Post # 1
A few months before we met, my fiance was in an unhealthy relationship for over a year. His ex GF was actually living with her long-term boyfriend at the time they were involved! As my fiance described it, there was a lot of manipulation, lies, stringing along on her part and a lot of co-dependency, obsession and delusions on his part. She refused to leave her boyfriend for him and after a lot of pain and unhappiness, my now-fiance cut off ties with her. He describes as her as “bat sh*t crazy” and believes she may have had underlying mental health issues. But he was completely head-over-heels for her with a powerful sexual attraction and as he said he “would have done anything for her”.
So….as we started dating and got into an exclusive relationship, it became clear that he was still very much NOT over her (which he admits). He “vented” to me many intimate details of their relationship that were hurtful to me to hear and I’m having a hard time putting that information out of my mind. It caused such conflict a few months into our relationship that we almost broke up.
Fast forward a year and a half later. We are still together and recently he asked me to marry him. He insists that he is now completely over her. But, certain things still bother me. On his computer (not hidden – easily found. He knows I use his lap top to save and look at photos, etc), he has a file named her first name which contains at least 100 pictures of her. Not just of the two of them together, but mostly of her alone. He also saved texts of their IM conversations, some of them kind of explicit and personal.
When I told him that I felt uncomfortable and hurt by him saving these things he 1) got angry at me for invading his privacy and 2) says that she was an important part of his life and he will not deny their history together (or something like that. I don’t remember exactly – I was too upset!)
My fiance and I are both divorced and if he had pictures saved of his ex-wife (which he doesn’t), it honestly wouldn’t bother me because I know that that relationship is over and he carries no feelings towards his ex-wife. But for him to say that his ex-GF is “evil”, dishonest and that she nearly destroyed his life and THEN still save all these momentos of her, bothers me.
Am am totally over-reacting?
Post # 3
That’s really odd. Why would he WANT to hold on to that stuff? I don’t think he’s really all that over her.
Post # 4
I would not say that you are over-reacting at all, but I would also take into consideration the affect this relationship had on him on several key levels, emotional, physical and mental….working through that has got to be quite a task….one that perhaps a qualified counselor could help him traverse safely while avoiding the pitfalls and snares along the way?
I think your feelings about this material are very valid, but his reasons for keeping them around probably are too…and while it may be an indication that he is in NO WAY over this woman in the sense that he doesn’t still think about and analyze what happened, I’m sure he loves you very much, he just needs some help sorting it all out.
With the right kind of help, he’ll see he doesn’t need those things any longer, but it would have to be his decision to get rid of them.
Post # 5
I don’t think you’re over reacting. He doesn’t sound over her at all. If he was, that stuff wouldn’t be on his desk top.
He can’t expect you to move forward with him in life and get married, if he is so obviously living in the past.
Sorry you’re going through this. This isn’t fair to you at all.
Post # 6
@vanillablue: You’re not over-reacting.
Ask him how he would feel if the situation were reversed and he was in the position you’re currently in. What he would want you to do about it if he asked you to delete pics, etc. of your ex?
And stay calm. He is with you, he loves you, he asked you to marry him. He’s over her. Tell him you understand his point of view about valuing his past, and that’s ok, but he needs to see your side of this as well.
Post # 7
I do not think you are over reacting! I could just imagine what my DH would say if I had pics of my ex saved…yeesh!
I think you are totally justified being upset over this, he shouldn’t want to hold onto pieces of that relationship.
Is there a file on the computer named for you?
Post # 8
@vanillablue: I was in a relationship similar to his and I was in your FI’s position. It took me over a full year to stop all communication with him and then at least a year after that to stop thinking about him.
I would NEVER disrespect my FI by keeping anything that belonged to me and my ex. If I wanted to fully move on, all remnants of that terrible, terrible history had to go.
He’s still attached. Not going to lie, if he’s unwilling to let it go now, he never will.
That’s just my opinion from someone who had been in that kind of relationship before. It hurts. It really, really hurts to get rid of those memories and that connection even though that relationship may have been killing you emotionally. But if you want to move on enough, you can.
