Post # 31
If it wasn’t for the kids being in the photos I would be arguing an entirely different point but the fact they have a kid together makes it not weird in the slightest that he has these pictures saved and that he occasionally looks at them. Even if they didn’t have a kid together and it was her kids in the picture at one point he was an important father figure in these kids lives so he probably misses seeing the kids that he once loved and cared for.
Now I would be singing a completely different tune if they were pictures of strictly him and his ex and he felt the need to get defensive and hide them from you. While obviously most people in a relationship have a past and there is no point going through the trouble of deleting all old pics if he is still just scrolling and looking at pictires of JUST him and his ex then there are problems. Because to me it doesn’t show respect to you as his current girlfriend and your relationship and even more so it shows he still isn’t over his ex yet if he feels the need to randomly stare at old pics of him and his ex. I would be giving that some serious side eye.
But it’s not cool for him to shut down like a child each time you try to have a conversation with him about it and threaten to leave. He is your bf and you deserve to be able to be open with him and should be able to talk to him about anything without him threatening to leave you.
Post # 32
Yes that is a good point as well about how while maybe OP crossed boundaries snooping on her bf’s computer maybe she felt her boundary was crossed having her by look at pictures of the ex (not referring to the pictures with the children in them)
Post # 33
- Wedding: October 2020 - Oak Brook, IL
I have old photos of my ex on social media that I still look at from time to time. We were together for 7 years and did a lot of traveling and adventuring together, so we have many nice photos that we took of our trips, and I never felt the need to delete them. I look at them like once every six months or so when I’m bored. But I would never under any circumstances get back together with him, nor do I miss him or what we had together. I was the one to end the relationship and have zero feelings for him anymore, and have no regrets. We had good times, as any relationship does when it’s going well, but he wasn’t the one for me. I’m in a new relationship now with FH and have never been happier.
FH has photos of his ex wife on social media that he hasn’t deleted, and it wouldn’t bother me if he looked at them. Their marriage wasn’t a happy one, and I don’t think he would go back to it even if you paid him.
Looking at old photos doesn’t have to mean anything. Especially if his kids are in the photos. There’s nothing wrong with looking back on fond memories with people who are no longer in your life, even if they’re your ex.
I agree with PPs that your boyfriend getting super defensive and threatening to leave is the bigger issue. It sounds like you have trust issues with him that’s causing a lot of frustration, and his way of dealing with it is not helping the situation.
Post # 34
I very rarely delete photos from my past relationships. I still have my wedding album from my wedding to my ex-husband in my cupboard, and I can look at it with fondness and nostalgia for the person I was and feel absolutely no romantic attachment to my ex-husband.
So yes, I agree with those who say that keeping photos of past relationships is absolutely normal and not a cause for concern. I know plenty of people who do it. If you are truly indifferent to that person, you can look at the photos and all they represent are memories. You don’t feel anything. So similarly, looking at them from time to time is not a red flag either. I’m assuming he’s not pulling out the album every night – that would be a different story.
We cannot play thought police to our partners – you cannot obsess over every little thing that he may be thinking and feeling. Not only will that make you miserable, but it will paint you in a very bad light. He will come to see you as a person who cannot be secure and relax, and that will push him away. In this sense, I agree with strawberrysakura that you need to get your insecurities under control. I would be very exasperated and irritated if my boyfriend questioned me about having an old photo album with my ex on my computer or wanted to know why I looked at it. If that behaviour continued (him questioning me), I’d be on my way out the door. You need to learn the difference between harmless behaviours and things that are genuinely a cause for concern, and pick your battles accordingly.
In that sense, I’m not really surprised he acted badly if you have been bringing things like this up with him. I’d be curious to know what else you have “addressed” with him – if you have been acting jealous over silly things, he may just be fed up.
That said, him threatening to leave is a bad sign. A very bad sign, in my opinion. It means your relationship is right on the edge. Either he is not very invested, or he doesn’t have great communication or emotional availability. Either way, he is putting you on notice that he has no problem leaving. He may be bluffing, but I would not want to be in that situation.
