Why Does He Keep Sexy Photos of His Old Girlfriends?

Why Does He Keep Sexy Photos of His Old Girlfriends?

I’m engaged to be married to my fiancé. We’ve have been together for 2 years now. My issue is that I want to completely trust him, but he makes it very hard for me to do so.

When the subject of past relationships comes up, he always has a different response as to the number of partners he has had and the seriousness of the relationships.

Also, I’ve found many nude or nearly nude photos on his computer of women he has dated. He also never deleted any women’s phone numbers in his phone after months of us dating. When I asked him why, he said it’s because he doesn’t want to answer when they call.

After we were already engaged, a woman he had a short fling with sent him a provocative photo which he then forwarded to a friend, I guess to prove the fact that she was still not over him.

I don’t feel in the least intimidated about these women, because I’m very secure in myself and in my appearance, but it bothers me that he even would go so low as to associate with and actually sleep with them.

I know this is just the bad part of our relationship but this is basically the main negative. He is, however, the man I fell in love with and actually thought was my soulmate very early on in our relationship.

What do you think? –Evelyn

Dear Evelyn,

I think I need a little more information about you and your fiancé to be able to give a thoughtful and well-informed answer.

I’d like to know how old you are, how long it took until he proposed, what his past looks like, how many women he’s been with, whether his parents are still married and whether he’s the type of person who prides himself on being a devoted husband and father.

There is a very valid explanation for why some men lie; their girlfriends can’t handle the truth.

If he’s very young, proposed very quickly, has a history of cheating and/or deviant behavior, and is getting married despite his lack of belief in the institution, you may have some major issues to confront.

However, without that, all I can do is insert myself in his shoes to address your insecurities about him.

(By the way, this is what I do on every single question. I ask myself: would I do what her boyfriend is doing? If I’d do it, it’s not that bad, because I know that I’m a normal guy and good husband.)

So, you’ve asked him a number of times how many partners he’s had.

You know how many times my wife has asked me? Zero.

You know why she’s never asked me?

Because it’s irrelevant. The past is the past. If I’m 100% loyal and devoted and will be by my wife’s side until the day we die, what difference does it make if I was with 10 women or 100 women? That’s right. None.

Your insecurities are the reason that this topic keeps coming up, Evelyn. And because your fiancé knows you can’t handle the truth, he doesn’t tell you the truth. If the truth is that he’s slept with 100 women and this freaks you out, there doesn’t seem to be much value in telling you, is there?

If he has to put up with the third degree for admitting his humanity, it’s just easier to tell you what you want to hear.

I’m not defending a man who is a congenital liar, by the way.

I’m suggesting that there is a very valid explanation for why some men lie; their girlfriends can’t handle the truth. The truth is that he has a checkered past. The truth is that he likes porn. The truth is that he still finds other women attractive. This doesn’t make him a bad man or a bad partner. It makes him human. And if he has to put up with the third degree for admitting his humanity, it’s just easier to tell you what you want to hear.

Next, you’ve found nude photos on his computer of women he’s dated.

And how, pray tell, did you find such photos? Did they print themselves up? Was he using them as his wallpaper for his desktop?

Or did you get on his computer and start snooping through his files, only to discover that he has a past?

Once again, he wasn’t waving these nude photos in your face: you dug for pay dirt and you hit it. Congratulations. You got the “truth”.

Finally, you seem know which exes he has listed on his phone. How exactly do you know that? It couldn’t be because you looked through his phone, could it? Because I certainly don’t know who’s on my wife’s phone and she doesn’t know who’s on mine.

All in all, Evelyn, you claim that you’re not intimidated by these women, you’re secure with yourself, and you’re happily engaged.

I think your actions indicate otherwise.

Stop snooping, start trusting, and get on with your life instead of worrying about the past.

If you can’t trust your fiancé, you shouldn’t marry him.

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Comments:

  1. 151
    Karmic Equation

    @Ruby
     
    I said my GUESS…which is much less than a DEDUCTION. I chose my words carefully.
     
