Keeping OLD Photos of Your Ex?

Updated on February 03, 2011
L.C. asks from San Lorenzo, CA
25 answers


I know that everyone has past items...of their exes and sometimes you can't get to your old "stuff" and throw them out..or you forget that they were there in that one box.

Anyhow, my husband and I have been together for about 4 years. He moved all his stuff from his grandma's place maybe the last 2 years that we've been together, garbage bags and boxes and I know he still hasn't had the time to sort through all of them. He did sort through stuff the first year we were together...and maybe last year..he was showing me old photos of him and his friends...when I was cleaning last year...I looked at the other photos that he kept in the same zip lock bag...and most were group photos...but didn't realize that some were group pics of him and his ex in them. I didn't really worry about it since I know he's big on pictures with his friends..didn't really think he kept it b/c of his ex. So...Moms....yesterday my husband and I were doing some cleaning in our garage..and of course..lots of boxes of old "stuff". I went into the garage later that evening to do some laundry and there was a bag right in front of the washing machine and I looked through it since some Items were coming out of it...and it was pictures...a handful of pictures...I didn't go through one by one..but when I just looked at them briefly..there were pictures of him and his ex gf and some solo pics of her? At first...when I seen it..I thought.."okay....what is this?". Then I thought...well I wonder what he plans to do with these now..and why didn't he throw these away when he was in here earlier sorting through things? I don't know..maybe he overlooked it...MAYBE. I don't know. I'm not too sure what to think. Today...he brought up my old ex's photos to our son. So, I responded with...I usually throw away those "past" photos or notes..etc.. because those are old chapters in my life that I wouldn't want to open again..and he changed the subject to our son. I was hoping he would take a "hint". I really don't know what to think ladies. I my heart..I believe he really loves me and wouldn't hide things from me..but I think it's his past that's haunting me.

He's been very open with me since DAY ONE...and what I know...haunts me. Here's the other thing that might bother me...she is his high school sweet heart..she cheated on him after his senior year...really heart broken--they have a long history together(of course)....and then I believe eventually they became friends...and maybe 2 years before we were together...I remember him mentioning that he went to see his ex(which was her, I learned that it was at a later time, the hints he gave me), she was married then..had a child by the guy she cheated basically..she was having an affair...and after a husband(back then was just my friend) realized and told her...I can't do this anymore. Now....I know that she's contacted my husband on facebook last year to be friends..but he hasn't added her. I know that she's written him a couple of messages (I've checked his messages every now and then)..there was on message...about a year and half ago..she said that he doesn't have to respond back, but her mom was cleaning out their garage and came across some photos of them two together. I read that..but then deleted it. She contacted my husband again...about 5 months ago..on facebook again...and asked if that was his "baby girl" our daughter.

I also remember a couple of years ago..he said the only person that he wouldn't want to run into his his ex gf from high school...and that's her..and then ..I find these messages on facebook from her.

There's a part of me that thinks that..she's probably the one that has this "TIE' on him. Does that make sense? She is bad you ladies think I have something to worry about? What should I do? I tried sleeping on it last night..and I don't know what to think or how to deal with this right now.

SOO SORRY FOR THE LONG NOVEL. I was just trying to put as much details as I can about this situation.


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answers from Seattle on

One of the things I enjoy SO much is looking at old photos of my parents and GRANDPARENT'S lives. I can't even imagine how much I would have missed out of if they just scrapped their lives prior to meeting their spouse and after leaving home. YEARS lost. Of course they dated people, had relationships... the all added to who they became when they met my genetic contributer. My grandparents actually have their wedding photos from their FIRST marriages (they were each divorced when they met in the 40's), as well as photos taken during their marriages, as well as sweethearts and beauxs from the time prior and in between. It's amazing to me to get to see their whole LIFE. From the stiff formal family portraits/school portraits of the early 1900's, to their dating years in the 20's/30's, to their first marriages in the 30's to 2nd marriages and family photos from 1940-their deaths in the 90's. I can't even imagine how much I would have missed out on if there was a 15 year "gap" between "school photos" and "married to my grandfather/grandmother"... or the 10 year gap in my parent's from highschool to marriage.

