1. Cosmos
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    Cosmos Contributing Member

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    Ex's stuff; what to do? Advice please!

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Cosmos, May 18, 2010.

    I hope you guys can forgive me for asking for some more advice. I promise this will be the last request for a very long time. If this is against the rules let me know mods and shut the thread down, no hard feelings

    I have an ex-boyfriend who I respect, though we are no longer friends. We just didn’t keep in touch, though we remain respectful towards one another. Some time before we broke up his mother gave to me a number of baby photos of his, which I had intended to makes copies of and send the originals back to her, but he and I broke up before then. After a series of months (years, actually) I forgot about the photos, and no one ever asked me about them.

    About a few weeks ago I stumbled over them. They are originals, and I remember his mother saying she had no copies. I’m due to visit his part of the country soon (we come from the same area originally), and I had thought about returning them to her, but I’m also feeling uneasy about giving the wrong message or making anyone in his family uneasy. I’d mail them to the family but I don’t really remember the address (just remember where it is in town) and would not want them to get lost. It would be so much easier to just trash them, but I know if I were in the ex/mother’s place I’d want them back. Throwing them away makes me feel like a heel.

    My current boyfriend is supportive whatever I do. He knows that these photos mean nothing to me personally, and that I’m happy to be with him. From the grape vine I’ve learned my ex is in a relationship (we retain some mutual friends). There’s no fear of something untoward happening though, as I said, I do worry that my getting in this kind of contact will make him wonder about my motives, no matter how I go about this.

    I just really want to get these back to his family without causing a stir… or am I being silly and should I just throw them away? I just want to do the right thing without causing any more discomfort than strictly necessary for anyone.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    They are a family treasure, and my feeling is that the right thing to do is return them. I don't know wat message you are afraid of. The message that I see you conveying is that you are respectful of family and heirlooms.
     
  3. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you remember where the house is, drop them off at a quite time in an envelope. Just post them through the door, perhaps with a very short note saying "found these the other day. Regards, YOUR NAME". No need for anything more, no need for contact details etc. You are right that the family would want these back and it would be seen as a nice / noble gesture to return them. Nothing more. At least I think so.
     
  4. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well...if you guys are respectful toward each other and at least on somewhat decent terms, I don't think it would cause weirdness to just drop them off. I think it would be a nice thing to do, and his mom would surely appreciate it.

    I think situations like these tend to stir up issues and cause problems more when it was a rocky breakup that led to hostility or just drama in general. For instance, when I broke up with my last boyfriend, he was convinced I would come back to him. Then, when I wouldn't, he told all of his friends that I kept trying to get back with him, and I think he has even managed to convince himself of that to a point, because he still occasionally tries to get in touch with me, like he thinks it will make me come back. If your situation were like this one, then I think you going to any lengths to return the pictures would stir stuff up because it would be so easy to look at it and go "she had those pictures for years, and suddenly she decided to return them? Yeah, right. That was just an excuse." But in your situation, I think it would legitimately look like you just found some pictures and wanted to do the right thing. If you're nervous about seeing or talking to his family, though, you could (I can't believe I'm actually typing this, because it even sounds a little silly in my head, but it's probably what I would do) either swing by the house to get the address and mail them or put them in an envelope and just drop them in the mailbox with a note saying that you had found them and wanted to return them. That's assuming, of course, that his mom doesn't live somewhere with those big, freaky community mailboxes instead of a mailbox in front of each house.

    Edit: I love that it took me so long to type me response that by the time I had finished, two other people had posted and said exactly what I think in a far more succinct way.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It can be a hard situation.

    There is what the front part of your brain knows is right, but there is also what the back part of your brain doesn't want to deal with.

    I understand completely.

    I have an X that was incarcerated for ten years. Some of his things ended up with some of my things. I still have them and this is now many, many years ago. Nothing terribly important, but they are his things. I can't throw them away because it just seems horrible to do that and I can't find a way to get these things back to him without having to actually deal with him which is something I do not want to do on a very visceral level.
     
  6. Cosmos
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    Cosmos Contributing Member

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    This:

    It sounds bad, doesn’t it? I actually remember seeing them before when I was moving, but my life was so busy I didn’t have time to think about them and just dumped them into a box. But I went looking for something a while back and found them again. I wish I hadn’t, but pandora’s box and all that.

    Tbh, the break-up itself was messy and for a while there he and I were not on good terms for a span of a few months. Then after one little spat we just put it all behind us and meant to stay in contact, but you know how it is...we all have lives, and ours was no longer intertwined. I would be surprised if he reacted with hostility at my attempt to return the photos, but I also wonder if he would assume I wanted to get back together (I don’t) or that I’m trying to butt myself into his life (I’m not).

    I guess I’m asking if you were in the situation of the ex would you feel threatened or annoyed or pleased or not care either way? I’m leaning towards the idea of just dropping them into their mailbox, since it gets them back to them, without having any one of us interact needlessly.
     
  7. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you put it behind you, then I don't think there's anything to worry about. A breakup being messy is one thing...breakups are messy a lot of the time...it's what happens after the breakup that counts. In your case, I really don't think there's anything to worry about. If you don't want to see anyone, I think dropping them off in the mailbox is a great idea.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I think you're worried over nothing. Breakups are emotional, and old belongings bring up painful memories. It's only natural that you weren't ready to deal with it before.

    But even if they take that attitude, so what? It's their problem, not yours. And even if they came right out and said such a thing, just shrug and say, "You're welcome." And walk away. Then they can feel like shet when they think back on it later.
     
  9. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see any problem there, and I believe it'd be the right thing to do if you brought them back to her. Plus it'd be a lovely gesture of respect to her family.

    If you ended on good terms then I can't see why they'd jump to silly conclusions. All you have to do is tell the truth about why you're bringing them back to her, which is out of courtesy to her family.

    If it's that uneasy for you, slot them in an envelope with a quick note inside to his mum, saying 'I've just come across these and realised they belonged to you. Sorry they didn't come back sooner!' and pop it in their letterbox. Done and dusted.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    do what gannon suggests... or better yet, go by the house, jot down the address and send them in the mail with the note he suggested...
     
  11. squire848
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    squire848 Member

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    You say you have mutual friends, can you not just hand them over to such a friend to pass on?
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't agree with this. You should take the responsibility to deliver them in person, to make sure they get to where they belong.
     
  13. squire848
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    squire848 Member

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    I do see where you are coming from; however it seems she is very worried over this on how it will affect her ex. If there is someone there that can help there will be no misunderstandings; which she seems to be quite frightened of.

    Cogito does have a point if you are worried about them not getting there successfully. But if there is someone you trust that can do it there is no harm in asking for their help. You are still taking the initiative to pass these on, something that is not easy for you and should be commended.
     

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