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Letters from his ex

(66 Posts)
Lettersfromher Tue 29-Jan-13 11:35:11

Ok, so I've named changed for this as I feel a bit stupid, but I'm a regular.

I suppose I'm lucky in the sense that although DP and I are both in our early thirties he doesn't have that much emotional baggage - before we got together 2 years ago he said he'd only been in love once before, and that was 10 years ago with a girl he met while travelling in NZ - they were only together for 3 weeks before his visa expired and he had to return to the UK. The intention was he'd wait for her and they'd make it work when she returned home the following year, but after a few months of writing and emailing she met someone else and broke his heart. He says in retrospect that he built the relationship up in his mind to be something much more than it was, but it haunted him for years and he never found anyone who he felt lived up to her so never gave his heart to anyone else he was dating...until he met me.

They're friends on Facebook and I've never felt threatened by her - I don't consider her to be anything special to look at, plus she's married now with a baby, living in another country and on the rare occasion they message each other (happy birthday, etc) it's always innocuous.

Anyway, he's just moved into my house and is in process of unpacking his stuff. This morning I walk into the study and there, right in the middle of the floor is a bundle of letters (no envelopes, out in the open), sent by her from NZ during the time they were having a long distance "relationship." So yeah - I read them. Really explicit sexual fantasies about what she wanted him to do to her, how crazy she was about him, etc.

Obviously this made me feel a bit weird - I know everyone has a past, but in my opinion that's where it should remain - not in the middle of my study floor, where I am trying to work!! I'm not childish or insecure enough to destroy the letters, but to be honest I don't really want them in my home! DP is messy and scatty - I don't think he had left the letters there intentionally for me to find, although I think he would feel his privacy had been invaded if I'd read them all the same....

...I've put the letters back on the floor where I found them and I'm not going to say anything about them, but I was just wondering...how would you feel if you so openly came across love letters from his ex? I think I have one or two from exes, but they're up in the loft and I'd never dream of leaving them anywhere my DP could see them and potentially be made to feel weird about them. Am I being unreasonable to hope that he will put them in the loft too if he decides to keep them, and not amongst our day to day belongings?

Goodadvice1980 Tue 29-Jan-13 19:47:26

To me it just seems a bit off to pass comment on how someone looks physically. What has that to do with this issue?

The looks of the ex are irrelevant; at some point her OH was attracted to this woman. The OP's comment feels a bit "judgey". Looks are not the issue here, but I'll gladly stand corrected SOCD smile

shine0ncrazydiamond Tue 29-Jan-13 19:53:41

Ah, a bit of 'judgey' makes the world go round.

Kaekae Tue 29-Jan-13 19:58:57

I would have read them. I 'd been with my DP for over 10 year and when we moved I stumbled across some old photos of him and his ex on holiday. He is 10 years older than me so had more of a past than me and I felt odd about these photos being in my house where my children could have seen them. So he binned them. He had no children with this ex and hadn't even see her in over 10 year so was happy to get rid of them.

Kaekae Tue 29-Jan-13 20:01:20

Oh everyone is judgey about an ex of their partners...no?

Lettersfromher Tue 29-Jan-13 21:30:27

Goodadvice - I'm surprised you find my comment bitchy - I said that in my opinion she wasn't anything special to look at in reference to the fact that I didn't feel threatened by her. I never said she was UGLY, just very average, what's wrong with that?

OneMoreChap Tue 29-Jan-13 21:30:57

Kaekae
I would have read them. I 'd been with my DP for over 10 year and when we moved I stumbled across some old photos of him and his ex on holiday. He is 10 years older than me so had more of a past than me and I felt odd about these photos being in my house where my children could have seen them.

How odd you think it odd.

Why should your children - I presume from your language not his - be surprised he'd had other girlfriends.

I'd add "so he binned them... was happy to get rid of them" isn't necessarily the case...

