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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Mar 26, 2014
DEAR ABBY: I have been married almost 20 years. Eight years ago my wife began an emotional affair with a co-worker. It lasted a year, until he left the company. Although they never had sex, they did have some physical contact that most people would consider inappropriate, and my wife considered ending our marriage because of the feelings she had for him. She now says the episode was a huge mistake and she loves me more than ever.

The problem is, she wrote many entries about him in a journal. I know she kept writing about him several years after they lost contact, including saying that she loved him more than a year after he'd left.

I want my wife to remove the portions of the journal pertaining to this guy. She doesn't want to. I'm still hurting from this and am considering counseling, but for now, what do you think? Should she get rid of the journal?-- CONSIDERING COUNSELING

DEAR CONSIDERING COUNSELING: Because you are still hurting seven years after the fact, stop "considering" counseling and get it NOW.

If your wife is a serious journal writer -- and many people are -- that she would want her writings to remain intact in spite of the fact they reflect her emotional affair is not unusual. If that's the case, instead of insisting she edit or destroy her journal, my advice is to stop reading it.

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 47-year-old man who was single until seven years ago. Then I met "Maggie," the most wonderful woman I had ever known. She wasn't the hotsy-totsy one-nighter type I was used to. She was a real woman who fulfilled everything I had ever dreamed of (including bringing a wonderful 4-year-old little girl into my life). The biological father is out of the picture.

Maggie had wrestled with some health issues -- nothing serious until last April, when she had surgery. Complications set in, and I lost the only person who ever mattered, aside from our little girl.

My question is, since we were never married, how do I refer to Maggie when relating what happened? I am in the process of adopting her daughter and explanations to strangers are tough.("Wow, you're taking on a child when you don't HAVE to?") How do I respond to these remarks? I know this is a multi-part question, but I have so many unanswered questions lately, I figured I'd ask you for an opinion.-- GRIEVING IN MISSOURI

DEAR GRIEVING: Although you and Maggie weren't legally married, you were a couple for some time. I'm very sorry for your loss. It would be accurate to refer to her as your late significant other, your partner or longtime girlfriend.

I would like to compliment you for stepping up to care for the girl when her biological father did not. And I do have suggestions for how to respond to anyone insensitive enough to ask why you would "take on" a child you didn't "have to."

The first would be to ignore the question. The second would be to avoid such a person in the future, and the third would be to reply, "I love her like a daughter, want to make sure she's secure and provided for, and THAT'S why I'm doing it."

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#2 Mar 26, 2014
1- Abby is such a sexist

2- Why are you explaining your situation to strangers anyway? Me thinks you only wrote this letter to brag about what a noble man you are

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Mar 26, 2014
1 Imagine that, Amby telling a guy to "Just Deal With It". No statements about how the wife should accept the husbands feeling, concerns and fears, just that her literary rights supersede her partners mental health and their marriage.

2 How about you just call her your daughters mother and ignore clods who ask stupid questions?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#4 Mar 26, 2014
Lw1: I disagree with skipper and gilligan. Why is he reading her journal? Isn't the point to document your PRIVATE thoughts? Getting rid of those pages will not erase what happened.

Lw2: what edog said. She's my late gf's daughter. How friggin hard is that?
NicoleK

Villeneuve, Switzerland

#5 Mar 26, 2014
Shave your head, don a tux, and sing this song:

I've made me a fortune
(That fortune made ten)
Been headlined
And profiled
Again and again
But something was missing
(I never quite knew)
That something was someone --
But who?

My speeches are greeted
With thunderous acclaim
At two universities
Bearing my name
Yes, something was missing
Each timeI got through
That something was someone --
But who?

Who could that someone be?
How could she make it known?
Who would need me for me?
Need me for me alone?
he world was my oyster --
But where was the pearl?
Who dreamed I could find it
Yes something was missing --
But dreams can come true
That something
Is no one
But you

Who would need me for me ?
Need me for me alone
The world was my oyster
But where was the pearl ?
Who'd dream I would find it
In one little girl ?
Yes, something was missing
But dreams do come true
That something is no one.....but you.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#6 Mar 26, 2014
LW2: He is adopting her. She is his daughter. When you refer to Maggie, you say she was daughter's late mom.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#7 Mar 26, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
Lw1: I disagree with skipper and gilligan. Why is he reading her journal? Isn't the point to document your PRIVATE thoughts? Getting rid of those pages will not erase what happened.
Reading her journal, if that's even what he did, is a sperate issue, not a solution

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#8 Mar 26, 2014
L1. There comes a time in life when you must draw a line in the sand.
This is not one of those times.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#9 Mar 26, 2014
LW1: What Tonka said.

LW2: I can't believe you couldn't figure this out on your own; makes me suspect that the dog is right.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#10 Mar 26, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Reading her journal, if that's even what he did, is a sperate issue, not a solution
??? If he's not reading her journal, he will not see those pages. Tearing them out and throwing them away does not change what she thought or did. What is it you think throwing the pages away solves that simply not reading her journal does not solve?