Post # 9
I don’t think you are overreacting. It is unhealthy to hold onto that relationship, especially the pictures on the desktop. What in the heck is that for?
I would talk to him again. The explicit texts and pictures need to go because you shouldn’t have wonder if he still thinks about her and loves her.
Post # 10
He is about to get MARRIED and it’s therefore not at all appropriate for him to keep pictures of his ex. And the fact that they are photos of her alone makes it much worse, in my opinion.
It doesn’t sound like he’s over her. And I feel really bad for you that he used you as a therapist to get over her when he first met you. I know that’s something I don’t think I could get over, that would always be at the back of my mind. You deserve someone who will love you 100%, which it doesn’t sound like this guy is capable of. Maybe you should move on now before you get married rather than having to deal with a divorce later.
Post # 11
I don’t think you’re over reacting at all. If my DH had pictures of a woman he dated before me saved on my computer and (presumably) looked at them occasionally, I would be upset. Exes are tricky people as once they’re exes, we tend to exagerate their bad qualities and glorify their good. If he was “very sexually attracted” to her, I would worry that was still lingering whenever he looked at the pictures. I wouldn’t like it at all.
However, I don’t think he’s in the wrong. As much as it would bother me, it’s not wrong for someone to have pictures of their exes. How many women here probably have an “ex box”? Sometimes it’s nice to reminisce, even if you’re in a completely happy relationship?
Either way, I would talk to him more about it. Tell him how uncomforable it makes you feel, and express what you’re concerned about. Don’t hide it from him or expect him to guess. He seems to really care for you, and I doubt that those pictures mean even a thousandth as much to him as you do. Good luck!
Post # 12
@vanillablue: I don’t know about over reacting, but it’s just weird. Not your reaction, the fact that he has what basically is a time capsule in her honor. You’re a far better person than I, there’s no way I would be able to be with someone that did this (I’d be crazy jealous).
Post # 13
Do you think they’re talking? I would throw out the stuff when he wasn’t home.
I did to someone the same thing that happened to your fiance ( i know, judge all you want. )
I was with a guy for 2 years, I fell out of love but being with him was a habit and we had a bunch of commitments together so I started to see this amazingly attractive guy at my school. HE also had a girlfriend with made it all the more toxic. We agreed that at first ,it was just about sex, but then he got all sappy and eventually, we both decided we would leave our bf/gf and move in together (this is during school, we both had leases and lived away from home) he dumped his girlfriend, but I didn’t dump my boyfriend (that part is too long of a story) anyways, that was over 2 years ago and I know he still has some of my stuff, he’s in a long term relationship right now but I still get messages from him saying the only reason he’s with her is because he can’t be with me. He’s called me crazy many times but he’s still not over me … maybe that’s like your fiance?
Post # 14
@vanillablue: Dude’s still hung up. I think it would have been better for you to break up when his obsession with her first came to light. No one in their right mind would put all of those images of the two of them together in your head and then expect you to be ok with it.
Post # 15
I had an obsessive relationship with a married man many years ago. I wore the diamond pendant he gave me around my neck and even though I married during one of our “off” times, I wasn’t happy and probably would have run off with him if he’d shown up at my door divorced. It was unhealthy but powerful. It was pre-computer age so I couldn’t do a lot of secretive things people can do now. This relationship went on and of for many years even though we didn’t do anything physical. He did divorce and even remarried and still we’d connect by phone every now and then. My marriage sucked all along since my ex was a passive/aggressive woman hater. I guess I secretly hoped my married man would rescue me – pathetic, I know.
It took me years to get over it and understand how unhealthy it all was and what a disaster it would have been had we truly gotten together. When I met my now DH, every thought of that man disappeared.
My husband has a photo album from his past. I don’t mind – he says these people were a part of his past and important to him at the time. If he had files like you described, I’d be gone until he could prove he really was finished with his past. Your guy may need some counseling to get over this woman but you’re absolutely right in seeing red flags here.
Post # 16
Nope- I dont like it at all. You are not over reacting.