Lettersfromher Tue 29-Jan-13 21:38:09

Bitchy would be to say she's snaggle-toothed, has hair like a feather duster and looks old enough to be his mum. But of course I would NEVER say anything like that... hmm

scrappydappydoo Tue 29-Jan-13 21:52:34

Hang on - so you still have letters and stuff from your exes somewhere in the house and the only reason you haven't got rid of them is because you haven't moved. But you still know where they are and they are still in your house. You are happy to keep your 'past' just because but expect him to erase his.
Did he have a big clearout before he moved and deliberately bring those or did he just bring a few boxes and is in the middle of sorting them out (maybe to be chucked hence why they're in the middle of the room). Whichever way I can't see the problem. I don't think you should have read them and I think you need to accept that this woman was part of his life and move on.

Lettersfromher Tue 29-Jan-13 22:11:13

scrappydappydoo I have stuff from my partner who died 9 years ago, yes - I know it's in the loft somewhere, but it would probably take me hours to find it as my loft is huge and full of boxes upon boxes.

And I think I may have one or two things from another long term ex - THINK being the operative word - if I came across them I would probably chuck them as the memories of our time together aren't great, i just haven't really even thought to locate them them since meeting DP.

He's in the study right now sorting through stuff and has said he'll put everything he wants storing in the loft on the landing, so I can take it up there tomorrow while he's at work. I expect the letters will be among them and if so, no problem. Just don't want them lying around in my study for any length of time, that's all!

Alittlestranger Tue 29-Jan-13 22:20:34

I keep old letters and photos. I would be really angry if someone made me throw them out, but I wouldn't rub them in someone's face. There's a delicate balancing act that involves unpacking one's baggage in private. You're bruised because he broke this etiquette OP and making yourself feel better by telling us she's an average looker with tame fantasies.

I'd be more hmm that the OP's DP is in his early 30s and his most significant relationship before her lasted three weeks!

Lettersfromher Tue 29-Jan-13 22:29:47

Alittlestranger - I'm not saying he hasn't had other relationships that have lasted longer than three weeks , I'm saying that according to him they weren't significant compared to his romance in NZ, because as much as he wanted to fall in love (he is somewhat of a romantic and not your average bloke) he knew they weren't the right person for him and he couldn't make himself feel something he didn't. He's never slept around and has fantastic relationships with his friends, family and colleagues, so I'm not concerned about his ability to form meaningful relationships or anything like that...

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 29-Jan-13 22:44:31

No, I wouldn't have read them - not because it's a moral issue - but because I know there would be a good chance of seeing what you've seen.

This is the past, you shouldn't have read them, you're getting punished accordingly by knowing the intimate details between a private couple (as they were then), sorry.

Try, try, try to focus on what you have now and draw a line under it. It's fair enough to ask him not to leave his mess lying about everywhere though.

wendycraigsmini Tue 29-Jan-13 22:49:02

Do you feel a bit threatened by this ex? Or a bit jealous? If not, then why is it bothering you so much? I'm a bit of a hoarder and have all sorts of bundles of letters/cards in my 'life boxes' in the loft. DH has no interest. Like someone else aptly put 'the past is another country'.

Lettersfromher Tue 29-Jan-13 22:54:49

I honestly don't feel threatened or jealous. I guess I dislike her a bit because she hurt him so much, but then again, she did me a favour by letting him go.

It was just weird finding something like that unexpectedly in the middle of my floor. 'The past is another country' is an apt way to put it, but the past had taken a holiday to my country is another way of putting it!

letterswhatletterss Tue 29-Jan-13 23:01:58

I'll tell you what happened for me. DP and I had got our first house together, lots of stuff still in boxes. Was sorting through it one afternoon and found letters from the ex - not explicit but lots of detail about the relationship. OP, I sat there and read the lot. Then I though, 'oh, well, I know what it was all about now. And there seem to have been lots of good things about it but it's over'. Put them back in the box, didn't say anything. Said to DP in general terms he would be best off going through his stuff. When he did, they went to the tip. End of story.

He probably hasn't even noticed they're there. Ask him nicely to put them out of sight. Tell him they made you feel a bit, I don't know, vulnerable. He doesn't need to know you read them.

I expect he'll reassure you and say lovely romantic things about the start of your new, shared life together. And if he doesn't, he bloody well should!

