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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?

MisselthwaiteManor Tue 29-Jan-13 11:48:52

If he is in the process of unpacking his stuff he could very well be planning to put them away in the loft, making it no different to the ones you've kept. I doubt he intends to keep them spread out in your study forever.

But I find it weird that either of you have kept letters, I had a long distance relationship in my past and letters and photos and memorabilia all got binned when I moved.

Lettersfromher Tue 29-Jan-13 11:53:34

I think if I moved my letters from exes would get binned too, but I haven't moved for 8 years.

He said he'd had a clear out before moving into mine and chucked about 1/3 of his stuff, which is why I'm a bit surprised he still has the letters, but then he has brought a load of crap with him (old bus tickets, broken plates, etc) so clearly his idea of a sort out is not as thorough as mine!

CartedOff Tue 29-Jan-13 12:54:27

I would probably say to him that you'd rather he didn't leave them lying around and found a private place to put them.

I'm one of those people who keep things like letters from ex's, but I've always had a box or something similar to place them in for safekeeping. They're mementos of the past, even if the past was "I was young and stupid and that relationship was built on a load of imaginary dreams and letters"- which I bet is what he thinks when he looks at them.

Just remember that this is a relationship that "haunted" him. Not one that made him happy.

OneMoreChap Tue 29-Jan-13 15:45:01

My wife knows I have letters from ex's.
She knows where they are.

She also knows I don't worry about them, so she doesn't either.

Reading them was a bit hmm.

bestsonever Tue 29-Jan-13 16:19:56

Not really much of a problem to waste time worrying about. Reading the explicit detail was your decision. As you say, most of us have had a past, so it's daft to get hung up about it now, and it was only 3 weeks 10 years ago. Not sure why you would be moved enough to post tbh.

Lettersfromher Tue 29-Jan-13 16:22:28

So you're honestly saying that if your wife's letters from an ex were left out in the open by her right under your nose you wouldn't read them?

For all the people who would take the moral high ground and say "I would never do that" I bet most of them would if they were actually in that situation.

Lettersfromher Tue 29-Jan-13 16:25:18

Bestsonever - I didn't said I was "moved", worried or hung up, just genuinely curious what other people feel about the subject of keeping letters from exes.

Not sure why you feel the need to comment on my post if it's that insignificant to you!

OneMoreChap Tue 29-Jan-13 16:30:05

Lettersfromher
So you're honestly saying that if your wife's letters from an ex were left out in the open by her right under your nose you wouldn't read them?

100%

She leaves her handbag out, and I wouldn't go through that.
I read her email if she asks me to; I wouldn't dream of reading anything addressed to her without specific invitation.

Lettersfromher Tue 29-Jan-13 16:34:58

OneMoreChap

Well I've never snooped through my DPs phone, emails, bag, etc (have no reason not to trust him) but this wasn't found through digging, so morally, looking at it feels different to me.

OneMoreChap Tue 29-Jan-13 16:40:49

OP sorry, I'm not suggesting you're a bad person. Maybe I should have said
"Really, I wouldn't have read them..." rather than hmm

It's not odd, just ask him to tidy them away.

bestsonever Tue 29-Jan-13 16:40:59

I would stop when it got explicit (or skip those bits), not having a desire to imprint an image. You asked opinions, you don't like mine, that's fine

higgle Tue 29-Jan-13 16:41:59

The love of my early life was killed in a climbing accident when he was 23, his memory is very precious t me and if life had turned out differently I probably would have ended up married to him and not DH. His mother drank herself to death within 12 months and his father died young, he was an only child. i think my box of letters and poems and drawings ( he was a talented artist) is all there is left of him in this world. I certainly have no intention of chucking them out despite the fact that many are rather explicit, we should all remember the past is another country.

