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Boyfriend still has photos with his ex all over his social media


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51 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Does he also reference her in conversation - like if you mention you went to X place (restaurant, vacation spot, saw so and so in concert) does he use it as an excuse to bring her up?

@Batya33 no, when it’s just us two he only brings her up in conversation when it’s related to their kid - nothing I would consider inappropriate. However, when I met his friends - they bring up his ex wife in conversation every time - mostly they talk about how they were pregnant at the same time and about their kids births. It’s not something that I’ve ever encountered before that a boyfriend’s friends are not trying to get to know me and are talking to me about his ex wife. I think bringing up the ex wife in any way, is very inappropriate of his friends. I also think he should have taken the initiative and changed that conversation instead of feeding into it and sharing details about her giving childbirth and him filming her vagina during the birth. 

Also, it turned out that when he once had taken his son to a birthday party on the weekend that he had custody, the ex wife also showed up to hang out with them all afternoon. Probably it’s something that happens regularly, the kid attends birthday parties about every other weekend.

He told me he hopes that one day I can get to know her and we can eventually all hang out at their mutual friends BBQs or Christmas parties without anyone feeling uncomfortable.  It makes me feel like him and his wife + kid are still a family unit even though they are legally divorced, and like I’m an intruder in their family. I’ve been married to someone with kids before and the dynamics were very different.

 He also appears to sentimentalize a lot. For example he used to keep on his bed a stuffed animal from a different ex’s child “whom he got very attached to” (I think they dated less than 1 year), which we had to move every time we had sex or went to sleep (I relocated it to a different corner after I found out that it was related to an ex). 

I have lots of mutual friends with my ex husband but none of them would bring him up in front of my new boyfriend, nor would I ever ask my new boyfriend to hang out at an event that I know my ex husband will be at, unless it was a wedding or similar type of once in a lifetime celebration. I find all this very bizarre and unusual. 

I guess the reason I posted on here was to hear other people’s opinions - to hear the devil’s advocate thoughts or find out if my thoughts and feelings about the situation are valid. Also, to hear the opinion from people looking in from the outside as well as hopefully some opinions from people with kids that have remained on good terms with their ex with whom they share a child.

Is this guy really into me or is he projecting the feelings he has for someone else onto me? He was telling me “I love you” only after 1 or 2 months of having met me - which was definitely an amber flag, seems way too soon. From the way he presents himself on social media it appears he never gave himself time to process his breakups and stay single.

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I think it is inappropriate to bring up the ex wife to any real extent when you are around -a one off - ok - it happens especially since they share a child.  Are you a person who wants to be a parent -you seem to refer kind of dissmissively to "the kid" -this is your partner's child. Only child, yes? If you remain in his life you will get to know his child as an individual person and it's kind of like you wouldn't want the child referring to you as - that chick my daddy hangs with.  

I think it's really really weird to have a stuffed animal on display that was a gift from an ex.  My husband actually has been going through hundreds of old photos of his family and friends from his late parents' home -it's funny I wondered if he'll come across any of exes.  He's scanning in many of them and showed me lots of photos from our relationship which started in 1995 then had a huge several year gap.  I would NOT want to see a photo of him and an ex together but I'd be ok with a photo of a place he visited -scenery- even if I knew he went there with an ex.  I've shown my son old photos of me and friends- none with an ex in the photo.  If I did I wouldn't identify that person.  There's just - common sense.  I don't want to be in my husband's face so to speak with exes and the same in reverse.  But I accept that other couples might be free and easy with that stuff -it's no biggie. 

My cousin passed away young and her husband then went on to remarry and I heard that the new wife was really upset when she found some of my cousin's things in a bathroom (I don't think her husband even knew they were there).  So he disposed of them or gave them to her parents. They had been dating less than a year. 

There are ways of remembering the good times with an ex AND not subjecting your current partner to those memories.  Also I think your bf should have had your back and taken his friends aside and told them to knock it off.  But again that's my sense of things. Figure out your sense of things and be consistent -stick to it.  Yes, an amber flag, I agree.

