I was asking him questions about the affair, and specifically whether he and OW1 had ever exchanged gifts. I'd asked this question before, and I always go the same answer: no gifts, just an exchange of Christmas cards in December of 2013.
Last night, when I asked the same question again I got a different answer - now he says they did exchange birthday and Christmas gifts in 2013. My SO told me he'd thrown out the Christmas gift that the OW had given him, but NOT the birthday gift. (It was a case for his glasses.) When I asked him why he'd kept it, he explained that he really liked it, and didn't want to get rid of it. He then asked me angrily if I wanted him to throw it away, and I said yes, I didn't think it was appropriate for him to keep gifts from the OW, particularly if was committed to reconciliation, which has been his position to date. He did not respond well, although he did throw out the gift, and I lost it.
I'm so upset - first, that he lied about whether gifts were exchanged, and second, that he chose to keep the Christmas gift because he "liked it", despite the fact he knew it would hurt me. It just reinforces the sense I already have that my feelings don't matter. That his feelings ALWAYS come first. That my feelings are less important than an inanimate object you can replace for $50 at any optical store.
Am I being totally unreasonable about this?
And yes, I think it's INCREDIBLY disrespectful of your selfish husband to think it's perfectly ok to keep something his exOW gave him. Whether he 'likes' it or not is absolutely immaterial in this situation - but it's just more proof that he's STILL putting himself - and his needs - ahead of you and yours.
This is one guy whose going to be incredibly disappointed when scientists discover the center of the universe - and HE'S not it.
So if you still have access to the item, I would place it in the barbecue grill or fire pit or his sock drawer (be sure to put the sock drawer out in the lawn), douse with a copious quantity of white gas (or lighter fluid, if you are less angry) and ignite that baby! It will be very cathartic!!
And be careful in the future not to miss opportunities like this. Sadly, I missed many chances, so I speak with retroactive wisdom. Take care.
Am I being totally unreasonable about this?
You are absolutely not being unreasonable. Him keeping presents from OW is not fair if it is hurting you. The right move is to throw them out. It they have $ value, sell them and you get the choose how to spend the $.
I would recommend adjusting your approach. Are you always going to be there to force him to make the right decision? Are you always going to lose it when he is angry that he has to do something he doesn't want to do?
It is not easy early on but keep a simple and clear message. Clearly explain the expectation - you do not want any gifts from OW to be kept. Hiding these gifts from me will only make is significantly worse. He has a choice, to throw them out because they hurt you or keep them. If he makes the wrong choice, he it telling you what he values more. Sure maybe he really liked the glasses case. Eventually, he will learn that saving $50 will cost him much more in the long run or you will learn that you need to make a change in where this relationship is going. Forcing him to do it is not going to learn either of you anything.
[This message edited by ReunitePangea at 11:23 AM, April 17th (Thursday)]
If he was totally over this, even if the OW's gift was a Ferrari, he wouldn't keep it. The fact he did and lied about it is not good in terms of your R.
In my case, the last gift the OM gave my ex WGF was a vibrator that he left on her desk at Christmas. What a guy!
NeverAgain2013 - Agree we must reconcile with the fact we'll never get the full story of the affair. I have had times where I've felt like I now know everything I need to know, and it would be better to stop asking questions. At other times, I still feel an overwhelming urge to get all the information I can. I'm hoping that urge will dissipate with time.
ReunitePangea - You're right about staying calm, and providing a simple, clear message. Whether or not my WS listens and acts, I ALWAYS feel better when I'm able to look back on my behaviour and see that I kept my cool.
Thank you all for your support and suggestions!