It was also a great learning experience romantically... because in the photos my parents and grandparents are happy with other people. Of course, something went wrong -or I'd never have been born-, but it's very educational for a teen/young adult to see that love isn't always enough. That it's GOING to happen (heartbreak).

One of my great regrets in moving as often and as suddenly as I have in my own life is I've lost 7 years of photos. My entire stint in the USMC got wiped out by a flood (except for my grad from bootcamp), my boating trip with a beaux & girlfriend got lost in a move, 3 years of traveling... there's no photo record of. I'll come across an occasional picture that I stashed away to "put away later" that only got temporarily lost... but BELIEVE me... not having those photos to share with my son, or even my husband for when a particular story gets brought up are actually heartbreaking for me.

I've had beauxs who were so insecure that they demanded I "wipe the slate clean" from before I met them. Nope. Huh-uh. I was a living breathing human being BEFORE meeting you, I didn't spring full formed from a clam shell. Who I am today is in large part based off of who I knew in the past. If the idea that I dated other people was so threatening to them that it bothered them in the *present*, that was NOT my issue. In fact 18mo worth of photographs were destroyed by a controlling jerk I left the moment I discovered the VIOLATION of him tossing what "wasn't important now that I was with him". Sorry bucko, my life may not have been important to YOU bit it was important to ME.

I'm NOT saying you're like that... but jealousy & insecurity are things to really look out for. We ALL get jealous and insecured (well, myself at least) from time to time... for ME the bottom line is "Do I have reason to be / is it THEIR problem... or is it my own issues that I need to deal with?"

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I kept all the photos of my ex. Whoever I'm with will have to deal with it. They will be handed down to my children one day. We're not together now, but we WERE and there is no getting around that.
I saved my wedding dress. I don't know why, but I couldn't bear to throw it out. When I had to move, that's exactly what someone that was helping me suggested and my ex took it to his house to keep for me. I'm sure his significant other wouldn't appreciate it, but he doesn't have one at the moment. I don't know....I just can't imagine what my kids would think about me not caring about it. When my daughter was little, she always said she wanted to wear it on her wedding day.
Anyway, it may be special to my kids, but it's just a dress.

I went out with a guy in high school and had tons of pictures of us. I threw them all away years later after being married and having a couple of kids. He was killed in an accident and I felt really badly for throwing the pictures away. His family would have loved to have had them. I stayed in touch with his mother and sister. They had adored me when I dated him.

I think you should talk to your husband about your feelings. In my opinion, the actual photos are no threat to you. They are just images on paper. Your feelings are real though and if he doesn't want to throw the pictures away, I don't think you should try to force him.
Having pictures of someone does not mean you are still in love with them.

The facebook thing, from what it appears, has all been her. Don't punish your husband for what someone else has tried to do.
A little jealousy is flattering, but a full-on insecure woman is not so good.
He's obviously not trying to hide the photos from you.

Just talk to him. That's the only way you'll know if he intends to keep them, store them, toss them, etc.

Don't let someone who isn't even physically in your life come between you and your husband.

Best wishes.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Hi, I think you need to take a deep breath and relax. Have faith in your husband. Tell him that you found the pics and want to know what he wants to do with them and that you are bothered by it. See what he says. Most likely, he didn't see them. Its easy for pics to get put all over---Tell him your feelings and try to not judge. I don't see any evidence of him doing things behind your back. I do think you should stop reading his facebook or checking his messages--you should have more trust in him to do the right thing! Best wishes


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answers from San Francisco on

Hi L.,

She sounds like a pain in the neck and it sounds like your husband knows it. It was a real blow to his ego to be cheated on like that. That's not something you forget especially when it's the first time. He was so young and vulnerable then and she really took advantage of him and hurt him. When she wanted him back, when she was married, that helped him realize it is her who has the problem, not him. He had the character to say he wasn't going to continue with her under those circumstances. He has told you all of this. He hasn't added her as a friend. He knows what she is all about even if he has some fond memories of the fantasy he had at one point that she may be "the one".

