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My boyfriend and I have been together for six months now and our relationship has moved really fast. We told each other I love you after 2 months of dating and have a pretty good relationship for the most part but I feel something missing. The romantic side that was there has somewhat diminished.

Lately we have been fighting alot about jealousy issues. Sometimes I feel as though he doesnt trust me. This entire time he constantly recieves text messages from his ex girlfriend from a year back. He tells me that he is over her but she wont stop bitching at him. I know for a fact that when we had a huge fight he was calling her like crazy and messaging her on myspace. She was elated by the fact they we were maybe going to break up. I know she wants to be with him still. They were together for a year but it was long distance relationship.

I basically stay at his place every night and right next to his bed stand is their love/ memories scrapbook. Really cute may I add. It had love letters.. copies of Romantic text messages.. pictures of them in bed... pictures making out ... all sorts of things. I dont know why I looked through it but it made me really sad. Certain parts of that book made me realize that we dont have what they had. He wears the boxers that she gave him for Valentines day and his birthday all the time that has her name and his equals love all over the band. He has a bag of memorabilia that he keeps at his desk.
I have never been the jealous type but I feel that he may not be over her. It clearly ended because of the long distance I assume and she is moving back in town in a week. Right when I am going on vacation for three weeks. He just moved in with a roommate that is friends with her and I asked if he will see her when she moves back. and he said that his roommate is friends with her. But i feel that as a roommate and best friend he should be able to ask to not have his ex over.

As i helped my boyfriend pack today he was sure not to forget the book by the bed... overlooking by envelope of cards and gifts. Boy did that hurt. There are many issues here. What do you think... what should i do? Is he hung up on his ex? Should I be worried
in the immortal words of Dan Savage: "DTMFA"

(also, you might get more of a responsed if you post in a thread that's already up and going, i.e. the general relationship advice thread)
sweetheart143 - honey, I hate to sound "not" encouraging, but he's not YOUR boyfriend, he's still HER boyfriend.... in his head anyway.
I totally understand keeping small things from past parts of your life that may be special, but this sounds like FULL BLOWN OBSESSION! And it is very very disrespectful to YOU. I admit that I have small trinkets laying about that my first husband gave me or that a lover in the past has givin me, but it is not OVERLY OBVIOUS that these are things from a past love and I don't have letters or photos laying about to rub in my current Mr's face! Having said this, my point here is that people are sentimental and do keep things from their past BUT the past should not overshadow the present. YOU should be the star of the show now, NOT the ex. YOUR gifts and letters should be the treasured items, NOT the ex's. I would personally want the scrapbook thrown away, and maybe the boxers etc. put away in the bottom of some drawer somewhere. There is NO excuse for putting you 2nd, which is basically what it sounds like he's doing (in his head anyway) Aren't YOU more special than that? Don't YOU deserve more? I don't know you, but I think you ARE more special and DO deserve more. Good luck hunny!

please, for your own sake, dump this ass. in fact, please do it BEFORE you go away bc, and i dont want to be too cynical, he will modst likely cheat on you when you are gone. esp since his new roomate is friends with her. please, just do it so you dont get hurt any more than you already have. i know what you are going through.

he was wrong for jumping into another relationship so soon after a breakup ESP since hes clearly not over her. by jumping into another relationship in that state of mind, hes not only fooling himself but is hurting another person as well. that person being you. you dont deserve this. i am sorry for you but you can do MUCH better
red disrespect intended, but what a jackass your man is. Save yourself a lot of heartache. Honestly, it sounds like it's gone too far already. Text messages? Scrapbooks and photos on his table by the bed? NO WAY. Absolutely unacceptable. With so much of his heart and mind still being taken up by this "ex", how much of either is left for you, his current? Too many little signs, too many excuses. These aren't issues of jealousy...these are genuine issues of hurtfulness, carelessness and utter cruelty. This guy needs to take a hike. All these things that say he doesn't make you a priority in his life...and why is it that you're with him? Really...think about it. What are the reasons he is worth your love, patience, time and energy? What is it about this guy, that makes you feel he's so worth this crap? And please don't say "but I just love him".....