“An Apple a day”

Since: Jun 08

nil carborundum illegitemi

#11 Mar 26, 2014
1. Why are you reading her journal? ADD?

2. Bah, are you trying to get kudos from Abby?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#12 Mar 26, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>??? If he's not reading her journal, he will not see those pages. Tearing them out and throwing them away does not change what she thought or did. What is it you think throwing the pages away solves that simply not reading her journal does not solve?
I never suggested the pages should be thrown away. He obviously has issues with his wife's behavior and THAT is what should be addressed. Simply "don't read the journal" isn't gonna solve the underlying problem

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#13 Mar 26, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I never suggested the pages should be thrown away. He obviously has issues with his wife's behavior and THAT is what should be addressed. Simply "don't read the journal" isn't gonna solve the underlying problem
From the letter: "The problem is, she wrote many entries about him in a journal."

So yes, that *is* the problem. I keep thinking would he feel the same if she had gone to a therapist and said the exact same things she wrote in the journal? And the answer is no, because he wouldn't know that she said them.

He needs to stop fixating on the journal.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#14 Mar 26, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
Lw1: I disagree with skipper and gilligan. Why is he reading her journal? Isn't the point to document your PRIVATE thoughts? Getting rid of those pages will not erase what happened.
Lw2: what edog said. She's my late gf's daughter. How friggin hard is that?
Thanks for that laugh in your LW1 answer.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#15 Mar 26, 2014
L1: I agree. Quit reading it!

L2: I can see why he isn't seeing the easy answers. Talk about stressful. That's a highly stressful situation. The love of your life dies and you have a dughter to raise on your own AND have to deal with the authorities to make sure you can raise your daughter. THEN people can be so judgmental. I also think people are probably asking him, "How are you doing since the SO died? Where is her daughter living now? YOU took her? Why?" Unfortunately, I can see that happening.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#16 Mar 26, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I never suggested the pages should be thrown away. He obviously has issues with his wife's behavior and THAT is what should be addressed. Simply "don't read the journal" isn't gonna solve the underlying problem
You never suggested the pages should be thrown out? Well that's what the lw is asking about.

You think his issues with his wife's behavior need to be addressed? Then wtf are you disagreeing with abby for and calling her sexist? Counseling is the first thing she suggested. Counseling and stop reading the journal.

How is your opinion different than hers?

Since: Mar 09

West Palm Beach, FL

#17 Mar 26, 2014
I wonder if she LET him read the journal or if he did it behind her back.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#18 Mar 26, 2014
Well professor, let me put it to you this way...
I never said to get rid of the pages, I said that amby glossed over the guys feelings and said he had to simply "accept" that the wife can do whatever without regards to the husbands feelings.
She would never(I believe) say that if the genders were reversed, instead she would say that the husband should cede to the wifes feelings and consider if keeping the written word was more important than his marriage.

Hey, how come you aint tapping Maryann? You gay or something?
Mister Tonka wrote:
Lw1: I disagree with skipper and gilligan. Why is he reading her journal? Isn't the point to document your PRIVATE thoughts? Getting rid of those pages will not erase what happened.
Lw2: what edog said. She's my late gf's daughter. How friggin hard is that?
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#19 Mar 26, 2014
1: A journal is a person's record of their lives. It's usually a private writing not meant to be read by others until after the writer's death. It records their thoughts and emotions as well as their actions both good and bad. Your wife's "affair" was one such event that took a relatively small chunk of her life. She probably now sees it as a mistake. But still, it was part of her life and she may want to have this remembrance as a warning against a repeat in the future. If the journal survives her to her descendants, it could help explain some of her actions from that time forward. It could also show as a warning of what to avoid and perhaps even indicate warning signs for others. It's part of who she is. It shows that she isn't perfect that she has made at least one serious mistake in her life. Has she kept any other mementos from this guy? Does she have photos? gifts? Does she talk about him? Does she "moon" around the house seemingly depressed? If not, you probably have nothing to worry about but your own insecurity. You either trust her or you don't. Why don't you both go for couples counseling. It might help. And Abby is right: stop reading her journal.

On a side note, you didn't mention children. I believe I would have enjoyed reading a journal written by either of my parents or even grandparents or further back. None of them were famous. I'd just like to get to know them better; to know what kind of people they were - to know their human side, not just the bare bones facts. That's what your wife is writing about herself - the truth of who she is and has been. I assume the other man was part of who she was for awhile and now no longer is. By keeping this part of her journal, she is telling the truth about herself - all of it, not just what's left after censorship. If you have kids, it may help them understand the bumps in your life/marriage after both you and your wife have gone. Perhaps it will also help them to not make the same mistakes.

2: This girl is the "daughter of your heart" and you will soon be making it legal through adoption. The people who are surprised/shocked that you are keeping her have very little heart or understanding of love. You've been a father to her for some years. How awful if she were to lose you as well as her mom. I have to say that some folks are just stupid.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#20 Mar 26, 2014
j_m_w wrote:
I wonder if she LET him read the journal or if he did it behind her back.
He may have asked for transparency when the guy moved on and teh emotional affair was discovered, in which case LW got what he asked for but doesn't seem to like it

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