What should I do with these old letters

I know they say “keep your old love letters and throw away your old bank statements,…” but I have a dilemma.

I’m going to make this as short and sweet as I can. I had a best friend in college and after for about 3 years. We were inseparable and did everything together. He was a young lawyer so we went everywhere together. In college we practically lived together. I always loved him and he always considered me his very best friend but never felt the same way I did. I waited around for him until our paths diverged and then we lost touch. He got married and so did I and that was that. I carried this little mini torch for him, up until this week. I finally got the guts to look him up on Facebook and we had a great 3 hour phone conversation. He is very successful and divorced and lonely and sad. He hasn’t moved on or grown up one bit in 15 years and the torch I had for him is now dunked in a big cold bucket of water. Which is great, it made me TOTALLY appreciate my wonderful husband even more!

My problem is this…I have this big stack of letters he wrote me and he wants copies of them back because his ex wife destroyed everything he owned and they are more like journal entries than letters. I’m feeling so liberated from his torch that I want to just send them to him and get them out of my house. I did read them from time to time because it was a very happy time for me, even though my heart eventually got broken. My question is this, do I send the actual letters or do I send copies and keep the letters? Will I regret sending the real things or will it finally and completely shut a door that has been cracked open for 15 years???

What do ya’ll think???

HMMM what is right for one person most certainly may not be right for another. Personally I wouldn’t send the letters to him I would most burn them. I think since you carried a torch for him for so long that in all fairness to your husband you need to get rid of the letters. If the situation were reversed would you want your husband sending a box of old love letters to his old flame? I personally couldn’t stand the thought of someone covetting my husband and reading letters etc and thinking about him and wanting him.

In fact when the hubby and I got married we both had boxes of letters from previous interests and we each got rid of them. There are a few momentos that we made exceptions for b/c they coincided with other life events.

Do you feel like you can talk to hubby about this? If he is fine with it, then send him the letters, keeping in mind that he may try to contact you for more, and you may have to slam the door in his face (your old flame, not your husband). If your husband isn’t comfortable with it, tell the guy sorry, but no, and get rid of the letters. You don’t need to keep that old baggage in your life. That’s what I’d do anyway…

That’s a tough one. If it were me, I would keep them…then again, I’m a total pack rat and can barely bring myself to part with anything. :teehee:

It really depends on what you’re most comfortable with. For now you may want to send copies and put the originals in a safe place, out of the way, but accessible enough to where if one day you decide you really want to look at those letters again, you’ll still have them. If there comes a point where you feel you just want the letters out of your life, you can send the originals.

A long time ago I ripped a bunch of pages out of an old diary and threw them away. It was when I was with my ex husband, and, the entries were from when we were younger (like high school…lol) and I was incredibly mad at him for breaking up with me so I wrote all sorts of mean things, and, about a new boyfriend I liked better…lol…Once we were older and were living together I ripped them out in case he ever found my diary. Well, we’ve been divorced for 10+ years now and I really wish I wouldn’t have ripped out those pages of my diary!

I don’t know, I personally just really like having written pieces of my life I can go back to and read. There are so many little things I write that, as the years pass, I forget about until I break out my old diaries. Not everything written was about good times, most of it bad, but, I really like having those pieces of [I]my[/I] history to remind me who I am, and, what made me what I am today.

By all means, send him the originals…cleans out your chest, saves questions from a future curious grandchild and lets the water pass under the bridge for you! He’ll read them, possibly be saddened but will help him move on, too.

You guys are great! One thing I didn’t say is that he totally didn’t feel the same way about me ever. They are just friendly letters. My husband knows and thinks it’s funny. We are very happily married and he just thinks this whole thing is silly and sentimental, which he totally isn’t.

So, they aren’t love notes, they are just letters from an old friend. I don’t really even have any desire to talk to him anymore so why am I debating? The guy wants them back just because they are a history of his early life, not because he is sentimental about me. He’s self centered, I realize that now. His ex desroyed all his old stuff so they are something from his past. He is expecting copies but I think I will just send them to him. I’m worried I might miss them though…

I’m sending them. I decided that I was too lazy to make copies and that means I don’t really care anymore. If he sends copies back to me, great, but he won’t. He is very self centered now. He will be thrilled but won’t give a rip how I feel about it.

Good riddance to a heartbreak. BTW, it was nice to talk to him because he did admit he made a huge mistake in letting me go, and I agree. I have aged well and turned out to be a great wife and mother. Hahahahaha! Joke’s on him!!! :roflhard:

Thanks for all the good advice!