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1 hour ago, MissButterfly said:

Also, it turned out that when he once had taken his son to a birthday party on the weekend that he had custody, the ex wife also showed up to hang out with them all afternoon. Probably it’s something that happens regularly, the kid attends birthday parties about every other weekend.

He told me he hopes that one day I can get to know her and we can eventually all hang out at their mutual friends BBQs or Christmas parties without anyone feeling uncomfortable.  It makes me feel like him and his wife + kid are still a family unit even though they are legally divorced, and like I’m an intruder in their family.

I only know for me, I wouldn't date anybody like this. I had to be around my stepdaughter's mother only once for high school graduation which was expected. Any more than that, no thank you. Think about the company your bf keeps because birds of a feather flock together. If it was just one, you could give him the benefit of the doubt, but they're all clueless with how to behave with good manners and how that would make you uncomfortable? 

When women have sex with a man it releases hormones that make them want to bond with a man, even if the man is wrong for her. That might be happening to you, and I think their is too much bad to override what little good exists.

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1 hour ago, MissButterfly said:

Is this guy really into me or is he projecting the feelings he has for someone else onto me? He was telling me “I love you” only after 1 or 2 months of having met me - which was definitely an amber flag, seems way too soon. From the way he presents himself on social media it appears he never gave himself time to process his breakups and stay single.

You may be onto something. You encountered a pictorial history of his string of exes all posed and posted like a diary since his divorce. Maybe he leapfrogs from one to the next in an attempt to audition them to fill his wife's role in his life?

This doesn't have to mean that he's still in love with the woman, but he did build a family with her, and as his vulgar discussions with his friends about childbirth point out, he's maybe 'stuck' in time. Maybe he still regards himself as not only a father, but a husband, head of household, whatever. And he's surrounded by historic friends who also view him the same way--to the degree that their conversations are disrespectful to you.

You might be into something that's a bit "too much, too soon" to be healthy for you. That doesn't make him a villain, but it also doesn't reduce you to being just a frame for making his pictures happen.

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If I was to tell him that I don’t think we are each other’s person, how do I even verbalize everything I’ve posted above? Do I go into a long detailed list about the reasons? I’m really lost as to how/what to say. But I would like him to know the reasons, because I think it could have been a great long term relationship otherwise.

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In more ways than one, we're not compatible. Social media posts. Hanging out with ex-wife, even if everything's above board. I'm not enjoying time with your circle of friends, which is important. No changes to be made since that will cause resentment. We each need to free ourselves to find people who are on the same page on all major views.

Or, you can just simplify and say: I'm not feeling what I should at this point for the long-term relationship I'm looking for. 

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7 hours ago, MissButterfly said:

He also appears to sentimentalize a lot. For example he used to keep on his bed a stuffed animal from a different ex’s child “whom he got very attached to” (I think they dated less than 1 year), which we had to move every time we had sex or went to sleep (I relocated it to a different corner after I found out that it was related to an ex). 

🥶 yikes...

7 hours ago, MissButterfly said:

However, when I met his friends - they bring up his ex wife in conversation every time - mostly they talk about how they were pregnant at the same time and about their kids births.

Very disrespectful.

You have so many red flags: hops from one relationship to another, hung up on his ex, says the love word too soon, disrespectful friends, and so forth.

5 hours ago, Andrina said:

No changes to be made since that will cause resentment.

Agreed.

You can just say you're not feeling it anymore or you don't see a future together based on incompatibilities and break up.

I'd be ready for a clean break since you got feelings for him. If he begs, pleads, and so forth, just don't let him influence you. Stick up to yourself and your decision. 

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His relationship with his ex wife lasted longer then you being in the picture.

Yes, no one wants to be reminded of their partner's ex but she is the mother of his child and so a permanent fixture.

There are better ways to navigate co-parenting and discussions concerning ex spouses when you're in a new relationship which he has obviously failed at, well, his friends especially.

You trust that he won't cheat with her but you don't trust that he is over her.