I don't think anyone should throw photos or even love letters out. As most people have responded to you, it is simply a part of what makes us who we are. Our past is our past and it can't be removed even if we throw everything related to that time away. It is not a threat to you so just count to ten and let it go. Let him do whatever he wants to with them and you should be supportive about it. There is nothing less attractive than a controlling spouse who is insecure and demanding in this way.

I used to be quite the jealous type when I was young. I know how it feels and it is very destructive both to you and to your relationship. I would be eaten up by anything I felt threatened me in any way. My sister seemed to have no jealousy at all. She explained to me that it is what it is. If her guy (your guy, or my guy) had feelings for someone else, was going to cheat or whatever else we may worry about, so be it. Her anger, controlling actions and words, and insecurities would not change that in any way so just hope for the best and get on with it. She never had any guy cheat on her, in fact, they seemed a bit stunned and impressed by her lack of jealousy and almost wished she had some! They couldn't hurt her with any threats or actions because she decided it was out of her control anyway so she may as well just enjoy her life without all the stress and worry about what may happen and, because nothing she could do would stop a guy from not loving her enough, or having enough character to be faithful and true to her. Once I developed the same attitude, everything changed. I felt stronger in my relationships and more prepared for whatever would come my way. I gave up the belief that I could control that sort of thing because even if I stopped my man from cheating on me by controlling his actions or whereabouts, it's really the desire he would have had to do it or the fact that he had low character and would cheat on me that was the real threat. You have to let people be who they are and do what they will do and then you can respond accordingly.

Wow, I've really gone on (My novel is longer than your novel!!). It's early in the morning and not sure I'm expressing myself well but, nonetheless, it sounds like you have a great, moral guy with character and honesty. Enjoy him! Don't worry about him! If he's not moral and honest and really loves someone else there's nothing you can do to change that no matter how many pictures he throws out and you probably don't want a guy like that anyway. Wouldn't it be better to find that out and get on with your life? It sounds like none of that is a threat to you and you and he will be so much happier when you let it all go and just enjoy your relationship with him and know that whatever happens to those photos makes no difference to the quality of your relationship with him. The real power you do have is to treat him well so that he won't wish to be with anyone else! Good luck and take care of yourself, and HIM!.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My husband has some old photos of his ex girlfriends and I have some of my ex boyfriends. I personally dont believe in throwing away pictures, theyre memories- and just that. If you feel uncomfortable about it though, you need to talk to your husband about it. Dont go sneeking about through his things and making assumptions.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

