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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A word to the wise. If you're cleaning things out and come across your wife's diary, and a cursory look shows it covers the time before you were married, don't read it without her permission and willingness to provide context. Just... don't.

I was stuck at home one Sunday and decided I'd clear out an old bookcase, recycle stuff we didn't need, donate stuff, whatever. My wife's diaries were on the bottom shelf. We've been married 40 years; the diary dates back to 43 years. Nothing in it should matter right? She's been a wonderful wife. And I thought I knew everything about her past boyfriends. Which I did. Except one. One boyfriend that she appeared to do a lot more with than the others. She'd told me she'd not had sex with anyone before she met me... which wasn't really an issue, I just wanted to know. This one guy (she was 19, he was 18) was a smooth operator and it sounds like they came really really close.

None of which really should matter after 43 years. But it does, it is haunting me that she didn't tell me about him at the time and says she remembers nothing of it now. So I'm feeling kind of broken, for no good reason. And she of course is mad that I read her diaries (which had been in plain sight all these years).

So if you've got a good life, just leave the past alone, unless she thinks it would be fun to go through them and fill in the blanks. Because otherwise you're going to be in a fear, uncertainty and doubt mode for no good reason.

Hope this helps someone. Had I read it before seeing her diaries, would I have taken my own advice? Tough to say!

I'll add that I cannot unread what I read, and the lack of context, being able to fit it into a rational framework, is really bothering me. I think about it way, way too much.
 

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That's a lesson I learned the hard way as a young man, after I peeked into the diary of my then girlfriend.

What an ego boost I received reading about the wonderful man in her life. It took 3 pages to realized it wasn't me she was writing about. :surprise:

In your case, this was so long ago, that I would not hold that omission against a otherwise loving wife. Many women would hesitate telling partners the full details about past lovers, for the very reason you are now dealing with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's a lesson I learned the hard way as a young man, after I peeked into the diary of my then girlfriend.

What an ego boost I received reading about the wonderful man in her life. It took 3 pages to realized it wasn't me she was writing about. :surprise:

In your case, this was so long ago, that I would not hold that omission against a otherwise loving wife. Many women would hesitate telling partners the full details about past lovers, for the very reason you are now dealing with.
The problem is that I remember, as if it were yesterday, the conversation I have with her 42 years ago or so when going over such things, and this particular person was omitted. And he was just a few months before meeting me. So I'm dealing with the why wasn't she honest with me back then issue. But in every other way you're right.
 

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The problem is that I remember, as if it were yesterday, the conversation I have with her 42 years ago or so when going over such things, and this particular person was omitted. And he was just a few months before meeting me. So I'm dealing with the why wasn't she honest with me back then issue. But in every other way you're right.

I completely understand where you are coming from.

She likely kept this guy from you because it went further than she thought would be acceptable to you. In general, women know us men very well in most cases. They seem to know what to share and not to share with us, regarding their previous relationships.

Do you think she may have felt that you would have had a problem with this guy in particular?
 

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If you want to get past this, you will need to do something very specific to let it go. I recommend you make a conscious decision to let it go and that you speak it aloud to yourself. You say something to the effect of:

I read (insert wife's name) diary and found out that she had a relationship with a young man. This is really bothering me, because (fill in why).

(Wife's name) is a wonderful wife. We have a wonderful, fulfilling relationship. I choose to focus on this truth and let go of my fears and jealousies about a person who was in her life before me. I reject any further thoughts that are negatively dwelling on what I read and I decide to not think about it anymore. I reject those thoughts and let them go.

The next time one of those thoughts come up, you refocus your thoughts on something else. Here's a method for doing that: How to Refocus Your Thoughts Using 3x5 Cards | The Feminine Review: Homemaking, Family and the World

Do not try to not think about it, because trying to not think about something is thinking about it. Instead, when those thoughts come into your mind, stop them, and let them pass through, then replace them with something else. Do not let them gain a further foothold.