    And my GUESS is based on more data than your and Cat’s “assumptions” were. MOST men will put up with issues in a woman IF she’s beautiful. Isn’t there an ongoing thread about this, right on this blog? And a lot of women will put up with a guy who’s rich or status’d (i.e., philandering husbands, what’s that former NY AG;s name? How about good ol’ JFK? Or even Clinton?) — So please, don’t call the kettle black when you’re a black pot.

  2. 152
    Karl R

    cat said: (#161)
    “Lots of posters talk like she should be burnt at the stake for ‘snooping’ & for ‘asking more than once’ about his past relationships.”
     
    No, but men will dump her for it.
     
    Her current relationship is probably beyond salvaging. (She doesn’t trust him, and it’s possible that he’s not deserving of trust.) We might as well give her advice that will serve her well in her future relationships.

  3. 153
    Amelia2.0

    A teacher worth the tuition isn’t going to grade your papers or presentations based on how well they know you personally.  They are going to grade you based on the information that you put in the project and how well you present your ideas.  A respectable boss isn’t going to evaluate your work based on what they know about you.  They are going to evaluate it based on the quality of the work you produce.  A doctor who isn’t a total quack isn’t going to make a recommendation based on your personality.  They will recommend a solution according to the symptoms you present with.
     
    Point being here that people can only provide useful feedback based on the situation as it’s presented to them.  If there is incomplete or confusing information, then feedback may require them to make some – wait for it – assumptions and inferences.  I don’t deny that we could have a more informed discussion if we knew more relevant details beyond what was included in this story.  I would be glad to have our assumptions tested.  However, Evelyn did not include more.  EMK is quite upfront in pointing out the missing information needed in this letter that might make for a more balanced approach to Evelyn’s issue.  If more information comes from Evelyn to clarify, then great.  But implying that we can’t provide any criticism because we have to fill in some gaps until then makes giving any sort of feedback pointless.  
     
    More importantly, shutting down constructive feedback with just a “we’re making assumptions” really doesn’t fit in with the spirit of self-improvement in my mind.

  4. 154
    Cat

    @Amelia (167) – I appreciate & agree with your… “I don’t deny that we could have a more informed discussion if we knew more relevant details beyond what was included in this story.” & I didn’t mean to imply that “we can’t provide any criticism”…Rather my point/opinion is that there seems to be less “constructive” advice/criticism going on than insults/blaming/stereotyping etc.  Everyone has different boundaries in a relationship. Some border on almost nonexistent & some border on complete control. My personal opinion is a happy medium works best for a healthy/happy LTR/marriage. There seems to be such a negative attitude on this blog toward people (& especially women) that have boundaries (or try to assert them) & I don’t understand it. That’s all. Just my opinion & I know mine matters about as much as anyone else posting.

  5. 155
    Ruby

    Karmic #165
     
    I’m making my assumption based on what the OP actually said, “He is, however, the man I fell in love with and actually thought was my soulmate very early on in our relationship.” You can love someone even if your trust in them has been called into question. I see nothing in her post to suggest she’s just sticking around because her boyfriend is rich, or that her boyfriend is only staying because of her looks, whether or not there was a thread on this blog about that issue pertaining to someone else. Doesn’t mean that she’s not staying for those reasons, or for others that we are not privy to, but I have no way of knowing that. In any case, I’d say that the OP has gotten plenty of useful feedback at this point.

  6. 156
    David T

    @Amelia 167
    Posters made different assumptions to fill in the gaps and then argued over the resulting different opinions. Those disagreements are non-constructive. It is like one person in Tuscon seeing it is sunny and hot, and someone in Poughkeepsie seeing it is cold and cloudy, and then the two argue over whether a long pants and windbreaker or shorts and sunglasses are more appropriate when going outside. With different underlying assumptions, the differences between opinions are meaningless and pointless to debate over which is more correct.

  7. 157
    Karmic Equation

    @Amelia 163 & 167
     
    Great posts. I agree with you.
     
    You can’t have self-acceptance if you refuse to acknowledge your own faults. Recognizing one’s own good points is easy. But acknowledging our own bad points is hard. No one is perfect, so having faults is human. But it’s a step in the right direction of self-improvement and happiness if you see yourself as you truly are and then work on the parts of yourself you are not happy with. External/physical stuff is easy, a mirror or your friends can clue you in; internal stuff requires an open mind and self-awareness.

