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Accidentally stumbled across photos of dp and his old 'real' family :-(

(63 Posts)
AnnieMonkee Wed 03-Jul-13 16:55:52

Looking for photos he'd uploaded for me on his computer I stumbled into the wrong folder and hundreds of photos came up of his old married life. Holidays, birthdays, festivals, days out, playing around the house, relaxing in the garden, hugging their kids, they looked so happy together. 18 years of love, hugs, memories, kisses, laughter ... Photos of dp and his ex hugging and kissing, laying together in a field, wrestling in a tent with the kids joining in, matching wedding rings... Fuck I feel so deflated. What we have will never match that. We can't have kids and he doesn't think he'll evr want to remarry. We have photos together but he never looks "that" happy in them , more like smile for the camera rather than smile because of how happy you are. I know photos can be deceiving and he always says about how unhappy his marriage was but when you see the pics you can't help but feel 2nd best to the life he really wanted. I actually feel sorry for her too, she looked so happy and it must have took the strength of Goliath to finish what they had. (She filed for divorce).
I think secretly he still pines for this life, he always goes on about how much he misses his kids and being with them all the time, he always says he misses having a tidy well structured house (she was very house proud and I'm not), he goes on about how he's not used to having kids that misbehave so much) she was obviously better at parenting than me - god I just feel like the booby prize right now :-( and why has he kept the photos on his pc anyway??? The kids I can understand but pics of him and his ex wife snogging on the sofa etc?? Feel sick :-(

AnnieMonkee Wed 03-Jul-13 17:01:05

To add insult to injury - he's always gone on about how much he loved Glastonbury, how much it meant to him and how much he just "has" to go every year. His ex also loved Glastonbury (evident from the photos entitled "glasto 09" "glasto 10" "glasto11" etc :-(
This year he took me (first time he's been without his ex and kids). He was grumpy throughout and at the end I asked if he'd enjoyed it and he said "it was alright". The photos of previous glastonburys show he normally has a much better time than that... Guess it depends on the company :-(

Helpyourself Wed 03-Jul-13 17:09:18

Do you have anything to feel guilty about? How long have you been together for?
It's a strange feeling though. I remember feeling really unsettled at seeing a picture of a partner taken many years previously and feeling I'd missed the best of him.

GiveMumABreak Wed 03-Jul-13 17:09:49

Photos can be very deceiving! Don't allow this to get to you, I am sure his happier smile with ex is your imagination. The only advice I can give u is to make your own memories, and not live in ex wife's shoes by trying to recreate their favourite memories. If you feel you can I would tell him you saw the photos and feel sad, it would be good if he saved them off his computer somewhere, it's time to move on. Good luck!

BalloonSlayer Wed 03-Jul-13 17:11:06

Well flame me for stating the bleeding obvious but they can't have been all that happy if they got divorced, can they?

And if she was so wonderful how come he made her unhappy enough to divorce him?

And I'd wonder about the Glastonbury thing - I'd imagine if I ever went it would be something I'd be glad I'd gone to but probably wouldn't enjoy it at all all that much at the time. I imagine for some people the pleasure is in the bragging, all that "Glasto" shite.

He sounds like a real "the grass is always greener" sort of bloke. Don't let him drag you down. thanks

AnnieMonkee Wed 03-Jul-13 17:13:27

Nothing to feel guilty about, they were divorced before we met. I just wish I'd had that life with him, that he'd love me enough to marry me, that he'd hold me with that genuine look of love and familiarity that they had. We've only been together about a year and a half so I know our relationship is nothing on what they had.