AnyFucker Tue 29-Jan-13 23:10:25

There is a box of photos and letters that were from DH's ex in his wardrobe, under a pile of other half-forgotten stuff (his last serious relationship before me)

I know they are there. I can say hand on heart, I haven't read them. The kids have sifted through the pics a couple of times over the years and said "ooo, dad is this your old gf?"

I don't need to scrutinise them because I knew her.

It doesn't bother me, but then we have been together for yonks.

BadLad Wed 30-Jan-13 00:11:24

I have some photos of my ex's and some e-mails still in the inbox.

No sense in getting rid. Some day they might add my biographer for the few photo pages he/she will need, and they might give some insight into my character if The Good BadLad is written posthumously.

I almost never look at them, however.

midastouch Wed 30-Jan-13 00:18:21

If im honest i would have read them as well, probably regretted it but still! you didnt go through his stuff so i think you had every right to. I would see what he does with them, hopefully he is intending onn shredding them!

Lettersfromher Wed 30-Jan-13 11:12:16

So this morning I go to look at the stuff he's left out for me to put in the loft. It contains a crate with what looks like a million and one birthday cards in it, plus various letters, including the letters from her. I also spot two envelopes which must contain more letters from her as her name and address is on the back, but because they were amongst his actual stuff and not out on my floor I haven't read them - they probably just contain more Mills & Boon-esque fantasy tripe, ie: "you're wearing your button-down shirt exposing your tanned, toned chest" (yawn) anyway!

However, also clearly visible amongst the stuff to go in the loft are 4 identical passport photos of another ex - someone he was with for a few months two years before he met me - who in his words was "a horrible person" who cheated on him with not one but two men (at once!) treated him more like a counsellor than a boyfriend, used to humiliate him in front of his friends and who he had to block from Facebook after he finally broke up with her because she was incessantly sending him abuse!

And in a way, finding these photos made me feel better - he has absolutely no attachment to this ex, which tells me he's not really kept any of this stuff for sentimental reasons, but because he is a disorgansied hoarder!

I've shoved the whole lot in the loft and I'm going to forget about it.

Junebugjr Wed 30-Jan-13 11:37:31

I would have a good read an all OP, even at the sex bits grin. I'm a nosy bastard though.
DP has a few things from his longterm ex I think, cards proclaiming eternal love. More embarrassing for her really, as we're quite friendly so she must know I've seen stuff when dp and i moved in together.
Make him put them up the attic and think no more of it smile

cronullansw Wed 30-Jan-13 23:33:06

And when you are putting the stuff in the loft, you can read them again, and maybe this time edit out the bits you don't like, think are too tame, or too explicit, but make a copy of them first, so that when you have a row with him, you can bring it up and accuse him of being untrustworthy......

Jeez...........

You shouldn't have read them, they are nothing to do with you. You SHOULD tell him you've read them tho, cos then if I were him I'd be packing my stuff up again and heading out, not wanting to live with a prying control freak.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Wed 30-Jan-13 23:45:23

prying control freak? Which thread were you reading Cron??

OP most people would have done the same smile I certainly would, without a doubt. I wouldn't care if he kept them though, I have a ton of shite from my past and wouldn't get rid of it for anyone - who knows, it might be them adding to the heap one day grin

Lettersfromher Wed 30-Jan-13 23:49:27

Cronullsanw - can't help wondering how much of this post you've actually read?

Probably not the part where I said I never had and never would snoop through his phone / emails / bag etc or look at anything squirreled away, because I have zero reason to doubt his trustworthiness?

My question was how other people felt about keeping things from the past and people have taken their time to share their viewpoints. No one else felt the need to be quite so judgmental and abusive towards a complete stranger as you though.

Jeez...

And who can say how I would act if I had a row with DP, because neither of us are the type to lash out at each other unlike some people so it's never escalated to that stage in the entire two years of our relationship.

CalamityKate Thu 31-Jan-13 00:08:41

Personally I've always found that a ceremonial burning of all cards/letters etc is the best way of moving on from a relationship, achieving closure and avoiding mawkish wallowing.

I can't imagine why he'd want to keep them. If it makes you uncomfortable, tell him. Keeping letters from an ex versus keeping you happy? It should be no contest.

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