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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 :-(

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 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


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.

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