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kj7574 Offline OP
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Quote
You should be in plan A...in plan A you don't power struggle this type of stuff..


Ark, yours is the reply I most feared when I posted this.
How dare you not validate my anger? <---- light sarcasm

I really appreciate everyone else's response because you confirm that I'm not just being petty. But I believe Ark's is the answer most consistent with the MB approach. And, of course, the one I least wanted to see and one of the more difficult.

Ultimately, I want her to want to get rid of it. And I have to wait for that, right? If it ever comes.


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I would demand the box goes or you go. My ex-ww kept all sorts of things from the om,she ended up on the curb

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Originally Posted by kj7574
Ultimately, I want her to want to get rid of it. And I have to wait for that, right? If it ever comes.

kj, we are about 7 months into recovery. My wife is holding onto something she got from the OM. I have asked her few times and she said, it is packed away and she never even looks at it. I believe her. In my heart though I hope/dream/fantasize that one day.....

She will bring it home and burn it in front of me...(how can she not get THAT ????....sorry it is very frustrating at times)

I dont think she will do it but I have reached a point in our recovery where I want to get away from demanding, expressing anger, dictating things to my wife.

I agree with ark. Plan A does NOT demand. She needs to realise this and do this on her own. I may let her know how much it hurts me that she hangs on to something that I abhor. But not right now.



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I know K....it sucks....big time...

but look at ouchthathurts response...

it is poetry....

a perfect word picture statement....

Can I please keep the set of knives I used to cut your heart out, as a keep sake? asks the WS

NO! anwers the BS

How can you can you be so heartless and uncaring". questions the WS

"Because you cut out my heart you cheat".

except calling a WS a cheat doesn't help....( again the irony with heavy sarcasm....)

say this to your WS....

I was going to put some very sharp darts in your momento box and every time you open that box would you please take one out and just stab me with it....so that for the first time since finding out about the afair.....I will have physical pain to go along with the emotional pain that I feel in that box...it truly would be kind of you..

smile and walk away....

believe me K....this is treacherous waters you are in...painful

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I am a woman and when I am done with a man, I dispose of all momentos. The only exception is if you have kids together you might save pictures for them to take when they're grown, or if you have a spouse that dies, you might keep some of their things, but it should be done in an unobtrusive way. But in this situation, she should absolutely get rid of everything to do with him. She needs to see that what she did with him was an affront to you and grievous to your marriage, not something to hang onto and remember. I'd definitely see a counselor that understands that she is going through withdrawal, and how to best help her through it so the two of you can move on in a more positive direction together.


Enacting life's lessons into positive change... .
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Speaking as an FWW, I kept the photos from my teenage years of me and the OM after the A because I wanted a reminder of the A when it was over. If the A had been active, I wouldn't have cared whether I had them or not. Vows, that is what happens in most cases - disposing of the mementos - but not when it comes to waywards.

My H and I burnt all the pics in a ceremony about five months after d-day. The event is even here on MB from about 2004.

kj, your WW is in a very well documented stage of withdrawal. It's textbook. Your counsellor is crap. She probably means well but she has NO idea. This is make or break time for you. Time to read EVERYTHING on the site.

The advice to say how much the mementos hurt, while good in theory, doesn't really work in practice. My H told me the photos hurt him and I thought "and I care, why?". It wasn't until I'd started behaving like a human being again that I could see the hurt and wanted them gone as much as he did.

ETA Yes, they have to go.

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Originally Posted by princessmeggy
No. No. No.

My WH and I had a little ceremony (after a couple of months) where we burned all momentos symbolizing that our marriage would now be able to rise out of the ash.

PM Nailed it - note the phrase

Quote
(after a couple of months)

Your wife is most probably still in withdrawal.

My wife came home with a few mementoes as well and it drove me nutz but she did get rid of them ALL without me doing a song and dance routine after she had withdrawn and recommitted to our marriage. This will be a barometer - you will know she is committed when she ditches them.


Me: 56 (FBS) Wife: 55 (FWW)
D-Day August 2005
Married 11/1982 3 Sons 27,25,23
Empty Nesters.
Fully Recovered.
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BigK is absolutely right. It's a sign of commitment -it's why I burned them. I understood the need to get rid of them and I wanted to get rid of them. I've added the link to my first post in my signature. I haven't read what I actually wrote about burning the photos - probably some foggy stuff - but whatever I wrote is how I felt then.

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It took my W twenty fives years to get rid of a gold chain and heart from the OM.

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No way, this is a terrible idea. If a WS insists on keeping an "affair box" that is a sign that they still aren't completely over it.

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RedVine, yes it does mean that, but not many WS's ARE over it even when they want to commit to the marriage. Withdrawal is a definite stage of ending an A. It's what I've said over and over on MB for the last 5? 6? years. If a BS can stomach that withdrawal period and do a great Plan A with a spouse who is even a third of the way there, the marriage can be saved.

I'm proof positive of that.

Getting rid of the mementos is a big, big major step in recovery. It's as big as the WS no longer hugging the edge of the bed.

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My WW kept souvenirs from the A. Some she had forgotten about and others she had stashed away. I found them by accident when repairing some furniture. She said she knew she would have to get rid of them some day but wasn't ready yet. I burned them.

If I find any more, I'll divorce her because, after 4 years, if she is still looking at the affair fondly, she doesn't belong in my house.