This thread is likely going to be full of people asking your questions, but you don't need to dwell on any part of this if you want to get past it. If you want to get back to that happy place in your marriage, you need to let this pass and allow yourself to get back to the happy place. Rehashing all of this is only going to make it worse, because you will continue to dwell on it and think even deeper on that thing which you need to let go of.
 

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Thanks for sharing.

I would be disturbed by any lie, by omission or otherwise, but it is clear she wanted you.
Yes, I can understand that, but it was 43 years ago and she's been a good wife!

Let it go, Dude.

I cannot remember most of what happened 35 years ago, let alone 43 years ago. I don't remember specifics about much of anything. I just don't remember those kinds of details from last week let alone 43 years. Delving into any of this now isn't going to produce anything positive.
 

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Yes, I can understand that, but it was 43 years ago and she's been a good wife!

Let it go, Dude.

I cannot remember most of what happened 35 years ago, let alone 43 years ago. I don't remember specifics about much of anything. I just don't remember those kinds of details from last week let alone 43 years. Delving into any of this now isn't going to produce anything positive.
Oh, don't get this barbarian wrong. My wife might get a spanking out of it but I know a good thing enough to get it sorted so we could move on in a healthier marriage.

I'm not the OP though.
 

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Oh, don't get this barbarian wrong. My wife might get a spanking out of it but I know a good thing enough to get it sorted so we could move on in a healthier marriage.

I'm not the OP though.
Oh my gosh! That may be the answer to everything. lol Spank her and be done with it. haha Oh my. Why not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you want to get past this, you will need to do something very specific to let it go. I recommend you make a conscious decision to let it go and that you speak it aloud to yourself. You say something to the effect of:

I read (insert wife's name) diary and found out that she had a relationship with a young man. This is really bothering me, because (fill in why).

(Wife's name) is a wonderful wife. We have a wonderful, fulfilling relationship. I choose to focus on this truth and let go of my fears and jealousies about a person who was in her life before me. I reject any further thoughts that are negatively dwelling on what I read and I decide to not think about it anymore. I reject those thoughts and let them go.

The next time one of those thoughts come up, you refocus your thoughts on something else. Here's a method for doing that: How to Refocus Your Thoughts Using 3x5 Cards | The Feminine Review: Homemaking, Family and the World

Do not try to not think about it, because trying to not think about something is thinking about it. Instead, when those thoughts come into your mind, stop them, and let them pass through, then replace them with something else. Do not let them gain a further foothold.

This thread is likely going to be full of people asking your questions, but you don't need to dwell on any part of this if you want to get past it. If you want to get back to that happy place in your marriage, you need to let this pass and allow yourself to get back to the happy place. Rehashing all of this is only going to make it worse, because you will continue to dwell on it and think even deeper on that thing which you need to let go of.
The way my mind works, that will be difficult. I've always felt that where you are is the result of where you've been. Examining that path gives perspective. What you do today has an effect on tomorrow. What you did yesterday has an effect on today.

My wife is much different. Completely different. She can put anything she wants into a box and send the box out of her brain. She can be upset and still sleep. It's pretty amazing. Wish I could do that!

It would have been different if she had validated my feelings instead of suggesting that things read are not as they seem. Unfortunately, she truly has wasted a wonderful talent she has with writing. I guess that's part of the issue. An unfinished story. And one more thing- the diary entries basically ended when she met me. I was hoping to find myself in the narrative. So there's an odd feeling of being left out as well.

Getting back to deciding to put it out of my mind, my posting here kind of did the opposite, didn't it? :)

Thank you for your thoughts.
 

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What is more important 40 years of marriage with a devoted wife OR now nebulous details/judgments/questions that are hers to reveal or keep private? You must choose to ruminate and ruin what you have or let it go--self-discipline, your gift to both her and yourself. You can do this--even if it is not your nature. Choose to LET IT GO. Period. Stop reading this thread, too. No longer an issue.

