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Gf Keeping pics of ex/still having feeling?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hello all, just joined this forum after finding it a few hours ago and was hoping to get some advice on this subject, I know there is at least one thread closely related To this because I've read it so I apologize if that bothers you. But i feel I'm in a slightly different situation and can't apply the answers to mine.

Anyway, so me and this girl who had been friends (very close) on and off for many years finally started dating and it was going extremely well, being that I was her friend for so long I knew about her pAst relationships and the one that always bothered me was a guy who she was with on and off for around 3 years we started getting closer in a more intimate way (she doesn't cheat so we never did anything)a little before they broke up and he broke up with her because he treated her badly and she would ask if he cared etc, too much. I left the state for work and things got rough after a bit, I would always be angry or upset not believing that she didn't still have feelings. In her words I got controlling and that's why she left.

I had a very hard time with it and returned home shortly after to be with friends and family, and was still friends with her brother. Come to find out not even a week after we broke up they were back together. She told me she never talked to him while we were together and he messaged her after the fact and that's what happened. Is that fishy? And they were engaged. After a few months she was talking to me (still with him) and talking about how she made a mistake and all this, but she wouldn't leave him for some reason. After a bit I got tired of being reminded of it and cut all ties. A week later on New Years she ruins my night of me actually being happy and TextEd me saying she made changes that needed to be made.

I blew it off but over the next few days we talked more and we started dating again about two weeks later and have been since. And I said all that to basically ask this, should I even be doing this? I really do care about this girl but I don't want to be with her and am willing to get over it if she cares about him. I don't want her to be with me just because I'm the only one who doesn't treat her like shit. A big fight we always used to have was her having pictures on her phone of them and she got rid of them the first time we dated (or so I thought) but I accidentally stumbled across something recently that I wish I wouldn't have lol, while she doesn't have them on her phone she emailed several pictures of the two of them to her own email the day before I asked her out again.. I know there are still hundreds of them on her families computer but seeing that she did that is what gets to me. Am I over reacting or being insecure? Or is this a reasonable thing to feel? Either way I'd really really appreciate opinions and advice on what to do from here and things like that. I know her and if I bring it up she's just gonn be like "l get rid of them" and that's no better IMO because she'd just be doing it because I said something.. Sorry it's soong but I want to move on with or without her and get on with my life and I need help. Thanks in advance for everyone's time!


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    **helen****helen** Deactivated Posts: 9,235 Supreme Poster
    Welcome to TS :wave:

    Starting your own thread was actually a good idea as it's always helpful to get some perspective on your personal situation.

    It sounds like you've been on quite a rollercoaster with your girlfriend. You've got a fair bit of history and this means that you know more than you might otherwise about her past relationships and this is having an impact on how confident you feel about things as they stand.

    You've also had a few hiccups in the relationship where she has gone back to her ex and then has come back to you.

    At the moment, you feel that her actions - saving photos of her ex and perhaps keeping hold of something they had - are a threat - have I understood correctly?

    Whenever we have strong feelings for someone, it's pretty much impossible not to feel those twinges when we're reminded of their past loves. With this in mind, much of what you're saying is very normal and no doubt many people will be able to relate to your anxiety.

    Where the tension lies is in relation to your feelings of doubt about how genuine this girl is about you. You question whether or not she's just with you because she knows you won't treat her badly. Often when we feel secure about how our partner feels about us, any jealous feelings about their past fade into insignificance because we know the fond feelings they might have are firmly rooted in the past. For you, because you are so worried she's not being honest about her feelings, you can't help but question if there's more than just fond nostalgia in relation to her keeping the photos.

    Do you feel if you knew for sure that she wanted to be with you for you, you'd be able to let go of her actions in relation to the photos - or do you still feel that is a major issue in its own right?

    Ultimately there isn't a 'right' or 'wrong' way for you to feel - but getting to the bottom of why things have got to this point is really key.

