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

posted 7 years ago in Emotional
Post # 92
Member
1406 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Keep the stuff. The others were part of your life. I don’t expect to my husband to throw out pictures from his previous marriage.

Post # 93
Member
2092 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I used to be the type to hold on to TONS of sentimental stuff. My ex and I used to have a scrapbook together with pictures, fortune cookie sayings, love notes from high school etc. He also gave me quite a bit of jewelry. To my, jewelry is something I love and struggle to get rid of (especially when I picked it all out). I didn’t think a ton about it until My senior from when me and my FH were getting ready for grand march, he saw a bracelet I was wearing and asked about. I never lie to him so I told him it was from my ex (WHOOPS!) it was a $300 bracelet that matched my dress, yeah I wanted to wear it! But I saw how upset it made my boyfriend… Later that year he bought me a new bracelet for my birthday. I gave away all my old jewelry from exes to my friends as “just because” gifts. When A friend and I were fighting I stuck an opal and diamond ring inside an x-box game box and put it in her mailbox… As for the scrapbook, my FH and I burned it together to get rid of the past.

Our only thing to get rid of now is the engagement ring he had bought during high school for his ex (who cheated on him before even getting it). His mom suggested I just take it, NOT GANA HAPPEN! I hate that ring, lol. Bad memories and not my taste, at all! Thankfully the store will let him return it for 2,000 in store credit which he is putting towards MY ring 🙂 We picked out a bigger, better, and customized ring… the 2,000 won’t cover it, but it helps make the price a little easier to manage. It feels SO good to get rid of the past!

Post # 94
Member
9950 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

I find it odd that so many say pitch it all…

But maybe that is because I am older, and have come to terms with (a) Who I am, (b) Who he is, and (c) Realize just how FLEETING life & youth really is

As the old saying goes… “If I had a dollar for everytime someone said…”

In this case, “I used to have one of those, when I was younger… I wish I had it now”

I’d be a very wealthy woman indeed

Ultimately when it comes to 2 people you are a sum of ALL that you’ve been in life up until the point you met

Good & Bad

Past experiences, relationships, whatever.

I can see dumping people (Exes as “friends” and I actually advise that, cause people in the flesh can HURT a relationship) but just plain old “stuff”… bits of paper… that reflect a past time… NO WAY

*Always amazed by how many Couples have their Exes around, but can’t see fit to have a harmless Love Letter or Photograph tucked away somewhere in a box.  Boggles my mind actually.

I have a box, it has great bits of things from my youth… Notes passed in class, photo booth pictures (on a strip), trinkets that guys gave to me… my Year Books with sentimental notes scribbled inside, concert tickets, and lots of other small bits & pieces.

Ex-Boyfriends… aren’t husbands… because they never were meant to be.  Consequently… I cannot see them as threatening in any way.

There is also a slightly larger box that houses stuff from my first Marriage.  Love Letters from when we were dating & LDR… My Wedding Photo Album… misc pics thru the years, hospital bands from the kids being born, locks of hair, handprints, footprints, and a bunch of other odds and ends.

Lol, then there is “the envelope” which actually gets the most usage… it houses all our Divorce Documents, a copy of our Marriage Certificate, a copy of his Death Certificate, and every other ridiculous piece of “worthless” paper that society insists that I keep from the 20+ Year Marriage & Life I had with this man.

Ironic… the IMPORTANT stuff, is stuff I have no connection to.

The stuff that others see as NOT IMPORTANT is the stuff that I put way more value on cause it reflects my whole life in so many ways those 20+ years, in two boxes (a card box, and a Bankers Box).

And just to prove that this isn’t just a sentimental “girl thing”…

Mr TTR well he has a box too.  After having a relationship that spanned 25 years himself, he too has things he’s collected into one spot.  Wedding Pictures, Birth Announcements, Photographs and the like.  And yes an envelope of crazy paperwork.