AnnieMonkee Wed 03-Jul-13 17:17:23

Glastonbury was knackering - glad I've been but over the 5 nights we were there I can only remember a couple of occasions were I thought "yeah, I'm enjoying this". The rest of the time I was either too hot, too cold, desperate to go to toilet but scared of the filth or inhaling someone else's cannabis. But I felt in constant competition with his ex, almost as if I knew if I didn't pretend to love every minute of it, he'd start pining after her again :-(

AnnieMonkee Wed 03-Jul-13 17:20:44

Infant I'm always feeling in competition with the ex, running around trying to keep the house spotless etc and in hindsight he's always going on at me to wear shorts. I rarely do as I'm self conscious (tree trunk legs) yet I notice in the photos she was always in shorts, she however had the legs for it :-( god someone slap me please

Helpyourself Wed 03-Jul-13 17:21:41

sad
I was asking in case that was clouding your reading of the pictures.
18 months isn't that long in a relationship. How has 'not getting married' come up? Do you want children with him? You sound like you feel he's not as invested in the relationship as you. Pictures aside (as Balloon says, they are literally just a snapshot, and not a reliable one at that) how's the relationship?

I've recently found some videos of me with xh and our kids. An outsider would think we were perfect.

We were not.

Eg - One was an Xmas video. I remember how disappointed I was about his efforts, how tired I was and how let down I felt.

On camera though we look like the fucking waltons.

Lweji Wed 03-Jul-13 17:22:45

If it helps, I haven't deleted photos from my laptop or albums, even those with ex, with whom I definitely do not want to get back with (DV).

I also have a photo in my wedding dress in the bedroom.

They are just there and I don't hate my previous life that much that I want to forget about it.

Lweji Wed 03-Jul-13 17:23:54

On the other hand, if he makes you feel lacking, do you want to be with him?
It sounds like he makes you feel like he can never match up.
and what does he do to keep the house spotless?

AnnieMonkee Wed 03-Jul-13 17:25:21

I want to get married (not now, but eventually) and we talked about it and he said his divorce cut him up so badly he couldn't ever imagine getting married again :-( so that's a part of him ill never have. We can never have kids either (biological) so I just feel as though our relationship will never be anything more than boyfriend/girlfriend. It's become more evident lately when discussing wills, the house etc - if anything happened to either of us, our relationship would barely be recognised. It makes me feel like shit

GiveMumABreak Wed 03-Jul-13 17:28:58

I think you need to be honest with him about how you feel, he's really the only one who can reassure you, or if the Talk doesn't go the way you'd like - at least you know exactly where you stand.

Sparklysilversequins Wed 03-Jul-13 17:32:18

Picture of me and ex H, toddler ds and brand new baby dd. We look so happy. Truth was he was cheating on me and had been for most of the four years we had been together. Two days after it was taken he disappeared on the piss for four days leaving me 2 weeks post section to care for ds and new born dd, no friends or family near by.

The camera doesn't tell the truth.

Namechangingnorma Wed 03-Jul-13 17:32:30

To be honest, he sounds like a bit of a knob who is quite enjoying having you running around trying to live up to the ex. Likelihood is, if you two broke up the next girlfriend would be being compared to you, nothing like keeping your parter feeling a little insecure! i would have it out with him about how you are feeling and make it clear you won't be secnd best to her or anyone else.

LemonPeculiarJones Wed 03-Jul-13 17:36:44

When did he split from his ex? How long had he been single before you guys started seeing each other?

Sounds tough sad

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 03-Jul-13 17:37:27

Is he pining after her/missing his old life or are you reading into things which aren't there?

If he's not over her then he really shouldn't be in a relationship with you. But if you're just being insecure and he really is committed to you then that's different. But I'm a bit hmm about the comments you've mentioned him making, TBH. He doesn't sound that respectful of you.

Branleuse Wed 03-Jul-13 17:37:48

He sounds very critical and like hes not doing much for your self esteem.

You have nothing to prove to him or anyone. You are you. Not her. Not better, not worse. If you really think hes pining for her, then dump him.

Dorange Wed 03-Jul-13 17:47:02

not ready the whole thread but my ex husband had an ex girlfriend who was the love of his life apparently. I became obsessed with comparing myself and trying to be like her or better. at the end he left me because I wasn't being the real me.