No trust, no relationship.

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Other amber flag that I remembered:

When we first started dating I asked him what were his most treasured/happiest memories (I was thinking more of childhood stuff, for example my most treasured memories are vacations with my family). He said his were his first kiss ever + when he proposed to his ex wife. 
Thoughts?

I thought that, even if a politically incorrect answer and that I obviously don’t like, at least this guy speaks what’s on his mind always, is honest, and doesn’t hide anything from me. If not this, I’ll probably be with someone that hides stuff and doesn’t say what he thinks? 

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1 hour ago, yogacat said:

There are better ways to navigate co-parenting and discussions concerning ex spouses when you're in a new relationship which he has obviously failed at, well, his friends especially.

You trust that he won't cheat with her but you don't trust that he is over her.

No trust, no relationship.

@yogacat what suggestions would you have to do it better? Whether it ends up being this relationship or the next - I always like to learn and improve from the situations that I find myself in. 

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2 hours ago, MissButterfly said:

When we first started dating I asked him what were his most treasured/happiest memories (I was thinking more of childhood stuff, for example my most treasured memories are vacations with my family). He said his were his first kiss ever + when he proposed to his ex wife. 
Thoughts?

This rubs me the wrong way.

On one hand, I can understand why he said it, but on the other, it's another sign that he is not over her. First kiss? Comon'. Most of us adults know NOT to say such tactless thing, specially when it's been years since the divorce. I'd expect a person in the rebound stage to behave like this.

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This is why we date...to see what they are like, personality, how they behave, what their friends and family are like, how they treat you, communicate you, values, perspectives POV, Fulfill expectations, etc. Tip: you should have to tell or teach a man how to love you or be with you. All these things you mentioned are deal breakers. You see him as he is. Put your feelings aside and see he's not the one for you. What you need to learn for next time is to not stick around if this is what they are like/ put up with it, or stew over what to do about it. 

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Something that has to be asked, what was your BF's dating life before his ex? I ask this as he has a lot of sentimentality around the realtionship; if she was his first serious relationship; that would explain a lot.

To play devil's advocate here. A lot of what he's doing sounds a little excessive; but not too far from trying to keep a healthy co-parenting system together. Especially as the ex will still be in his life until the kid is well into adulthood, he may be trying to keep the good times filed away as to not resent her for cheating. There is a small part of me that wonders if he's keeping those photos for the kids, so he can show them later that "daddy and mommy were in love once".

Honestly this is another case of Social media sewing the seeds of discord, rather than two adults talking like civilized persons. me personally I focus on who I'm with, and what we are doing (and where we are going); rather than obsess over something online. Really short of terror threats, SM postings are not much of a useful insight to someone. But that's my Not so Humble Opinion.

 

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2 hours ago, MissButterfly said:

When we first started dating I asked him what were his most treasured/happiest memories. He said his were his first kiss ever + when he proposed to his ex wife. 
Thoughts?

My thoughts are I am now wondering if this man has some sort of social disorder as he simply does not know that what's emboldened^ is NOT something you announce to a new woman you're dating even if it's true. 

If a new man said that to me, I'd be seriously shaking my head thinking something is just not right with him as again telling a new woman that your best memory is when you proposed marriage to your ex wife is not only a red flag but lacks basic common sense among other things. 

What was your response to that? 

Along with keeping stuffed animals on his bed that were gifts from his ex's and everything else suggests "issues" I prefer to not deal with from a grown man.

A 15 year old maybe but even 15 year olds have enough common sense to NOT tell a new woman he just started dating something like that, Lord. 

No wonder your sexual desire took a nose dive!  You're dating a man-child.  

Anyway, with the additional context I have a much clearer picture now, there is absolutely nothing good here imo and frankly I'm kinda shocked you've lasted this long with him.

Sounds like a grown man with a child's mentality. 

Surely you can do better. 

 

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2 hours ago, MissButterfly said:

If not this, I’ll probably be with someone that hides stuff and doesn’t say what he thinks? 