  8. 158
    Karl R

    Cat said: (#168)
    “Everyone has different boundaries in a relationship. Some border on almost nonexistent & some border on complete control. [...] There seems to be such a negative attitude on this blog toward people (& especially women) that have boundaries (or try to assert them) & I don’t understand it.”
     
    I think you completely misunderstand the concept of boundaries in a relationship. Trying to control your partner (or allowing your partner to control you) is a sign of poor boundaries.
     
    Let me give you an example of how healthy people assert boundaries inside a relationship. This conversation occurred with a friend that I had known for a couple years but had only recently begun dating.
     
    Her: I like to smoke marijuana sometimes to relax.
    Me: Not when I’m around. I’m allergic to smoke, and that counts.
    Her: Are you telling me what I can or can’t do in my own house.
    Me: No. I’m telling you that if you light up, I’m going outside until the smoke clears.
     
    Both of us were asserting our boundaries, but neither of us was trying to control the other.
     
    Evelyn’s actions (going through his phone and computer, repeatedly questioning him about his past relationships) sound like a violation of her boyfriend’s boundaries. That’s what we’re responding negatively too.

  9. 159
    Anita

    I use my boyfriend’s computer when I work from his apartment. It’s a drag to carry my laptop around. I know his password because he gave it to me and so I know what’s on his computer without snooping. Sometimes you just need to use somebody else’s technology and it isn’t a great invasion of privacy.
    If I were the OP I would dump the guy simply because he seems like a d**che. Don’t have to get into a big discussion about it.

  10. 160
    Jennifer

    Since we are picking this apart line by line, the OP doesn’t say she asked him repeatedly about past relationships, it says his response changes when the topic comes up.
    In college I had a friend whose response about her SAT score changed at least three times. Why was I obsessed with her score? I wasn’t, I never asked once,  but I was around when these conversations were taking place. I noticed that the score kept changing and found it odd and off putting. The score itself wasn’t an issue.
    Maybe the OP is a horribly insecure jealous snooping shrew. But… maybe she isn’t. 

  11. 161
    Still-Looking

    Anita @ 173
    I let others use my computer on occasion but I would consider it an invasion of my privacy if they were “snooping” in my folders.  Likewise, I might have someone spend the night at my house but that doesn’t include permission to go searching through my desk and my mail.

  12. 162
    Cat

    @Karl (172)…I think I understand the concept of boundaries very well, thank you. Why are you assuming the OP is “trying to control” her partner. I think that she has a boundary that has been crossed (nude photos of exes on his computer & exes phone numbers in his phone) & that makes her uncomfortable. We all agree if she came across them the wrong way (snooping) that wasn’t right. But aside from her snooping, what she’s trying to do is assert her boundaries. If he is not willing to get rid of said things that make her uncomfortable than she can leave. She is not “controlling” him by asking him to get rid of them, he either does or doesn’t & that is HIS decision. There is no control involved.  You are making it sound like since it bothers her that he has this type of material – she is “controlling”. How is it “controlling” to ask someone for something? How is it controlling to have certain feelings about certain things? It’s not.

  13. 163
    Lia

    @ Amelia 2.0 # 152
     
    The picture of the cat and the subject line OMG… LOL…LOL… 
     
    @ Karl #153
     
    Can I just add my YES to the whole thing.  (I know, I know take a number.)
     
    @ Cat #176
     
    I get what you are trying to say.  I would say that my point of view is different from yours.    You write, “I think that she has a boundary that has been crossed (nude photos of exes on his computer & exes phone numbers in his phone) & that makes her uncomfortable.”  
     
    Let’s ignore all the other stuff – how she knows, did she snoop, bla, bla, bla.  How was HER boundary crossed by him having photos?  How does his having the photos and ex’s phone numbers MAKE her feel uncomfortable.  I think the distinction is that she feels uncomfortable about the photos, not that the photos MAKE her uncomfortable.  
     
    I know that seems like nit-picky word play but I am really not trying to attack your post.  I am trying to point out something that is a very common point of view and I am only using your wording to give a different look.
     
