Struggling to trust my boyfriend - am I the problem?
This is going to be a really long post but I would appreciate if people would read it as I need a bit of advice and I do not know who to turn to about any of this because I feel embarrassed and stupid. I am finding it hard to trust my boyfriend and I don't know if I am the problem or if he is.
Multiple times throughout our relationship we have had arguments about him texting his ex girlfriend, them arguing about their past and him lying to me about still being in contact with her, which has resulted in me becoming very insecure and wary of him whenever he is on his phone. Every time we have argued about this, he reassures me it won't happen again but it has happened three times now. Recently my anxiety surrounding this got the better of me and I went on his phone while he was asleep. I am so embarrassed that I did it because it is not like me at all but I had a gut feeling he was hiding stuff from me and I just wanted confirmation which I knew he would not be truthful and give me.
On his phone I found nude pictures of her in his 'screenshots' album along with a crazy amount of screenshots of Instagram stories with her in them that her friends had posted. Some of these screenshots were just of her or her and a few other people but other screenshots barely had her in them, for example she was sat at the end of a table at dinner and all you could see was her nose and her hand as she was hidden by someone else. I also saw he was googling 'what to do if your ex-girlfriend (insert scenario here)', I cannot remember exact examples of what these searches were as by this point I was really upset and panicking after finding the nudes and weird screenshots.
I confronted him about all of this one night when I was drunk, not the best way to do it but I didn't have the courage to do it while sober. He initially denied it and asked what I was talking about but eventually gave in. We agreed we shouldn't talk about it while drunk so I brought it up the next morning and he tried to laugh it all off. He said the pictures automatically saved to his phone as they were sent on WhatsApp but I pointed out that they were in his screenshots album so he gave up that lie pretty quickly. He said he would delete them which I encouraged as, 1. it is disrespectful on me for my boyfriend to keep naked pictures of his ex, and 2. it is so unfair on her as they are broken up and he should have deleted them when they ended. He then went to delete them and I saw they were in his 'favorites' folder, which just hurt me even more.
I then asked about the screenshots of her in people's stories and he claimed he was screenshotting every story he saw of her so he could zoom in and see if she was wearing a ring that he bought her... I asked why would it even matter if she was and he could not answer me. I said it was really weird and obsessive behavior and how freaked out I would be if I knew my ex was screenshotting and keeping every single picture I was posted in on Instagram. As for the Google searches, he said he just wanted advice.
This is just one insight into the problems we have been having and all of it is building up and causing me to have severe trust issues. I want to trust him because I love him so much and hate that this is causing such ridiculous issues between us. He spends a lot of his time on his phone so I am constantly thinking he is texting her while he is with me because I have caught him doing that a few times. Am I the problem for letting my insecurities get the better of me? Any advice or just general outsider opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Why would you be the problem when your BF's behaviour is the cause of your insecurities? How could you possibly trust your BF when his actions tell you that he's not over his ex? It's his responsibility to be strong enough not to be involved with someone else (you) when his ex is obviously still under his skin.
You don't have to be there with him to beat yourself up & be miserable while he brazenly lies about what he's been doing behind your back and as you say, multiple times as well. You can't make him do anything but you do have an option of walking away or you decide to put up with it & just live with it.
Yes, it's all OK to love this guy and there's no need to feel embarrassed or stupid because your issue isn't unique. It happens all the time all over the world.
You either end up being one of the strong ones who tell their lying and dishonest partner where to go, so you can get on with sharing your life with someone who at least respects and loves you as you deserve to be...or you just go with the flow, keep on being miserable and hope it works out.
He’s still emotionally attached to her . Still cares what she’s doing, if she’s wearing the ring he brought her, pic of her on his phone and texting her.
I agree with the advice already given, you have a choice to walk away or put up with it because it doesn’t look like he’s willing to stop, he’s hiding what he’s doing and not being honest about it. No wonder you can’t trust what he says and it’s not you’re fault either.
You say this is just an insight to your problems that your having so clearly there is more?
Thanks so much for replying to this. We got in another argument last night because I thought he was being suspicious on his phone and trying to turn it away from me. I asked could I see his WhatsApp because it would put my mind at ease and he got really mad at me and almost broke up with me. I honestly feel like it just makes him seem even more guilty that he refused to just log onto his WhatsApp to show me there were no messages with her, instead he got really defensive and angry and said what I was doing was not fair. I don't want to be like this and I never have been with any previous boyfriends, this is my first time having trust issues and anxiety in a relationship and I am finding it hard to control.
In some ways I feel like we should just break up since I can't trust him and he can't be honest with me, but in others I believe that he can change and that I can get over these issues I have. I have a message drafted in my notes app in my phone to send to her because I feel she has nothing to lose and will be honest with me, but I also know that if he ever found out I texted her, he would leave me.
I think the reason I feel embarrassed and stupid is because I am voluntarily putting up with this and forgiving him over and over again because I love him so much. If any of my friends ever told me about their boyfriend doing this stuff to them, I would immediately tell them to leave him and that they deserve better, but I just can't take my own advice because he is all I want. I'm stuck in a toxic relationship and it is so fucked that I am aware of it and cannot bring myself to leave.
My advice would be to dump him. Doesn't sound like he is ready for a monogamous relationship.
You realise it’s a toxic relationship, which can be hard to leave because of low self esteem or confidence, as well as loving that person. But listen to your self, your own advice and instincts because you are right, and you’re not completely blind to what’s going on.
You’re on his case. You've sneaked into his phone to see what he’s up to because you suspected somethings going on. He’s not given you much choice. You’ve questioned him, asked to see his phone, argued with him and you've told him he’s being disrespectful to you, which he is!
He’s getting angry because he know he’s in the wrong. Him ‘Nearly’ breaking up with you, is manipulating you in to stay so he can carry on doing what he’s doing and be in control.
I wouldn’t text the ex gf, you’ve seen the proof on his phone. So it come back to choice, you stay and live with this or walk away. It sounds like he’s pretty adamant he’s going bf to stop the contact with his ex doesn’t it?
Another good way to look at it is, if you were text an ex bf would he like it? How would he react?
Firstly I’m not at all surprised that you’re both confused and upset
On 1 hand, I can understand people giving you advice to just leave, and if that's the right decision for you, then absolutely do that! But feelings, love in particular, does make things so much more complicated! How long have you both been together? Is it a LTR or still only in the beginning stages? A red flag for me would be the becoming defensive, and angry at you, for asking a perfectly reasonable question, when you know what you’re asking about has happened before, he should be going out of his way to reassure you, not make you feel like your crazy or unreasonable, etc that, in my opinion, is totally unfair! :-)
Whatever you decide to do, don’t do it on your own, confide in someone you trust, and be kind to yourself, if indeed you do decide to end things. It's very easy for all of us, sitting behind our phones, computers etc, to say just end it. Easy words to type, a very hard thing to do, when there are feelings involved. Wishing you the best