Why reduce your options down two extremes, either a liar or no filter? Plenty of people own reasonable discretion

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37 minutes ago, rainbowsandroses said:

If a new man said that to me, I'd be seriously shaking my head thinking something is just not right with him as again telling a new woman that your best memory is when you proposed marriage to your ex wife is not only a red flag but lacks basic common sense among other things. 

What was your response to that? 

Along with keeping stuffed animals on his bed that were gifts from his ex's and everything else suggests "issues" I prefer to not deal with from a grown man.

100%

I encountered a similar date and I cut him loose immediately. He thinks nothing is wrong with telling me about his last relationship, how it was the best, how much she meant a lot to him, and so forth.

We can't waste time like this. Give me a break.

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14 hours ago, MissButterfly said:

But I would like him to know the reasons, because I think it could have been a great long term relationship otherwise.

If you're sincerely wanting to end this, I would skip this part, since it boils down to a last minute attempt to change who he is. 

Big picture: I'd say one of the major cores of compatibility is that the sharp edges of a person do not cut us too deeply. There is no math to this, only mystery. One person's off-color sense of humor can offend one person, crack up another, and in yet someone else elicit noting more than a shrug. A relationship is not going to work with the offended person.

Your version of this: You are thrown into a loop by the way he handles his ex-wife and social media. Putting aside moral analysis of this for a moment, the fact of the matter is that you are thrown, and deeply. Ergo: You'd likely be better off with someone who shares your value system—that exes are deleted upon the end of a relationship—and the gift this man has given you is a sharper awareness of that than you had before you knew him. He, meanwhile, would likely be better off with someone who isn't thrown by all this.

Simple. Always sad, yes. But also simple. 

For whatever it's worth: As an experiment, I just scrolled deeper than I ever have through my girlfriend's SM feed. Lo and behold, there are pictures of her and her ex-husband! Some involve their child. Some are just kinda sweet. These are very old—she and I are approaching six years together—though I see they were not so old when we first met. I never noticed then—or if I did I quickly forgot. Why? These things just don't matter to me. If anything, I'm glad to know her kid can one day scroll down those photos and see those images. I always liked seeing those of my parents, who split up when I was young, and if that perspective is part of my outlook on it all it's also likely a small but important piece of our compatibility puzzle. 

On the other hand? If I asked a woman about her treasured/happy memories and she mentioned making out with one dude or saying yes to marrying another—um, no thanks. Not out of jealousy, but simply because I'd read that as a maturity gap I'd know I couldn't jibe with.

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3 hours ago, MissButterfly said:

Other amber flag that I remembered:

When we first started dating I asked him what were his most treasured/happiest memories (I was thinking more of childhood stuff, for example my most treasured memories are vacations with my family). He said his were his first kiss ever + when he proposed to his ex wife. 
Thoughts?

I thought that, even if a politically incorrect answer and that I obviously don’t like, at least this guy speaks what’s on his mind always, is honest, and doesn’t hide anything from me. If not this, I’ll probably be with someone that hides stuff and doesn’t say what he thinks? 

No it's oversharing and tactless to say that to someone you are dating or want to date.  Having a filter isn't hiding -it shows common sense, manners, caring about others.  A person who treats others thoughtfully isn't hiding anything -he is simply sharing appropriately.  Do you want a man who tells you when your boobs don't look as good in a dress as his ex's boobs looked because he's being "honest?" It's not politically incorrect and lying to yourself that is' some kind of reflection on a trend is ridiculous IMO.  I do appreciate people who aren't afraid to voice their opinions in a divisive world but even then - timing, context and audience matters a lot! 

Do you blurt out when you find someone hot looking on the street or on TV? Even if in that moment  you do and even if  your SO asks you what you think of the person? 

Dishonesty is not answering a question honestly -even if the answer is "that's too personal". If my husband asked me -which he wouldn't- how he measured up to my past lovers I'd answer honestly -I'd say "why do you ask? I'd rather not go there ok?" That's honest.  We don't have to answer every personal question asked and not answering is an honest choice.