    I am not saying that she is wrong to feel upset.  Feeling are feelings.  We don’t control our feelings.  What we do with those feelings is what we do have control over.  She has a feeling that she doesn’t like (jealousy, fear, whatever).  She doesn’t like that feeling and she decides that if he does _____ (gets rid of the pictures, delete the phone numbers, whatever) she will feel better.  She is making her feelings his fault and responsibility.  Now in order for her to feel better she needs to get him to do what she wants him to.  
     
    My sister has a saying, “Take him as he is or not at all.”  We can argue all day about did she do this, did he do that… who cares.  She doesn’t want to take him as he is.  She wants to change him.  It doesn’t matter what it is that she wants to change – the way he talks, who his friends are, if he keeps nude photos, etc.. A person can justify anything that they feel they want someone else to do.   I don’t think it is very productive to argue about wether or not it is okay to keep the phone numbers or the pictures.  If there is something about him that is FOR HER a deal breaker then by definition the deal is off…
     
    Or she can just choose to continue to see herself as a victim of his actions and inaction.

  14. 164
    cat

    Great post Lia (177) & I very much appreciate your point of view without attacking mine like some do around here. I guess “boundaries” mean something a little different to everyone.

  15. 165
    Rose

    To the girl if she is reading/reads this.
     
    Q Do you want to be with a man who is doing this?
    Either it is a boundary and you do not want it and just say to him he is entitled to live his life however he wants, do what he wants. But it is not something you want in your life so you do not think you are compatible and a match.
    Or you accept that he keeps nude pics of his exes and is collecting new ones still liaises with them and forwards these pics on to other men.
    This is who is is and what he does.He gets to do what he wants.
    And you get to choose if you want to tolerate and accept have that in your life.
    Only you know what are your core boundaries and what you want.
    Is it a dealbreaker for you?
    Would be for me.
    I personally wouldn’t want a man who was doing that as my husband.
    I would leave him to get on with it and get out there and find a better man and better match for me. I prefer real grown up men myself rather than man/boys.
    Only you know what is right for you though and what you want.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  16. 166
    Lia

    @ Cat #178
     
    Thank you.  I am glad you understand that I wasn’t attacking you and that you were so gracious in your response.

  17. 167
    Rose

    Absolutely Lia. And the only way to take 100% responsibility for her feelings over this if it is a deal breaker is to honor them and herself and walk away.
     

  18. 169
    C

    Dear Evan, I’m disappointed by your response, or rather, reaction to this woman. She is clearly overwhelmed and seeking help. Whether her actions or insecurities are “right” or “wrong” she turned to you for help, understanding, and to be seen as someone vulnerable. As a professional who says he is here to help improve relationships, you did see that, right? What I saw in your letter to Evelyn was projection. If I missed the part where you asked to understand her history and the root of her insecurities, then my apologies to you. I’m pretty sure you only inquired about her partners though. This was, after all, a cry for help in the form of a trusted letter to you. A letter about a two person relationship. She deserved your compassion and empathy as much as her fiancé did in your eyes. 

