Posted in Separation / Divorce

Holding a key – symbolism

A few weeks ago when I finally moved the last of my stuff out of mother-in-law’s house, I tried to offer her my key to the front door back. I no longer needed it after all and I was starting to feel uncomfortable even having it. I don’t intend to go there very often and now I have few reasons to go at all.

She refused saying that I would always be welcome in her house. I don’t doubt that for one moment but I no longer feel I should have had it. The divorce is going through and there will soon be a time that I will never need to go there again and if I’m moving back to where I originally came from, I have no intention even returning to the area.

Instead I made an agreement with the ex that I would give it to her once the divorce was finalised. We felt this was the most appropriate course of action and would make it easier for everyone. But now things have changed.

You see, this week “he” (the person partially responsible for destroying our marriage) has been in the house and I no longer feel comfortable going there. Understandably, I no longer feel I want to have a key to front door of that house either. It is no longer a place free of “him”.

I know that mother-in-law clings to the possibility that we will one day get back together – perhaps long after she is gone and we are both very old and much wiser. We both agree that this will never happen. In mother-in-law’s mind, while I have the key there is the possibility that I will keep wanting to go there. I’m afraid that is no longer the case.

Tomorrow I will give the key back to the soon to be ex-wife. This is actually much harder than I thought it would be and I guess to some it might seem a lot of fuss over a piece of metal.



I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

2 thoughts on “Holding a key – symbolism

  1. I felt the same way, and though I had left. I didn’t give back the keys to ex-his apartment until over a year later. I don’t know what it is, maybe the not wanting to sever things harsh because then it admits regret in your choice or maybe there is still deeply barried the hope that you still love that person (though its very barried). I’m not sure, but I feel you. I know I will never, ever will get back with him, but I still get a twinge from the day I gave him back his keys.

    1. It was hard. I explained my reasons to the ex-wife and she accepted them. She fully understood why I gave it back and needed to give it back. It was hard but I feel relieved to have done it now

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