We don’t sit around and go thru “our boxes” pasts… but they are around for the future.  When our kids ask Questions.  When our Grandkids will no doubt ask Questions.  When we are old and reflecting on our lives lived.  NOTHING in the boxes is ever going to hurt us, or cause as any pain (Stuff in the envelopes… ya that stuff, makes our hearts heavy… and tears roll.  For that is the stuff of UNHAPPY memories)

We have our memories in our heads for sure, but having them in a paper / other format becomes more important to us as we age… because as time goes on our memories won’t be quite as strong as they once were.  And whether we want to reflect for ourselves, or others, it isn’t a bad thing IMO

PS… I am soooo happy I kept my Hubby’s Love Letters from when we were Dating, LDR, Engaged etc vs throwing them away (as so many people would have done).  My Hubby and I were married for 20+ years, and our relationship got worse as he got sicker… and then the horrid divorce.  In some ways, our kids were “tainted” by so much bad stuff, I’m not even sure if they remember the good so well any more.  Photos of happier times, and the Love Letters that show how much we did love each other at one time may do marvellous things in the future to help them heal… for now tho they are still very much overcome by the anger of grief.  And I get that.

 

Post # 95
Member
2092 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

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@This Time Round:  I kept little love letters me and my FH used to leave in each others work lockers (we started dating while we both worked at wal-mart during my senior year of high school!). I don’t think he knows I kept them, but I did 🙂 We used to swtich/share our work lockers. I’m really short and for some reason I got the top locker that I couldn’t reach, I lost about 4 name tags in it because I threw them up there and never was able to reach them to take them out (funny thats how things kicked off between us, i had asked for help getting them down). We also used to leave love notes on each others cars when he started working at his current job and I began working at a nursing home. Kept those too!

as for the things from exes, although they are harmless, they represent a time of hurt, betrayal, and sadness for both of us. Things we want to leave in our past. We both like to be simple and not surround ourselves with “crap” basically…. Now if only I could get him to go through his old t-shirt drawer with that same mindset….

Post # 96
Member
361 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

If you have to ask, then yes. 

And over all yes. Dwelking on a past relationship in anyway is wrong. 500% focus only on the current one. 

Post # 97
Member
1384 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I destroyed every single picture of me and my most recent ex after we broke up. I have one of him and his buddies in a box somewhere, though that I missed when I threw out the rest. When my Fiance and I had first ever gotten involved, he helped me save pictures and such to a flash drive when I got a new computer. I told him not to transfer any of me and my ex, but he did anyway just in case I ever wanted them. I’m not even sure where the flash drive is, but I mean, the memories inside my mind are enough. And I wish I could erase many of them lol. 

 

Certainly would never ever keep kissing photos of any ex. I wouldn’t want my kids to see me with anyone but their father. I think it’s kind a weird thing. I found a picture of my Fiance with his ex and my skin was literally crawling. I’d probably be pretty annoyed if he had/kept kissing photos. You’re married. Either dump those pictures at a parents house where he doesn’t have to see them or destroy them. I’m sure it hurts him to see that even though you’re with him now. He loves you and doesn’t want to see his lady kissing someone who isn’t him.

Post # 98
Member
442 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

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@This Time Round:  The thing you need to remember is that most people on this thread are talking about past relationships that only lasted a fairly short time (a few years at the most), they are not necessarily talking about ex-husbands and men they had children with. Although I think it’s generally wrong to keep mementos, letters and pictures from exes, it is different if you had children with that person. If you had kids with them, sure, give the pictures and mementos to your kids so they can find out about their parents’ relationship.

As for Fiance and I, we don’t have kids, and neither of us lived with anyone or were married before. There is no sense in keeping things from those relationships, because we don’t view them as significant anymore. FI’s previous girlfriend before me had a long affair with one of his close friends, so for him, those mementos (particularly cards and notes), represented betrayal, anger and sadness. He got rid of them before he even met me because he didn’t want them around.

I don’t see it as harmless to keep a love letter or photos stacked away in a box, because to me that would be emotional cheating and therefore unacceptable to me. In fact, tucking them carefully away in a box makes it worse, the way I see it, because it means that you’ve made quite an effort to make sure that you don’t lose it, because it’s too precious.

I personally hate surrounding myself with old clutter, so I have always loved getting rid of things from old boyfriends. I rarely think of the past, I try to live fully in the present and look forward to the future with my Fiance. I also don’t really associate ex-boyfriends with “my youth”, as I am still young, and most of my memories from my teenage years and early twenties involve friends, not boyfriends. So it’s extremely unlikely that I will ever feel the need to look at pictures of exes to relive my youth. Just the thought of it seems absurd, and it would no doubt be hurtful to my Fiance if I ever engaged in such behaviour.

