(Closed) My Husband's Exes. Trouble…again.

posted 7 years ago in Relationships
Post # 32
2375 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

400 pictures of exes is not normal.  Period.  A few vacay pics, sure.  And I’ll be the first to admit, I recently found my own box of pictures including the variety that I should no longer have as an engaged woman.  The box was in the closet, and I had no idea it was there until my spring cleaning marathon.  This is different though.  It wasn’t tossed in the back of a closet and forgotten.   This was in the top desk drawer, and was made AFTER you had the discussions about them.

Now, here’s where it gets tricky.  The CD is 2 years old.  Is it possible that he burned it and never looked at it since?  Absolutely.  Personally, I’d destroy the CD and leave a little post-it note in the case.  Something to the effect of “I threw out the trash”.  See how long it takes to be noticed.  If it gathers dust, then you know he forgot about it years ago.  If he’s suddenly upset, and the case is no longer there, then you know.

Post # 33
106 posts
Blushing bee

Ugh, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re dealing with something like this.  Sadly, I don’t think that there’s anything you can do to change your husband’s behavior.  You have told him how you feel.  He knows that his holding onto his exes is upsetting you.  He isn’t stopping.

The only things you can do is learn to live with it (and hope that over time he moves on) or leave him.  As hard as it would be, I would leave.  You’re husband isn’t too sensitive to your feelings and I don’t think that will ever change.  Today it’s his exes, tomorrow it will be something else.  He doesn’t sound like a great guy.  I’m sorry for being so blunt, but that’s how I see it.  If you stay, get used to this sort of behavior.  He isn’t going to change.  The only thing you can change is how you react to it.

Wishing you the best of luck!  Hugs!!!

Post # 34
922 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Personally, I have no desire to go looking at photos of any of my exes.  I know others may feel differently, and I don’t think the odd photo is much of a problem – 400, definite problem.  I posted recently on another thread about photos of exes of how I had no hesitation in deleting slightly explicit photos of Fiance and one of his exes when I came across them on his computer.

My Fiance also had a terrible problem with ‘oversharing’ about his exes when we were first dating.   I’ve heard stuff about them that I would  quite gratefully have erased from my brain.  It took a couple of very full and frank discussions, and even giving him a taste of his own medicine, before I could get him to stop.   4 years on, very occasionally he will make a comment, and I don’t hesitate to stop him dead. 

Fiance was bullied during his teens and has had problems with self confidence…I do believe that this was part of it, a type of ‘see, others have found me attractive too’ 

In your position, I would not hesitate to mention that you have found the CD.  I would even be tempted to show him what you have posted here, to make him realise how much all this is upsetting you.  

Post # 35
91 posts
Worker bee

@DimeStoreDropout:  My experience isn’t exactly the same, but I dated someone that was hung up on an ex. continually compared me to her (even saying I was ‘better’ or whatever), he even called me by her name when he was frustrated at me one day.


Then he moved to a new apartment and while he was at work one day (I was living with him part time and on that day was at his apartment, totally known to him. No, seriously, woke up next to each other. Anyway, while he was at work I started unpacking some boxes for him. Typical guy stuff… shaving cream, mens body spray, condoms, razors… and then a box with a bunch of womens stuff in it. I set the box aside and figured he just hadn’t gotten around to throwing her crap away and had just put it in a seperate box to give back to her. Sounded reasonable to me.


Then I found the bigger box of MORE of her crap, plus pictures, I asked him about it when he got home (to settle my unease) and he assured me he was just planning on giving her her stuff back at some point. No prodding, no prompting. Nothing. OK, I let it rest.


Then, the next day he’s at work again and I’m unpacking some of his teeshirts to hang up… and I come across another picture of her. Randomly. In a clothes box! Uh, what? OK…
There was another box at the top of the closet in the corner. I got that weird, queasy feeling in my gut that told me I didn’t want to know what was in that box, but I grabbed for it anyway. Inside was a bunch of random odds and ends, and there in plain sight was a card from the ex, with a picture inside. The sappiest, creeepiest, most love-sick love letter was written inside. Something about massage therapy school, and her coming back from that so they could start their family together.
Then I came cross some of her clothes (slowly starting to sink in at this point.)
The new stuff I found went into the box with the rest of her stuff in it.
“Can we just throw it away? It’s not like she needs any of it, or else she wouldn’t have left it with you as long as she has….”
He was fine with throwing it away. Said he would later in the evening when he took out the garbage. I left, as I had obligations at my own house to tend to.


