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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 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

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?


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


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

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 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

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