  19. 170
    L

    I have to give my input because I And many others today are In similar position as Evelyn. An C is very right that you are projecting your experiences which is not that of all men . I know this as a fact being an internet security specialist who studied it as part of my degree and Masters . I wrote theses after  years of studying ,setting my websites and questionnaires. That is the professional and academic angle. But I also have a huge family and know intimate details of  long term relationships and marriages. I too was married and now a relationship with my soulmate , engaged and very happy except for the absence of trust on my part. Most people who have families or work in offices treat PC s as a system and medium completely ACCESSIBLE     to  others so there is nothing to hide  there. However  cellphones and personal tablets etc have become a diary for many now along with intimate and private photos /videos. The question you  have ask is why do you mind your fiancée snooping ? you are about to share your life, your wealth , your DNA should you have children. You need to know what she or he really is, if is his past is still his present and will it be an indicator of his future behaviour?  Personally I went ballistic when  I found intimate chats with the exes . I didn’t snoop. I was making the bed when he was in the shower ( I was in first and he was communicating while I was. ) he left his phone on the floor and I stepped on it by accident . I picked it up to see if it was OK as I am 128lb! I saw the texts and 6 messages to and fro each other and a few other exes visible just by scrolling the inbox. I felt sick  but did not confront him because I felt bad !  Anyone who does this please understand YOU are not the guilty party!!!! Like Evan suggest I like Evelyn are now deal breakers. WRONG! I dumped him soon after. Over 18 mths I have dumped him 3 times but he was distraught and I love him enough to lower my bar to allow him back. Since then I accidentally seen his opened emails  And realised he had deleted  everything after he met me ( but left what’s before he met me…fair enough . I wasn’t in his life then). However he keeps porn style photos  of his exes.  So some men like to be reminded of times when they were aroused and having sex etc. Thank god I never allowed my 2 exs to take photos of me, no matter how hot I look in Bed. One ex sent me a clip of a couple in bed telling me I was like/look like that girl. She was indeed extremely sexy in bustier and high boots, slim, long hair .  I dumped this ex when I discovered he cheated on me in the beginning of our relationship although it was 4 years on when’s found out. Reason : I know he cheated on his wife and showed me he hasn’t changed. I myself was married young for many years . When I left the ex husband ,  an IT problem lead me to find my loving ex husband had taken sneak creep semi and naked pictures of me. I was appalled that the IT people found them. Later on the specialist sent me lewd suggestion until today 6 yrs on he is still trying to Linkedin  me ( it’s a professional contact site). So you can’t trust a husband , nor an ex lover  nor a present fiancée. Why do you ask am I still engaged? Because I am learning fast that his mobile and tablet is his photo album and diary . His past is just that Past. He loves me that i know. We have great sex but I am not a porn star nor a piece of sexual meat that anyman can enjoy . YES I do send him headless photos of myself in sexy underwear. The kinds that is anonymous and yet classy. But what does this say about Evelyn’s future? It doesn’t bode well . I would enjoy the relationship for now , don’t marry him until you accept the  past and trust that he has changed. Mine continues to show me he is changing by throwing out old cloths ,bed, renovated his place completely etc…. He planted trees and flowers for me in his once barren garden Etc and has stopped asking for sexy pics of me. Do I trust him .? Yes but not enough. My studies and experiences tell me I shouldn’t.  
     
     

     
     

  20. 171
    Muffy

    I have never seen such a well-written explanation of a situation like this. Evan is 100% spot-on. His statement regarding the photos being discovered was accurate and correct. I’d like to mention that it sounded as though the OP has some issues regarding security. The fix, in my opinion, might be for her to explain how she feels and why. Maybe the fiancée could use a cheat sheet on how to make her feel more secure and safe. I could be wrong, but here is my take: Online fun, pictures and pornography in my mind, are not forms of “cheating,” unless it’s a boundary in the relationship that both partners agree on. His sending the photo to his friend was something men do – they brag and boost one another’s ego. I may receive negative feedback for saying so, but that sort of thing (unless he’s actually physically cheating) really would not be something I’d allow cause a rift in my relationship. Men enjoy that sort of thing, and in my mind it doesn’t affect the relationship unless either partner allows it to. I dated a good man for 4 years. During our relationship he maintained a friendship with his ex, and he spoke with her regularly (monthly, here and there.) This did not bother me. On the flip side, men have become very upset and insecure if I maintain certain male friendships. That said, I think it depends on the couple and the situation. But Evan’s advice was excellent. :)

  21. 172
    sasha brown

    Open dialogue. There is nothing wrong with asking for a number of previous sexual parteners. It is natural to want to know a persons history. I asked my husband when we first started dating, he was afraid the answer would drive me away because I was batting zero. It didn’t. I simply wanted to know. Now I do. I do not feel worried about why he lied to me or wouldn’t tell me because he answered truthfully. Lies and hiding information indicates someone knows what they are doing will upset someone or get them in trouble. If a person suspects their s.o. of this, it is so much worse than knowing the truth. Women: if there is a problem, dont sneak around looking for hidden things. Speak. If you still dont trust them, you dont belong with that person. Men: dont lie to her to protect her or yourself, tell the truth and if she really cant handle that, you dont belong together. Stop playing mind games.

