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Leave your husbands old clothes alone. They are sacred!

dr aletta

Yes, they are! Didn't I say that? But this was a hard lesson for me to learn.

Early in our marriage I did give away some stuff he never wore, clearing space on his side of the closet. I thought I had done a good wifely thing so I showed him what I did.

"Where is my blue shirt?"
"John, it was so thread-bare it was transparent."
"I wore that shirt to the Fillmore East. That shirt is sacred."

He didn't cry but he looked like I drove a red hot poker into his heart. Then he told me a story that changed everything.

When he was five or so he had a genuine Davey Crockett raccoon cap, tail and all. He loved that hat. One day he came home and it was gone. His mother had thrown it out, concerned about what vermin it was attracting. We all have defining moments in our childhoods, touchstones in memory, that to others don't mean much, but become our personal triggers. This was a touchstone for John.

Since then I haven't thrown anything of his out without consulting with him first. Sometimes he doesn't care. If he does though, and I feel strongly as well (like his Mom probably did if she was afraid of fleas or germs) I get my talking points in place and negotiate. Most of the time I lose the argument because I'm not willing to stress our relationship over stuff.

This has turned out to be an interesting topic. Maybe I'll post this on the EWN blog.

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