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What would you do with pre-DP diaries and letters? Torn over whether to keep them.

(35 Posts)
flubberdubdub Fri 24-Oct-08 20:26:31

Basically, have been with DH for 4 years and he is wonderful. Have a son together and another baby on way. I love him very much, and know he loves me too, even though we aren't particularly amorous and probably only have sex once every 10 days or so. That's just the way we are - a bit lazy I suppose!

In my former life, however, I had a very volatile and passionate relationship with an older man - it was very on-off and in the 'off' times I made the most of being single and had a fair few casual flings and one-night stands. I was probably no more crazy than a lot of girls my age but now that I am a smug married grin with an angelic little toddler I look back and it seems a bit debauched!

DH and I NEVER talk about our love lives prior to meeting one another (he has stated that he just doesn't want to know) but I am pretty sure that I am his first major relationship and that he has probably only slept with a handful of people. He is such a nice, wholesome guy and I mean that in the best possible way.

Since the age of I don't know when I have kept diaries. I am a writer and they are very important to me. Sometimes I read them and it's painful, or makes me cringe, or cry or get angry with myself. But I value them a lot and they help me make sense of lots of things. However, the other day DH was in the attic clearing out some stuff and came across some old university work of mine. I studied creative writing and he started to read my old work, intrigued and amused. He then came across a letter tucked away in it all which I had written to my boyfriend but never sent. The content was sexually quite graphic and referred to our rampant lovelife. He told me what he had found and was obviously very upset and - worse - disappointed in me. I am scared that he will never forget it and that it has damaged our relationship in a subtle but permanent way.

I'm now thinking that for the sake of our relationship I should bin all my old diaries and letters. There is just so, so much writing and it pops up in so many unexpected places. There is always the chance that it couold happen again. Also, I don't want my son to ever know what I got up to, and what I was like. If he grows up to be like his dad he will find such information to much to bear!

What would you do?

RambleOn Fri 24-Oct-08 20:39:18

I would bin them for 2 reasons.

1. To show your DH that you've moved on from this relationship and are firmly with him now.

2. Wouldn't want my kids reading after I'd died and they were clearing out the loft.

elastamum Fri 24-Oct-08 20:42:43

I burnt all mine as I decided they were written for my eyes only and they were very personal

flubberdubdub Fri 24-Oct-08 20:45:38

Yes RambleOn, I think I am inclined to agree. Will just be quite painful - maybe also cathartic too though.

Elastamum, are you glad you did that? Do you ever regret it?

flubberdubdub Fri 24-Oct-08 20:46:15

Just interested to hear how it's worked out for others in same boat!

ScareyBitchFeast Fri 24-Oct-08 20:49:02

kept mine,
read sometimes - funny and embarrassing. that's all.

ScareyBitchFeast Fri 24-Oct-08 20:50:41

but the worry is of course your children reading them or someone else. i spose once you are veyr old you could chuck them.
love letters, well you don't really need to keep.
i disposed of all of dh's grin

Tiramissu Fri 24-Oct-08 20:54:25

I ve kept them.

I think no matter how embarrasing they are, they are a part of you, part of your life.
I wouldn't get rid of them. And if you do you might regret it.

Just keep them somewhere locked smile

Mind you mine are written in another language and Dh cant read them anyway grin

castille Fri 24-Oct-08 20:57:59

I chucked all the letters I had from previous boyfriends on the fire symbolically the night before I got married. I don't regret it, it would have felt very odd to keep them.

But I have kept my diaries, I wouldn't throw them out, as there is more in them than just boyfriend stuff.

MaDAMNEDAnt Fri 24-Oct-08 21:07:59

Do keep them!

My Mum is a devoted diary-writer, and she binned all her pre-DH (my Dad) diaries. She really regrets it now, and can't believe she did it! I think they covered the years from 14 to 25. She's made me (and siblings) swear that we won't read her diaries when she dies, but she's agreed to let us keep them somewhere (maybe a time capsule) for our (grand?)children to read.

TheProvincialLady Fri 24-Oct-08 21:11:15

I would keep them and tell your DP to respect your past and privacy and never look at them. I would be mortified if DH ever read any of my old writings, not because of the content but because of the invasion of privacy. He knows more or less everything I have ever done but he doesn't expect to see the documentary proofgrin and nor would I want to read anything like that of his, unless he wanted me to. You don't need to delete your past just because it isn't pleasant for your DP to confront.

