What to do with love letters from exs?

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
  • poll: Keep or toss love letters?
    Keep : (20 votes)
    20 %
    Toss : (81 votes)
    80 %
  • Post # 16
    Member
    813 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2018 - Farm

    I’ve gotten rid of anything any ex has gotten me. I don’t want to hold onto anything from the past. I say toss them. I keep everything that my fiance gives me.

    Post # 17
    Member
    687 posts
    Busy bee

    There are few people who sit down and take the time to write love letters nowadays. I actually have a bunch saved that my grandparents wrote to one another (different situation, obviously, but similar sentiment). I say keep them! There isn’t an emotional significance anymore but it is still a memory and nice to keep.

    Post # 18
    Member
    2035 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2018

    I would keep them. If they are a sweet momento from the past, why not? When I got divorced, I sorted all our pictures, gave everything with just the ex and/or his friends to him and divided the rest between us. I put mine in a few photo albums and keep them on a shelf in my office/guest bedroom. I also still have my wedding album, but I think I’ll just give that to my parents to keep. I’m not interested in erasing the past either, as another PP put it, but I certainly don’t want those things front and center and I rarely think about them.

    Post # 19
    Member
    427 posts
    Helper bee

    I scanned love letters from one of my exes (he’s a writer by trade, so they’re pretty awesome) and keep them in one of my cloud albums.  The originals were too fragile, so I burned them.

    I’m 99% sure my husband may have some mementos from an ex or seven tucked away somewhere.  If I accidentally came across them, I’d leave them alone.  I’m fully aware that my husband had a life before we met, just like I did, so I don’t feel emotional about any tangible proof of that.

    Post # 20
    Member
    7912 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    I don’t hold onto any of that shit. 1) I don’t want it in my house. Those relationships ended for a reason and I have no desire to cling to the past. 2) I think it would be disrespectful to my husband to hold onto nostalgic mementos of my exes.

    ETA: I am actually an extremely sentimental person. I still have birthday cards that my grandparents got me when I was a kid. I think that’s why I don’t want objects that remind me of my exes. Knowing a love letter from an ex was sitting in a special box in my home would just ick me out. It’s not that I’m trying to “erase” the past in getting rid of that shit. My experiences with my exes definitely had a substantial impact on who I am today (along with all my other experiences in the past), and the lessons I learned from those relationships are valuable and will be with me forever. But…it’s still the past. I don’t need physical reminders of it and I have no desire to go down memory lane when it comes to my exes (unless I’m joking around with a girlfriend over a glass of wine about the bullshit we endured with our exes or something like that lol).

    Post # 21
    Member
    5 posts
    Newbee

    I tossed everything. The only thing I’ve kept is an expensive jacket that was a Christmas gift that I love(d) and still wear. Weird? Oh well. I honestly forget sometimes that my ex even got it for me, and I have no desire to tell anyone where I got it. 

    Post # 22
    Member
    364 posts
    Helper bee

    I toss everything (cards pictures mementos) but I am not sentimental AT ALL. I actually don’t even know what to do with my jewelry. I gave most of it to my mom, but I kept a few things I really love, I just don’t wear it.

    Post # 23
    Member
    585 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2017 - Nepal

    I have old letters from my high school boyfriend in a box with other memorabilia. I also have still have a promise ring he gave me the day he moved away for college in there. I have no ill will towards him and I look at it like all of my other high school keepsakes. I do not have anything from ex boyfriends since then though. 

    Post # 24
    Member
    6357 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2015

    milkandcookies :  I’ve always felt that it’s silly to wipe an ex out 100%.  they were there, they were a big part of your life for awhile.  But when I thought that, it was photos I was considering, not love letters.  Keep a picture of the two of you together.  You had good times once.  But ditch the love letters, that’s just too much.  Imagine your kid coming across those hidden in a closet one day or your husband wondering why you felt the need to hang onto them – eep!

    Post # 25
    Member
    222 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2017

    I just finished listening to that magic of tidying up book. You know, the one that says if it doesn’t spark joy, get rid of it?

    in it, the author mentions that once the letter has been read, it has served its purpose and you shouldn’t have guilt for letting go of it.

    this made sense to me. I tend to be a sentimental hoarder and have guilt letting go of things that someone gave me. Unless you really feel good about keeping it, let it go or as a compromise keep one of the letters and let the rest go.

    Post # 26
    Member
    2110 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    Chunk em… why would you want them? I’m sure I still have some gifts my ex gave me but I couldn’t for the life of me remember what was a gift from him vs. what I acquired some other way.

    Post # 27
    Member
    2332 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    As soon as I knew my husband was the one, I tossed everything, I deleted all the pictures from exs, I got rid of it all. He is the only one I want to keep and build memories with. 

    Post # 28
    Member
    597 posts
    Busy bee

    Burn em

    Post # 29
    Member
    9552 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State

    Burn them.

    Post # 30
    Member
    343 posts
    Helper bee

    There are hundreds of pages of letters Fiance and I wrote back and forth to each other while he was deployed. These are my most precious treasure, the one nonsentient thing I would save in a fire. I’m trying to imagine if Fiance had done that with someone else, would I be OK with him hanging on to them. I think the answer is … no. It would be too much.

    On the other hand … I remember Fiance wrote letters to a girl he was serious about AFTER they broke up – but he never sent them. They were just written in a spiral, which I discovered when we were making a shopping list together. He gave me permisssion to read them, and they were among the rawest, most moving portraits of who Fiance is as a person. Yes, they were written to another girl, but they were a powerful illustration of the type of person he is with the curtains drawn. At the time I was glad he kept those. And also irrationally mad at the girl for breaking his heart!

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