If you really can't think of anything that makes this guy stand out beyond someone who would adore you, care for you, and show you the respect that you are absolutely entitled to...then that itself should tell you what you need to do.
Oh dear... a much more extreme case than my boyfriend. You REALLY need to have a SERIOUS talk with this guy. He needs to know that this is not okay.

My boyfriend was dumped by his ex three years ago right before he got news that his military unit was to be deployed. Needless to say, he got piss drunk and his buddies had to help him stay awake for work. He was infatuated with her, and was with her for 2 years.

It’s been difficult for me because he has told me that he is still in love with her, but not in a romantic way. He still cares for her as a person, and said he probably always will. I have stumbled upon (mostly due to being an OC cleaner as well as, yes I admit it, nosy) letters from her and photos—even ones of her in lingerie. I finally really talked to him about it last week, told him about seeing all that stuff, etc. I was crying a river because I hurt, but he was surprisingly understanding.

He told me something that I think has a lot of merit. I don’t know whether I totally agree with him, but I did see a truth in it despite the circumstances. He said that if he had just thrown all of those things away—the letters, the photos, the trinkets—then what would that have shown about him and how he feels about someone he was in a significant relationship for? He said that if he and I were to break up, since we have been together for longer and have had more of a solid relationship, that he doesn’t think he could –ever- get over me or the things I gave him that he cherishes.

That shed a new light on this subject for me, yet a photo of his ex in lingerie and the thought that she might have made him happier then still leaves me with a bit of a heartache. In your guy’s case, however, I think he needs to know to respect you, keep his keepsakes to a minimum, and most importantly TALK to you about WHY he has them, why he has them OUT, and whether he UNDERSTANDS that by doing so he is hurting you very much.

i can relate. my bf of 9 months said that he has been over his girlfriend for a year after all the time he spent single, but that is was very difficuly since he loved her so much. the first time i went to his house he still had a picture of her that he took over his bed. then when we started dating he took it down and put one up of me. but he still has a drawer of pictures of her in it, and almost every "toy" he owns she bought for him and he still hangs on to them. then when i was helping him move he showed me a collectable lunchbox but when i asked to see inside it he refused. i asked if it was gf stuff and he said yes. i was pissed. then, a couple days later in the new house he unpacked it (after i was already clearly uncomfortable with it) and gave it to me to read and apologized for acting to secretive. i opened it...saw hundreds of letters from her, and pictures....and said no thanks. a fight was started and i was mad that he still has that thing. EVERYTHING he owns has something to do with her. name it. point being that lunchbox after all that fighting is still in his room and this time it's kind of sitting out. he claims that hes 110% over her and i need to stop worrying and comparing the relationships...but i must admit, i feel uncared about. he hasnt even gotten me so much as a card. why was he so romantic with her? but not me? HELP!
You know, I'm not sure any of us really get over other people. My boyfriend is best friends with his most significant ex. This is made complicated by the fact that she is also a very good friend of mine (I met him through her).. It's a very strange attatchment, because even though their relationship is strictly platonic now, he still keeps his house as if they were living together (she lives in London! He lives here in the US!). She has her own drawer, her own bookshelf, etc. etc... He even still keeps a box of nude photos of her.
Stranger still-- when she comes to visit, she still sleeps in his bed with him.
I personally have chosen to be very open to the strange dynamic that is his relationship with her, simply because I know that we never really get over people. ( I'm certainly not over my ex from 3 years ago. I still get upset when I find out he has a new girlfriend). I also know that not being over a person does not necessarily mean that there's no room in a heart for me. Maybe my situation is different because I'm such good friends with my BF's ex, though.
Whoa. he sleeps in the bed with her? You are far more secure than I EVER could be.
Well, I think the only reason I'm so secure with it is because I know them both well enough to be certain that nothing romantic or sexual ever happens. They're just strangely attatched to one another and she hates sleepig alone and he babies her like crazy.
Yeah, ya know...the only trophy from a relationship that I have kept is my daughter :-)

Nah, that's not true, but I keep it quite limited as to what I feel is appropriate. I think that keeping photos of them around the house on display is inappropriate--on mantles, in drawers, I give a shit. Those things are for you and you only and should be PUT AWAY. I keep my photos and private memoirs PRIVATE. I put them, and the people and feelings, away in a dark corner of a closet. I pull some of the stuff out once every four years or so and it reminds me how far I have come.