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14 hours ago, MissButterfly said:

If I was to tell him that I don’t think we are each other’s person, how do I even verbalize everything I’ve posted above? Do I go into a long detailed list about the reasons? I’m really lost as to how/what to say. But I would like him to know the reasons, because I think it could have been a great long term relationship otherwise.

After only dating for only less than half a year, why in the world would you be eachother's persons?  I think your expectations of him erasing all the photos of the mother of his child while you are only dating to be immature and unkind.

Again, I will admit I am a jealous person, but I know that a person's past makes them who they are, and to really love someone is to love their warts and all (meaning, you take the good with the bad and the inbetween).

A person is your person when you can count on them for the big things and the little things, and they make you feel like home.  Parents who can happily coparent, only benefit the child. And the child and her are a package.  If you cannot accept he wants a harmonious relationship with her, that's your answer.  He thinks big picture, where his kid's well being is prioritized.  You cannot get passed pictures on social media from years ago.  I think you are no where near this to be eachother's persons.

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3 hours ago, MissButterfly said:

@yogacat what suggestions would you have to do it better? Whether it ends up being this relationship or the next - I always like to learn and improve from the situations that I find myself in. 

I've not run into a situation where a few pictures on social media of an ex bothered me. I recall dating someone and I saw some photos of his ex, didn't bother me in the slightest.

I did once come across some photos of a boyfriend with an ex and yes (not on SM), it bothered me initially. But, as time went on, I KNEW I was the one he wanted and chose to be with. Maybe because we were already in a relationship I was feeling a bit more confident but when I initially saw those photos I had my little moment of doubts that I had to work through.

In retrospect, I have been on the receiving end, where a boyfriend was bothered by any past relationship I had when it wasn't a matter of me having feelings for an ex – to the point that I felt like he was trying to erase me from my past life/experiences and make me feel guilty/guilty for having those pictures!

Unfortunately it sounds like you may have to decide whether or not you can live with him having those photos on social media, and possible feelings towards her, or if it's a deal breaker for you. It's clear that it is a big issue for you, and it's not fair for you to continue feeling uncomfortable in the relationship.

I would be bothered though of not liking such pictures and constantly thinking about them and am not going to be able to move past it unless he gives me some clue that he is willing to put the past with her behind him or I can accept what they were. 

This is who he is. He's a sentimental person. He has a sentimental, clingy type personality. That's who he was with you, who he was before meeting his ex, who he still is with his family, with his friends, and how he's been his entire life probably. 

Perhaps he hasn't really let go of not being with her - not necessarily because he wants to be with her, but because he's fixated on that moment in his life. Perhaps, he feels "their best moments were in the best moments of his life" rather than his best moments being in the everyday moments with people he feels closest to now.

It is unfair for me to say that with any certainty though - as I do not know your boyfriend....

BUT a more appropriate answer when you asked him that question, IMO I guess might be- "the moment he met his child" - or "you!"

But you can't force him to feel one way, or to feel another. 

Ultimately, the decision to keep or remove these past articles are his own. But it’s important for him to understand how they make you feel and for you to understand his perspective as well. If you can’t move past this, then it may be time to reevaluate the relationship and your compatibility. 

Which, you're doing. You're getting honest with yourself and that is 100% commendable. You don’t want to be in a relationship where you feel like you have to constantly compete with someone from the past.

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3 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

This rubs me the wrong way.

On one hand, I can understand why he said it, but on the other, it's another sign that he is not over her. First kiss? Comon'. Most of us adults know NOT to say such tactless thing, specially when it's been years since the divorce. I'd expect a person in the rebound stage to behave like this.

@DarkCh0c0 he said first kiss as in his first kiss ever when he was a teen, not the first kiss with his ex wife. But obviously I agree with you. 

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3 hours ago, Coily said:

Something that has to be asked, what was your BF's dating life before his ex? I ask this as he has a lot of sentimentality around the realtionship; if she was his first serious relationship; that would explain a lot.