Not trying to be "mean" here, but honestly, that's just so not right. As a previous poster said, the facebook thing looks like it's been her not him. He hasn't added her as a friend, and that speaks volumes of his commitment to you! Wow! You should really feel good about that.
As for pictures: that is so not your place. And you shouldn't want to try and erase his life before you. It's his life. It's what made him who he is today. It's what led him to you and the life you're building now. I believe in this firmly, enough that we had the lyrics to "The Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts printed in part of our wedding program. What an amazing song, really. Check it out, and rest in the fact that you have a life with him.
My husband had his photos thrown into a big box, not taken care of, all random. It was "hidden away" because he wasn't sure how I'd feel about them. He mentioned throwing them all away when we were moving and I found them (we were living in his "bachelor pad" at the time; I had moved in with him in this little apartment until we could afford a house). I told him that he absolutely should NOT throw those pictures out! Absolutely not! He was surprised by that answer, but it's true! I went to Michaels and bought a bunch of archival photo boxes and told him to sort through them and tell me about stuff, it's his story. I didn't sit over his shoulder; I sat near but gave him his space. He had a trash bag by him, and I told him to throw away what he felt uncomfortable about, but NOT to throw out stuff just because it was his exwife or exgf. He handed me a couple stacks from one group and I labeled the box and looked at what he gave me, and he told me some stories. I labeled and put them in while he sorted some more. There were some that he threw away; I didn't push to know why. Don't need to know (we were grown adults when we met, and we've had lives). It's good to "purge" and say goodbye to some things. It's good for me to know what these pictures are in some basic order so that I could label where and approximately when they were; for my boys to know their father!!! He was a person before me, and it all happened to bring him to me.
We boxed it all up, nice and neat and protected. Then all those photo boxes went into a couple larger file boxes, and are put away in a storage closet. The end.
Me being a girl, I already had most of my photos in photo albums. I've got one that my best friend in 5th grade's mom made for me (sewed fabric and all that). It's got all my "old stuff" (from 3 years old to 7th grade). Then I have an album that is 8th-11th. Senior year was an extremely busy and social year, and I have an album that is all 12th grade and the following year of "partying". There were some interesting pics in that. I took out the ones that are inappropriate, or ones that made me feel "weird", but kept the others. Then I have an album for Bible school (each year), each country I've been to, my time in ministry, etc. They are all important; it's neat to see what an amazing life I've had, and how MUCH my life has changed. The story is painful at times, but wonderful in whole. I went from being an all American girl, all about sports, to partying and going waaaaaay down to living on the streets in New Orleans. I went from there to a radical life change after becoming a Christian, and some amazing adventures there. Went from that to a pretty dry period where I was trying to reevaluate and find myself (my "quarter life crisis"), and then meeting my husband and our adventures together. I will be proud to show that to my boys (some of them, not until they're a little older perhaps, but there's nothing "BAD" in there now). I don't have pictures of people who hurt me or caused real pain. But yeah, I've got basic photos of boyfriends. It's not like I'm pining over them! They are in a box at my mom's house, along with yearbooks and other bits. Why would I not allow the same for my husband? And who misses out here? My kids! I agree with a previous poster that my FAVORITE thing to do EVERY time I went to my grandma's house was to go through the albums (an album for each person). So much fun! And I want the same for my boys and future grandchildren.
Don't punish your husband for something he hasn't done. Don't drive yourself crazy for nothing. Honor your lives, and build the joint life you have now, and ENJOY it.

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answers from San Francisco on

Our complex histories make us who we are. In my opinion, there's nothing to be gained by pretending that we don't have them. Past loves, successes, and failures are all opportunities to learn.

I, personally, would be offended if my current partner were to suggest that I should get rid of all memorabilia from my romantic life before him and I wouldn't ever ask that of him. How he processes his past is totally his business. If I had any reason to believe that he did not want to be with me, or wanted to be with someone else instead, then I would need to deal with that, but that is not about photographs.

Best wishes,


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answers from Washington DC on

I have pictures of all of my old ex's and I keep them in a container with all of my old memory stuff. Stuff from high school, even pictures from when me and my husband were dating. He has the same thing. We have both seen all of our pictures and old stuff. It's no big deal. It's not like I sit there and stare at them all day long. I randomly find it maybe once every 5-10 years.

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answers from San Francisco on

I have pics of my ex, no biggie, they are memories. Also you never know when someone may need them for whatever reason...a child, legal reasons, friends, you just never know. Its fun to look back at our lives, that is what makes us what we are, our experiences in life. I also have a few old letters, that is history... old things have a place in life. they are very interesting & are becoming extinct. Jealousy is not a good thing. Maybe you & him can seperate them in case one day they are needed...just a thought. I will probably pass down my pictures to "our" children one day when I get them together, it is their past too! Good Luck

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answers from Dallas on

I have a box full of pics of old friends and boyfriends in my daughter's certainly doesn't mean I'm harboring old feelings for any of them. It's just a box of momentos from my old life and the old me and that's a big part of who I am now. It's not something I ever want to part with. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. My husband apparently doesn't think there's anything wrong with that either. He knows we're together and we're happy and no one is going anywhere.
I also don't feel like it's a mature, healthy relationship when you're always worried about your husband's ex girlfriend from high school and checking his messages. Is he doing other things to make you feel insecure in this relationship? Because I wouldn't think a box of old photos would make you question his commitment ?

