(Closed) Married now – Should I throw out stuff from old boyfriend(s)?

posted 8 years ago in Emotional
Post # 17
2478 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’m the opposite to some of you. I believe that you can’t re-invent your past and that you should have momentos of the past life that has contributed towards making you the person you are today. If that includes pictures from previous relationships, so be it. Provided you don’t impose these on your DH/FI then there’s no reason to throw them away. I would, for example, find it odd if you wanted to have pictures of previous partners displayed everywhere. 

My DH and I were both married before. I love my stepchildren and he loves my children. We have many pictures of them growing up and I’d never dream of throwing them away because some of them feature his ex-wife and my ex-husband. Neither would I expect our children to be tolerant of us disposing of the memories of their childhood because we were too insecure to accept that we each had a life before we were together.

For sure, I am so glad that my mother kept all her love letters from World War II. Apart from anything else they are primary source material that gives me an amazing social/historical perspective on those times.


Post # 18
12242 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

@Sunshine09:  DH is one of you sentimental people! He finally told me to get rid of all the pictures of him with exes, but he still has an entire SHELF of cards they gave him while they were dating!

It drives me crazy, but I’m not sentimental! I only have one thing an ex got me… My sewing machine! And only because it’s practical.

Post # 19
3422 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Throw it out. that time of your life passed and now you’ve entered into forever with your Husband. Out of respect..you need to toss that stuff. 


While I was dating my husband, I helped him clean out his basement I came across a box of of pics from his ex one of them was my husband in her bed…EEEEWWWWWW is all I can say. he was embarrassed to say the least. 

ETA: I forgot to add there was a caption on the back of the pic that stated something like how hot he looks in her bed etc.. DOUBLE EEEEWWWWWW!!

Post # 20
972 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Try to talk to him and explain these things are part of your past, how you came to be who you are.

I’m of the camp who believes the past is the past, but there’s no sense pretending it didn’t happen.  That doesn’t mean you have to discuss the nitty gritty details, or even any details.  Some people hold on to physical reminders and some won’t speak of it at all.  People are different.  If you’re not trying to display happy times with old flames in your home, and it’s just a memory box sort of thing, I don’t see the problem.  Just like stereotypically men are more likely to want porn because they are more visual, when it comes to past/history/memories women tend to want something tangible.

And even then I think it’s situational.  When I met DH he had a pic of an old flame displayed.  It was years before us, and he hadn’t had a girlfriend in years.  I think for him it was he messed it up and it was a reminder to not do it again plus happier time memories.  He explained who she was, what happened, etc.  I never said a word against it.  I can’t even say when it wasn’t there, I just noticed one day it wasn’t.  I know he still has it, I saw it when he moved in, but it’s put away.  I can’t imagine asking him to get rid of that picture.

He’s seen old photos of boyfriends, even my past wedding.  He wanted to see them, it was part of my life.

I’m not saying it’s wrong if he doesn’t want to see them, but that he should let you keep your past memories however works for you, especially if they are usually put away.

I hope you guys work this out!


Post # 21
7547 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

I would throw out a picture of me kissing my ex because that’s really personal and in your face. I would probably keep other things like jewelry and CDs because those are more symbolic and mean something to me but not necessarily others. 

Post # 22
1584 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Throw out anything that doesn’t serve a purpose. If an ex got you a lamp, sure, keep it. If there’s a piece of expensive jewelry that you never wear, sell it. If you wear it, keep it.


I’m all for keeping practical things, but everything else, why not take a picture of it so you can remember and then get rid of it? I think your husband needs to meet you halfway. Don’t keep pictures of you and your exes exchanging drool, but you should be allowed to remember where you came from and past life. You should respect him and get rid of 99.9% of it, he should respect you and allow you to hold onto a bit of who you are/were.


Also, no double standard. I saw that post about cards. If you have to get rid of that stuff, so does he.

Post # 23
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@Sunshine09:  Toss kissy pictures but standard snaps of you and exes shouldn’t be an issue.  You dated other people before your husband and I’m sure he dated other people before you too.  He just doesn’t want to imagine you kissing or being intimate with your exes and here you have evidence you did.

Post # 24
3723 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Sunshine09:  The only thing I’ve kept from past relationships has been expensive jewelry.

Post # 25
126 posts
Blushing bee

I would throw it out. If I was with someone and they had pictures of themselves kissing an ex, I would think they never got over their ex. I’m not implying this is the case with you, but that’s just how I’d feel. I feel like that part of your life has passed, and you don’t need physical reminders of the intimate times you shared with someone that isn’t your husband.

I threw all the stuff out once I got into a new relationship. The only thing I kept was a jewellery box, because I didn’t have anywhere else to put my jewellery, but that’s gone now too.

Post # 26
1709 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013 - Walt Disney World

Throw it all out.  There is no point in keeping that stuff, even though it was from a good relationship.  You don’t need that stuff to remember (all the memories are in your head anyway).  I would be upset if my DH kept something that made him remember an ex fondly.

Post # 27
2490 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I threw out any pictures, love letters, cards, etc. I honestly didn’t think it was much of a big deal deal until I was unpacking in our house and I came across a bunch of stuff from my fiance’s ex-wife… letters, cards, pictures, ovulation/sex chart. I knew it was his past and had nothing to do with me but I still felt weird about it. I didn’t tell my fiance how I felt about it and luckily he threw it out on his own, so I did the same with my stuff.

However, I did keep presents that my ex bought me. He got me a bunch of Coach stuff, jewellry, clothes, etc. and I wasn’t about to get rid of everything like that!

Post # 28
7641 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

I think keeping gifts is ok, but a picture of you and an ex kissing? Yeah, that along with love notes and personalized messages needs to go. There is really no need for that in your life anymore.

Post # 29
3822 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Yes. I keep practical things but nothing too sentimental. 

Post # 30
1729 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Yep. This past weekend, I went through old pics and items and ditched them all. Even the pics of me and ex on the Eiffel Tower…goodbye. DH doesn’t need to come across those, and he certainly doesn’t have anything I would ever come across (although guys aren’t like that).

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