I told him I would think about it. I'm really torn because I feel this should remain private and be my own personal sounding board. It was NOT the reason I had an affair. Yes, false thoughts and feelings get written down there, but it isn't the SOURCE of those issues... I am.
Whenever I have shared passages from it, particularly ones I feel are especially hopeful to our R, he'll find one turn of phrase he takes issue with and blows it all out of proportion.
I feel if I share it all, it will be all over, because, yes, there are rants I wouldn't ever want to share. They are for me, to get them out and analyze myself and my feelings/actions. Like screaming into a pillow. Then, when I've "come down" from more emotional states, I share what I've learned from my own self reflections.
He feels that's a lack of transparency. Is that true? Am I in the wrong here?
[This message edited by WaywardWifeToWH at 4:49 AM, April 13th (Sunday)]
Hope it helps and good luck
I reserve my right to feel uncomfortable reserve my right to be afraid.
I make mistakes and I am humbled every step of the way.
No. Do not share your journal.
That's a violation of your privacy. I do not believe that the BS gets to own every little bit of WS's privacy. You hear on this forum a lot: Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. Well, that's just not true. We all have ugly thoughts, say things we regret...we do not have to share every single one of those.
My H does not know about or read any of my posts on SI. Those are *mine*.
I talk on the phone with my SIL in another room where he can't hear -- because those are *my* private conversations with one of my very best friends.
I kept an online journal the first year after DDay. Some of it I shared with him. And some I did not. That was my decision.
People vent here on SI all the time without sharing those vents with their WS. Or with their BS.
Everyone needs a safe space. WS and BS.
Share anything else. Keep your safe space.
For me, I would not tolerate a secret journal, and would absolutely consider it a potential resentment-building machine.
If you don't let him read it, he may feel that you are hiding something. On the other hand, letting him read it shows that you truly want to be transparent to him. Maybe agree to let him read it in sections, and then discuss it in counseling.
And yes, the WS gives up privacy in their relationships with other people, but they still are human begins with a need for safe personal expression.
One of the things that has been most difficult for me is while I was looking at my wife's Facebook there was a message to a friend of hers in which she says something like "If I stay with him for security it makes me nothing more then a prostitute." It was part of the whole conversation in which she was working through some feelings during the affair. A little bit like a journal. At the end of the day I've had the hardest time moving past that of everything. I find myself wondering if that is why she's still with me. Instead of helping it gave me something to negatively fixate on.
According to my wife the rest of that conversation (that was on the phone) my wife talked through those feelings and ended up talking about all the reasons why she loves me. But that's not what I saw sitting there in black and white. It's caused me a lot of pain and in the case of that conversation she didn't even do anything wrong.
Married 5 years. Dating 9. Living together 8.
If a man took his time on earth
to prove be for he died
what on man's life could be worth
I wonder what would happen to the world
- Harry Chapin
Secrets in your journal?
Private thought in your journal?
If there are secrets you've been keeping, about what you think of him, your marriage, others, etc, that you haven't been open about, then you should probably share it.
If they are just your private thoughts and in working through things mentally you express you feelings in a constructive manner, not a destructive manner, then no need to share.
Odds are that he thinks it is the latter, and it sounds like it from what you say.
While I have willingly shared passages from my journal with my BSO, he has never, nor would ever, ask to read it on his own. I confess being curious about his private journal, but again, I have never asked, nor would I ever ask, to read his private thoughts.
That link Stillkicking posted is full of valuable insight. Hopefully, your WH will see reason.
It's a long, convoluted story but XH read my journal without my permission. That one action set us on the road to him feeling justified to have his As and us eventually divorcing. He took everything in my journals as gospel truth and refused to believe otherwise. He was incredibly nasty and horrible about it and terrible to me and the bunch.
I don't think I'll ever forgive him for reading my journal. To take something so deeply personal and turn it against me in such an awful way was a huge breach in trust. It definitely scarred my heart forever.
My best thinking brought me to SI.
On SI even, FWH and I respect each other's privacy. To work through our crap w/o having to worry about what the other person might think of it. And I think a journal is the same.