Post # 99
Member
9950 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

TO

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@MaryKay14:  true enough.

BUT by that same token, I’d wager that most of the women on WBee are in the 20 to 30ish age bracket.  So yes past relationships are going to be far more “recent”.  But also in the bigger game as you say shorter, but for the most part not serious ones, vs what they have now.

Whereas, I am over 50… and as I age, I see the value in embracing ALL OF MY LIFE… not just the good bits.

What we are talking here for the average Bee is stuff from past BFs (not Husbands, or Father’s of their Children as you note)… and this is exactly some of the stuff that I have in “the box”… stuff that as I age has become less and less harmless (to any current relationship) but more meaningful in the bigger picture of my life as a whole.

It is the stuff of my youth… stuff I can look back upon and reflect upon… be that by sharing it with my kids or others… a few harmless bits of paper “Hey look at this, concert tickets from the 1970s when I went to see Pink Floyd Live with my then High School Sweetie”.  IF it wasn’t for the Boyfriend or Best Friend, and keeping “bits” from our past relationship, I would have thrown those tickets out 10 minutes after we broke up.  Instead, I now have those tickets (and many others) in a box… that also happens to house some pics from him (like I said including Vintage Photo Booth Strips) and other “bits & pieces” from the past that give me great joy when I look back now.  Some of it truly “stuff” that can’t be replicated now cause of the pasage of time… like a mixed cassette tape.  I maybe not able to play it, but having it is a hoot.  “See Dear Daughter, this is what we had BEFORE CDs… and the worst part was the tape used to become all tangled”.

As far as the relationships, they come in a far second to what else is in the box.

We were young, we were silly… and we THOUGHT WE KNEW what Love was.  We didn’t.

Certainly doesn’t effect my current relationship, and in so much as I was married before, a box of paper, didn’t effect my past marriage either.  It just was “a box of stuff”… in the same way as there was a box of old University Text Books, Photo albums and a “milk crate” of old 33 record albums stowed away somewhere’s too.

No harm, no foul in my opinion

 

Post # 100
Member
173 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

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@FatherTed:  +1

I got rid of anything really relationship-ey like kissing/we’re together photos and love notes. I discreetly untagged myself from similar photos on facebook. Because stumbling on a collection of those is just awkward.

I did keep any gifts I got – CDs, books, jewelry. Because they are nice things with nice memories from nice people. I have lots of those from regular friends too. And all my journal entries (locked away safely… he understands that one) 

I know my SO still has some stuff from his last major relationship, like letters. It was a huge life changing deal for him and that’s fine that he’s still sentimental about it, because we have so many of our own pictures and cards and we even have furniture and a puppy together (so I win! ha.) Also he just has it in a box underneath a bunch of other stuff, so it’s not like he is staring at it whistfully all the time. 

Post # 101
Member
184 posts
Blushing bee

I didn’t keep any printed photos of myself with my ex-boyfriends, but I have the electronic copies on my computer that I don’t plan on deleting. Why should I? That’s my life and my past. I certainly won’t go opening them and looking at them, but they are there if I’m ever feeling nostalgic and want to walk down memory lane. My husband and I are secure in our love and relationship and I don’t think we need to feel that the past is dead for us to feel confident in our futures together. I say you keep whatever you feel comfortable keeping, or keep the things that give you fond memories. 

Post # 102
Member
2540 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@Sunshine09:  I keep sentimental stuff too. I have kept pictures of me and my ex, and even have them on display around the house. BUT these pictures only show friendship; I would never expect my fiance to be ok with seeing pictures of me and ex kissing, whether they were on display or in a box that he never has to see. I say that if there is a picture of you two that means something, keep it, unless it’s pictures of you kissing, or being romantic; if that’s the case, throw it out…else you may seem like you’re hanging on for different reasons.

Post # 103
Member
255 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

A picture of you kissing another guy…seriously? What’s the purpose of holding onto a chapter that’s closed especially when a new one has opened? I don’t keep anything from previous relationships because it doesn’t add anything to my life to hold onto them. I remember a guy I dated still had all these pics of his most recent ex and when I asked about them he said “they’re just pictures” and my response was “yeah and a picture is worth a thousand words.” Then he got tongue twisted and couldn’t think of a response. I said all that to say you may want to consider what the purpose of holding onto stuff is, and if it’s really something that’s beneficial to your life and current relationship.

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