Seenenoughtoknow Tue 29-Jan-13 16:43:50

Bugger it - I would read them! I found a load of DH's photo's years ago of him and ex-wife on holiday and had a look through...he said to bin them but I kept them for his children (not quite the same as love letters I know) but I like to think DH wouldn't hide stuff from me (and neither would I from him) so if they were out, I'd assume they were open season. Plus - I'm only human, and obviously not quite as perfect as 'onemorechap' ;)

I think I'd be pissed off that he kept them too, as neither DH or I are sentimental like that so I wouldn't really understand why he would keep them. (I understand the dynamics of your relationship are obviously different though, as you have some too).

Lettersfromher Tue 29-Jan-13 16:44:10

The explicit bit was near the end, and yes, I did stop reading when that bit got going...FWIW her fantasy seemed a bit tame! grin

OneMoreChap Tue 29-Jan-13 16:47:15

Seenenoughtoknow
Plus - I'm only human, and obviously not quite as perfect as 'onemorechap'

Nah, just have privacy issues.
Privacy is allowed; an education where teachers read letters home to parents made me extremely precious about mail.

Lettersfromher Tue 29-Jan-13 16:52:38

Higgle sorry to hear about your loss. I can relate to your situation because a boyfriend of mine died suddenly when he was 25 - we had been together for 2 years and were living together when I lost him.

He wasn't one for writing, so I don't have any letters from him, but like your DP, mine was a talented artist and I still have all his art, his favourite jumper, etc. It's all in the loft and I haven't looked at it for years (9 years since he passed) but I wouldn't chuck it. Current DP has no issue with this whatsoever.

However, regarding exes who broke my heart / messed me about / I only had brief relationships with, I would not be bothered about taking these things with me when I moved house.

Insecure24 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:25:40

When my dp moved in with me he was having a massive sort out of years of garbage including birthday and valentines cards from his ex whom he broke up with about 5 years ago. He ripped them up and binned them in front of me. His choice. If he'd kept them, I'd struggle to understand why.

tumbletumble Tue 29-Jan-13 18:26:09

I've still got old love letters dating back from 20 years ago. One of them if I remember correctly is from a guy I never even went out with! He took the trouble to write me a letter, it seems wrong just to bin it. I haven't looked at them for years but I would not appreciate DH telling me to bin them.

Agree I'd have a peek if they were lying out on the floor!

shine0ncrazydiamond Tue 29-Jan-13 18:31:11

Your reaction is completely normal and yes, I'd have had a read through as well.

I'd say something to him. Probably along the lines of ' you left your letters in the middle of the floor, where did you want to put them? ' and see what he says to that.

MooMooSkit Tue 29-Jan-13 18:41:22

I think this will be down to personal opinion so you will get lots of different answers. My other half has never been in love before me so he doesn't have "emotional baggage" but I would be a bit hmm if he kept letters like that as he would be with me. I was with my ex six years before my current OH and have nothing to remind me of him, thats a part of my past I don't really care for and don't really want any memories of it.

Kione Tue 29-Jan-13 18:51:38

I would read them, maybe not all if I felt uncomfortable and then tell him.to put them well away. I found pics if exes when we moved, one in a bikini but posing in bed, it felt weird but I didnt feel threatened by it. Its past and I know the story. And she was too skinny grin
so yeah, dont worry about it, he sounds in love with you and now is moving in!

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 29-Jan-13 19:05:25

I have many letters from many boyfriends going back 25 years and I would never get rid of them. They are like photos, they remind me of different times. None if my DPs ever asked me to get rid, not even ExH (and he had ishoos).

OP I would be soooo angry if you read my letters, and no, I wouldn't read my partner's. Why? Because it is their correspondence that predates me and because I can't see anything good coming of it. Just as you have discovered.

Goodadvice1980 Tue 29-Jan-13 19:18:39

"I don't consider her to be anything special to look at" ....

Ouch OP, that's really nasty!

shine0ncrazydiamond Tue 29-Jan-13 19:43:32

Is it really nasty? Sounds like the OPs opinion to me... hardly like she has FB'd her to tell her this grin

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.

