Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Memories of an "Ex"

A few weeks ago I was helping my Mom clean out some closets in my parents' house. While in one particular closet I may or may not have found a moderately-sized box that houses all of my my memories of my high school boyfriend (aka first love). Pictures, letters, movie ticket stubs, dried flowers, notes passed in class... you name it. We dated on and off for three years in high school and college, so I amassed a small collect of memories and boxed them up years ago.




I didn't go through the box and reminisce. But I didn't toss it out either. I simply shoved it back up into the closet to deal with at a later time.


So here is a question sure to divide readers...

Do I save these memories (at my parents house) that relate to my ex because they are cute, and funny, and were a large part of my former life?

Or do I throw them out because obviously I've been dating and have been happily married to the Mr. for over a combined six years years now, and I don't harbor feelings for a former flame?

Is holding on to memories of an ex disrespectful to my marriage? Or does it allow me to remember a part of my youth?

46 comments:

Mandy and Brad said...

I threw all of mine out-but wish I hadn't. It would be fun to just sit down when I am old and read to get a good laugh.

Adore Design Studio said...

I kept all my letters from friends and families over the years...but I threw out all the stuff pertaining to ex's...i just felt it was respectful to my husband...and then he said it didn't bother him. Oh well :)

Jessica @ How Sweet said...

I save that stuff, but not because I want to remember the person. I like seeing who I was at that time and how I acted. I think it is fun. :)

Ria Thurston said...

I think I would ask your hubby :) That's what I would do. If it bothered him... then no question they would be thrown out!

Interesting conversation. Looking forward to reading the conversation.
-Ria

Jorden and Kristin said...

I got rid of all of that stuff because my husband didn't like it sitting around! Even though it wasn't in our house he still just didnt like the idea of me having it! It didn't help that my ex is crazy and randomly calls and texts!

Ask your hubby and see what he thinks!

Maggie said...

I still have most of my "ex" stuff. It is at my parents. I think if the Mr. is okay with it then keep it. I agree with Jessica in that I like to remember who I was back then!
PS: Thanks for the tips on what to pack for LA my sister had the time of her life!

Linda said...

I would keep them if they remind you of your younger days and make you smile. If you want to keep them for any other reason, toss them. If Mr doesn't like it then keep them at your folk's place.

Risley said...

There will come a time when you are ready to get rid of most of it.. I still have a lot of stuff from my "first love" dance photos, rings, and little things! girls are different than boys, in where my hubby tossed all the stuff from his ex when we moved in to out home! but like fun photos with friends, Im sure you will want to show those photos to people in the future.. I love looking at my moms old dance photos with old boyfriends! the HAIR! the CLOTHES! WOW!!

Fox Family said...

My Husband and I both have stuff from past relationships. They hang out in a tote in our basement. I think it is such a huge part of who we are today that there is no reason to be ashamed of it. I think that it in no way shape or form means anything but memories. Everyone is entitled to them, but I think if you get rid of them you will regret it!

Classy Fab Sarah said...

I always wonder what I should do with all of this stuff.... sometimes I feel like tossing it, and sometimes I love having it.

For now, it sits in the closet.

Good Gals Inc said...

I think it's alright to keep stuff from certain past relationships. If you and your husband are okay with it. I always see myself going through stuff like that with my daughter when she is having boy problems! My mom kept a couple of pieces of jewelry from high school boyfriends and then gave them to me. I think if you're secure enough to know that you have no feelings for him and know that your marriage is solid (which it totally seems like it is! Lucky girl!) then it's fine.

Jessica said...

I don't have an ex as my hubby and I were together through HS but I enjoyed going through some of my mom's things she had from her HS boyfriends. It was really great to see that side of my mom. I say keep them!

mrs.leah.maria said...

Personally, I couldn't just toss it cold turkey, as mine was also at my parent's house. I went through a process when I was engaged/new graduate and threw out a ton of sentimental stuff, to be honest I might actually have some of it packed away. But if I do, I wish that I didn't.

I agree with a pp that it does bear some disrespect to the husband, whether there are or aren't lingering feelings.

