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Thread: ****Is keeping pictures of a longterm ex on Facebook appropriate?****

  1. #1

    ****Is keeping pictures of a longterm ex on Facebook appropriate?****

    I am gay and my gf of a year and a half refuses to take the pictures of her ex husband off of Facebook, and it really bothers me. I have expressed this to her and her reaction after me bringing it up one too many times was to just deactivate it...? I thought that was kinda weird and just wanted to get the opinion of others.... (They were together for 11 years, 4 of which they were married.) They do have an adopted niece on his side and then she has a daughter that is not his biologically but he raised her since she was 5 (so it is her Dad). As far as the pictures in her google drive on her phone, we had agreed that pictures of the family are fine, or group photos, but ones with just them two are no longer needed.... We didn't even get to get that far with Facebook because she just immediately became super defensive and it turned into kind of a huge arguement/hostility over it. After making comments more than a few times she became irate again and went on there and just deactivated her Facebook account, leading me to feel very awkward and uncomfortable and.... like there is SOME reason she won't just take them off her page....!!!?! I told her what good does that do if you take them off of your phone but you keep them on Facebook, for everyone to see and, do they wonder what that's about, or am I just crazy??? Maybe she just doesn't want the flood of sympathy/questions or whatever and I have nothing to be worried about??? It just literally doesn't make sense to me at all....
    Side note: her fb does say that we are in a relationship..... I just feel like why do I have to share the glory if she's mine then what's the big deal about taking their photos off?? I've never been married or in a longterm relationship like that so I am probably bias idk. Any thoughts or input would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Yeah, she's not taking them down 1) because she doesn't want to and shouldn't have to, and 2) you're being annoying and disturbingly controlling about it.

    Your woman has a past. All of us do. We don't have to purge our social media of it. Frankly, grow up and get over it. Dump her if you can't.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member figureitout23's Avatar
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    Apr 2017
    So I think this may be a symptom of something deeper for you.

    I get that FB is important to people, especially younger people, but its not real life...

    Is she a good girlfriend? Do you communicate? Do you trust her? Do you enjoy her company? Is your relationship strong?

    If so, I wouldn't lay on a cross over this issue.

    If you dont trust her, think shes being shady, or you have a troubled relationship I can see this upsetting you but again if your relationship is strong, this is about you and not her.

    FWIW, I have the dude I lost my virginity to on my FB, as well as half my exes, a couple of high school crushes and I don't delete pictures. I am not secretly pining over any of them and I have never physically cheated.

    You simply cant base your relationship on arbitrary things...

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    How insecure, controlling and unreasonable you are! Damn! You expect her to erase a significant part of her life.

    I suggest you get a handle on your issues. I would not put up with your crap! You are on the fast track to losing your partner.
    Last edited by Hollyj; 05-03-2019 at 01:11 AM.


  6. #5
    Platinum Member Clio's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    It sounds like they parted on civil terms. She also has you listed on fb as her current relationship for all the world to see. Imo, you are being annoyingly controlling and obnoxious. You have no right trying to delete her past. It sounds like this man once supported her and treated her with respect or she wouldn't have kept the photos up. The photos are now just an acknowledgement of a past that she respects. Nothing to do with you. Your jealousy is your own issue. Imo, imposing your insecurity like that on her is toxic. Stop.
    Last edited by Clio; 05-03-2019 at 02:05 AM.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Yup. You are being unreasonable.

    Erasing the pictures does not erase the past. Those experiences are in part what made her the woman she is today. If you love her - aren’t you grateful for who she became?

    I doubt she even goes back and looks at those old photos. The only person thinking about them is you.

    Do you have any other reasons for thinking she still holds a torch for him or something?

  8. #7
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Dec 2017
    What everyone else is saying.

    Honestly, at the risk of sounding harsh, when I read something like this I can't help but wonder if, aside from some insecurity issues you need to get in check, you're using this as a way to to not be honest about your own life. Do you have a lurking an ex? An ex you still think about from time to time? Someone who still has so much power over you that you can't look at photo of them without going weak in the knees? Someone who still pokes at you even knowing you're with someone new? Is part of the value of your current relationship that it keeps those feelings/urges in check?

    That's where my head goes, and I admit it's because the few people I've dated who are this obsessed with what's on my phone have been obsessed because they're ashamed of what's on their phone—or at least in their mind and heart.

    Either that or you just have a drastically different life experience than her—less experience, perhaps—and so you can't comprehend the idea that people have rich pasts that predate you. There is nothing sadder to me than trying to negate or minimize someone's past because it's what made them the person you met—and, at least in theory, cherish and love. It should be respected, just as you should respect that everyone is going to deal with their past differently.

    I've never deleted a photo on FB, for what its worth, and at 39 that means anyone can scroll deep enough and see the person I dated at 23, at 27, at 33. Because I work in a public sphere, a Google Image search will provide the same information, with many dozens of photos of me and various women from my past. So it goes, life in the modern age.

    I'm pretty sure everyone I've dated over the past decade has photos of an ex or two on social media—fine. Normal. Nothing to put any weight on. Frankly, I think people who go about purging their social media and photo apps after every relationship, or who gauge a relationship's health by how it looks on a screen, are more suspect, as it strikes my mind (per above) as not knowing how to really process the past or be present, but instead to curate life in some aspirational way that is just...well, strange and immature.

    Per an above post, if you don't trust your gf, if your gut says something about this relationship is off—well, that's on you to address, with her and with yourself. If those real issues exist they don't go away with the delete button. They go away when you confront them—seeing if it's something you can do together and, if not, stepping back into the void on your own.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    British Columbia, Canada
    I like things clean. Loose ends just look messy and they can trip you up too. I also don't like being reminded of the past when my present is phenomenal and my future...even better (God willing). I'll make this short and dry: normally people who have reasons to look back, aren't too happy with themselves in the present and are uncertain about their futures.

    I'd consider this a red flag and I would not date someone who tends to look back or cannot tidy up at the most basic levels. It makes a person look like a slob, to be honest, or not careful about what they think of themselves or how others may be affected around them. Or, they're simply not on my wavelength and that's A-ok too.

    You should respect her wishes if she chooses to remind herself of her past. Know when a relationship is not the one for you.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
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    May 2016
    I lean more on the side of Rose here.

    I won't invalidate your feelings, OP because they are real and I think anyone with any insight can understand them. You and she now share a life and yes, it's different for her to be keeping old pics hanging around. I can see where you're coming from.

    I also agree with you, keeping old family photos on google drive etc is fine, but to keep them on facebook does look more like she's having a tough time moving on from the past.
    I would question that too.

    It is worrisome? hard to say. It really depends on her and her reasons for keeping them around like that.

    Do we all have a past, sure we do, but we don't blatantly keep it right out in the open like that, especially if we've got a new partner.
    I am sincerely trying to put myself into her position and I can't really understand it. I wouldn't be keeping old pics hanging around like that.
    I don't have animosity or bitterness but I do feel that those pics were in the past, they don't exactly belong in the present.

    I think best you can do is try talking to her again and this time, don't make it like you're giving her heck. Be more gentle about it and see why she might feel the need to still have the pictures on facebook.
    You don't want to shame her or put her on the defense, but rather you want to find out the answers in a loving way so you can understand her better.

    At the end of the day, this is both of yours relationship. You have a right to both feel safe and comfortable with what is going on, even something such as pictures on facebook.
    But you need to work it out as a couple and to make it more about understanding, rather than a war.

  11. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    She could change the privacy settings on the photos to "only me". That to me is a reasonable compromise where everyone gets their feelings respected. If she is unhappy to do that then you might need to move on.

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