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answers from New York on

Keeping pictures isn't a crime... in fact why would you want someone to erase an entire period of his/her life? My husband has boxes of pictures from college, none of which involve me b/c we met 10 years later. I have albums of pictures that don't feature him... same reason. He has never asked me to throw them out and I haven't asked him either. Keeping in touch with someone casually is fine too, as long as your spouse is okay with it... we actually go out to dinner with my HS boyfriend and his wife when we're in town- we enjoy their company.

So, if he's not initiating or responding (i.e. "accepting her friend request"), then let it go. He's telling you all of this, so he's not hiding it and he isn't keeping a picture of her in his wallet for his private reflection, so you probably have nothing to worry about.

It sounds to me like she made a really big mistake in HS and regrets the outcome... lucky for you she did! Encourage him to keep you in the loop and just make sure she doesn't show up at the front door in a trench coat! :)

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answers from San Francisco on

I'm sure it's probably going to sound like I'm oversimplifying this but there is a great song about this called Back of the Bottom Drawer by Chely Wright

The simple fact is that photos tell the story of our lives - the good and bad, for better or worse. To ask him to discard them is permanently shutting the door on part of who he is or what made him the person he is today. Every relationship teaches us something about ourselves and what we are looking for. They help us determine the 'non-negotiables' and the 'can't live withouts' that shape our next relationship. We all have ex's for every age and stage of our lives. He married you, you have the ring on your finger and that's all you need to know. If any of his ex's were right for him, they wouldn't be his ex's now would they? Be happy that he is sharing these with you and not trying to hide them.

Use this as a way to improve your own relationship by asking why it didn't work out with ex #1, etc. It's entirely possible to learn things you didn't know.

I wouldn't worry about the contact via Facebook. It sounds like they didn't end well and sometimes we need to go back and find that closure. There is a great scene in the movie It's Complicated where Meryle Streep's character is explaining to her kids (after a fling with her ex is exposed) where she says that sometimes you need confirmation that you made the right decision all those years ago.

I recently found someone on Facebook that I was involved with over 20 years ago. I'm not looking for anything from him. I just had a strong "whatever happened to..." urge to fill. What I found was that all this time he was still carrying guilt for something that happened back then and he felt badly for how he treated me an he apologized. I'm long since over the event but it does cross my mind from time to time. Again, like photographs, it's just part of who we are and what makes us the person we are today.

Take comfort in the fact that he has been "very open" with you. When the hiding begins, so do the guilt and problems.

Sorry for the long response.

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answers from Modesto on

My hubby and I both have pics of our exes. It's just part of our past and our kids will end up with them one day. I have tons of pics from highschool with old boyfriends included. They are fun to look at. They are just old pictures that help to remind you of where you've been. I don't think you should be threatened by them. You could ask him why they were out and why he forgot to pack them back up because they could get ruined. Maybe he's trying to make you jealous on purpose? The pictures arent the problem, but it sounds like you guys have an issue other than the pictures and the pictures being out are a sign of something that needs to be fixed in your relationship maybe.

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answers from San Francisco on

I understand your concerns, as I am a person who worries. As much as I hate to admit it, I am the type of person to let jealousy get the best of me in certain situations. If I were in your shoes, I would wonder some, when you put the pictures scenario together with the FB stuff.

My advice to you is similar to other moms. Don't worry about anything until you REALLY feel like you have something to worry about. I know I don't enjoy looking at pictures of my husband's ex, so I try really hard not to have to look at it. But I have never asked him, nor do I intend to ask him to get rid of them.