When I went back a few days later, you guessed it, the box was right where it had been half a week before. I confronted him about it, he got defensive and told me if I wanted it thrown away that badly to do it myself.


And that was the end. Because I was being cheated on, lied to, manipulated, and used.


So my take? Is this is unacceptable from a boyfriend, let alone a husband!
If it were me I’d just pack my things, and leave. I’d be beyond done if I were in your shoes.

ETA: he also had *multiple* and i do mean a while photo album full of pictures of every single ex, and he refered to them ALL as ‘crazy.’

Post # 36
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@DimeStoreDropout:  My ex had a huge problem with this. He had intimacy issues anyways, so it was obvious to me even then that he enjoyed the reminiscing part way more than the relationships. I would find the most vile pornographic pictures of him with his exes. Once he left his Ipod in my car and I brought it in to work so it wouldn’t get damaged in the heat. I can’t remember why I looked through it (I can guarantee you I wasn’t expecting to find anything odd) probably to turn the volume down, when somehow an album came up chuck full of pictures of him having sex with his ex. I was shaking I was so angry, and as calmly as I could I called him and demanded that he come to my work and pick up his Ipod NOW. He said he was busy, and I said no you don’t understand… you really REALLY need to come and get this disgusting thing away from me NOW. He apologized and made a ton of excuses about how it synced from some other device by accident but I told him I really didn’t care, he shouldn’t even be holding on to them. It makes NO sense. He agreed and said he would delete them.

Later I found an old digital camera of his and found pornographic pictures with *another* girl from around the time that he and I met. I never told him about those, I considered them my little secret and hid the camera. I could always date the pictures because he was a heavily tattooed guy (face and head included) and for the most part I knew which tattoos he got done and when. 

There were several occasions when I would walk up on him while he was on the computer looking at girls, and he would get angry and exit the screen. Other times he would try to pull the hey.. look at this approach and actually SHOW me his exes, calling them ugly (why was he so obsessed with them then?) He would constantly tell me stories about them, mostly about how awful they were, but sometimes just things that they would do together. God forbid I talk about anyone I ever dated though, he would go all evil villain and threaten to end the human race!

I still laugh to this day thinking about how often he probably talks about me to his new girlfriends. It took him two years to stop trying to find ways to contact me. Unfortunately for him I never leave a picture trail and I secure all of my social networking accounts, so he won’t get the satisfaction. 

Some guys just have a weird sick obsession with the past. Doesn’t necessarily mean  they want the relationships back, they just get stuck like a scratched up CD and cant. move. on. I’m sorry you’re having to go through this, but I hope you know it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. Any guy who feels the need to have a double life like this (and lying/hiding pictures is a double life IMO) obviously has serious intimacy issues.

Post # 38
131 posts
Blushing bee

@DimeStoreDropout:  If you do decide to leave.. make sure you destroy some of that junk.  What do you have to lose now?  I wouldn’t leave any memories in that home except memories of the two of you to look back on and realize he’s a jackass.

Post # 39
1 posts

Sit down with him rationally.  Calmly.  Say something like “hey, I found all these photos, what’s up with that”.  Calm. Rational. Then state your feelings….”I feel like this is a betrayal of our vows…” (I”m not a therapist…take this with a grain of salt)

I’m a little different than the others in that I do not think there should be any destorying of any pictures or discs, etc., he’ll just paint you as “irrational” and “crazy”.  Besides, at this point, you know they exist and destroying them isn’t going to change his betrayal.  It isn’t the “thing” (i.e, photos) it is the “thought” behind him keeping those photos.  

Please don’t blame yourself (“I didn’t date much before him” “I was coming off X relationship” “He was coming off X relationship”).  His keeping of the photos, despite your previous, repeated requests, is all on him.  Not you.  Be strong!

