I can't decide whether or not to replace my watch

This is really pointless, but I kind of felt like gabbing about it.

Back in 2008, my then-wife and I bought each other watches for our nine-year wedding anniversary. Shortly after our ten-year anniversary, our marriage disintegrated and we went our separate ways.

I’m a pretty sentimental guy, and I got rid of most anything that was associated with “us” after the divorce. But I still have this damn watch. Granted, it’s one of the most practical physical items I have from the marriage. It works just fine, and it’s a nice-enough looking watch, albeit not an expensive one. So most days, I don’t even think about it. I have, for the last two years, occasionally glanced at it and thought, “I really want to get rid of this relic from that part of my life,” but then I shrug and put it on anyway and forget about it.

I’ve gone watch-shopping a few times in the last year or so, but I’ve found that my tastes seem to have migrated to watches that are more like $500 than this one, which I think cost about $75 at the time. And in my head, even though I’m in a position to afford it at the moment, I can’t really justify spending that kind of money on a timepiece when I am already wearing a perfectly functional one. Even if I want to be rid of it for other reasons. Lack of inertia seems to really be winning out in this battle.

Anyway, anyone have any thoughts on this? Or maybe your own stories about getting rid of pieces of your past?

I still have a bracelet my ex-husband gave me. I think it’s the only thing I have left from him. We divorced 12 years ago and I’ve had no contact with him since except to threaten to haul him into court once or twice when he defaulted on terms in the decree.

I still really like the bracelet, it’s a tennis-type bracelet with multi-colored stones. I won’t get rid of it even though it came from him. I admired it in the store and he actually picked up on that. I just don’t think about where it came from when I wear it!

I have jewelry from exes. If it’s something I like, I keep it. If not, I don’t. Wearing or looking at a piece I like doesn’t remind me of the guy/previous relationship at all. I did date one guy who got all weird about me wearing “jewelry some other dude gave you,” so I just refused to tell him which pieces were gifts. Does the watch bother your new wife at all?

Yeah if it’s practical, I still keep it after the breakup. I am still using a set of tools, a pair of comfy pj pants, and a huggy pillow that remind me of my exes when I concentrate. But in the end, it doesn’t bother me really.

Still, if you wanna get a nice $500 watch, go for it! When I got my first real job and had disposable income for the first time in my life, I had trouble convincing myself that it was OK to spend money on stuff I wanted but didn’t need. But it really is ok.

Not at all. We’ve talked about it specifically (as well as her attitude generally toward things I have from my first marriage – communication is good), and it’s not an issue for her. At the same time, she’s been encouraging when I’ve gotten in the mood to think about replacing it.

I think that, regardless of the ex-factor, I have trouble convincing myself to replace things that are still perfectly good. My current wife can tell you about a TV I’ve been drooling over for some time, and I’ve had several recent opportunities to buy it. But every time I’m actually in the position to do it, I start thinking about how I don’t really need it and that the TVs we have now work just fine. I haven’t pulled the trigger. I think the issue with the watch is the same. The fact that the watch doesn’t have the same meaning to me it once did is more of a motivating factor, but (so far) not enough to get me over that hump.

It’s useful, and it’s not bothering anyone. I’d just keep using it until it broke. Once it breaks, though, you should definitely get rid of it.

Does it tick you off?

It probably does, from time to time.

I thought the problem was that it keeps ticking on and on?