At twenty-something, and more so at forty-something, most single people come with relationship baggage! For most is the fear that your current love will reveal some of the worst characteristics of your last love... immature, irresponsible, unfaithful, (insert here your own nightmare)!
Sometimes the baggage is high expectations. For example, someone I know remarried and expected her new husband to be equally generous and romantic as her deceased first husband which left her in a constant state of disappointment. Either way, good or bad expectations are hard to shake and can sabotage a relationship.
In our marriage, the worst baggage we carried were material things acquired in past relationships. For us the biggest one was the house my husband was awarded after his divorce. The house is in a different city, and for a while the possibility of living in it was there, which made every cell in my body convulse. I am glad we never did move there, but dealing with renters, realtors trying to sell the house, and a mortgage for a home we did not live in was definitely strenuous in our marriage!
Another example of our "material baggage" were our beds. When we decided to move in together, my honey's lease on his apartment expired first so all his furniture went in to storage and he moved in to my apartment. Some months later my lease expired and we were able to move in to a home large enough to merge all our possessions. It was then when we faced the decision of which bed we would use in the master bedroom (with plans for a wedding it wasn't reasonable to make the expense). Call me irrational but refusing to make a bed my husband "came with" that might have been his marital bed (I'd never want to know - la-la-la. Fingers in ears) "OUR bed" was something that I would not budge on. My honey tried "reasoning" and argued that he could make the same argument about "my bed". Here is where I saw the difference! My bed was MINE and mine alone! It wasn't purchased with anyone else, it had never been a bed for no one else than me! Sure it had been shared but no one had "co-owned" it with me! I don't want to say I won that argument, but it was my furniture that made it in to the master bedroom.
Not long after we married and again the beds came up. The honey suggested we swap the mattress from our master bedroom with one from the spare bedrooms (which came with him) while we saved to replace our entire bedroom suite. I admit they were more comfortable but Nope! That wasn't going to happen! His argument was that I had not had a problem sleeping on them when I would stay at his apartment before we lived together. That was true; I had no problem then. I told him I didn't care then because at the time I didn't know how our romance would turn out.
Out of curiosity (not needing support) I asked some of my girlfriends how they would feel if they were in my shoes.. They all understood my point. One even suggested it may be a female thing, but only because her ex-husband #2 didn't mind moving in to the house or the bed left behind by ex-husband #1. I have to disagree there and point out it may be the character of ex-husband #2 which may be also why he is an ex-husband.
Anyways, as far as I am concerned we ended up with the less "evil" type of baggage. No police record, unmanageable debts, traumatic memories, lingering exes or other type of things haunting us. I know we were lucky to be pretty "damage free" folk when we met, and I am glad falling in love didn't come at a price... Ok, maybe the price for me was waiting longer than average for the right man.