  22. 173
    tamara

    This is not the first story on Evan’s blog involving someone (usu. female) snooping on the partner’s phone/computer. This is why I have passwords on my phone, laptop and PC–and will probably continue to do so after marriage. I like my privacy, and don’t really want my partner knowing I bookmark pages like “Best-smelling Sunscreens”…Seriously, having a very insecure partner is extreeemely annoying. Pple prone to this need to work on that. I have an ex-bf like that, this trait of his drove me crazy, and still does (cos he continues sending daily harrassing nasty smses out of his jealousy)! He would pick up my phone and try looking thru it (password, ha!), send many smses daily asking where I was, even wait in his car outside my home to see if I was coming back alone, etc. And yes I did try to break up many times but he refused to let me go, still refuses (though I’ve told him it’s over and haven’t seen him for Months!), and is making my life difficult. 
     
    People who are v insecure are sabotaging their rships and making ppl around them miserable. I think they need counselling or some type of help, and must remember that they should not be taking out Their insecurity on others. That said, I’m not claiming this woman is as bad as my ex, and like Evan says, there’s incomplete info here. Maybe the bf really has bad character, and the ex-gf who sent a provocative photo to the ex-bf who was attached–seems desperate and not a nice person. If the bf isn’t trustworthy, just leave. I agree 100% with every word Evan says here. I think men tend to understand this particular issue much better than women on average (unfortunately not my ex).

    1. 173.1
      starthrower68

      Tamara, while I get where you’re coming from, I think we all have some degree of insecurity.  People are imperfect and life is often messy.  I think it’s in how the other person deals with that insecurity that determines his or her ability to be a good partner.  I think we have to be careful about insisting on a partner having no baggage.  I.Don’t think any of us get through this life without going through something or some things.  How someone navigates life’s challenges reveals his or her level of character.  I’m not trying to argue with you, just giving my 2-cents worth. :-)

      1. 173.1.1
        tamara

        Hi Starthrower68, I agree that just about everyone has some insecurity. Personally though, I’ve tended to be quite emotionally distant in rships (not deliberately, and I’m trying to change), even if I loved the guy, and so the thought of getting jealous and snooping to check up on one’s partner is smthg so inconceivable to me.  Plus, this may sound strange, but from reading the papers, I notice so many crimes–some heinous ones–committed out of insecurity/jealousy, such that this particular character flaw Really gets under my skin. Thus unfortunately u may come across some other comments on this blog where I sound a bit impatient/cold when on the topic of very insecure pple. I suppose I should try to be more understanding, I certainly have my own character flaws.
         
        And like u said, insecurity alone isn’t really the problem, it’s more about how someone handles it. At low levels I think it can even be good. I think when someone is a little insecure about a rship for e.g., it could mean the person is treasuring the partner more and not taking the partner for granted. :)

        1. starthrower68

          Tamara, your comment about being distant in relationships: I share in that struggle.  My mother left my dad and I when I was 5; she was very young when she had me (19) and I spent a lot of time as a baby in the playpen in front of Sesame Street.  My dad fought for and won custody and he was a good provider, but he was very distant. He was really only emotionally involved with me when I was in trouble and a lot of times it was just for being a typical kid.  I have an avoidant attachment style. I know it’s part of what’s to blame for my divorce.  I was just starting to make headway with that when my therapist stopped his private practice. I decided that I had all the head knowledge on that I could and it was time to just “get over it”. But easier said than done.  I digress a bit here, in order to get to my question: is your distance for similar reasons, perhaps?  I did not learn a healthy style of attachment. Our friend Rusty has mentioned Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages: mine would be doing acts of service.  It’s funny, I have always been able to love on my kids, but romantic love causes anxiety for me.  I get caught in that vicious circle of fearing rejection and fearing intimacy.  After the last relationship ended, I’ve just kind of shut down.  I know the only way to get past it is to confront the fears head-on, and do it afraid. However, 46 year old plus size women are very low on the SMV scale.  I also know that raising my daughter (my boys are grown), and other things have to take priority right now.  I apologize for going off on this bunny trail, but your post really inspired some thoughts. :-)

        2. tamara

          Starthrower68, I’m amazed u remember watching Sesame Street as baby, or did someone tell u later? Thanks for sharing about being emotionally distant and the reasons for that, it’s not a problem talked about by many of the commenters here and I was starting to feel alien-like (more so than usual, haha). :p
           
          Btw pls don’t think u’re low on the SMV scale, i don’t believe that as overall u come across as an attractive person. Btw lots of pple, incl many men, find fuller-figured women v beautiful. But I think plus-size women require more careful dressing because not all clothes are flattering on that shape.
           