Again, if these issues you are bringing up are small and silly and jealousy-related, I would try just not saying anything for a while and see if things improve. If you have genuine causes for concern and he is shutting you down, that is bad. I’d be out of a relationship like that.
Post # 35
Photos of the ex is always a bit tricky. Personally, I deleted photos of my ex before meeting the woman who would eventually become my wife. For me, I just didn’t see a reason to keep them. That moment in time was very hard for me. I just wanted to “look forward”. Not backwards. I don’t necessarily think everyone should delete physical proof of their past relationships. At the same time, in this day and age of technology, if you find dozens of photos or videos of your SO and their ex, I don’t see any problem with bringing it up. If it were me, I’d probably ask about it. You don’t have to be accusatory. Unless there have been other unusual things that’s gotten your attention.
Post # 36
Why are you snooping on his computer? It’s a massive invasion of his privacy. The photos are of his kid and his step children, why is weird he looked at them? Is he supposed to delete every picture of his kids that his ex happens to be in?
How often are you bringing things up? He shouldn’t be threatening to leave you, but it sounds like this isn’t your first time snooping or overreacting about completely innocent behaviours.
Post # 37
Usually I would agree that maybe having a whole drive of pictures with your ex that you are recently looking at is not cool but they have a child together which trumps the entire situation.
I understand why he gets defensive. Unfortunately for you OP, those trips are memories he have of his child so you cannot expect him to delete them. I think you need to find a way to be okay with this if you want to continue this relationship.
oh and stop snooping. thats not healthy.
Post # 38
Wait. They have a child together? Is he not in the child’s life? He should have scads of photos of his kid. And yeah, the mother of said kid will inevitably be in some of them. And so will her kids.
The bigger issue is his relationship with his child.
Post # 39
The defensiveness and threats to leave are a completely separate issue from the photos, if it’s something he does on the regular. It’s emotional abuse and I’d invite him to follow through on his threat with a locksmith standing by.
Am I Being Abused?
Post # 40
I agree. Even if the OP is ridiculously insecure and constantly invades his privacy to confront him over innocent things, then the smart thing for him to do is break up with her. But to stay with her yet constantly threat (emptily) to break up with her every time she steps out of line seems very manipulative.
Also agree that if his involvement in his kid’s life is limited to looking at old pictures of him every now and then, that’s not something I would consider attractive in a partner. Hopefully this is not the case.
Post # 41
I wouldn’t worry at all, sounds totally normal. Even if he looked at the pics recently could be for a number of random reasons, especially if they share a child. When I think of all the stuff I sometimes look at on my own computer..even the other day I was mindlessly clicking around and opened some old emails from my ex. Well, it doesn’t mean anything!
Best thing to do is to talk to him!
Post # 42
His comments to ‘just leave then’ are the more troubling part of the whole scenario.
Men are weird about pictures. I deleted all and any pictures of me and my ex and anything to do with them. I know other guys that don’t go that far and still have pics with their exes on facebook. To me it’s werid.
I’m sure if hubby had an ex (I was his first serious girlfriend) I’d probably go into a jealous rage over him still having pictures of her (because pictures bother me a lot more than anything else, I’m weird and probably crazy) but if I told him to get rid of them or asked him about it we’d probably have a conversation.
Hubby and I make a point when we’re fighting not to resort to threats like “so leave then”.
Post # 43
I think the better question here is: why were you snooping in the first place? What red flags have you had that made you think you had to investigate what he’s up to?
If the worst you found was pictures of his life, kid, and mother of his child, I’d say that’s a win and of little concern
Post # 44
I am sorry but what made you go snooping in the first place?????? Did you just say to yourself “Hey let me just snoop on his computer and let me see what I can find”. I really want to know what the reason was.
Post # 45
Bee, I really hope you’re okay. I know people are being a bit forward about you snooping and the validity of him keeping pictures, but I’m seriously concerned about why he always threatens to leave and what this is over. If it’s you being jealous, that’s one thing, but if it’s over arguments about silly things, I really think you need to re-evaluate this relationship.