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Have you held on to something painful?

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Those who have been in long term relationships, have you held onto something painful, maybe a reminder of why you broke-up and cannot bring yourself to throw it away or destroy it (in my case it's a document that I created of some words that were said)? Any idea why? And if you did part with it, what got you to that point? Thanks!


EDIT: Also doesn't help that my entire break-up is on ENA for me to go back and read LOL!!!

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I think you're hanging onto it so that you'll have a physical reminder of what happened; maybe you feel it gives you strength to do what you must do.


It's different that I was widowed, but in the end it comes down to mourning what you've lost - for me, the keepsake was a pair of steel toed boots. Those boots represented a part of my relationship with my late husband, the part where I searched long and hard for just the perfect pair (I bought all his clothes) and it had taken me two years to find these boots. Just the perfect width, the perfect weight etc. They were his favourite pair, and he always polished them before big meetings (he was an oilfield engineer)


I kept them for four years after he died, and when I was ready to let them go, I donated them.


I doubt you'll keep your document for that long; but after you're finished mourning the end of your marriage, I'm sure it won't matter any longer.

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Yes. I have pictures of us together, screencaps of us chatting or nice things she said, our movie ticket of the first thing we saw together and six entire years of chat logs.


I have it all stored on a memory stick though. The physical mementoes in a box. I refuse to delete/ throw it because I acknowledge it as a part of my past and while I no longer see eye to eye with my ex, I will never forget the happiness I had with her. I don't look at the stuff because its too painful just now. I feel deleting it doesn't do justice to my feelings or past though. Y'know?


One day I'm sure I can look back fondly instead of painfully


Edit: just noticed you said long term, I don't know if I'm even old enough to qualify to use that term for a relationship but...yeah...

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I keep mementos (cards, receipts, gifts) from all my exes in a box. The saddest time is when I put something into the box because it means it's over. I hardly look at them, but on occasion when I'm feeling nostalgic or need a good cry I will go through them. When I'm nostalgic they will make me smile with fondness or they will help me sob and get my emotions out. I agree with snow93. I think deleting or destroying them feels like it doesn't do justice to my feelings or the journey that made me who I am. Also I find that I am someone who when fully healed can look back with fondness over the past no matter how hurt and in those moments I'm glad I kept things.

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I keep non-sexual pictures of my exes...mostly just pics of us together. I don't look at them really, they are just on a USB drive and are stored elsewhere. I think of it as part of my "history".


I also keep all the physical love letter I've received. Those are in a box. Again, I don't look. It's just a history thing.

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I have pretty much every e-mail he ever sent me, and a number of IM conversations saved, as well as every card he ever wrote me. I haven't been with him for about 3 1/2 years (though we were still sort of seeing each other on and off until two years ago), but yeah, I still have them. I don't read them, and I doubt I ever will again. I read a few of them a few months back, and it was too hard because I could pinpoint exactly where we were in our relationship with each of those e-mails.


Embarassingly enough, I even kept a couple of old cell phone bills (from 2006!) listing hundreds of texts we'd sent to one another. I finally threw those away when I moved recently, but...I know I was keeping them for the same reason I still have the e-mails -- to prove to myself that we actually had something, that I wasn't just imagining it, that it was REAL. He never gave me any significant presents (jewelry or anything), and our time together was, for me, fraught with insecurity and fear of him dumpling me, and I guess I wanted to hang on to "proof" that there really had been something. Now, I realize that no matter what I have or don't have from that time, what I felt was real, regardless of whether or not it was reciprocated.

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I've kept the last texts she sent to me, and I keep going back to them. It was sweet and apologetic but I wasn't in the mood for it at the time, and I said so. I keep it mostly to remind me of how sure she seemed about what she was doing, she comes off sure about her choice in her text. It keeps me grounded in reality, and aware of how little chance there is that she'll change her mind.


I have stuff from the good times too, but it's all out of sight, out of mind. Most of the reminders and keep sakes I gave back to her.

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I kept the texts we exchanged before and after the BU because they're very realistic, both with the good and bad that went on. I've thrown most stuff away because it was too painful for me to have. But have some pics in a box.

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I have kept everything from my ex partner. Gifts, photographs... everything. I find some of the gifts painful to look at, but I will never throw anything away. The photos make me sad because I look at how happy I was with him... and despite him hurting me in the end in such a bad way, I will never throw photos away.

Infact, I have put all my photos into albums. One day when and if I have children I can show them all these photographs and tell them my story of when I was younger

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For a long time I had a big back of 'ex stuff' stored in my closet. Pictures, mementos, old T shirts of his, cards, letters, stuffed animals etc. I kept them for over a year. Well one day after a particularly angry spell (he had come back into my life and things didn't end well) Well I flipped out and had a pretty bad melt down, started screaming, crying and took the bag and ripped up pretty much everything in it. All the letters, cards, pictures. I took a scissor to all his old shirts- everything. I felt really bad afterwards because I felt like in a way I tore up all my memories, though I know it was unhealthy to have those things around.


I still have a bunch of pictures of us on my old computer, which luckily doesn't really work but I refuse to let it go because all of that is on there and I would some day like to take it off- just to have for memories. So yeah I do feel like I've held on to things way longer then I should. Sometimes its very hard to let go of the past.

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