On a totally unrelated note, I remember being thoroughly confused by pictures of my Mom with someone other than my Dad when I was younger (pictures were still around because my Mom dated my Grandma's best friend's son and were in my Grandma's album).

thehardyparty said...

I threw away a lot of letters, but I kept a lot of pictures, presents, and things like that. My husband did the same. We don't have the pictures in frames around the house by any means, but we're both still friends with most of the people we ever dated- so it felt weird to throw away all of the pictures of us and all of the gifts we'd been given

Mrs. Lukie said...

I agree with Leah...

Meant to be a mom said...

Honestly, those memories will be in your mind forever no matter what. But I feel like you should throw the stuff away. I mean, that was in your past. Your not going back to those moments. Honestly do you really want to? I would get rid of it for your own sake and for your hubbies. I mean looking at those items (even if you are married)is only going to take you back to the feelings you once felt. I wouldn't want to revisit those feelings with anyone other than my hubby. Ultimately its your choice. Good luck. I hope you decide whats best for you :)

Mrs. Potts said...

Eh - the Mr. & I didn't care either way (exes weren't a big deal for us - I got the guy, he got the girl). Neither of us kept any old mementos. I say toss em.

Mandie said...

I would say that any pictures from that time are great to keep. But I would throw out any lovey dovey notes or keepsakes. Remembering who you were can be done through pictures. Any notes just make it look like you are trying to remember the relationship! That's just my two cents!

Nicci@NiftyEats said...

I had a memory box of my ex too. I finally sat down and threw it out. I kept the pics but I tossed the old letters and dried up roses.

THE Stephanie said...

Oooo... that's a good one! I have a box (or two) in my garage that holds all of my "stuff" from high school and college. It has lots of memories from my high school boyfriend, but we dated all through HS and into college, so if I threw them out, I feel like I would be getting rid of all my HS memories.

I don't ever look at, and haven't since we moved into our house nearly 8 years ago. That being said, if my hubby asked me to toss it, I would. It's just not that important to me now. KWIM?

Kimberly said...

I don't think it disrespectful to your marriage at all. I would keep everything - the past has made you who you are today. I have all my prior marriage stuff in my attic. My husband knows its there. I think its ok. I have been married 21 years. I would never expect my husband to get rid of his stuff.

Sarah Ann said...

I have the same issue. I have a memory box full of letters and other things from a relationship I had in HS. I don't really feel like I should have to get rid of them, but at the same time I know that my husband could quite possibly not want me to keep them (even at my parents). So for now I just pretend like they don't exist and figure I'll come to a conclusion someday.

Mrs. Bear said...

I think I have a TON of stuff at my parent's house that I should probably throw away but just can't do it quite yet. I kind of want to be able to show my daugher (someday) all of the corny stuff I saved from previous boyfriends - but I also don't want my hubs to feel like I am holding on to these things for sentimental reasons. I know that if he had a box for his ex I would throw it in the fire place at his parent's house, mwahahahha.

Patience said...

Hold onto them because they are a part of your journey. Sure he is an ex and there is a reason you are no longer together, but why try and erase those moments and memories that made you who you are today. Those are precious memories that once throw out can never be replaced. I don't see any harm in keeping them. I dated my first love for six years and I have every single picture, note, movie stub, etc. and they stay in their little box in the basement.

Katie said...

I say save them, you never know when you will want to look at them.

Heather said...

Personally I would toss them. It's ok to remember the past but holding onto the old stuff I wouldn't do. Just my opinion.

Rachel said...

Unless you're husband is really distraught, I say save them. They're a part of who you are and where you've been. It makes you, you!

Laura said...

I keep mine. It was a big part of my life at one point and has made me who I am today.

Nicole said...

i have the same problem!!!!

Shoshanah said...

Its hard for me because I pretty much hate throwing things away. I do remember have do to this somewhat recently, and if I remember right I looked through everything, but the only thing I kept were the pictures.

Anonymous said...

Toss it!! Why do you want that cluttering your closet and your life? After all, your past experiences are in your memory anyway.

CJ said...

Keep'em They can be fun to read when you are old gray and 60 :D

Stephanie said...

For what it's worth, I still have my "ex" box. It's not something I dig through often, but it's fun to go back and look at how far I've come since then. All those memories and experiences made me who I am today...the woman my husband fell in love with!

