- 6 years ago
Hi everyone…I’ve been a lurker for a long time, but this is my first time posting. I’ve been with my SO for 3 years, and we’re planning on gettig engaged very soon. He already has the ring, and has told me that it should happen before the end of summer.
I’m upset about something I found this morning, but I think it requires a bit of back story. Our relationship had a very passionate yet rocky start. He has a daughter from a previous marriage, and I have children of my own as well. He has taken things VERY slowly…I didn’t even meet his child until 6 months ago, and I’m just now being integrated into his family. One of the reasons that it’s taken so long is that his ex-wife whom he hasn’t been with in 7+ years had huge issues with his having a relationship. To this day she refuses to speak to me..it’s like I’m invisible. I’ve even tried reaching out to her via email to ask her to coffee and talk because I really would like for things to be cool with us, but her reaponse was “No thanks”. I have No clue why she is so cold to me, and neither does SO. My SO put our relationship progress on hold for the longest time because he said he didn’t want to upset her, and thusly their daughter. They still had a solid familial bond (and still do), and he didn’t want to rock the boat. He would frequently tell me that she was so upset about his and my relationship because she wanted him back. First off, she was the one who left, and secondly, she’s had a boyfriend over the entire course of our relationship…one who she’s now married to and having their baby soon. At family gatherings it’s still very odd because she’ll talk to my kids and be very sweet to them, I’ll talk to her husband, but she completely ignores me like I don’t even exist. I’ve just learned to deal with it.
Anyway, I think when she finally started moving on with her own life it prompted him to move on as well, and he finally started progressing things with me. Things could not be ANY better between us now. He is respectful of my feelings and needs, he’s gentle and sweet (I was in a very verbally and occasionally physically absusive marriage before him), and he makes it clear each and every day how much he loves me. He makes it very clear now that my feelings come before his ex’s, and that I feel like a member of his family now, and my kids and his daughter all spend time together frequently.
Anyway (sorry this is longer than I thought it would be), he’s been rather bad about cleaning her belongings out of his (formelry their) house. We don’t live together, but I stay over at his place whenever we don’t have our own children with us, which is about 3 times per week. I frequently find old things of hers…wedding pictures, her books, pictures, etc. Sometimes I mention it if it really upsets me and think it needs to be removed, and other times I just let it slide. I try to choose my battles over this very wisely so as not to be a nag. A time I’ve kept my mouth shut is when I saw a framed wedding picture in his daughter’s room. Thinking logically, I’m sure that picture makes his daughter very happy, so even though I don’t want to go sit there and stare at it, I would never make an issue about it. One time I have brought something up was just last week when I was cleaning the kitchen I found a card that he wrote her years ago, and it was very romantic and lovey, and I told him that even though it’s not logical, I still get hurt when I see things like that. He didn’t even know that card was there (and I completely believe him because it was on the back of his fridge, and we all don’t see things tacked to our fridge after awhile…and this was kind of buried). He removed it immediately and told me that he will try much harder to make sure stuff like that isn’t just sitting around. I just find it odd that even though they haven’t been together in 7 years, and we’ve been together for 3, I find more of her sentimental stuff still than I do of my own.
Cut to this morning…last night we were doing bedroom stuff and I used the lube in his bedside drawer. Given that it was in the heat of the moment, I knew that I probably threw it back in there kind of haphazardly. I wanted to make sure I re-capped it well because he keeps little drawings and notes from his daughter in there, and I didn’t want them to get ruined. So this morning after I woke up (he left for work already) I checked it. Anyway, sitting in the drawer right next to the lube was a love letter from his ex. It was lying open-faced, so like a bad train wreck I couldn’t stop reading it. It was dated less than a year ago. She wrote it when she took their daughter on a trip, and she told him how much they would both miss him, and how she loved him very much…and she also said “thank you for the note you wrote me, it was so sweet.” Under that note were two other hand-made scrapbooky type cards that appear to have taken a lot of effort, and both were from her. One was a Valentine’s day card saying I love you, how much he means to her, what a good dad he is, etc. The other was written on their wedding anniversary saying that she still loves him very much, and always will. All three of these were written during the time we’ve been together.
Am I right to feel upset about this? My head was absolutely spining reading all of these. I am 100% confident that he does not want to be with her anymore. She has a new husband, soon to be new baby, and he and I are actively planning our life together. I texted him this morning saying that I found these and was kind of (well, very) confused, but I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. I was hoping he would explain (without my needing to explicitly ask) 1)why he accepted love letters from her while we were together, and 2)why he saved them. I didn’t yell, and I didn’t accuse. All I said was that I was confused and didn’t know what to make of these letters given that they were all so recent. He got very defensive with me and responded with “Great. Glad to know there’s yet another crisis for me to deal with. Thanks for ruining my morning with this.” I told him that I wasn’t mad at him, and I didn’t think it was “another crisis” (he’s referring to the other card I found just wast week), but that I was just confused. He responded by saying that he didn’t know the cards were even there (this time I don’t believe that), and that he has no control over what she says or does…if she wants to write ‘I love you’ then he can’t stop her, and that it’s rude to throw away something nice that someone has given him. His tone was extremely defensive and then he said “You know what? I’ll throw them all away and you can watch me do it. Then we can turn over the entire house and you can tell me what I am allowed or not allowed to keep. I’m sick of this happening all the time.” I ended up apologizing and telling him that I should have just dealt with my feelings on my own and not bothered him with them. He’s still annoyed with me though. Deep down though I still feel like I was justified in being upset about this, and a little betrayed. I would never accept a love letter from my ex or ANY other man…and I certainly would never keep it. Is this a time where it’s better to be happy than right? Is this acceptable behavior for them given their history? Things are going so well otherwise…I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’ve already let him off the hook by turning around and apologizing to him, but my heart feels like I’m the one who deserves an apology.
If you’ve gotten this far, thank you. I’m truly confused and don’t know what the hell to do.