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Originally Posted by piojitos
My WW kept souvenirs from the A. Some she had forgotten about and others she had stashed away. I found them by accident when repairing some furniture. She said she knew she would have to get rid of them some day but wasn't ready yet. I burned them.

If I find any more, I'll divorce her because, after 4 years, if she is still looking at the affair fondly, she doesn't belong in my house.

FINALLY ... someone with some self-respect.

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Originally Posted by sexymamabear
Something as simple as that would be a deal breaker for me. The box would be leaving my house one way or the other...either by the wayward disposing of it, or the wayward leaving with it.

EXACTLY ... it really is a self-respect BOUNDARY issue.

"This is my home too, and I refuse to share it with mementos of OM. You either dispose of them TODAY, or you take them with you when YOU leave, but I will not remain in the same house with them another day."

We've seen it time after time with WW's ... they will not love a man that they don't respect, and your WW will never respect you, if the BH does not have any SELF-respect, and its pretty tough to have self-respect when you're behaving like a DOORMAT!

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Originally Posted by piojitos
If I find any more, I'll divorce her because, after 4 years, if she is still looking at the affair fondly, she doesn't belong in my house.

Since so many As start from high schoolers reunited, I'd also suggest that those either chuck the yearbooks, carve OP's face out of them, and get rid of any other high school day reminders. I did. dance2


BW - me
exWH - serial cheater
2 awesome kids
Divorced 12/2011




Many a good man has failed because he had a wishbone where his backbone should have been.

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
--------Eleanor Roosevelt
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Originally Posted by kj7574
My wife of 21 years broke off her affair in early April. We are going to counseling, but the counselor has told WW that she can't help because WW hasn't really committed to the relationship. WW says she is still mourning the loss of the OM, and I shouldn't be expecting anything at all from her yet.

But the real issue of the post is the box of mementoes that she is keeping. It infuriates me. I think it is a physical representation of her lack of commitment. I find it insulting, disrespectful, and hurtful. We've discussed it and she flatly refuses to get rid of it. And I think she, not I, should get rid of it (it doesn't mean much if I just dispose of it). Her defense is that I don't understand why she needs to keep it because I'm not a woman. Is there anyone out there, woman or man, who thinks a memento box of an affair makes any sense at all? Or am I just overly sensitive?

HOW did this A end?
HOW was this A discovered by you?
Is OM married? If yes, are you 100% certain OM's W knows?

You are not overly sensitive.

WW: "You don't understand why I need to keep it because you are not a woman."

YOU: "I am most certainly not a woman. I am a husband who loves his wife and is hurting terribly."

What exactly are the contents of this box?
Where exactly does she store said box?





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Ultimately, I want her to want to get rid of it. And I have to wait for that, right? If it ever comes.

Absolutely right... she's in withdrawal. You support her, painful as it is. And wait for the day when she burns it herself freely and gladly.

Have you done all you can to ensure no contact? Moved house / changed jobs? Are you snooping?


Me 49 SAHD; W 41 SAHM; DS3, DS4.
Seven year affairage.
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There may come a time when you are not willing to keep her and her Box o'Adultery too. That's fine.

For now, you are gently expressing your pain (memorize Pep's response), and reminding her with your actions that you are a good man who loves her.

See where that gets you first, before getting out the Boundary Billy Club.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



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The only "mementos" I had from the affair were a couple of old CDs that the OM had given me...I could not tell you for the life of me where they are now, nor did Mr. W ever place any meaning on them - if we ever run across them, I'd have no problem gladly filing them in the "circular file cabinet" without blinking an eye...It just never was made an issue by Mr. W...Things only have meaning when you assign them meaning - he did not place meaning on what he considered very silly and immature...Now of course an active wayward or one in withdrawal will assign ridiculous teenage type meaning to them - which will later be a HUGE EMBARRASSMENT to them once they become a FWS...In our house it was just never mentioned...It wasn't a hill to die on in the grand scheme of things for Mr. W...

He did however negotiate the affair phone away from me (the phone was something that could have done real harm, as it was a means for contact)...I remember him saying, "If you let me get rid of the phone, I will get you a laptop."...Waywards are incredibly child-like, so bribery often works...Dangling something sparkly in their faces often does the trick...I jumped on that deal and actually didn't get the laptop until about 1.5 years later..."Just because", not because of giving up the affair phone - I was no longer acting like a child then and therefore it wasn't seen as some "reward"...Point is though, the affair phone was GONE...Mission accomplished without a fight...

When you place value on these mere "things" it gives credance to the silly meaning that the wayward has placed on them and makes them dig in their heels even more...I'd worry more about being in Plan A and less about winning what will one day not even be a battle to be fought...

Mrs. W

Edited to Add: KJ, my post certainly was not intended to ignore the pain that you are currently going through...I am truly sorry that this is happening to you...No one deserves to go through this...((((KJ))))

Last edited by MrsWondering; 05/16/09 08:35 AM.

FWW ~ 47 ~ Me
FBH ~ 50 ~ MrWondering
DD ~ 17
Dday ~ 2005 ~ Recovered

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Originally Posted by piojitos
My WW kept souvenirs from the A. Some she had forgotten about and others she had stashed away. I found them by accident when repairing some furniture. She said she knew she would have to get rid of them some day but wasn't ready yet. I burned them.

If I find any more, I'll divorce her because, after 4 years, if she is still looking at the affair fondly, she doesn't belong in my house.

How close did you come to tossing her on the pyre?

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