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Partner looks at nude pics of Ex - please help

 
 
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2019 02:19 am
I have been with my partner for about 5 years. We are a same sex couple based in Cardiff, Wales, in our late twenties.

My partner had a previous brief relationship with a guy he met when holidaying in Australia some years ago (before I was on the scene). They didn't exactly date but they had an intense kind of relationship and even discussed moving country to be together, though that didn't ultimately work out.

Fast forward all these years and I think my partner is still obsessed with him. I recently discovered photos of this guy on his phone. All kinds of photos, from the completely nude to fully clothed and just smiling at the mirror (those ones actually concerned me much more). I know he's been looking at them and jacking off over them a lot.

I know he's not cheating (in the traditional sense) and I know these photos are from many years ago, but I'm deeply concerned that he just can't get over this guy. I know I shouldn't have been looking through his phone but a few years ago I knew they were messaging eachother but he deleted them before I could see. Although they're not messaging any more I still feel insecure and that's why I checked the phone.

He also lost a bracelet this guy gave him and so made a huge effort to find an exact replica and he wears it all the time. He knows it bothers me and doesn't seem to care.

The final point is that this other guy is absolutely stunning. I mean, really. And I know that's playing a part in it in my head. I'm, okay, but nowhere near on the same league.

I don't know what to do because if I bring the issue up, he will be mad I looked at his phone and he'll also not delete the photos, I know he won't. I just wonder if it's worth being with someone who is obsessed with someone else?
 
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2019 05:13 am
@Asker113,
The real issue is that he's doing something he knows bothers you, yet doesn't seem to care.

Talk to him about that, as calmly as you can. And if his reasoning isn't sufficient in your eyes, decide what that means to you.
Asker113
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2019 07:15 am
@jespah,
Thank you. I'm pretty sure he would just say that he is entitled to do what he likes, and that what he is doing isn't cheating. We've had similar discussions before and that's how it ends. I don't want to break up what has otherwise been a successful relationship but it makes me feel like crap that he idloises his ex in this way. He doesn't really touch me sexually or say nice things to me, whereas I know he finds this other guy crazy attractive. It's not all bad, and I'm probably concentrating on the negative, but I just feel so disregarded and hopeless.
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2019 09:08 am
@Asker113,
I'm straight, but I had a girlfriend who kept going on about her ex, who I met and thought was a dick.

It didn't last long.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2019 10:08 am
@Asker113,
You're entitled to feel how you feel. So tell him.

Maybe he'll surprise you with what he says (I hope he does).
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2019 10:31 am
@Asker113,
It would really bother me if my current partner were looking at pictures of their ex. If you are with me, be with me.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2019 01:50 pm
I gotta ask.

How do you know he’s been masturbating to these pictures, let alone “a lot”?

Re the bracelet, could it be that he simply liked it so much that when it was lost he wanted the same?

This is the danger of snooping around in others private stuff.

Damn, can’t a person have their own fantasties, if it turns out he does masturbate to the pics?

Is this a hill you want to die on? Being upset over what another person thinks about when they play with themselves?

Asker113
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2019 02:13 pm
@chai2,
Well I'm pretty sure he's been masturbating to them because he keeps the pictures with all his other porn. It forms a large proportion of his porn and by his own admission he wants a lot. Wanking and porn don't bother me at all, neither do fantasies, but the emotional connection is what troubles me. Regarding the bracelet, you might be right, but is there not a problem if he knows it bothered me and wears it, and buys another, anyway? I just feel like I am being treated as an afterthought
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2019 04:32 pm
@Asker113,
Let me ask you a few questions then Asker.

When you're sick, is he there to do whatever he can to help you feel better?

If you got cancer, or became disabled, would he make sure you got to treatments, and make sure you were being taken care of properly?

If he's better at something around the house, does he take charge of it?

If something good happens to him, are you the first one he tells?

Does he get along with your parents?

When he's out grocery shopping, does he pick up stuff for you as a surprise? Your favorite cookies, that yogurt you like, some interesting food he thinks you might enjoy?

