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Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Megha, Mar 3, 2015.
Well I can't say I've ever married though I have to law to thank for dodging that bullet!
If it was a really messy divorce and you feel like you want nothing to do with her then go ahead and throw everything that has her face in it. Of course, group photos don't need to be thrown out if you don't want to. The gifts she gave you unless you realise you have no attachment in regards to her with it. Clothing included. Just do what feels right for you - it's a personal process. And just because you've culled it this time doesn't mean you can't chuck out things later once you recover a bit more from the loss.
As for me and my bullet dodging (phew) I didn't throw out much for a long time. I've discussed in very brief terms this particular relationship of almost 6 years (lived together for more than half of it). It's not that I wanted her around at all, but rather I was too sad to do anything. My parents encouraged me to throw things away, including the clothing that I bought while I was with her and start afresh with a brand new wardrobe. I couldn't bear to do that or even go shopping cos I was just so sad. I donated a few bits and pieces to the charity bins at church.
Much later on after I finished probably half of the 'grieving process', I ended up chucking out a lot of stuff. I went through the whole house trying to find her stuff or things that reminded me of her. I separated things that I wanted and had no attachment to her with (e.g. kitchen stuff) vs things that clearly reminded me of her (e.g. gifts). The stuff that I felt I had no attachment to her with I kept, and I donated all the gifts, remaining books, etc to the nearest church near me. I felt a little sad but then I thought about all the good that it would do for charity regardless if they sold it or gave it away to someone in need. The logical reminder in my head that it would all go to a good cause helped me especially as I walked away from the church around the corner and did not look back.
At present, I do not regret the decision to throw everything out. Even when I think more emotionally, I feel like I can move on and she has no hold over me now. But of course it may also have helped that I have actually had professional help with my emotional baggage as well in regards to her.
The only thing that I do regret is selling the house that we lived in. Mostly from a financial standpoint because I never wanted to sell it even though I no longer lived there. I have arguments now and again with my mum who convinced me to sell it because even at that point I knew I shouldn't have even back then. Right now it's like tripled in value. lol But yes, that was just pure luck and I did make money so I can't complain?
I think you've answered your own question in regards to the house. You are using your dogs as an excuse to stay there, but you have stated that it'll pretty much only be ok for you to stay there before you get over it. Dogs are resillient creatures, and you deserve mental, physical, and emotional safety. You deserve to start afresh and anew, just like how even changing your wardrobe and throwing things out that remind you of your ex will help you preserve and/or gain that kind of emotional and mental safety.
Even if you do want to keep the house in the end and not just for sentiments sake or cos of your dogs, you could always rent it out and live somewhere else. Alternatively if you really want to stay there then maybe invite a single friend or a relative to come and stay with you so you have company... I found that having a housemate eventually helped to keep my mind off things especially since we got on relatively well.
I was in a common law relationship for 5 years when I left, I left them with everything, I sent lawyers for the money for my half of the house, threw out the pictures, sold the cars and moved out of the town... The only remaining thing is my dog, and as you know getting rid of a pet is evil!
How old are your dogs? You'd be surprised how resilient they are, even at an old age a lot of disabled rescue dogs are moved across the country just to get to a better home...
However not everybody can just pick up and go, I get that lol... I would suggest putting all your pictures in a plastic bin, and put them in the basement/attic/garage/spare room/whatever. Replace pictures on the walls/frames with paintings or new pictures of your dogs. Paint your house a new color and re-decorate/renovate. Get a new bedroom set!!!
If you can't afford to replace and renovate things than start with whatever reminds you of her the most... Personally I never understood why anyone would want pictures of an ex, but I do have friends who regret getting rid of pictures. And a wedding is a pretty big life event... So just put your wedding pictures in a PLASTIC BIN (bugs and water damage can happen with cardboard boxes) and walk away...
I did it the same way as @Just Me - I moved away, had someone take care of everything, and never looked back. I left everything and almost everyone even the dogs which was heartbreaking (tbh, I was more devastated of losing the dogs than the relationship.)
I think it is a personal decision.
When my ex and I broke up, we did the 'we're friends.' She dumped me and treated me like crap, but we had a lot of friends in common. I wanted to keep the peace.
I was the one who moved out, so she kept most of the furniture and and such.
I kept a few things she gave me and some pictures. My ex was not a good person, but we had some good times together. I don't want ti totally erase that from my life.
I got the dog. He liked me better anyway, and I paid for everything. We didn't live together -- and we gave each other back our belongings.....during our "let's try to be friends" phase. We were never married but the relationship was significant enough where there was a lot to sort when it crumbled.
But the dog was everything to me....and still is...almost 12 years post-breakup later