Xales Wed 03-Jul-13 17:49:50

Why on earth do you want to tie yourself down with a man who complains about how much your kids misbehave and how much he misses his ex wife's nice clean & tidy house?

Being told how you are not as good, your kids are not as good etc will wear you down eventually.

Tell him this is who you are. This is who you will be. He either accepts you for who and what you are and stops the moaning or you will end up with no relationship.

ageofgrandillusion Wed 03-Jul-13 20:52:39

LTB - he sounds like a total bell-end.

ShoutyCrackers Wed 03-Jul-13 21:28:40

Leaving aside the photo thing.... why is he going on about 'missing a tidy home' and making comments about kids misbehaving? Are these your children he is making comments about? And do you live together?

If your relationship is generally good and you're having an insecure moment, then talk to him about it. I know it's hard but he should be reassuring and make you feel better.

If he doesn't, well, you have an answer don't you?

Hassled Wed 03-Jul-13 21:34:40

I agree with what others are saying - the photos aren't the problem; he's the problem. If he was making you feel loved and appreciated and secure, would you have given a shit about the photos? The "wear shorts, have well-behaved children, wear clothes you're not comfortable in" bollocks is not going to make anyone feel loved and secure. How do you feel the relationship is, aside from the photo stuff?

WafflyVersatile Wed 03-Jul-13 22:06:32

Why did his ex divorce him? Was he comparing her to his previous ex?

Doesn't sound like they've been split up for that long. Maybe he's not over her yet.

And telling you how you don't live up to a woman he has a failed relationship with isn't really very nice at all.

BuiltForComfort Wed 03-Jul-13 22:13:33

If he was at Glastonbury in 2011 with his exW and you've been together 18 months he can barely have split up with her before meeting you. D you think it might be a case of him trying to move on too soon?

sad for you and sorry if this seems harsh and is utterly wrong. But it would take a lot to get past 18 yrs together, readjust your life, think a bit about who you are as a single person rather than one half of a couple, get your head round dating, start dating, kiss a lot of few frogs then meet a new partner. So he could have been v lucky to meet you without all the frog kissing first, but do you think he really had enough time to sort out the rest first before jumping into a new relationship?

WhoNickedMyName Wed 03-Jul-13 22:22:39

I think Built has hit the nail on the head. After 18 years with her he's barely had a handful of months on his own before he got together with you.

Doesn't sound to me like either of you are particularly happy together. I would wonder if he is one of those people that just has to be in a relationship... any relationship, rather than being alone.

coppertop Wed 03-Jul-13 22:23:15

I strongly suspect that if you were ever to speak to his ex, she would have a very different story to tell.

So while you're busy rushing around going to places you don't enjoy, wearng clothes you don't feel comfortable in, and worrying about your children's behaviour and the tidiness of your house - what exactly is he doing to make you feel happy and comfortable?

Not a lot, I'm guessing.

venusandmars Wed 03-Jul-13 22:27:47

It a relationship later-on in both your lives. So you are never going to be a virgin bride, you are never going to be his first love - and he is never going to be your first love.

He will never be the father of your kids. You will never be the mother of his kids. You will never be 17 together. You will never buy a 'first home' together. You will never go inter-railing together.... (or whatever).

BUT you have chosen each other NOW

Both of you have decided that despite whatever hurt each of you, and whatever brought you to this point, you are both here wanting to move on in a new and different relationship. And although you may never have those early years together, if you want you can enjoy all the rest of the years of your life, you can be together holding hands in the sunset and growing old together. Him and his ex will never have that.

If you're happy now then just get on withe enjoying what you have now (and in the future).

DHtotalnob Wed 03-Jul-13 22:29:13

And the shorts thing sounds a bit creepy.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 03-Jul-13 22:29:49

He does not sound like he is making you happy at all. It does sound, from everything you say, as if he hasn't had a chance to "get over" his marriage break up, that perhaps he didn't want to break up in the first place. Don't be too patient with him, I honestly don't think I could cope with even the slightest suggestion that I was being compared to my DPs ex!