I have been cleaning out my house in preparation for a move and have been considering these thing very carefully. What of these people do I want to remember and/or keep with me? I have shit laying around here and there, but most of these things that are out I do not associate with these people on any conscious level--like the leather bag or spinning wheel I got from my ex-fiance. These things are mine. They have no significance and are strictly utilitarian. Attachments to items, real emotional attachments are only a road to pain--either yours or someone else's.

I am not sure that people consider how these things make other lovers feel. I mean, it's not like the new girl/boyfriend is replacing the old one, and it is perfectly natural to keep mementos, BUT there is a huge caveat that lay within these small acts:

If you still feel the need to hold onto these items and keep them out on display or within easy finding then you have no business being in a new relationship. I think that is disrespectful. And really fucking tacky.

One last thing...before anyone goes raving about this sounding really "insecure" or "jealous"...I am poly with a primary. We talk about these things extensively and I can deal with the here and now, but you can't wrangle with someone's past. It isn't fair because I think that it is a really non-subtle form of manipulation and pitting you against something/someone. I always operate with a non-compete clause.

That all being said, I need to talk to my lover about the fucking wedding photos of he and his ex he keeps in a drawer in the livingroom. That is driving me fucking nuts...
Minx, I like that phrase, "I always operate with a non-compete clause"... Can I ask you a question? How is it really being poly? How do you set boundaries so that a person's natural inclination towards being possesive doesn't harm a relationship? I've often wondered how that works. It seem like about half the poly couples i know end up getting secretly jealous and resentful and the other half seems to make it work somehow.
Some things we carry with us forever. My mother will be 66 this September, was married to dad for 39 years until he died, and has remarried. Both she and her new husband have been picking over their respective possessions for eighteen months or so now, and much of what related to ther late spouses has been the source of unspoken tension. They will NOT communicate about this stuff - maybe a generational reticence, I don't really know - and I just recently inherited a few framed photos, including my mom's wedding portrait. They met in grief group counseling after each was widowed. They actually bonded over shared sorrow. They talk about his late wife, and dad, pretty commonly. But "evidence" is still a problem between them. I mean ... where DO you put the portrait of the woman you nursed through cancer, once your new wife moves in? Where DO you find space, in your spouse's pre-existing home, for pics of your late husband and the kids?

Even stranger, I just took over a photo of a boyfriend from about 1957. Dad certainly never seemed to have any problems - but I am now in the fairly bizarre position of keeping a photo of a man my mom dated before she met my father, because she can't bear for it to be trashed, but New Husband can't bear to have it around.

I think the level to which we can "stand" this stuff doesn't necessarily indicate whether we're really okay or not, in terms of accepting our partners. I have to accept a lot in the way of presence from kog3100's ex, because, shit - they have children together, and they happen to live in the same city, while I am 4,000 miles away still. People imagine me patient and terribly tolerant because I'm okay with their relationship, but *I* look at two little faces made out of him and her, and am just glad kog3100 and ex-3100 DO get along. I imagine how much harder it would be to be saddled with the "psycho ex", and thank every lucky star that's smiled down upon all of us.

At the same time, I have asked him on occasion whether the divorce will ever be final. They've been apart for many years (two before I even met him, almost four years ago), but their amicability - and an unfortunate babyishness on her part which begs a bit too much "assistance" sometimes - does get on my tits at times. But I back away, think of the psycho exes out there, and just hope her path goes well so MY path can go well.

Goodness, I apologize. This post was completely pointless, considering how long it is ... !!

Shutting up now.
I miss my ex all the time. I think it's because we spent so much time growing up together. He's part soulmate part brother, it's a bit weird. I love him, at any rate, still.
I used to stay much closer with most my exes than I do now, mostly because I feel it is inappropriate as I am seriously attached to someone. This relationship has by far the most depth and longevity I've ever felt and has caused me to reassess all kinds of stuff, including how I get on with exes.

Some of my exes live in different countries, so geography as well as time have created distance. However, of the 2 exes still living where I do I now see only one, for a drink about once every 3 months or so. I used to be far closer to both, and ignore the fact I could do so in part because each still had feelings for me. They were my confidants as well as being good company in their own right. One called time on our 'friendship' because I blurred the line once too often. I don't blame him and feel bad for any hurt my emotional manipulation caused him. The other I see but we're nowhere near as close, partly because I can't confide in him anything about my relationship with the mister; I would feel disloyal.