To play devil's advocate here. A lot of what he's doing sounds a little excessive; but not too far from trying to keep a healthy co-parenting system together. Especially as the ex will still be in his life until the kid is well into adulthood, he may be trying to keep the good times filed away as to not resent her for cheating. There is a small part of me that wonders if he's keeping those photos for the kids, so he can show them later that "daddy and mommy were in love once".

Honestly this is another case of Social media sewing the seeds of discord, rather than two adults talking like civilized persons. me personally I focus on who I'm with, and what we are doing (and where we are going); rather than obsess over something online. Really short of terror threats, SM postings are not much of a useful insight to someone. But that's my Not so Humble Opinion.

 

@Coily BF’s dating:

With ex wife: they were together 6 years total, married only 2 years. They decided to get married after they found out she was pregnant, at which point the relationship was already starting to get rocky. They only got legally married, never had a wedding or a celebration/ceremony of any sort, not even an elopement (allegedly because of finances??).

Before ex wife, he had another 10 year relationship. They were engaged, he proposed after many many years of them being together (but they broke up before planning a wedding).

He’s dated/had other shorter relationships (mostly between 2 and 9 months), but he’s definitely the type of guy that likes to be in a committed relationship (as do I). 

He’s definitely trying to keep the relationship good with the ex wife and wants to do nothing to disturb it. Apparently after the divorce their relationship was not good and it took them a couple of years to figure out how to coparent and have a good relationship without any animosity.

I understand wanting to preserve the photos for their child to see in the future, but I think there’s more appropriate ways to preserve them. Printing them, placing them on an external drive, a computer… anything really that is not so public (which I’ve expressed to him). There’s no scrolling needed to see them, they are the first thing visible when you click on his albums or on his profile pics album. I don’t think that reflects well on me if my family or work contacts were to see them (I have a job where my public image and decision making are under constant scrutiny). We are not talking about a few photos of him with his ex wife + kid. It’s TONS of photos (maybe between 50 and 100?) of all of their intimate moments put up on display for the public, and about half of the photos are of just the ex wife alone. She is tagged in all of the photos so she would find out if he was to delete them. My ex and I had a conversation about eventually deleting photos of each other from our social medias, neither of us got upset about it. Both of us don’t live in the past and are focused on doing what’s best for the current relationship that we are in. 

What are terror threats?

Thank you so much for sharing your point of view - very insightful! 

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3 hours ago, rainbowsandroses said:

My thoughts are I am now wondering if this man has some sort of social disorder as he simply does not know that what's emboldened^ is NOT something you announce to a new woman you're dating even if it's true. 

If a new man said that to me, I'd be seriously shaking my head thinking something is just not right with him as again telling a new woman that your best memory is when you proposed marriage to your ex wife is not only a red flag but lacks basic common sense among other things. 

What was your response to that? 

Along with keeping stuffed animals on his bed that were gifts from his ex's and everything else suggests "issues" I prefer to not deal with from a grown man.

A 15 year old maybe but even 15 year olds have enough common sense to NOT tell a new woman he just started dating something like that, Lord. 

No wonder your sexual desire took a nose dive!  You're dating a man-child.  

Anyway, with the additional context I have a much clearer picture now, there is absolutely nothing good here imo and frankly I'm kinda shocked you've lasted this long with him.

Sounds like a grown man with a child's mentality. 

Surely you can do better. 

 

@rainbowsandroses my response was to say what were my favorite memories, which were vacations with my family. I think (hope) that the contrast in our responses made him realize that he overshared. Although, when he did say that about his favorite memories, he did mention that he knows it sounds weird and that it was because everything about that moment was so perfect (how he planned it, where they were, etc).

The stuffed animal on the bed was “not from an ex but from an ex’s child whom he had gotten very attached to”. I still find it very odd and bothered me a lot. When I break up with someone I return to them everything they’ve ever given me that is of sentimental value. Stuffed animals included. 

I don’t think that any of these things by themselves would be that big of an issue, it’s everything together that it’s really bothering me and messing with my head.

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