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 03-Jul-13 22:35:21

I'm sorry you have been upset by this.

He sounds like he's bloody hard work - and doesn't make you feel good about yourself. Maybe you need to think about whether this relationship is good for you.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 03-Jul-13 22:38:30

The shorts thing doesn't sound creepy. Maybe he just wants her to be cooler, more comfortable. I have a friend who wont wear shorts as she hates her legs so much, she wears trousers all summer and is really hot. The first time I saw her legs (we went swimming in a private pool, we were the only ones there, she wouldn't go in a public pool) I had to ask her what the problem was... sure, they aren't going to make a model wanna swap, but they are perfectly OK legs... maybe he's just trying to make her more comfortable/confident.

watchingout Wed 03-Jul-13 22:50:56

Don't forget that no-one keeps photos of the crap times. And there were crap times cos EVERYBODY has 'em wink

vole3 Thu 04-Jul-13 05:36:55

If his ex-wife's anything like me, she won't have kept copies of photos of them together. Just sticks a bit knowing that whilst we were 'so happy', he other things were going on..........

Lweji Thu 04-Jul-13 06:09:48

More importantly, nobody takes photos of the crap times.
It's usually the last thing in our minds.

unless you want to gather evidence for the police, and then it's more film than photos

Lweji Thu 04-Jul-13 06:11:32

Do you even know why she filed for divorce?

AndTheBandPlayedOn Thu 04-Jul-13 13:16:17

And who was taking the pictures of them snogging on the couch? hmm

His suggestions may seem innocent individually, but seen collectively, it sounds like he wants to change who you are...be careful to establish your personal boundaries to protect your self-esteem. Be respected for who you are without relation to anyone else...if he can not do that, then, imho,it would be a deal breaker.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Thu 04-Jul-13 13:23:55

He doesn't sound like he is making you happy. All this doesn't mean it's you who is in the wrong/inadequate you know. I would be inclined to tell him that it doesn't seem to be making either of you happy and you need to separate. See what he says to that. He might be a happy moaner IYSWIM who will then say 'no, no, it's good...' though of course that still doesn't mean you have to stay together. But whatever you do don't just go on thinking it's all your fault for not being good enough. I really doubt that.

fuzzpig Thu 04-Jul-13 13:34:57

I am hmm that he is complaining about the lack of tidy house, does he see that as entirely the responsibility of you/his ex/women in general, by any chance?

(just a thought, I may be out of line but just going on a lot of other threads)

SerBrienne Thu 04-Jul-13 13:48:16

His kids with ex might value those pictures very highly (especially those of parents looking happy together). Perhaps he's keeping them to pass on.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Thu 04-Jul-13 13:54:28

The more I think about this, the more he sounds like someone who never had a clue that he wasn't giving much to the other person in the couple, and his wife eventually got tired of having to always be tidier, organiser, disciplinarian and provider of suitable entertainments. So she divorced him and how he is bleating about not understanding and missing his old life. He may well do, but presumably it was far from great for her, as I don't believe many if any women jump into divorce lightly, over the top being left off the toothpaste two nights running or whatever. So I think given your own experience, there are some red flags here over his capabilities as a partner.

What made you two get together? What nice things does he do for you? What has he ever said about the reasons behind their breakup?

Bogeyface Thu 04-Jul-13 13:56:45

So.....

You go to places you dont want to go
Have to plaster on a smile regardless in case he starts going on about his ex again
Criticises your home
Criticses your children
Criticises what you wear
Puts pressure on you to behave in a certain way in order to avoid his moods.

Not only is the man a total arsehole, he is using his ex to control and manipulate you.

You are miserable and on eggshells all the time because he (not the photos) makes you feel that you will never measure up to his perfect old life. A life so perfect that his wife divorced him.