I think there are many, many permutations of relationships between exes. Mine are probably characterised by territoriality, a newly (to me) developed sense of boundaries shaped by my feelings for the mister, his (quite old school) feelings about my 'past' and the fairly traditional norms of where I live, which is not where I grew up. My boundaries are also shaped by my knowledge of my capacity for emotional manipulation; they're like damage limitation guardrails.

/long-ass 2 cents
sweetheart, I used to be a lot like sybarite, so when I started dating my (now ex) husband, I tried not to make too much of it. We are now divorced. Because of her. I dealt with not only her but every ex weaving in and out of our life for four years and when I finally put my foot down, he stopped talking to me about any of his feelings and would go straight to her.
I have been with my SO for the past 10 months and going on, and all goes well... I think, and I hope. Yet, when I confronted him on getting all of his ex's stuff into a box and somewhere private, he replied that they are his memorabilia. He was showing me some pictures of places he has been with his ex, and though he was "cautious" so that I would see their common pics, I did notice that he has TONS of pics WITH her, that he went out quite a lot WITH her, and that he was ALWAYS in a snuggle mode WITH her.

I am quite vindictive for writing tis post, while he is sitting next to me AND knowing the content of the post. He is annoyed by the fact that I feel like sharing my hurt emotions with others cause when we talked about this he still thinks that I am against ALL of his past. What I was asking though was to simply make some space for me, by not feeling the presence of all his ex's.

(Btw. I stopped typing for some time, because he was trying to understand wtf bothers me as much, and even offered to get the accursed paraphernalia into a box someplace dark and away from the bed where it now lays. It was quite hard to explain that I have gotten used to the idea of them out of respect for his explanation that they merely are trinkets of the past, but they still do hurt.)

It is awful to know that they would do things that you are begging him to do but firmly refuses for a variety of reasons. I give him the excuse that the budget to spend is tight, and that all relationships differ... but ffs!!! almost a month or more ago, I was practically begging in tears to go out and eat in a silly dinner that he had once promised me, and even offered to pay the check, but as usual, we got to the decision a tad bit too late.

Trying to close this little rammbling, I say that we all have a past, and it is good we have one, but that doesn't mean we have to rub it insensitevely on the present companion's face showing him/her how different things were with someone else.

PS. He is indeed sweet, and caring with all the flaws that characterize him, and I adore him, but still, he sometimes seems like he is finding excuses to hold on to things, and I even caught him lying recently about a recent conversation(text message?!) his ex sent for a greeting. I just wish he understood, how I work, and try and make me work like he does.
Salome_Sm, this is one of those situations where you have to ask yourself whether you believe he is fully with YOU now, and decide whether you trust him or not. Most of us don't like to think of trust as something we decide to give - either because we feel it must be "earned", or because it's one of those magical things which romantically ought to either BE there unbidden, or, if it isn't, there is a dangerous reason.

Thing is ... you do have to decide. And then you have to stick with the decision, and trust your own ability to make that decision. Because if you don't feel you're with someone worthy of your faith, that says as much about you as it does about him or her.

On the surface, your guy seems to be pretty straightforward here. He's not HIDING anything from you. And it's old pics and stuff you're having issues with; not her actual presence, or phone calls, or strange dynamics in the way he acts with her now. From what you said, she isn't in the picture in any way whatever, except for some artifacts of a relationship gone by. And that relationship is one of the things that brought forth the man YOU are with NOW. If he's worthy of your attention, why is the past that helped make him so UNworthy to you?

Ask yourself why this is a problem. Why should he regret ever having been with someone else, now that he's with you? Why should he have come mint out of the shrink-wrap the day y'all met? I mean, it's great if we can start relationships with clean slates - but we aren't all inexperienced, and we don't all get to meet The One when we are young enough to be virginal, physically or emotionally. Unless an ex is actively participating in your SO's daily life, she's irrelevant outside her role in having made him what he is - the particular style of kissing he may have learned with her, or maybe a way of expressing himself romantically that you actually really like. We don't learn this stuff in a vaccuum, so it's actually worth appreciating.