Life in a relationship is about the big things, like what would happen if either of had health care problems. It's also about the small things like being handed an ice cream mochi dumpling, or having an inside joke.

Even if he is wanking to the pictures, he's living with you, not this other guy.
If he wanted to be with him, he would be, or at least he wouldn't be with you.

Don't be petty about this. Especially the bracelet thing.
The other thing is really none of your bee's wax.

No one can be all things to another person.
Now That's an unrealistic fantasy.

Your choices are whining an moaning and causing strife, or getting along as best you can with another, realizing everyone has private things.

You made a grave error looking at his phone, and you could work on realizing that's private. Would you read someone private journal or diary?





Asker113
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2019 04:46 pm
@chai2,
I think your advice is useful, and part of the reason I sought advice was to hear from people who thought differently. I think you're close to being a little imbalanced, because clearly there's at least an issue here in terms of the volume of pictures of just one person, who he used to be with - I think most people would find that hard to stomach. I haven't 'whined or moaned' to him - in fact I haven't said anything because I wanted to think about this and get advice. You can't disregard entirely a natural human emotion and I have to be able to process it in the best way that I can. Maybe I shouldn't have checked the phone, but that's done now and I saw what I saw. I can't nessecarily agree that he wouldn't be with me if he wanted to be with the other guy - it simply isn't an option for him to be with that guy and so he's got to either be single or choose who else he likes enough instead. That's just the reality of life and I'm trying to process that the best I can. Again, I'm grateful for your views.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2019 05:30 pm
@Asker113,
Even though what's done is done, if you hadn't been snooping you wouldn't have know the volume of pictures, or if there was even one.

Even if you had reason to look at his phone, why would you be checking out his porn?

You were looking for something. If you were looking for something, you don't trust him. If you don't trust him, you're with him in part for the drama.

The fact is, he has chosen you.
But, I'm not sure if you've chosen him.

You're gonna do what you're gonna do. However, I am constantly amazed at how so many people want to control aspects of anothers life that's NOYB.

Heh. Just thought of something.
I've often wondered why parents will disown a son or daughter when they find out they are gay. My opinion is "How could you do that? They are the exact same person they were yesterday, before you knew."

Your partner is the exact same person he was before you opened pandora's box.
It's not like he murdered someone, or abused a child, or you found out something else that is just morally wrong.

Has this person cheated on you? Has he ever physically harmed you or taken advantage of you? He's the same person.

BTW, this bracelet thing is pure bullshit. He like the bracelet, get over it. Same with "this other guy is so good looking". It means nothing.

Asker113
 
  0  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2019 05:33 pm
@chai2,
You're now beginning to undermine your own points with the lack of any balance. I understand what you're saying but I think you've tried to depict a complex situation as black and white. Again, thank you for the advice.
0 Replies
 
Asker113
 
  0  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2019 05:47 pm
@chai2,
I'm also really unsure why you think describing an issue I've raised as "bullshit" is helpful to this forum. What is the point of that? Clearly, it's something that has upset me and my feelings are surely worthy of consideration. Advising that it isn't actually an issue in your opinion is absolutely fine, but I can't really understand what you think is useful about being so dismissive of a point a person has raised, in a situation that is very obviously difficult for them. It might be worth reflecting on that if you're contributing on similar posts in the future.
0 Replies
 
neptuneblue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2019 07:56 pm
@Asker113,
Asker113 wrote:
so he's got to either be single or choose who else he likes enough instead.


That's a pretty odd way of looking how a relationship impacts your life. It's like you have no say so on how you're seen as a partner, how you matter to that person or even if you get a say so in being in a relationship with that person.

I know one thing for sure. If I felt as insecure as you sound, I wouldn't wait for him to make up my mind, it would already be made up.

I understand people have pasts and sometimes it's hard to let go. Sure, I get that. But if I felt someone was with me because they're treating me as a 2nd choice instead of a 1st choice, then I wouldn't be there.

So, what's actually going on you're willing to sacrifice "you" to be with him?
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Nov, 2019 06:37 am
You say he “doesn’t really touch me or say nice things to me.”

When did this start?

Is this ex still living?
0 Replies
 
 

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