I had a boyfriend in high school who was very jealous and very my diary without asking (he read it while I was out of the room for a while) - stupid me, left it unlocked. He "made" me throw away old letters and pictures of guy FRIENDS and old boyfriends. When I say made, I literally threw everything in a garbage bag in front of him. Of course, this was years ago, but I hindsight, I should've recovered everything later and just done a better job of hiding it. Better yet, I should've stood up to him and not allowed him to treat me that way. I was young and stupid.

To this day, that totally infuriates me that I allowed him to do that to me. Yes, I still have my memories. And who's to say I wouldn't have thrown all that stuff out later of my own choosing? But I hate now that I can never make that choice for myself.

They are just pictures. I would be more worried about the FB issue. My husband just signed up for FB, and I was very clear that I did not want him friending anyone that might make me uncomfortable. I have been on FB for a while, and I do have lots of friends, but any ex-boyfriends I have friended, he knows about, and have asked him beforehand how it would make him feel. He also has the ability to see anything on my account, and vise versa. I often write messages right in front of him (our computer is hooked up through our TV, so it is on a 27 inch display in plain sight).

If you are uncomfortable with him exchanging messages on FB, tell him. If the ex is the problem, tell your husband you do not like how she is speaking to him, and ask him to tell her to back off, or even ask him to cut her off. If he is unwilling to do that for you, then maybe there is more to the story. You are his wife, and he should not be entertaining ideas about ex's that go beyond friendship.

Most likely, things are probably harmless from his side. Maybe he's finally trying to forgive and forget the things she did to him, and this is his way of processing. But if you suspect something shady, tell him so it can be fixed.

Good luck.

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answers from Chicago on

I can see how that would hurt you, so just come clean. Ask your husband what he wants to do with those pictures.

I have a few pictures of me and exes. Just homecoming, prom and one senior picture from college of me and all my friends. I threw out all the "romantic" pictures, but I kept the ones that had an ex in them if it was with other friends.

Everyone is different. Just get in communication with him. He married YOU, not HER!!

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answers from Stockton on

Honestly, I don't think you have anything to worry about. It's not like he was hiding those pictures from you or something. Maybe you should check the "Sent" folder in his facebook and see if he responded to her messages, but most likely, I bet you find NOTHING!! Sounds like you have a great guy, don't let your mind run away with you!!

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answers from Kansas City on

i totally understand your fears. and i have to say you may have some logic there...but just a little. first off, because SHE cheated on HIM, she probably broke his heart and that's why he has had a hard time letting go. it's not like he lost interest, or anything. S., the facebook thing would, i have to admit, make me uncomfortable. but the problem is you're dealing with the unknown. i would try to talk to him. but don't judge for keeping the pictures. i think i was with my husband around 3-5 years (can't remember that far back!) before i threw out the ex photos, and it was just a closing of a chapter, an admission that it really was finally and completely over, that i was moving forward and not looking back. maybe he's not ready to do that yet. even if he's not it doesn't mean he wants to get back with her, or ever would. it just means that those memories are precious to him and he's not quite ready to close the door and never look back. but i WOULD be honest with him about the facebook thing - spying on his account and deleting his messages is pretty sneaky. not a good road to go down. if you guys can be honest and open and forgiving of each other, you can work through this. good luck!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Fuggeduhboudit! My ex still has some old photos of me, even some souvenirs form our dating days but he's moved on years and years ago and is getting married in a few months. I'm talking from 22 yrs ago. We ran into eachother recently and I begged him to throw those pics out because they were not really good pics of me but he laughed and said, "no way!" So it's kind of a running joke. Don't go crazy over this. This guy had a history before you and he came to be and he just likes to keep the momentos from those days.
Also, I am FB friends with him and his fiancee. You could friend her kind of let her know that you are present, know what I mean?

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answers from Sacramento on

I just wanted to say that I have a box of old letters, photos, and stuff that I keep for history's sake. There are pictures of my ex in that box. It doesn't mean that I'm not over him or that I love my husband any less. I keep them so that someday when I'm gone, my kids or my grandkids can look through that box and learn who I was before I became "mom". I'm sure I'll tell them some stuff, but I seriously doubt I'll ever have the occasion to tell them about most of the stuff that's in that box. I personally love to go through old photos and letters of my great aunts and uncles because it's part of history, their history.