I have a friend whose husband learned cunnilingus from Dana Dark (, of all unbelievable things. A lot of people would wig if their beloved's ex was a bit of a celeb, but my friend is just grateful as hell for some of what the lady taught him. Likewise, my own guy has always been fascinated by my emotional and erotic past. He's confident with me.

The question of jealousy is impossible to remove from the question of confidence. If you're confident in the relationship, old pics and notes and stuff are of no consequence. (Especially considering he put them away upon your stated request. Seems to me he has accommodated your needs in this quite readily, really.) If you have other needs, figure out what they are, and state them - give him the chance to meet them if he would like to. But if you're dealing with a deal-breaker simply because the pics and things still EXIST at all, you have to decide what it's worth to you to make a stand on that, and what to do about that too ...
the thing is... he will always keep her text messages, he will lie to me when it comes to her contacting him, and he has not put the things away. he just said he will do it at some time. either way, I am confident that my obsession over this is simply a manifestation of me getting ready to break up for a variety of other reasons.

I do honestly thank you though for your answer.
i've been the ex girlfriend that my ex(s) held onto. it's nothing to be threatened over. we shared something special, a real connection... but it obviously wasnt strong enough to maintain the relationship. we tried it, it didnt work. but that doesnt mean that we didnt have a great experience with one another. when a person holds onto memories and contact with someone they care about, it doesnt mean they dont love the person they are with now.. it just means they value the way the other person makes them feel. they appreciate the person as a person.. as a friend.. as someone who holds a special place in their heart.

i will give a bit of advice that i have seen with my ex's and in my own relationship. this has just been my experience.. but men "wander" when their girlfriends get all possessive and jealous. no one wants to be miserable in a relationship, and men especially dont like dealing with drama. not to say you shouldnt express your feelings, or your unhappiness. quite the opposite. talk it out rationally. discuss it with him, respect him and his privacy. if you are in a relationship with him, it's for a reason. meaning you guys obviously have your own special connection that can be nurtured.. distrust and suspicion create exactly the opposite scenario of what you're hoping for.
"I always operate with a non-compete clause."

That is the best description of me ever. Except that the contract is usually in my head and I have the hardest time explaining it to a significant other without sounding like I'm a crazy, jealous and/or insecure. I understand that people hang onto memories or even flirt with strangers because of insecurity or maybe just for a little ego boost. It's not usually intended to make their partner feel bad about themselves.

But it still stings, especially when it's done as blatantly as it is in your sitch, sweetheart.

His behavior is disrespectful, simple as that. I know it's hard to fight about it or even break up over it because you'll feel like she's "won." Remove her from the equation and simply look at how he's handling this situation. He may be a great guy on other levels, but I think this is a clear example that you both have different ideas about relationships and loyalty.

so i realized. after reading my advice, it sounds like i'm essentially saying "be a good little girl, so as not to upset your man". that's not what i intended. i guess i was just offering my perspective because i've been there - trying to provide some insight from what i've seen. when dealing with others, i'm a pretty respectable person, i like to promote peace. i listen, i respond. but there of course have been times when my passion has gotten the best of me. and i've been frustrated as all hell because my boyfriend wasnt offering me the same respect or understanding. so i guess then my advice would be, as it always seems to be, if you're not getting what you want in the relationship, you have to be the one to decide if it's worth it.
i dont know knorl i think you are right in what you said and i dont think you sound like that at all! i mean i wander when my guy gets possessive and jealous. i think it goes for both men and women. personally, i think expecting someone to give up all contacts with exes and/or forget they were ever with them is ridiculous, insecure, and just kinda wrong. however, if they are lying about it, that is bad. you have to remember though, maybe they are lying bc of an over the top reaction from their significant other, not bc they are doing anything wrong.

i just sometimes think that if you are continually breaking up with people because "they arent giving you what you want" that perhaps you have to sometimes look at what you want, and decide if there is something wrong with what you expect.