If you were keeping secrets with another person, obviously it would be different. But I think you should be able to write about your issues with YOURSELF with some degree of privacy.
We all have odd thoughts that we work through and then determine they are wrong or whatever. I think that is a personal process.
"I certainly don't want something pulled out of context for BS to brood over...there is zero need for that"
This is the quote that prompted me to respond again, though. Why not address that expression of a transient, negative thought would be grounds for "brooding?" Isn't that a problem, and can't problems be solved? A hell of a lot of the recovery and reconciliation process for me has been in accepting that feelings are valid, even if they aren't fun, or even rational. Express them, let them be expressed, acknowledge them, move on.
Anyone else's mileage may vary. For me, I lean much more toward the Radical Honesty side of the fence (focusing on productive outcomes).
Why not address that expression of a transient, negative thought would be grounds for "brooding?" Isn't that a problem, and can't problems be solved?
It is not always a "real" problem, valid feeling or no.
Stepping outside of SI issues, I'll frame this from the "talking to my sister" POV.
My sister has done some really moronic things...things that leave me questioning whether we share the same genes at all.
In one of her more epic bad decisions, she bought a home with an XBF who also had a coke habit--and this was when he was an X.
If I were keeping a journal, it'd likely include many colorful expressions about my sister & the decision. It's not how I feel in a real sense...more of an "angry speak"...
When I talked to her directly and at length about this decision in her life, I was very harsh with her, and I walked her through all of the many ways she was making a mistake. There was no "protecting of her feelings" or hiding of info involved.
Were she to access my journal, she'd read my angry speak. She doesn't need my angry speak. Anger is just a symptom that something else is wrong. If I had a journal, I'd dump my anger there so that I can get to the root of it--I was very scared for her & her future, and I was feeling very helpless, as I had no way to control the situation.
It all went badly (as predicted), & I helped her pick up the pieces. But had she read my angry speak, she may not have come to me. Making her privy to that aspect of my thought process would be unnecessarily damaging to the relationship. Just because I may be experiencing a valid emotion at the time does not mean that everyone needs to be part of every aspect of it. There's a reason the ubiquitous "they" advise you to "sleep on it." It can help dampen the initial reaction & help you figure out what's really important to discuss.
We all need to express things -- sometimes ugly things! -- to get them out of our system so they don't poison us. I do it here on SI, and in letters I write but don't send. My WH does it in a journal. Expressing those things does NOT mean they are more "real" than the things we say to each other. Nor are they representative of the whole of my thinking. They are just something I need to spew.
As a BW, I have no desire to read my WH's journal. His browser history, yes. His email, phone and text messages, for sure. But I don't want to read the mean thing he fleetingly thought about me and then forgot or felt bad about. I might be curious. In a fit of panic or anger, I might even ask to see it. But I hope that he would gently discourage me, because we both know I would dwell on it and it would set me back.
The way I see it, WH and I are saying the useful productive stuff to each other, both good and bad. The purely destructive stuff, we are throwing away via journal entries and shredded phantom letters.
I totally understand where the pro-access folks are coming from, but it seems like a dicey proposition to me.
That being said, I am not sure how I'd feel about my XH having access if I did keep one. I do feel that everyone is entitled to a place to have private thoughts, and getting them out in written form or to safe, trusted people such as family can be an important way of not keeping things bottled up.
Not everything in life is rosy and positive. Even a WS in R who is doing everything possible and giving 100% is going to have negative, ventish thoughts once in awhile---I believe it's human nature.
Since I'm kind of a bitch I'd probably give my XH access and say, "You asked for it" if he read things he didn't like...but again, I'm kind of a bitch. YMMV. I'd expect the same in return, btw...if I asked to read anything personal he'd written not meant for anyone else's eyes, I wouldn't feel the right to complain if I didn't like what I saw.
Disclaimer: I don't believe in using a journal (or any other means) to hide affairs or further betrayal-type secrets. I'm only speaking of personal thoughts that are not directly destructive to the marriage.
Divorced and remarried to XBH
I do share uncensored with my IC.