If you choose otherwise, I'm thinking you are a very foolish man----be glad you did not read much worse. Make this about your gift to her because she deserves it, not about your ego or need to know.
 

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First of all how do you know you may just haven't found the diary about you. Maybe she is better at hiding it.

Next I would remind you to put this writing in context of the fact that she was probably very young and had a very young understanding of attraction and love to begin with. Part of this would be the fact that it was all a new experience of just having the feelings.

Let me tell you something. People can love many people in their life. Sounds like you got married young and you may not understand this. I think the people who usually have this problem are generally the ones who get together young. Most people don't end up with their first love though. They date, they may fall in love, it doesn't work out for whatever reason and they move on to love again.

Thank God! This is normal for most.

It was over she met you and moved on. Maybe when you first started dating she was deciding to or not but she obviously chose you. That's pretty normal.

There are no soul-mates, it's a stupid concept. We have free will, and because of that we are compatible with any number of people in different ways. We have the ability to love many different people. That doesn't diminish the love she has for you in any way. Choosing you every day for 40 some years is actually a much greater show of love. She has been with you for 40 years! You have a lifetime of experiences and you are comparing yourself to some (most likely) kid she knew for what, months? If you can't compete with that then good luck. Doesn't sound like she is the one comparing you to him though.

What is it? Are you afraid she is thinking he is the one that got away? Then leave her and you can be the one that got away if that is so important. Point is there is nothing in this post that says she is being as silly as that.

I don't get guys with this retroactive jealousy, she didn't cheat on you. If it really bothers you then compete. Romance her, have passionate sex with her, compete in whatever way you feel you are lacking but for God's sake be proactive about it.

Most of all though dude you need to grow up. Most people in their life love more then one person, and the people that come after the first love are perfectly fine with that. Are you really so fragile? Yes at one time in her young life (some 40 years ago) your wife loved or more likely was at least deeply attracted to someone other then you.

Welcome to reality.
 

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And one more thing- the diary entries basically ended when she met me. I was hoping to find myself in the narrative. So there's an odd feeling of being left out as well.
I can understand that - it makes sense to me. So maybe why not ask her, with that talent, to write a few pages of the story since then, what has happened since that time. (If she is still speaking to you). Fill in that gap in the narrative, which is, after all, still being written.
 

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OP,

Here's an excerpt from your post "She'd told me she'd not had sex with anyone before she met me... which wasn't really an issue, I just wanted to know."

You know this isn't an issue. Especially now. After 40 yrs and still going strong M.

Pls listen to this: you're causing damage to your relationship by dwelling on this, and by reviewing her diaries with her when she hasn't asked you to.

It doesn't sound so but from an outside perspective it may be helpful to you to as this;

is there some reason you're looking to drive a wedge between you and dear Wife for your gain?

Consciously or unconsciously?

Attempting to assert some form of control over for an unknown to us (or yourself) reason?

Because with the approach being described this line of questioning dear W will only cause her to have negative thoughts about you.

I don't think you have any malicious intent but are caught in a loop on this.

Let it go, give her and the topic some sort of light hearted closure.

Continue with your lovely Wife with the M in your hand. She's way proven you and she are ok.

Unless there is addl information to the contrary?
 

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Thanks for sharing.

I would be disturbed by any lie, by omission or otherwise, but it is clear she wanted you.
What lie? All I got from the OP was that his W said she never had sex with anyone before him. It sounds like that is still true (and I would like to think that the OP would have known the first time they had sex whether or not that was true). What did the OP want to know, every detail of every intimate thing his W may have done before he met her? Honestly, dude just needs to get over it instead of sabotaging what sounds to be an awesome marriage.
 

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And I thought I knew everything about her past boyfriends. Which I did. Except one. it is haunting me that she didn't tell me about him at the time and says she remembers nothing of it now.

@EllisRedding

My comment about a lie by omission or otherwise was in response to these phrases in the OP.

It would appear that OP would have liked her history information and believed he had the whole story when he didn't.
 
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