Post # 40
2440 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’d put the disk on his pillow with a sticky note saying “make me trust you again” or “fix this” and go from there.


Post # 41
12291 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

  I was sure he was going to say he remembered things differently than you do.  That you told him to go ahead and keep the photos as long as they weren’t in a place where you would easily find them, so he downloaded everything to one disc with the purpose of stashing it away somewhere.   But, he later  promised you he was going to get rid of everything.  At some point he even made a big show of breaking the  old CDs.

So,  while originally you might have had reason to be somewhat annoyed that the CD with the photos had resurfaced, to me the current  issue is  the revisionist history.    He volunteered to get rid of everything, and acted as if he had.   Now he’s acting as if it’s no big deal.  He can’t have it both ways. 

Now you are back to telling him it’s “fine” that these photos still exist.   I am afraid I  don’t get this part.  Many people have photos of exes. However, the point is he *volunteered* to get  rid of them,  ostensibly to earn back your trust after serious breaches.  He  did not make good on his promise, and  actively misled you.  Which I *really* don’t get since you didn’t even originally care if H kept them!

Plenty of peoole have photos of exes.  Even hundreds with digital  everything.  It’s not  about the photos anymore.  It’s about the trust.  He misled you when there was zero  reason to mislead.   The past history mades his promise to get  rid of the CDs a gesture of restitution,  not bending to the will of some jealous wife.  He made a promise and he broke it.  I think he needs help seeing all this and that counseling  is a very good idea. 

 I would not move out or do anything rash quite yet, though. 

Post # 42
2440 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I somehow missed your update before my last post. Proud of you for packing up and getting out. His response was so horrible. He basically admitted to jsut putting on a show before, and it’s obvious you are always going to be second to his creepy hobby.

He doesn’t seem worth it.

Post # 43
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@DimeStoreDropout:  I know I’m late to the party but I am one of the few that thinks you should stick it out and I’ll tell you why.


I got to my Fiance later in life– he was 37 when we started dating.  As a mature but still young 22 year old, it was tough for me to handle the fact my Fiance had such a bid past.  He had lived with women, he was (very briefly) married before. This was almost unheard of to me.  Likewise, Fiance liked to tell little storiesd about his exes.  Nothing crazy but he would just fit in a story here or there.  He also had a picture of an ex that died several years before in his bedroom. Many of you would say RED FLAG!! LEAVE HIM!!! But I didnt.  I stayed.  I stayed, I listened.  Not because of insecurity and self esteem issues– because it’s his past and it happened.  And you know what, it gave me clues as to why he was the way he was in relationships.  Listening to his stories and  even probing him for more information about his relationships with his exes, allowed us both to realize what he had done wrong in the past, what THEY had done wrong in the past, and how we can learn from those mistakes


I moved in, and the dead ex girlfriend pic moved to a box in the desk. The stories became less and less, and our connection got stronger and stronger. Did I ever feel like I had to push him a little? Sure I did. But he responded because I was understanding and knew he had to move on.   Do the stories still happen?  Sure, just a few weeks ago Fiance told me one.  Although afterward he told me that he just tells me these stories because he wants to tell me things in his life.  I remidned him that this particular story didnt involve him– it was about HER life.  That telling that story didnt add anything to OUR lives or evening.  He agreed, apologized and we moved on.


Since moving in, I’ve had to dispose of tons of forgotten items from girlfriends past that made their way into my apartment.  Hair ties, personal lubricant, mail to his ex….seriously. its been insane.  But now I just get rid of it myself.  Because if he notices and gets upset that its gone, THATS WHEN YOU KNOW TO LEAVE. But if he doesnt even know its there (and trust me, men forget about cleaning out stuff) is he really at fault?  no.  


Just a couple of weeks ago I noticed there were about 25 pictures of various girls that my Fiance used to have a crush on before me (I know them, they are sort of in our circle)…I simply deleted all of them.  He hasnt noticed at all. 


My Fiance is still FB friends with his exes and we recently had a conversation and basically he said that before we get married, (october) hes going to clean up his facebook.  He doesnt need to be friends with all these people from his past, thats its pathetic and stupid and morose. 


They can get better, and you can be the woman to help them do that. just saying.

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