ChippingInLovesMN Thu 31-Jan-13 00:14:37

CalamityKate - you can't imagine why someone would think or feel differently to you? Try reading the thread, it's full of information smile

kittybiscuits Thu 31-Jan-13 02:18:11

cron that's remarkably restrained of you. Are you ill or something?

OP I would ignore the nonsense post.

Sounds like you reached a way forward smile

CalamityKate Thu 31-Jan-13 09:58:52

Yes I've read it thanks. Including the bit where the OP says it makes her feel a bit weird. I'm assuming that she didn't mean weird in a good way. Therefore I don't feel my use of the word "uncomfortable" was too wide of the mark.

I repeat, I think that the OPs feelings should be more important than keeping a few love letters.

venusandmars Thu 31-Jan-13 11:25:32

For me (and we all have our own take on these things) I find most of the ceremonial ripping up, shredding, or setting alight of old letters to feel a little unreal. I am the person I am because of all the range of experiences that I've had in my life, and trying to get rid of the shreds of evidence of that would seem a bit weird to me. Ok so one ex-boyfriend send me soppy cards and a big teddy bear, another introduced me to Japanese food (which I love), another taught me a hobby that is really important to me. They all have the same kind of relevance for me - part of my past but also part of who I am today. I have a big box of cards collected from over the years, including ones from exes, friends, and my children. If I look at them ever it's not to dwell on them, but more as reminders of my own life and journey, and to reminisce about who I was and have become.

I think that reading the detail of anyone else's sexual fantasies would make me feel a bit 'weird' tbh, whether it was my parents, my dh, my dcs, or my best friend. I just don't think I'd go there.

Mueslimorning Thu 31-Jan-13 12:13:29

Have been reading this thread with interest, as so many opinions out there, what is your take on my case: dh had affair during first marriage, we met ow by chance and he introduced her to me and we shook hands before I knew who she really was. I was livid afterwards, felt irrationally that she was going to screw him behind my back too now. She is a lot younger than us and v pretty angry. Anyhow, dh and I are together over 3 yrs and when we moved in together to new place I got rid of old letters etc and now I've found letters from this woman to him from the year of their affair. He kept them, but is really jealous when some old flame of mine makes himself known, email, letter etc. the difference is I'm totally up front about these things and feel a need to be honest. He doesn't. Why? (I say found, but was actually snooping as he keeps all his stuff, bank receipts etc in locked filing cabinet. My things are there for him to see any time. Just got a bit fed up and curious. Now sorry I did) sad

musicismylife Thu 31-Jan-13 13:02:22

When my ex moved into my house, he brought a whole load of photographs with different exes on, which he accidently wanted me to see...

He also had some 'love' letters which were sprayed with some very odd-smelling cat piss perfume, saying things like 'we will get thru this togever hun' and then a 'smell here' arrow which pointed to where she had presumably sprayed the 'perfume'. Extremely childish IMO, which is exactly what he turned out to be (amongst other things).

I didn't feel threatened.

Ever.

Seenenoughtoknow Thu 31-Jan-13 13:11:12

Meusli - that would really annoy me because he expects you to behave in one way whilst he behaves in another. I feel that anyone who has cheated in one marriage has a character flaw that could resurface if unhappiness creeps in to a future marriage (these people look for comfort outside of the marriage before trying to fix the problem) so my stance would be that because of his cheating history, he should keep no secrets from you, as any he does keep are a step in a direction AWAY from your union. You have every right to be pissed off, and if it were me, I would admit to snooping and call him on it.

Tuliprosa Thu 31-Jan-13 13:39:09

Muesli - talk about double standards from your DH!

I have a work colleague who is having an affair. Despite the fact HE is the one cheating on his wife, he got insanely jealous when he found out that the women he was having an affair with still had photographs and letters from an old flame.

I don't believe that just because your DH has a history of infidelity he is automatically untrustworthy - I know several people who've cheated in unhappy relationships, but have been faithful once they met the right person. Does ring alarm bells that he's not as upfront as you as you are with him though...