    Honesty is at the heart of any good relationship, so giving her space to think about how you feel and reassure you if she is genuine, could be a way forward. Do you feel you could open up to her about this? Perhaps sharing your thoughts in an email or letter if talking face-to-face is too hard?

    We have some good tips on how to talk to your girlfriend in TS article here.

    Hope this helps, and do keep talking with us. :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes you understood exactly! Lol and as far as a threat idk if I'd consider it that. I'm not so sure I think she'd leave me for him but I do feel like I wouldn't want to be with her at the moment if she isn't over him. Is that weird? And I'd like to think if I really felt completely sure that her feelings for me are more than for him the pictures wouldn't bother me. But I don't understand why keep all of them? She has dried flowers from a different ex from her first dance, that I get. Memories of the dance more so than the person. But pictures? And the fact that she goes through the trouble of emailing them to herself so she'd still have them but I wouldn't know about it or see them kinda hurts. Maybe even keeping ones from when she was younger and with him the first time I guess I could work on getting over. But when we broke up she had no problem getting rid of everything from us. And the short months she was back with him she's keeping that stuff? I feel like idk whether i am having trust issues or whatever you want to call them and making problems in my head or if this is behavior that would get to the majority. I should add the first time we were together I had similar problems and made a bigger deal than I had the right to do. She hadn't given me alogical reason to think she had feelings still. And I can admit I was wrong. WAS. Now I don't feel like it's me causing it. She assured and re-assured it was all in my head and not but a few days after our break up they're back.. I honestly doubt sometimes that they weren't talking the day we actually broke up. But I know she isn't really the type and that's more so just me. I wouldn't have a problem talking to her about any of it but the fact that she'd just do whatever it is Im upset about to change it. And then I'd feel like the point isn't really fixed. Lol I know I'm a bit confusing and thanks again for your time! Much appreciated!
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You gotta let it go, otherwise the pondering over these photos will consume you, and you won't be able to enjoy your time together.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mist wrote: »
    You gotta let it go, otherwise the pondering over these photos will consume you, and you won't be able to enjoy your time together.

    That's the thing though, I don't lol. Everytime were together there's several points in the day that I'll get upset about it. That's why im here. It wasn't as bad the first time we were together. Sure there were times it upset me but wasn't everyday like it is now.
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    **helen****helen** Deactivated Posts: 9,235 Supreme Poster
    I wouldn't have a problem talking to her about any of it but the fact that she'd just do whatever it is Im upset about to change it. And then I'd feel like the point isn't really fixed. Lol I know I'm a bit confusing and thanks again for your time! Much appreciated!

    This is a really tough place to be because it kind of assumes people in relationships need to behave exactly how you want them to - and that if they don't then the relationship is doomed and there's no way forward. I know this sounds like an extreme summary - but it is the direction that kind of thinking takes us.

    In reality, this doesn't have to be the case - if it were then divorce/break-up rates would be even higher than they already are ;). It's also worth bearing in mind that viewing a relationship from that point of view ignores the fact that individuals do come with history and can need honest communication and understanding to get along better in relationships. If we don't talk with the aim of understanding each other, then we can get stuck in our own heads and fears very easily.

    I think understanding from her point of view why she's kept the photos and what it means in relation to your relationship with her is at the heart of this. If it turns out she emailed the photos to protect you and keep that part of her life separate from your relationship with a view to moving forward, then that may not be such a negative thing? And is perhaps a part of her past you need to find your peace with recognizing she can't be responsible for all your feelings. If this is the outcome, and you still feel really uneasy, then maybe chatting to a relationships expert online 1-2-1 could help? We can direct you to some options if you'd like to explore that further.

    On the other hand, if it turns out her feelings for this dude are still really strong, unresolved and problematic - then perhaps this is a sign that the relationship is going to be tough for the pair of you - and you can weigh up how much you want to be with her with how much upset that reality is causing - and equally, there's no shame in letting go of something that isn't healthy. Facing this reality is understandably daunting, but it would move things forward from where they are now.

    Take another look at the link I posted before if you think it'll help.

    Let me know what you reckon.
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