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by Abigail Van Buren

Mementos of Wife's Affair May Make Her Marriage a Memory

DEAR ABBY: A few years ago, my wife, "Sheila," had an affair that nearly destroyed our 15-year marriage. She carried on the affair right under my nose, telling me she had simply made a "good friend" on a trip she had taken with a girlfriend. At first I was trusting and naive, and then too much in denial to openly challenge the small gifts, cards and phone calls that began arriving shortly after her return. When I asked if there was anything more to it than just friendship, she lied to me.

With counseling, our marriage has survived, although it is still somewhat shaky. My current problem is that after I discovered the affair, I told Sheila I wanted her to get rid of the gifts she had received from this creep, which she had the audacity to openly display in our home. Now she has boxed them up and put them in the basement, but she's balking at getting rid of them.

To me, her reluctance means she hasn't really let go of the relationship. I'm ready to dissolve the marriage as a result. I'd appreciate your feedback. -- SEETHING IN SEATTLE

DEAR SEETHING: You have every right to expect Sheila to dispose of the souvenirs along with the relationship. If your wife is unwilling to accommodate your reasonable request, both of you need to reconsider the logic of staying in this marriage.