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Partner looking at nudes of his Ex - what do I do?

Discussion in 'Gay' started by Asker113, Oct 30, 2019.  |  Print Topic

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  1. Asker113

    Asker113 Greenhorn

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    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?
     
  2. Corvus
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    Corvus Agender chatterbox
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    Welcome to the forums! We're very happy to have you here. This is a safe space where you can be yourself, be heard and respected.

    I would like to apologise in advance because I'm normally the person with the rose-tinted glasses who sees everything on the bright side and I was fully prepared to tell you that maybe it wasn't about that other guy, that maybe your partner was just feeling insecure about something in your relationship but that bracelet detail just raised a bunch of red flags with me.
    I don't think there's anything intrinsically wrong with staying in contact with your ex; not every relationship needs to end badly but to wave a token of his ex-boyfriend in your face all the time and then even going as far as to replace it when lost...
    I've been around a lot of "takers"...people who only put minimal effort into the relationship (be it friendship or romantic) but then not only do they expect you to put in the work for both of you but also manage to make you feel inadequate and lacking as a reward for your effort. That behaviour is extremely toxic and I'm not saying your partner is one of those people but from your message I have no reason to think that he's not.

    If you're really serious about this relationship just talk to your partner about it and lay it all on the table; make some demands if you have to. If you're not really that into him or he refuses to acknowledge that his behaviour is wrong and is hurting you then just drop that mess and move on; you deserve to be treated better.

    Once again, my apologies for the harsh words but I get absolutely pissed when I see abusive behaviour...
     
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  3. Asker113

    Asker113 Greenhorn

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    Thank you for your reply, I appreciate it. I'm just feeling confused and a little insecure. I love my partner very much but my gut feeling tells me that if he had the opportunity to be with this other guy instead of me then he would be. I genuinely believe that and it's not a nice feeling because I keep comparing myself to him and how he looks and eveythieve else. To be fair, my partner rarely talks about him but it's so obvious to me that he thinks about him a lot. He has a naughty pictures folder on his phone and it's about 40 percent this guy and 60 percent random porn. If I talked about this with him he would just shit down and end the conversation. That's how he deals with things. It wouldn't work out well for me. He'd say he's entitled to talk to who he likes and looks at whatever pictures he likes. Maybe that's fair enough. A few months ago he deleted all photos of us together from Instagram. He also deleted all pictures of other people from his Instagram, to be fair. He said he wanted to change the style of his page. Fair enough, maybe. But when I told him it upset me there were no photos of us together on Instagram anymore, he just shut the conversation down and told me it was his Instagram and I was being immature. Conversation isn't going to get me anywhere, but I also feel like I love him too much just to end it without trying.....it's such a mess
     
  4. Corvus
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    Corvus Agender chatterbox
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    That is a mess and I'm sorry your head is just spinning like that. May I offer you a friendly hug?
    It's probably none of my business but I feel like I must ask; it seems like your emotional connection with him only goes one way...what makes you love him so much?
     
  5. Asker113

    Asker113 Greenhorn

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    Interesting question. I'm not sure. He's very different to anyone I've known before. He's interesting and clever and he takes an interest in everything around him. He's ambitious and we do exciting things together. He's not particularly thoughtful and he does normally put himself first. I can kind of deal with that because I like to think about him a lot and we work well together because we're opposites in the sense that I'm probably quite needy and he's quite self sufficient. We work well in many ways but the realisation of knowing that the person you fall asleep next to at night would rather be with someone else, if given the chance, is agonising.
     
  6. Corvus
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    Corvus Agender chatterbox
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    Oh honey, that's not good! You can't be in a relationship with such a huge imbalance of affection...if both of you only care about him there's nobody to care about you. You need love as well and living to love someone is never enough down the road...I know sometimes it's hard to feel like we're worthy of love and that just having someone to love is enough but it's not; you need someone who puts you first, and right now it looks that that person has to be you...you need someone who sees you as an equal, not a servant.
     