I think you need to trust your husband and stop worrying about the pictures. I would also stay off his facebook.

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answers from San Francisco on

I'll just add a couple things. One, the fact he left the pictures out tells me he is not trying to hide anything. Personally, I don't see the purpose of having pictures of her alone. I would say something about that - for the purpose of preventing resentment not calling into question his trustworthiness. It sounds like he does have some residual feelings, which is typical if it was an emotionally abusive relationship. I would do my best not to take it personally and keep an open dialogue. Secondly, as an FYI, he can block her on fb. Because his relationship with her was so unhealthy it seems reasonable to treat it differently than just any ex.

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answers from Albany on

Personally, I keep in touch with old BFs from time to time, via FB etc. It's not because of the desire to rekindle, it's the desire to hang on to who I was when I was with said person. It does not in anyway threaten my relationship.

Jealousy is toxic to a marriage (whether it's founded or not). You and your husband need to talk openly honestly humbly about your fears.

You've already got the poor guy prosecuted and hung for an old picture?


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answers from Tucson on

Wow that was a lot. My husband has pictures of ex gf too. Homecomming pics, ect. They are boxed away. I don't like him having thhem but i dont loose sleep over it. I think i've thrown away most of my ex's pictures and i think my husband should too. WHat the heck do they need them for right? I dont think you have anything to worry about if hes not activily talking to her on fb ect.

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answers from San Francisco on

i am married for 33 years ... my childhood sweetheart whom i hadnt seen for over 27 years looked for me located me. we live worlds away but the bond the bond we shared it seems never broke ... its almost 40 years now .. our marraiges unfortunately were just a commitment and now i am leaving to join and pursue a life with him in europe where he has a successful business. we both have one grown up child each. we were able to pick up where we left off ... you need to discuss this with your husband talk about it and bring it out into the open. He has probably been too hurt by betrayal to resume anything now ... but talk about it .. In your case it will probably be nothing to worry too much about ... good luck - down under

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answers from Sacramento on

Imagine my surprise when I was looking for somewhere to store a big box of Christmas ornaments shortly after my husband and I got married... I climbed up into the attic and there was his ex-wife's WEDDING DRESS and a bunch of wedding pictures, all boxed up. UGH! I came back down the attic stairs and told him that he had 24 hours to get that stuff out of our house - either give it back to her or take it to Goodwill or throw it away, I didn't care which. He ended up calling her (thinking she would want this stuff back, as IF!). Of course she wanted nothing to do with her wedding dress from a failed marriage, and he ended up taking it to Goodwill. He ended up throwing away the pictures. If he hadn't, I would have.

So my advice is, tell him it really bugs you to see pictures of her. Tell him to give the photos to one of their mutual friends, or throw them away. I'm sure he is just clueless and doesn't realize how annoying this is to you. My husband honestly couldn't understand why I was offended to find his ex's wedding dress in our attic, and for the life of him couldn't understand why his ex didn't want it back. (Headsmack)

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answers from Washington DC on

I agree not to punish him for her behavior. If HE has not given you any reason to doubt HIM, then just ask him to put the pictures up somewhere else. My DH has pictures of old ex-gfs and I have some of old ex-bfs. Not because we pine for those people, but because they were a part of our lives once. If I purged every picture of everyone I ever dated, ever, I wouldn't have any prom pictures, for example.

If you are worried about her contact with him, discuss it with him, but don't be accusatory. He's not responded. He could block her, but really, he's ignoring her already.

Ask yourself why you are so upset and if there's cause or not. Just because you purge the past doesn't mean he has to also.

I once found a box with pictures of my DH's first honeymoon. I simply handed him the box and let him deal with them. He later told me he'd destroyed them, but he does have a few pictures of himself and his ex (with and without their children) for the kids. I know he doesn't want her so I have no problems with them. They are not prominently displayed.

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