Xales Thu 31-Jan-13 14:36:41

I think you are being rather nasty and insulting.

These letters are from 10 years ago 8 years before he met you.

He and this woman cared for each other. His past has helped to shape him into the man he is today, presumably one who you love. 10 years ago the world was not as rife with internet available sexually explicit shit as it is now and many people did not access it as much.

Dismissing her letters to him as Mills & Boon-esque fantasy tripe, ie: "you're wearing your button-down shirt exposing your tanned, toned chest" and yawning over it is rude.

Tuliprosa Thu 31-Jan-13 14:55:42

Xales, she cared for him so much that she was screwing someone else on the other side of the world while sending DP these boak-inducing letters, yet she kept him hanging on for months before admitting she was being unfaithful!!

It wasn't even the content of the fantasy that was tame, it was the prosaic stlye in which she wrote it, so whether or not the internet is full of "sexually explicit shit" I feel has little to do with it. DP himself is a writer and in truth I was genuinely surprised that he would have been beguiled by someone who couldn't write for toffee...

FergusSingsTheBlues Thu 31-Jan-13 15:06:16

You had no business reading their PRIVATE letters....

My husband has a shoebox of such momentoes, ive never been tempted to pry. And i know he would never pry into my diaries, for example. I did get a bit miffed once coming across photos etc and asked him to bin them or put them away in his shoebox... No idea what he did....and i dont care. Im the one he married and began a family with. Think its normal to feel bit insecure coming across these things accidentally.

BIWI Thu 31-Jan-13 15:19:54

I can't believe people who would openly read someone else's private letters. Even if they were from the past/a previous relationship.

Nor can I believe that you think someone should throw these away. Even if their relationship is now totally dead, it was (presumably) an important part of their lives.

Most of us have some kind of a past, with other emotional baggage, and it belongs to us and us alone - our current partners have no right to snoop into it, and they certainly don't have the right to have any of that mocked by someone who wasn't privy to it in the first place.

Tuliprosa Thu 31-Jan-13 15:22:18

BIWI - if someone hurts my DP, I think I'm quite entitled to be less than complimentary about them!

Badgerwife Thu 31-Jan-13 15:30:34

venusandmars If I look at them ever it's not to dwell on them, but more as reminders of my own life and journey, and to reminisce about who I was and have become.

^^ THIS I have kept pretty much every letter I have ever received since I was a child, some are mementos from old flames, and I also kept extensive diaries in my teens and twenties (not so much now anymore, for some strange reason). I very rarely look at any of it and have no emotional attachment to them other than as part of who I was and where I've been but have never wanted to get rid either because in a way they feel like breadcrumbs from the past, like venusandmars said.

I would be mortified if DP read any of the diaries mostly because they don't paint me in a very good light; I used them as one would use a toilet to be sick, except with emotional stuff. Very therapeutic, but not a very good read after the event!

I think it's unfortunate that your DP left the letters on the floor for you to find, unless he is completely unfazed that you should stumble upon them. If he didn't want you to read them then he should have been more careful. I totally understand that you might be uncomfortable with the sexual stuff, but on the other hand, I don't think you can demand to not have them in your home. Personally I would mention to him that you found them on the floor, didn't know what they were until you read a bit and ask if he wouldn't mind keeping them somewhere less visible, like a locked cupboard or the loft. It might have been his intention anyway. It needn't become an issue at all.

BIWI Thu 31-Jan-13 15:33:38

Nope. It's in the past. It's none of your business.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 31-Jan-13 18:01:22

If they were left out in plain view for more than a day I would've wondered if they were meant to be read. I might have said something like, "Try not to get them muddled with old newspapers you chuck out for recycling". I don't look at his private correspondence (Downton Abbey-esque!) or check his mobile.

I got rid of photos before meeting DH and hung onto a few letters and cards after we began dating out of what - nostalgia, something ego-boosting to cling to if he and I split up? Memories of my youth? One day I thought, suppose I got hit by a bus and DH or DCs had to clear out my stuff?! I got rid.

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