  7. Asker113

    Asker113 Greenhorn

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    I don't want to be unfair, he does care about me, I believe he does. And sometimes he does do thoughtful things. Just not so often and generally speaking he will prioritise himself. But I think that's okay. I'm just really struggling with this obsession I believe he has over someone else. On the one hand, I know he'll never act on it because they live so far away and aren't interested in a relationship with him, on the other hand do I want to be with someone who idolises someone else? I mean, attraction is normal and I have to accept he has a past. He can't help still finding this guy attractive. But at what point for me does it become intolerable? I just feel disregarded and a bit worthless. I know that talking won't help, he just shuts down, so this needs to be a decision I take alone. Either I just accept it and get on with things or I tell him it's over and I'm not sure I'm brave enough for the second option (or even that I want it to be over, I actually don't, I just don't want to feel like this)
     
  8. Corvus
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    Corvus Agender chatterbox
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    If the situation was reversed, what do you think he'd do?
     
  9. Asker113

    Asker113 Greenhorn

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    Honestly? I think he might be a little bit freaked out but he'd not make a big deal of it. He's not crazy possessive. It's hard to say with certainty because we've not been in that situation before, but as long as he didn't think I was cheating I think he'd leave it be.
     
  10. Corvus
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    Corvus Agender chatterbox
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    And what do you think that says about the way he feels about you?
     
  11. Asker113

    Asker113 Greenhorn

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    Yeah, maybe that's a fair point. I think he loves me in that sort of familiar, safe way when you get into a routine with someone and you spend so much time together. But I don't think he has a real level of attraction to me any longer, not like he used to and nowhere near the level of this other guy. He just doesn't ever touch me. I know this was also an issue in his previous relationship (a long-term relationship in between the Australian guy and me) - his boyfriend at that time also felt insecure about the australian guy, and I know that my boyfriend stopped having sex with that guy too. It's like the same thing again. His previous ex eventually left, I think because of these issues, am I an idiot to stay?
     
  12. Corvus
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    Corvus Agender chatterbox
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    Of course you're not an idiot for not wanting your relationship to fail but you do need to be honest with yourself on why you're in this relationship. Is it because you truly love your partner and you see a future together where both of your needs can be fulfilled or is it because it's scary to be alone and there's comfort in familiarity?
     
  13. Asker113

    Asker113 Greenhorn

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    I just don't know, I really don't. I don't even know what to say to him or if I can even look at him. He's no idea I've seen the photos on his phone. He's probably looking at them and touching himself thinking about the other guy today. I know he looks at the pictures a lot. I don't know how to act when I see him and I'm not ready to make a decision. We live together and I just don't know what to do
     
  14. Corvus
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    Corvus Agender chatterbox
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    It's ok; just take a deep breath. Forget about him for a bit and focus on yourself...what can you do to help yourself right now, at this moment? Take some time, take a few deep breaths and be calm. You don't have to fix anything right this second. You're here with us, you're safe and we're here for you, ok?
    No need to force anything...
     
  15. Asker113

    Asker113 Greenhorn

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    Thank you
     
  16. Asker113

    Asker113 Greenhorn

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    I feel like there is no good option here. Either I feel super insecure and "second rate" by staying with him, and unavoidably comparing myself to this otheroguy hehis obsessed with, or I end a relationship with someone I really did love. It's very painful and I don't think my self esteem has ever been lower....
     
  17. Corvus
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    Corvus Agender chatterbox
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    Sometimes the choice is not between happiness and misery but between a situation that can't get better and the possibility that another door will open in the future. It's not ideal but life rarely is.

    Stay strong; you will find the right course of action, when you are ready.
     
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  18. Alex_2019
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    Alex_2019 Great Learner
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    It sounds like a dead end relationship, love flows both ways not just one way,
    if someone else came along, he would move on, leaving you in more pain.

    I think you should join a few dating sites, put yourself out there and find a nice guy who really wants to be with you, who thinks the world of you,

    This gives you options, so if you do decide to leave him, at least you won't be alone.
    5 years is a long time to be with someone and moving on is always hard, if you can't get him to change then you have to become the change.
     
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  19. Ivan1985
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    Ivan1985 Greenhorn

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    It is simply cheating at its best. Cheating is not only committed through physically but also it encompasses more things like not getting over about him in his mind ,as you mentioned about he tried find a replica of that stuff and looking his nude pictures.You deserve to be treated better. This love is of no value. This is love of triangle.I think he is breaking your heart into pieces without thinking of what you feel. Find someone who thinks you are worthwhile to be loved and cared. Love should be unconditional and requited. Greetings - Ivan.
     
  20. Morfar
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    Morfar (10+13)/2=11.5%(225)=26amps
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    PULL THE PLUG, I feel for you, gotta hurt.
     

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