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Snooped and Found Photos of His Ex

I Snooped and Found Photos of His Ex — Should I Say Something?

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

Yes, I was snooping. Yes, it was morally wrong, but I did. He has an external hard drive with videos on it, so when I was looking for a video to watch, I found a folder of photos. I opened it and found a folder inside called "Private Photos," so of course I'm going to open that one. There, I found pictures of his ex-girlfriend — some that were normal, some of her partially naked, and a few videos of them together. Ugh. I felt so disgusting checking it out, but at the same time I couldn't stop looking. Like, is she prettier than me? Is that photo of him really a photo of him in love?

They were together for three years, then broke up because he moved overseas and she couldn't follow him. He never hid their relationship from me — he's always said that he is over her and loves me. I'm sure he never looks at those photos anymore, but it eats at me that they exist on a compact hard drive on our kitchen counter. Can I say anything? Should I say anything?

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it anonymously to Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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Join The Conversation
CiaoBella01 CiaoBella01 5 years
i dated my high school sweetheart for three years and my college sweetheart for two years. to this day, i still have pictures of them on my external hard drive, but have not looked at them for years. i periodically back up my computer and all those pictures eventually move to my external hard drive, but i always delete those pictures from my computer after the break up. for me, it doesn't mean anything, so if my boyfriend has pictures of his exs on an external hard drive, i wouldn't mind it just because for me, there is no reason as to why i have them - i just do. if my boyfriend made a big deal out of it though, i would delete them but i have yet to hear anything negative about having those pictures. as long as he doesn't have pictures of his exs on his actual computer, i'm ok with it. 
matoad matoad 5 years
In my view, having good and meaningful relationships in your past makes you a better partner in the present. In that sense, you could ideally see his ex as a stepping stone that made him who he is now - not as competition. If it doesn't feel like that to you, it's worth talking about it with him and figuring out why not - once you know how this feeling comes about, you can still decide if deleting the folder is what you'd like him to do.
likethedirection likethedirection 5 years
If something truly bothers you in a relationship, you should always say something.  There's a reason every therapist and every 'how to have a successful marriage' article says communication is the key.  Sure, you'll probably have to admit that you were snooping, but curiosity is human nature.  Sometimes it just gets the best of us, especially with juicy folder names like that!  As long as you don't find yourself NEEDING to snoop, you're fine.    Most guys don't even think or remember to delete that kind of stuff when they end a relationship.  It's probably just an oversight and hopefully when you say they bother you, he'll just delete them.
henna-red henna-red 5 years
Your issue is a personal insecurity, a little jealousy. Some people jettison all reference to past relationships, but usually when something bitter and hurtful happened. But just because a relationship ends and another starts doesn't mean that a partner has to destroy all evidence of what happened during that part of their life. I think it's unrealistic and a bit controlling to expect that. Otherwise, this woman and your boyfriend's experience with her is part of why he is a great partner for you today. He's over her, that's great, but she had an impact on his life. People come with pasts. You don't want to hear it....I'ma gonna say it anyway. You say you can't help yourself, of course you're going to go there. can help yourself, and you don't have to go there. You made a choice, and the result is that you're suffering. Not because he's done anything wrong, but because you gave in to an impulse and then compared yourself to this other woman. Darlin', he's with you. You don't need to compare yourself to anyone. To not suffer through this, you need to build your confidence, and your feeling of self worth. If it were stronger, you wouldn't feel a need to excuse what you have defined as poor behavior. (not what others have defined, but what you, yourself have defined.) You need to do some work on yourself, for yourself. If you want some support from him, that's great, tell him, and ask him for his understanding and his support. All actions have consequences. He does not need to justify his having pics of an ex. It's not wrong and they are a part of his past that he wants to remember, and he had them stored in a private place. He's allowed to do that. Moral dilemma....telling him or not. How will telling him make you feel? How will not telling him make you feel? How will telling him make him feel? How will not telling him now and his finding out later when you're having an argument and you bring it up make him feel? Welcome to the world of consequences. I say....let your conscience be your guide. good luck
plmnko plmnko 5 years
I look back at pictures of old high school crushes sometimes. I don't still think of them that way,ive moved on,but its fun to remember what you were like back then. He still has memories of these women,a picture is just hard evidence of that fact. If the pictures are gone he'll still remember her and the times he shared. And those times shaped him into the man he is today,the man that chose you. I'm sure the pictures are harmless,just a memory,but if they really bother you then you should discuss it. Hear his side,maybe he just forgot about them and will delete them at your request. Maybe he wants to hold onto them for memory's sake. At least let him know how you feel and decide from there what to do.
BiWife BiWife 5 years
fess up to checking out his harddrive and ask why he has hung onto those specific pics. I know, for me, I maintain a folder of pictures left over from previous relationships, not because I think I'll never find anyone better looking or whatever, but simply because it's fun to look back at some of the acts and individuals you've done. It's part of your own personal history, not just the history of the exes involved. Unless he's jacking off to those pics/videos on a regular basis, I don't see it as an issue at all.
Aquadave Aquadave 5 years
Believe it or not I understand and really don't have a problem with "snooping" When I'm in a relationship I'm an open book. Emails pics etc. I'm confident I'm doing nothing wrong and I'm not hiding from you. Now the pics of ex so what! he has a past! I have pics, cards letters drawings from exes my daughter, my son, my family and they're precious to me!!!! As long as he doesn't have pics hanging up and constantly keeps looking at it, don't worry. I had a box of stuff like that stashed away back in a closet. My ex one day jealous of the pics of exes tore them up it pissed me off. Not the fact she snooped but she destroyed my memories
plmnko plmnko 5 years
Always a tricky situation,and I don't blame you. Im sure everyone has snooped once or twice,I'm guilty of it. So your two options are; admit you saw them and say it bothers you that he still has them and hopefully you two can have a discussion about it and agree on something. Or never tell him and try to forget about it and move on.
Jessica2465273 Jessica2465273 5 years
If it's really killing you - mention it to him. Yes, you will have to deal with him being upset that you snooped - but if you have a solid relationship - that won't be a big deal. Tell him how you feel and he should relate. Be sure to keep your confidence in check. You two live together - which can say a lot. Some pictures of the past shouldn't ruin the reality of the present.
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