Pam28G said...

Hello! This happened to be right before I got married and was moving out of my moms. I was packing and putting some boxes in the attic when i found a box full of pictures and letters from my ex. I threw it all out. I am a married woman now and do not need to have material things from an ex. You'll still have the memories.

MrsB said...

i threw all mine away. i still have the memories, if i choose to think of them. i put myself in Mr's shoes too ... if i found a box of old girlfriend stuff, i would be a huge jealous head. but im stupid like that.

Amber said...

I kept mine! I just can't wait until my children are at that same age one day, going through their first love relationship and getting to see what I went through :) Those are memories you want to keep for these moments.

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

I'm not much of a saver. When we moved in August I found some old cards and pictures. The thought of packing it up and moving them 700 miles away when I am happily married to someone else seemed silly, so I tossed them.

Chic Runner said...

Ha ha, funny you ask this because me and the roomie were just talking about it. I am super paranoid about throwing things away in the sense that I throw everything away. I am a purger! ha ha. I threw away all my old boxes and just felt so much better. Kind of weird but true!

Sonya said...

I kept some stuff for awhile. It was mostly journals that I kept then. A few years ago I did shred them, but I kept pictures that I had because they still brought back the memories. Now there was one ex where I destroyed nearly everything including journals, pictures, and more. That one felt really good!

I think it depends on the situation. I guess I wouldn't want my kids reading the journals that I wrote years ago about other boyfriends, but I don't care if they see pictures. I'm a saver though, so it's a surprise I didn't keep it. But I read through it all, laughed at myself, and then let it go!

Lucky in Love said...

I didn't really have boyfriends before I met and married hubs...but he had girlfriends. I know he was super serious with a girl right before we met...like almost engaged serious. They don't talk anymore or anything but one day I found a teddy bear that was from her in our closet. I had never noticed it before. Not that it was hidden...but you know? It was weird. Why would he save that?

And then...when we moved into our house...I packed it to take and he now has it in an upstairs closet in a shopping bag. We haven't talked about it or anything, but it hurts my feelings a little that he still has it. BUT, perhaps that's stupid. I don't know :) He probably doesn't even know where or what it is. Better yet, he probably thinks it's mine. Ha!

Lil' Woman said...

I have a couple things back at my parents home that I keep but I would get rid of it if it bothered Big Man....but I like looking back and seeing what kind of person I was.

jen + ryan said...

oh my goodness, that is the strangest thing. i am LITERALLY going through the EXACT same situation as you right now. i dated my ex on-and-off for 3 years, and i had a large wooden box (with all of the things you mentioned) in a closet at my mom's house. but, she's moving, so i need to decide what to do with that box.

i've been with my husband now for almost 7 years, so obviously i'm not pining away for my ex, but it was REALLY hard when i thought about getting rid of all of those memories! the compromise that i found was this: get rid of all the dried flowers, movie stubs, random things like that and just save the pictures. that way, if some day my daughter (or son) has a broken heart, i can show them pictures of my "first love" and show them that i turned out just fine.

so i saved the pictures, and they're staying with my mom. i don't feel right bringing that stuff into our home, ya know?

anyway, so crazy that you wrote this, because i dealt with all of this last weekend!!! :)

good luck!

Crazy Shenanigans said...

I personally would get rid of it. I've had stuff like that before and once I've got rid of it, I've felt better about it.

Perfectly Imperfect said...

I still have some memories from my exes, but not everything. It's all tossed in a big rubbermaid container with my high school and college "keepsakes". I figure one day I can show my daughter or something.. But I couldn't even honestly tell you what's up there. I do know I threw away the letters and such. I just put pictures I had of exes in albums with everything else from that year.

Sarah said...

Blaaahhhh those things are hard to get rid of. I think my husband knows I love him but still cherish the memories. It's a hard balance - if you didn't know what felt right, nothing probably did - you can always figure it out later.

In this wonderful life... said...

great question! I have a box saved from high school that I keep at my parents. I haven't looked through it in a while but I'm pretty big on keepsakes! I keep all invitations, announcements, etc. I think I'll enjoy looking back someday no matter what it is!

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