What exactly are you getting from this?

Monty27 Thu 04-Jul-13 14:03:30

Well said Bogey

He's not making you happy OP. He sounds like an EA.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Thu 04-Jul-13 14:53:54

If he was right for you, you wouldn't feel like second best.

CalamityKate Thu 04-Jul-13 14:58:15

What Bogeyface said.

EldritchCleavage Thu 04-Jul-13 16:35:23

Snazzy and Bogeyface* are right.

You do know he was almost certainly EA with the first wife as well, don't you? I wonder what she was made to feel bad about, what she was nagged to wear. I wonder, did he pitch in with the children and the house or did she run herself ragged doing it all? Or not do it either and he's just lying about it?

You just don't know. The photos only tell you that there were good times in his first marriage, not how frequent they were, nor how bad the bad times were.

He sounds like someone who cannot create good things and good times for himself, but needs someone else to do it. He also sounds like a person who is not very 'giving' in his intimate relationships. Think carefully about whether to settle for that.

AnnieMonkee Thu 04-Jul-13 17:13:26

According to the divorce papers she divorced him because he was controlling, jealous and never showed any affection or consideration for her feelings. DP told me himself that she'd asked him to go to marriage counselling with her and he rubbished the idea - the next day she told him she was divorcing him. He rubbished that too assuming she was just "spouting off" and a couple of weeks later she left him. Only then did he think "hang on, maybe she means it ... "

We do have a good relationship - I've not seen any evidence of him being controlling, jealous or possessive. He always encourages me to see friends and go out when I want to. If I want to buy something he doesn't question it. And he is affectionate most of the time - now and again I get snippets of a man who could quite easily go cold and shut down with little warning but it doesn't last long.

I'm feeling better today though. I went out and bought myself some new clothes (stuff I like, not shorts ;-) ) and I've started jogging with friends. I'm also preparing for a job interview which I'm hoping will give me more independance (financially and mentally). One thing he always whinges about his ex was "she never contributed financially, refused to get a job, never went out the house, never had hobbies or did anything that he didn't need to organise for her."

Oh well, I'm different to her after all and I'm bloody thankful for that.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Thu 04-Jul-13 17:17:40

How can you possibly say he's not controlling?!

Bogeyface Thu 04-Jul-13 17:24:08

Compare this

I've not seen any evidence of him being controlling, jealous or possessive

to this

* But I felt in constant competition with his ex, almost as if I knew if I didn't pretend to love every minute of it, he'd start pining after her again :-(*

and this

I'm always feeling in competition with the ex, running around trying to keep the house spotless etc and in hindsight he's always going on at me to wear shorts

and this

he always goes on about how much he misses his kids and being with them all the time, he always says he misses having a tidy well structured house (she was very house proud and I'm not), he goes on about how he's not used to having kids that misbehave so much

and then say that you have seen no evidence of his controlling and manipulative nature.

Bogeyface Thu 04-Jul-13 17:25:30

And I would say this wife had it right. He rubbished her request to go to Relate and then didnt believe her when she said she wanted a divorce. He didnt give a fat shiny shite about her and her feelings did he?

She may have divorced him, but it seems to me that it was his behaviour that ended the marriage.

I hope you learn from her and dont go there too.

HighBrows Thu 04-Jul-13 17:30:37

AnnieMonkee what are you getting from this relationship other than being in a relationship?!

You need to open your eyes, your partner is being controlling and manipulative. I'd rather be on my own then with a man that constantly has me walking on egg shells, putting me and my kids down and being so passive aggressive.

Open you eyes. He is not treating you well at all.

LookingForwardToMarch Thu 04-Jul-13 17:39:41

Op if I was you I would seriously be questioning why I wanted this relationship?