          I’m sorry that this problem contributed to your divorce; but I can totally understand how that would happen. Knowing I have this trait is one thing that really scares me off marriage–I know being emotionally detached often and needing lots of personal time and space could hurt my future spouse if he doesn’t understand, and our marriage might fail..anticipating this makes me even more emotionally distant from romantic partners. Kind of a vicious cycle. Btw did you start therapy for this before your divorce?
           
          Thank u for bringing up the ‘avoidant attachment’ theory, I hadn’t heard of it and read up a bit, it’s useful information. I would probably be classed as dismissive-avoidant. Unlike your situation, i don’t think my problem started so v young, more like in teen yrs. And it’s not due to anxiety. My conservative parents didn’t let me date till i was 18 (though I snuck off on a few dates), and in my teens i gradually focused more and more on studies and other achievements than on spending time with friends/family. In early adult yrs, a pill addiction hindered me from developing rships and also cut me off from my friends and family. Somewhere along the way, I guess I got too used to being alone, so I’m not just somewhat distant in romantic rships, but also in friendships and family rships. Like I said, I’m really trying to change all this, but like u, I’m find it pretty hard. :( Especially since I’m quite introverted to begin with.
           
          I think having kids may make it even harder for your avoidant attachment, in the sense that u end up with even less time to think about romantic rships, plus they already partly fill that common need to love and be loved. And u’ve already had the experience of being married. Whereas for me, getting married and maybe having a child are still ideas that have the charm of novelty, so despite my misgivings, I still do try to date.
           
          I would encourage u to continue getting counselling if u find it useful. I’m considering a few sessions too. And try to date casually? If the thought of more serious rships is too much to handle for u now. I find that going out with new pple is enriching and it’s fun to learn more about others, even though I do love ‘alone’ time too. And like Linda said below, u can spend time on what u want too, not just devote it all to ur kids. :) I honestly think that, despite the avoidant tendency, u have many of the character traits and the soft calm demeanor that men will like.
           
           
           

  23. 174
    GL

    I agree with Evan here. When I want to snoop I am being insecure or the relationship is making me feel insecure. But I can definitely relate to Evelyn here. I think when women are insecure we have a tendency to want to be THE ONLY ONE in our man’s mind. I know that I like to be the object of his sexual desire, it makes me feel good. However that’s not realistic. Men are visual and I’ve even seen my boyfriends get a: “that’s hot” face towards other women. In the past I would react badly to this, but now I am understanding…with limitations. I don’t really want a guy who is going to keep pictures around like that of his exes. Those relationships are over. I am more comfortable with porn mags around the house because I know he had no emotional attachment to those women. 

    I feel like I have newfound wisdom about this  because of this last jerk I dated. He didn’t have just ex-pictures on his Facebook. He had multiple ex pictures of multiple women, that displayed love and affection. He also showed me all of those pictures and explained to me that they dated. That does not coincide with my values. I don’t leave lovey-dovey cuddle pictures of my exes up anywhere, because that relationship is over. I am done with my past relationships so I’m not going to tell him about this guy, that guy, I was dating. In fact I tried to share ex stories and he flipped out.  This guy also flipped out when I tried to bring up our differences with this issue. As a result of this lame BS, I was anxiety ridden and became a crazy texter. I have 2 other men (one who wants me, one I want), who are both on my Facebook and they have ex pictures but it there isn’t this blatant display of love and affection, they look like friends. That to me is acceptable.

    The flip side is though, that women feel sexually attracted to other men while they are in monogamous relationships. Women can become aroused at porn. Women can size up other men while on dates. Even if this fiance is keeping sexy pics of his ex is keeping his pictures around..so can women. Just go on OK Cupid, there are plenty of men who want to send sexy pics. I also don’t want my boyfriends getting into my Facebook or email. That’s creepy.

