Wife Keeps 'Mementos' From Late Husband & New Husband Wants Her to Throw Them Out to 'Prove' Her Love


woman hands on face, husband not talking to her

Love is complicated, add in grief, and a late partner and those complications can take on a whole new meaning. One woman is not sure what she should do after her new husband gave her an ultimatum because he doesn't like to see mementos of her late husband all over their house. The woman took to Reddit to get the opinions of everyone else because her situation isn't something too familiar.

  • A woman took to Reddit's AITA forum to ask advice on a situation she's having with her husband. 

    The 35-year-old anonymous woman lost her first husband about six years ago. She said the two had been together for eight years, and his death was "very sudden." The shared in the thread, using fake names to keep anonymity, "3 years after his death, I met my current husband, Ned, and we hit it off immediately. We got married last year, and everything has been great, save for one recurring argument."

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  • The argument with her new husband was about her late husband.

    "Ned hates that I still have sentimental items from my first marriage," she wrote. "I've tried to be sensitive to his feelings because I don't want him to think that I settled for him because John died. I don't want to make him feel like I want him to compete, or that I'm measuring his worth using John as a yardstick."

    She goes on to say that since her new husband shared his discomfort, she doesn't talk about her late husband and minimizes what mementos are around their house. "I keep my wedding photos, other photos, wedding tape, home videos, gifts from John, and his old record collection in two large chests in the basement." She continued, "The rest of his things I gave away to his brother and nephews. I have looked at them maybe thrice in the last 2 years, and usually at his family's request."

    And she's not OK with doing anything further with the items. "I don't want to throw them out or give them away because they signify an important part of my life, even if I'm in love with another man now."

  • She's still very close with her late husband's family and is upset her new husband isn't willing to get to know them.

    "I am still very close with John's family," the poster shared. "Every year, on John's birthday, we have a family reunion where we remember him. We eat, drink, tell funny stories, laugh at his most unflattering photos, watch home videos- including mine, play his favourite songs and generally have a good time."

    She said the past three years of doing this tradition has been filled with happiness, and her late husband's family is "very welcoming, and have expressed interest in meeting Ned," her new husband.

    "He declined because he felt uncomfortable. I understand why, but they are also my family," she wrote. "He doesn't want to attend family events like the reunion, birthdays or weddings and I never force him, even though it does hurt my feelings that he wants to shut out my whole family."

  • Recently, the woman's current husband found some of her late husband's books on the bookshelf, and an ultimatum was given.

    Her new husband found the books, and according to her, he "accused me of leaving them there to spite him instead of putting them in the basement, said that I don't love him and that he knows I wish John were still alive."

    "I told him that I do love him, and that he was being unfair because I can't very well say 'I'm glad he's dead,'" she wrote. "He told me that if I want to prove that I love him, I should throw out all my mementos because John and I never had kids to pass them on to, and that I can go to family things except the birthday celebration."

    "I have tried to explain that I can't simply forget 8 years of my life," OP added, "and that it's unfair for him to expect me to say that I'm glad I was widowed, but he refuses to speak to me until I do what he wants." She says, "I'm extremely hurt and I feel like I'm not being unreasonable but now I'm wondering if maybe I am the a--hole."

  • The people following along in the thread offered some sound advice for the OP.

    "D. I. V. O. R. C. E," one person suggested, "He is being manipulative bordering on gaslighting if I have the term right. Run. This is so beyond wrong. NTA. Giant NTA."

    Another added to that comment, saying: "Your husband is acting out of insecurity. He knows he wasn't your first choice, and has it in his head that you are constantly measuring him against your dead husband." The commenter continued, saying, "He probably feels that he can't, and shouldn't have to, compete with that. All that said, he is acting like a child since the fight, and the two of you should go to counseling together. NTA. You have gone out of your way to accommodate your current husband, and there is nothing wrong with remembering your 1st husband."

    Another comment tried to see both sides. The person wrote, "NTA, at all. It doesn't sound like you're dealing with your grief inappropriately, and tbh, your husband sounds a little insecure." Continuing, the commenter wrote, "I can see why he's uncomfortable with you celebrating your late husband's birthday, but asking you to throw away all his mementos as a 'test' is completely insensitive, and waaay overstepping the line."

    Many in the comments suggested the two go to marriage counseling for both of them to work out their feelings in a healthy way, while trying to protect the relationship.

    It's a rough one, but it's never OK to give someone an ultimatum like this. It rarely works out well.