MammaTJ Thu 04-Jul-13 18:50:31

I'm willing to bet she doesn't wear shorts any more. grin

Lweji Thu 04-Jul-13 19:52:32

Listen to him.
Listen to his ex.
Listen to these posters.

And listen to your gut feelings.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Thu 04-Jul-13 20:32:24

"she never contributed financially, refused to get a job, never went out the house, never had hobbies or did anything that he didn't need to organise for her."

But on the other hand he misses the wonderfully tidy house and the well behaved kids? So she was supposed to be superwoman at home and also go out and earn well too? Hmm.

On the points you make about him:

He always encourages me to see friends and go out when I want to

Erm, I would hope so. You have been together for 18 months. Even if you had been married for 20 years, that doesn't give him the say so over where you go and who with, beyond the expected courtesy of checking that you haven't double-booked things.

If I want to buy something he doesn't question it

See above. Why should he question it? I don't know what your financial arrangements are and what you own together, but even as a long-established couple I don't see why he should be 'questioning' what you buy, as if you have to report to him.

And he is affectionate most of the time - now and again I get snippets of a man who could quite easily go cold and shut down with little warning but it doesn't last long

Hmm. You've said yourself that you mostly try to stay happy and look like you're enjoying things. My guess is that if that waned, the 'affectionate most of the time' might also change.

Sorry to sound like the voice of doom. It gives me no pleasure. But I really think you are settling for a kind of minimum wage situation here, where the stuff he does is actually what anyone should expect in a relationship. There is a lot more going on that seems to make you actively anxious and even unhappy.

ageofgrandillusion Thu 04-Jul-13 22:29:07

Its staring you in the face OP - this guy is a cunt. Tbh, you both sound like you'd rather be with somebody - anybody, even if it is blatantly the wrong person - rather than be single. Truly depressing stuff.

Bogeyface Thu 04-Jul-13 23:59:40

Was your last long term relationship abusive?

I only ask because I swapped a very abusive man for a not-quite-so abusive man many years ago. Just because he isnt as bad as the ex doesnt mean that he isnt still abusive.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 05-Jul-13 01:33:05

OP - you are getting extremely good advice here, I am not sure what you are getting out this relationship at all.

mathanxiety Fri 05-Jul-13 02:25:56

You are in a relationship that makes you unhappy and that is going nowhere.

Hopefully you will wake up sooner rather than later, give yourself a good sharp smack on the face and come to your senses - or he will meet Ms Almost Right whom he can 'work on' until they are both old and grey. Whoever ends up being Mrs Number Two is going to have her hands full. You may well be someone handy to keep things turning over on the home front - Miss Rebound - until he feels confident enough to find a permanent replacement for Number One. If you are Miss Rebound, count yourself lucky.

But he doesn't want what you want here, or at least he doesn't want it with you, and to be blunt, be very careful what you wish for with this man.

OnIlkelyMoorBahtat Fri 05-Jul-13 14:06:20

I think his first wife had the measure of him, love. Don't you wait 18 years to realise xxx

OnIlkelyMoorBahtat Fri 05-Jul-13 14:12:17

Oh & don't forget, Snazzy wrote above:

"The more I think about this, the more he sounds like someone who never had a clue that he wasn't giving much to the other person in the couple..., and his wife eventually got tired of having to always be tidier, organiser, disciplinarian and provider of suitable entertainments. So she divorced him and how he is bleating about not understanding and missing his old life. He may well do, but presumably it was far from great for her, as I don't believe many if any women jump into divorce lightly, over the top being left off the toothpaste two nights running or whatever. So I think given your own experience, there are some red flags here over his capabilities as a partner."

before you told us that she filed for divorce as soon as he said he wouldn't go to Relate. Do you think she just "suddenly" decided this on a whim? Why do you think she asked him to go to Relate the first place?

Please OP, let this guy go. He is so not worth your time! xxx

Portofino Fri 05-Jul-13 14:15:48

You keep starting threads about this tit and just plainly ignore all the advice. Why bother?

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