i am not saying this is your situation solome, bc really i think you are right when you say you are just looking for another reason to break up with him bc its kind of the last straw sorta thing. its just like with anything else, when you arent happy with someone in general, every little thing annoys you. maybe you feel like those little things are too petty to warrant a break up (which they indeed MAY) so you are looking for something bigger. let us know what happens!
katiebelle: that is true that both men and women seem to react the same way. i know a lot of men who get possessive and jealous, and i have seen the same response in women (and myself). i guess it makes me feel like what i'm offering in the relationship isnt enough for them if they want more, so maybe we're not as compatible as i once thought. i also feel if i'm making an attempt with someone and they dont trust me, then whats the point. i guess i essentially want to be with someone who sees the best in me, who thinks i'm just swell just the way i am. not to say that's all that matters in the relationship, but i think it is a strong foundation. you're right about this "maybe they are lying bc of an over the top reaction from their significant other, not bc they are doing anything wrong." so, so true! i have seen many people lie to their bf/gf (especially when i was tending bar) because they wanted to avoid a fight or a conflict. i think that is something major to keep in mind when handling our affairs.

regarding jealousy, i've found jealousy to be a great indicator that perhaps we need to appreciate ourselves more. i think it is important to be in touch with our feelings, and realize that maybe we're being jealous not because of our mate, or because of their ex, but because we feel inadequate. if that is the case, i feel we're doing ourselves an injustice not to address that feeling... because it will continue to come out and continue to make us feel miserable about ourselves if we dont work through it.
Noone has posted in this thread for quite a while but just want to share that I've been reading through it for support. I think tonight is the night I finally have to confront my boyfriend about my discomfort that he dated my boss (before we got together, obviously). It was quite some time before I met either of them, but he still brings up deets I really don't need from time to time, and the last straw was yesterday while we were in a sex-shop in Philly. The lady behind the counter was giving me info on Burlesque classes in the area (something I am dying to try!), and she mentioned they also offered pole dancing classes at place nearby. As soon as she mentioned that, my guy says "Oh, ____ did that." Firstly, I am very close friends with my boss (another reason this is so weird) and already knew that information, and secondly I did NOT need to know that that was the first thing he thinks of when pole dancing (which ain't my bag) is mentioned. I was quite offended, but kept my mouth shut bc we were having such a lovely night and I didn't want to ruin it by fighting. Our sex life has also been less than satisfactory lately, and all I do is fret he wishes I was her. I need to discuss this with him and be honest once and for all so I can move on. It has been eating me alive for a year and this pole business was the last straw. If anyone is reading this, I appreciate you letting me vent. I hope I am doing the right thing and not going to sound possessive and push him away - other than these things, I am madly in love with him and very happy.
Madame Hooch, I think you're being perfectly reasonable. Even if you'd never met his ex before in your entire life, he should NOT have mentioned that.
madamehooch, just wondering, in what ways has the sex been less than satisfactory? Like, is it a lack of passion on both parts or just on his part or is he simply not pleasing you?

I think it would be awkward enough to have a guy whose ex is in your life but it's worse that he brings her up, especially when it has to do with sexy stuff like pole dancing. I wish I had some advice to offer but in the meantime, vent as much as you have to.
Thanks for listening guys smile.gif

We just seem to only have sex right before bed, there is never any sporadic moments of passion anymore (ha). The sex its self is good, and he is in to it once we the ball rolling, but it feels like it takes SO LONG to get started. By one a.m., (which I don't even understand why it's always late. It's like we lay there knowing we both have to get up early but he is zoned out on something on tv and I am tired of making the first move), I am a little too tired for this and all day I'm craving something more passionate, which is how it was when we first started dating.

I did talked to him about the whole thing with my boss and he honestly thought he was being harmless, just mentioning a mutual friend, he was very reassuring that he loves me and wants to be with me forever, and I believe him... but I still don't feel satisfied, I don't have closure on the issue.
I'm reading this because I'm dealing with similar issues and feel much of the same things. Its tough knowing who you came after and feeling like... Idk, like second best or something. Like he's settling for me when in fact he ended it with her long before me. Its a weird thing.
I like the words knorl said, I think she helped me breath a little easier just now in fact.
Madame Hooch- I'm with you. I'm always initiating. He says he gets into funks and isn't interested in any part of sex, but I feel really... oddly left out of his life because he isn't interested in being with me. Its a lot of the same.
I wish I had words to share that would help, but knowing I'm not alone in how I feel is making me feel a little better, and so maybe it'll help you a bit.
I hope 'the talk' went well. smile.gif
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