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My story has been up for a number of threads here. My wife had a PA in May. Sporadic email contact with OM occurred until about a month ago. Nothing beyond, "how have you been" except for the first few when my wife realized she didn't really know him the way she thought she did. She was dealing with the shame and guilt and realized this guy was a scumbag and that made her shame and guilt worse that she was blind to his true self and how much he lied to her about everything, and she desperately wanted him to be better than he was, which she found out soon after he was actually even worse. I've dealt with all of that on other threads. We are doing much better right now. There has been NC with the OM for 1 month, which I know isn't long but its a start.

So I want to keep this on track but I wanted to give a brief history for anyone new that stumbles upon this thread. I'm sure my paragraph above will have some people yelling rugsweeping and that I'm trying to defend her actions even she didn't care about what it did to me, etc. etc. I've heard that in other threads and don't dispute their validity but I just want to talk about this new item.

My wife keeps a journal. She has since she was a girl and has kept up with it our entire marriage. She doesn't write daily but does write every few months. She hadn't written anything about the affair while it was happening but did write about it a couple months ago. She told me she did, and she let me read it. She had told me everything about the affair so there wasn't really anything new in it, and while at times, I feel like there are pieces of it that seemingly take a romanticized view of what happened, its pretty straight forward. IN the journal She says how wrong it was, how she can't believe she did it to me, how I didn't deserve it, how he was a scumbag, how lucky she is that I decided to stay and work it out. My problem though is that its a long journal entry and more time is given to the details of the affair than to those things I actually wanted to read. There are a few sections to that just destroy me because of things that were said or emotions she felt at the time.

I want her to get rid of it. She wants to keep it. I want it gone so their are no souvenirs of this dark trip we were on. She wants to keep it because she has documented the ups and downs of her entire life, this is part of her life.

She has done absolutely everything I've asked of her and more in regard to making amends, and proving her remorse, and commitment to me.

Do I want her to get rid of her journal because I'm still trying to "make her pay" for what she did to me? She has gotten rid of clothes, etc. that are reminders. Do I need to keep pushing this? She knows I want her to. She may get rid of it in her own time, which would probably mean more than if I pressure her into it. But I hate that there is a written record of this. I want to get to the point that years from now this is a distant memory, that we have had so many new good memories that they overshadow this part of our life forever, and she wants that too. But knowing that its there. Knowing that if memories fade, there is a reminder just waiting to be opened up.

A journal is a way to keep track of your life. Good and bad. Am I being selfish to want her to get rid this part of one? I can't keep demanding her to do more and more, at some point I have to move on. And yes I know, 1 month with NC is a short amount of time, but its been a good month. I'm cautious but I truly feel she is being honest with me. That I can start to trust her again, that everything she has said and done has been real.

Can I just give her time to get rid of it on her own, run the risk of it never going away and learning to deal with that or is the journal a dangerous thing to have around period?
 

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If the journal is just a journal. then it has no bearing on your R. I would say that any pages or stories about the A or what happened in the A need to go. Their presence it think would hurt family if at some point they were to read it. Leave in the pages that speak about how wrong it was and how sorry she is. But the torn out pages will serve as a reminder rather than a full blown emotional recollection of the A. You can't erase what she has done. You can't forget it. But you can forgive.

The journal is just a collection of thoughts and stories. IT wasn't a problem or a toxic friend it was just a book with history written in it. I would go through and mark the pages you would like gone. It could be something you do together. a way for you to both ask questions and come to terms with certain things. If you ask her to give it up I don't think it would be close to starting to be spiteful. Do you really need this journal gone for your recovery or because you are hurting and you want her to hurt?
That is the question you have to ask yourself. I can't answer it for you.
 

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I'm guessing here, but I assume she has written this in her journal so she can reflect back on it. She let you read it, so that if you read it without her knowledge there would be no surprises that go undiscussed. The fact she volunterred to let you read should count for somethign.

I guess the question is, did she write it down to romanticize it, and maybe someday go back to that state of mind? or did she write it as a reminder of her state of mind, and ultimatly the pain it caused?

If its't he later, she can reflect on the past in her journal and hopefully recognize and stop it before it becomes an affair.
 

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What danger are you thinking there could be by having it around?

My first thought is that it's her journal, you have no right to demand she get rid of it, but it sounds like there might be more going on than I know. Are you two in MC?

My hubby has notes on his computer from his counseling sessions after he cheated, his thoughts and emotions. Some is hurtful to me, but I feel I have no right to delete them or tell him to. That is HIS stuff. When he's ready he can get rid of it. Just like I still have stuff from D day that *I* will get rid of when I am ready.
 

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The journal should go. Or, at least rip out those damm pages.

She can never get rid the memory of him in her mind. There's no need for the journal pages to help remind her of their moments together.

If the journal entries stay then she's never rid of the OM. And you will always be her backup to the OM (no matter what she says of the OM now), because you know once she was his.
 

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This is really a tough one. The journal is her thoughts at the time of writing them. Half the time a journal isn't even an accurate portrayal of how the person feels long term. When my wife and I hit a rough patch, I would journal about things. Then as time went on, the issues that I wrote about changed greatly and I realized that a lot of my feelings at the moment of writing them were false inaccurate or me being insecure and having a bad reaction and transferring my issues onto her. Once the issue settled down and I looked back on it, I realized how wrong I was.

Maybe you could ask her to write a "part 2" to that entry. One that deals with how she feels about everything in hind sight. A less romanticized version. The key to it would be for her to be honest for herself otherwise it defeats the purpose of a journal. But an entry dedicated to her feelings about you, this guy NOW, the affair and what it's done to the marriage.
 

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I can see both sides of it, but I'd let her keep the journal, but have her remove those pages. That part of her life is dead, it doesnt need to be chronicled anywhere.
 

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I believe journals are out off the transparence agreement. JMO.
BUT... (her it comes the but) now you know about them I think you should have her remove the critical pages. I don't know whether she uses to read old pages often but I won't take the risk of her rehashing any kind of fond memory from that time.
 

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I say let her keep it. My old journals are interesting to read, but they don't act as triggers on me when I read about old girlfriends. You can't change the past. You can't control thoughts. You can't wipe out everything ever associated with the affair.

I like the thought of a new entry though, you might suggest it, but its up to her if she wants to do it or not, I'd say.
 

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I wouldn't be bothered that she was writing her thoughts in a journal. You've read it; she doesn't seem to regret that it ended or still think it was an exciting time in her life, right? Even if she did reflect upon it romantically, your problem isn't with the journal, it would be with your wife herself for thinking that way.
 
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