawned on me.

We had changed.

We were really not the same people who had fallen in love before. True, it had only been a year or two since the breakup, but we were young (19-20 the first time around), and a year or two can make a HUGE difference at that age. So, I wisely decided not to pursue her any further.

And then, a 2nd revelation hit me, even more significant than the 1st.

I didn't love her. I loved the MEMORY of her. The memories of the good times, the feelings that I got from the good times. And I shudder to think what would have happened if we HAD reunited. Even to this day, about 20 years after the fact, if I hear a song from the time we were dating, or smell freshly ground flavored gourmet coffee (she was fond of a certain brand), or even smell the hint of the kind of shampoo that she used, I am transported back to those days, and the giddy feelings that went with them. But I always keep the reminder: it was only the MEMORY that I have feelings for, not the girl.

So, I wonder: has anyone ever felt like this? Do you remember an old flame with fondness, even though you know the REAL person that they are? They say that a man never quite forgets his first love, and I guess it's true, but what about the people who run into an old flame, and destroy a perfectly good marriage or relationship because of it, because they fell in love with a memory?
I have wondered about this and how to categorize feelings that I have had after my divorce. On one hand, I'm doing well. On the other, it just seems weird not being with her anymore, and sometimes things do trigger feelings of the past. But I wonder, am I really still in love with her as a person, or just finding it difficult to spend 18 years with someone and then be done?
 

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I was actually thinking about this today. My ex and I have a great friendship and he is in a bad relationship right now. Today he came to pick up our oldest son for a visit and he made a comment that seemed like he wanted to try again. Our marriage was not horrible, but it was never a great love story. I love him, but am not in love with him. I am 99% sure I would never go back, but I am in a situation similiar to when we met which is pretty ironic and probably why I even thought about it for a second.
 

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A couple years ago, I had to ride with my Ex as we were taking our son to Basic Training for the Army... then he was taking me to meet my H at his semi, as I went out on the road with him for a couple days.

Me and my Ex talked a bit about "the past",,, he asked me if my H was jealous of him,, I told him probably, but didn't know... he then asked me "well you wanna give him a reason to be"? As the control my H had on me during that time,, I totally emotionally crawled in a shell.... couldn't wait to get out of the car...

I sometimes would think the "what if's",,, but obviously we broke up for a reason,,, right??? why go back to misery again.
 

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Fortunately or unfortunately I have no such memories.
But I know some who allowed a past memory rob them of their present relationship, and the end up confused and sad.

Before my wife all of my relationships were short,and purely physical. There was just one girl before her that I actually fell in love with. But that too was short and the end was bitter.
She cheated on me.
So I banished every fond memory of her and moved on with my life.
Today she is married with children to the guy she cheated on me with,
And she is CHEATING ON HIM.
 
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