I would send him the letters and consider it a symbolic way of removing him from your life.

I was married and divorced at a very early age. My husband left me when my son was 4 days old and never came back. He said he wasn’t “ready” to be a Dad. For 25 years I carried a torch and always wondered “what if”, over the years I built him up in my mind to God like status. I hung on to every card, letter or scrap of paper he every wrote. A few years ago my Mom died and out of the blue he showed up at her funeral.

I won’t go into details but he tried to get back into my life and I quickly dicovered that the picture I had of him in my mind was about as far from reality as you can get.

When I came home after the funeral I went through the house and purged myself of everything that was “him”. For the first time in 25 years I felt healthy and whole.

So I say send him the letters and bid him a fond farewell!!

Isn’t that a wonderful feeling? Nice to know that you have such great self esteem!
Sure sign of a happy life!

I think you are a preacher for the “gospel of previous men” and I am a faithful follower!!

Let the Church say AMEN!!

I’m glad you’re sending him the letters. I think that’s a good decision. I do keep a few letters from people, but I’ve also learned that there are times when the memories in your head and heart are enough and you can shred/burn/get rid of the originals. Old flames (or, as my g-grandpa called them, “cinders” (burnt out flames)) are often in the category of getting rid of the originals.

(So says the woman who can’t remember if she threw out an old arrow head given to her by one of her cinders and is trying to figure out where to begin looking for it, just in case she didn’t throw it out.)

Just another opinion here…and I say this from experience that is too long a story to go into. Suffice it to say that I’ve been in the position of the person being contacted by an ex after many years had gone by. It was not great and left me feeling that he had been thinking about me TOO much and had glamourized our past relationship. Something that I did not do and it made me uncomfortable. I’m happily married and although he told me he was too, it still made me wonder why someone who is happy would go out of their way to find me.

I think he may think that you have ulterior motives for contacting him and, if he’s lonely, he might like the idea of a rekindled romance. It’s a strange thing to ask for letters that HE sent to you, no? And the 3 hour conversation you had with him must have included that you’ve kept all these letters (and perhaps a mention of the torch you carried for him? Especially with him saying that he shouldn’t have let you go. Of course, I’m just guessing here.). I’m not judging by any means, but why did you get in touch with him? Curiosity, obviously, but perhaps some unresolved feelings? I’m thrilled for you that your husband is very understanding, and it seems as though you’ve received the info on him that you were looking for. It’s one thing for this guy to get in touch with you but you did the contacting, right? And found out that he’s divorced and unhappy, possibly lonely. And now he may think that he’s got a chance with you because you contacted him and you spoke of past feelings. I wouldn’t send him the letters and I wouldn’t even call him about it. You can get rid of them now because you know you’re happier with your new life and not living in the “what if” past. But it’s not necessary for him to have the letters. I think it’s opening a can of worms that you may not be anticipating. Lose his phone number and enjoy your life. Remember, you don’t know him now and he doesn’t know you. You and your husband know each other better than anyone. Keep that sacred.

Again, I’m not trying to be “judgy” or anything. I’m just concerned that things may take a turn that you aren’t expecting if you send things that are rather intimate possessions of yours to him (even if he’s the author). Be careful.

That’s a good point. I guess I contacted him because I just couldn’t imagine that he had gotten a divorce like I had heard and because I was curious. Turns out his wife was a real stinker but that doesn’t matter. I can appreciate why he wants the letters so I sent them but if he continues to contact me I will not respond. I’m not interested in a romantic relationship at all and I don’t think we can be friends, as I originally thought. We were so close that I thought we could could just pick our friendship right up again but now I realize that our friendship was me worshiping him and hem being worshiped. SO, now we have nothing in common and a friendship would be pointless and sad.

I’m like you. Even if the letters meant nothing to me romantically, there always seems to be something in them that can take me back to the past and remind me of other things that were going on in my life. Kind of a look back into a journey I’ve made through my life - who I was then, who I’ve become. 9 times out of 10, it will go beyond the person who wrote the letters, and bring other faces and friends to mind. I personally couldn’t give them away…so many memories, all entwined.

I do totally agree with you about that. They really do remind me of a great time in my life but now that the rose colored glasses are off it’s not the same. He has sort of turned out to be a 43 year old with a 17 year old brain (and who knows what else) and kind of a tool. I’m glad I sent the letter and it really made me appreciate the wonderful man I did marry!!