    So yes, it can hurt, that men like to look at other women, but that is being a man. You just have to get over it and look at the evidence of their behavior. The good men will make you feel secure. Honestly I don’t care if dudes keep a couple pictures of exes and mementos from their relationships, but if they left their computer up and I saw a library of sexy ex pics, that’s a deal breaker. Also getting a sexy pic of his ex and forwarding it to a friend? That’s not gentlemanly, I don’t really want that kind of guy.

  24. 175
    GL

    I wanted to add for Evelyn that it sounds like this guy is a ‘dick swinger,’ meaning he puffs his ego up about how many t&a pictures he can collect and how many chicks he gets, or money he makes, or whatever inflates his self-esteem. I am so not into those guys, but other women can handle it.

  25. 176
    Linda

    Starthrower68,

    you our deserve to be a priority too.  Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you take a back seat.  You can still take care of you.  I don’t mean to be rude, but making only your kids a priority is just another excuse to be without a relationship.  You deserve love and you always have and always will.  I highly recommend reading books by Kathryn Alice.  They might be very helpful to you.  You might also check into the Release Technique, which can help you get past the issues you mentioned.  I wish you the love of your life and all the happiness in the world!!

     

    1. 176.1
      starthrower68

      Thank you for the kind thoughts, Linda.  I am still figuring it out.  I admit to part of it being I just don’t know what I want.  :-)

  26. 177
    Maya

    I think this is a chicken and egg situation. We don’t have enough facts to know whether his inconsistent answers triggered her insecurities, which led to the snooping, or whether her insecurities made him withhold information to avoid conflict. All I can see is that this is heading for a downward spiral, unless perhaps some professional help is sought by this couple. Without it, he would continue his present behaviour, which would further fuel her insecurities, which would compel her to snoop or interrogate him, and he in turn, feeling distrusted and interrogated would withhold more information, and the cycle would just continue on and on, with disastrous results.

    I’ve been in the situation where inconsistent answers led me to question my partner’s honesty, and I’ve also been in the position where I snooped. Putting myself in Evelyn’s shoes, I can understand why she felt compelled to snoop – the inconsistent answers, the nude photos, forwarding provocative photos – each incident in itself is not enough to be a dealbreaker, but does understandably give rise to uneasy feelings within her. Cumulatively, it was enough to create mistrust and doubt in her. But having said that, snooping is NEVER the answer, for reasons I’ll explain a little later on.

    Having said that, as Evan and many other readers have pointed out, every person has a past. You can’t erase or get rid of it or change it – you can only decide if you can accept it. With the photos, even if Evelyn got her fiancee to delete each and every photo which made her feel uncomfortable, I don’t think that would increase her trust in her fiancee. As for the provocative photo from the former fling, I would wonder why he is receiving such photos in the first place. While maintaining a friendship with an ex is not in itself wrong, it seems wrong if you are still receiving provocative photos from your ex. It would make me question whether their relationship is as platonic as he represents, if he is welcoming such “advances” from her, and what he is doing to stop such behaviour from her, if at all. The fact that he forwarded the provocative photo to a friend suggests he is somewhat juvenile, especially if it is done to “brag” to his friend that she isn’t over him. 

    Ultimately, I think Evelyn needs to decide if she wants to work on this relationship, and that decision depends on the extent to which her fiancee is willing to be open and honest and respectful to her.

    Snooping is never the answer / solution (as I’ve learnt the hard way). I think once you feel the urge to snoop, it is indicative of the fact that you don’t trust your partner. Even if your snooping didn’t throw up any dirt, the mistrust in you won’t go away. You may feel a temporary relief, like – “phew, didn’t find anything there”. But chances are, you’ll snoop again, and you’ll keep snooping until you find the dirt you seek (chances are you will). You may think that in snooping, you can catch the behaviour and address it before it turns into a problem – let me tell you this is far from the case, you will NEVER be able to keep tabs on your partner all time, and all that worry and anxiety your mistrust will just wear you out, and wear on your relationship.

    It boils down to this – does Evelyn trust her fiancee or not, and if she doesn’t, is there anything that can be done to build the trust. If the answer to both questions is no, it is best to exit the relationship, however painful it may be. 

     
     

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