MsHighwater Fri 24-Oct-08 21:25:12

Have to say I find it a little odd that your dp should be so reluctant for you to discuss your respective pasts. After all, your past experiences and choices - all of them - make you who and what you are. I'm not suggesting that your dp should be reading your diaries and old letters but surely there is no threat to him in knowing the main details of your past - that you have had previous relationships and a little about them - or to you in knowing about his?

I'm not a diary writer but I think that, if I was, I would be very reluctant to dispose of the record I'd made of what was inside my head.

My dh was married before and we still have copies of his first wedding pictures. They're not on display, of course, but they are there. I find it interesting on the rare occasions when I look at them to see my dh in his youth. Having them doesn't bother me at all.

fourkidsmum Fri 24-Oct-08 21:25:32

i disposed of everything relating to my exh and former partners (bar the odd inocuous photo) when i made a commitment to my dp.

i chose to do so because i feel strongly that i have no need of 'souveniers' now that i have met my soulmate. i am certain we will be together forever, and the past has no place in our present or future.

i don't know just what he has or hasn't kept. what i do know is that on occasion i have stumbled upon things from his past (that he has forgotten exist!) that have upset me - who wants to find that they have been sharing their home/bedroom with a love letter to their dp from someone else for example? and that he has stacks of photos stored digitally, and while the sane, sensible part of me thinks that's perfectly reasonable, the green-eyed monster wonders why he needs pictures of holidays he took with his ex etc blush.

if your dp knew you had these diaries, say stored in the attic, he might not be too happy to sleep beneath them every night?

Acinonyx Fri 24-Oct-08 21:44:37

I've kept the diaries and the letters. Dh has a lot of diaries too. It doesn't bother eithr of us at all. Mine are in a box with a note that if anything happens to me they should go to dd. I feel a bit queasy about her reading them but better that than throw them away. I think. Might change my mind...

I can't imagine being with someone and not knowing about each other's previous relationships.

BananaSkin Fri 24-Oct-08 22:49:30

I binned all letters and photos of old boyfriends before we married.

soopermum1 Fri 24-Oct-08 22:51:19

i binned my letters,photos momentos, but don't think you should. they sound important to you.

Drusilla Fri 24-Oct-08 22:53:20

I am amazed that so many of you have binned all these things that date from before you met your DP! Everything you did then makes you the person you are today, so why the urge to get rid it all?

Snippety Fri 24-Oct-08 23:02:18

Similar situation in that DH has only had 2 previous girlfriends, both of which he was madly in love with. He was cheated on by both of them sad

I have had quite a colourful past with loads of sexual partners (including 2 bisexual men), a previous marriage when I was very young that went tits up quite quickly, drunken one night stands, cheating on one long term partner etc. I also had a lot of letters, photos and momentos from an ex I had never quite gotten over until I met DH.

When I got together with DH I destroyed/charity shopped everything from previous relationships, and went for a full sexual health check up at the STD clinic including HIV test. I just knew that this was it and I wanted a completely clean slate and to show him that I was very serious about our relationship. I'd never hide my past from DH but I often wish I'd not been quite so promiscuous, just because he's so lovely, romantic and wholesome smile

jasper Fri 24-Oct-08 23:16:22

Keep tham.
Your former life is every bit as relevant to the whole you as your current life.

Why should you want to scissor it away?

edam Fri 24-Oct-08 23:20:27

I think your dh is being a bit odd, tbh. Why the hell should he be 'disappointed' in you? Because years before you met him you - shock, horror - had sex with someone else and enjoyed it?

Joolyjoolyjoo Fri 24-Oct-08 23:21:57

Agree with the "keepers"! I have all my old diaries and I really feel that nothing reminds me of those parts of my life (good and bad) as much as they do. They make me laugh and cry, and I trust DH not to read them. He had a past, I had a past- it's not something either of us are ashamed of, even though it was very different to the way we are now. When my kids are older and I am gone, I would have no problem with them reading them, really.

Flum Fri 24-Oct-08 23:22:15

They are historical documents now, you must keep!

beaniescreamyb Fri 24-Oct-08 23:25:42

Keep the diaries, ditch the love letters. Your diaries are YOU, the love letters are him.

Seriously, that's all you need to do.

SecondComing Fri 24-Oct-08 23:30:48

If you want to keep them but he doesn't want you to could you agree to keep them out of the house? Like in a safety deposit box or something?
For your grandchildren to read in years to come?

fourkidsmum Sat 25-Oct-08 09:21:11

secondcoming's suggestion sounds very sensible maybe in a parent's attic or something...

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