Hi Dr. Schwartz.
I’ve been with my boyfriend for nearly 3years.He was married for around 10yrs but was separated a year when we met. I always thought he might still have feelings for her because when, we went out, he always had plenty of time for her. She even found out about things before I did, so they were talking on the phone. She cheated on him more than once!!
I am the type of woman who doesn’t snoop. He once gave me money to put in his bank account and I didn’t even look at his balance. I have never looked through his drawers, etc. Anyway, while looking for a picture on his laptop I came across pictures of him and her from a previous holiday. He knew I was looking on his laptop. I didn’t say anything but something started brewing in me.
Roll on maybe nearly a year (together about 2 and half years at this stage) and we were both looking at pictures on his laptop, I was just clicking in different folders and he was telling me where certain pictures were taken. I went to click on the folder where I knew the photo of him and her was and he told me not go into that because that’s of him and his ex. I asked him why he still had pictures together? He said he never got around to deleting them.
So, a few weeks later I needed my pictures off his laptop and I noticed the folder with their pictures in it. He now has it as a compressed folder. It looks like he has a lock on it.
Now maybe I’m making a big deal out of this which I don’t think I am but to me, if he had time to put a lock on the folder then he had time to delete the folder. He doesn’t want to delete the photos because he still loves her? Theres also a folder with their last holiday, too, which I saw this morning.
So now I’m worried big time. We’re building a house, getting engaged soon and will be trying for a baby shortly. I did ask him before if he had he still got feelings for her? He said no but to me he was not too convincing. He has told me, not too long ago, that “believe me, being with you is the happiest I’ve ever been. I’m on cloud 9.” He said that he wished he met me 20 years ago. He did say, the other day, that he was sorry he got married. But why put the pictures in a compressed folder? I asked him the other night if he would go back to her if he was guaranteed she wouldn’t do anything like she did in the past. He said no that he wouldnt trust her. I said so its not that you don’t love her and he just said well he doesn’t trust her and it’s the same thing. He said, “trust me you’ve no idea what life was like with her, no way would I go back. But loving me never came into it.
I don’t want to get hurt again, it took me nearly 8 years to get over my last partner whom I was deeply in-love with and we have a child together but he has nothing to do with her.
Sorry I went on and I hope I get a reply but this is eating me up inside.
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It is hard to understand why your boyfriend wants to keep pictures of him and his ex wife but you could always ask him. Divorce does not always mean that people stop loving each other. It’s just that they no longer love each other in a romantic way. You want reassurances about your relationship but there are none, there never are.
Entering into an intimate relationship always carriess some risk. No one wants to feel rejected. At the same time, there are never guarantees. Two people reveal everything to one another and hope that their partner will hold and cherish everything they learn about themselves.
The basis of any strong relationship is trust. I am not sure that these pictures mean that you have to feel suspicious. He hasn’t hidden the fact that he has the pictures. He prefers that you not look at them. Remember, he has told you how much better it is for him to be with you than his ex. Why can’t you believe that?
All anyone can do is have faith in their lover and go on from there. After all, the two of you are planning marriage and a family. That does not sound like a guy who is not serious or who does not love you.
Use your own judgment but remember, people are never perfect and all we can do is hope for and plan for the best with our significant others.
Best of luck