Nearing the line, but not crossing it
Hello, I am newly married and in need of some advice or thoughts in general. My husband and I have been together since high school. When we graduated, I attended college in another state and he stayed in the town where we grew up. We decided to stay together, with the knowledge that it might not work out and that was ok. However, it did work out and we stayed together while I was in school.
After I graduated we got married. There is one small problem in our marriage. While I was in school, he made new friends and I became very jealous of one in particular. He would sometimes post pictures of them having lunch together or going bowling. It always stung when I saw this, so I told him how I felt, but stressed that he wasn't doing anything wrong, I was just having these feelings and I wanted him to know.
Well, after our wedding, my phone died on a trip so I used his to take pictures. When I went to go through the pictures later, I found saved images of this friend. They were not sexual in nature, but she was wearing low cut shirts and he saved a lot of them. I was again hurt. She is a gorgeous woman and even without the jealously, I can be insecure. I recently gained a lot of weight, and this woman was very fit and thin. I told my husband that it is ok to have fantasies about other women, but that my confidence was shattered and I might need some time to recover.
A few weeks after that, he had been acting strangely and I myself crossed a line, going through his Facebook messages. I found messages dating back nearly two years between him and his friend. They ranged from innocent to flirty. In some, he was telling her about our sex life, in others he sent her shirtless pictures of himself, or links to vibrators that he claimed he was thinking about getting as a gift for me. In one message, he was telling her about how my body has changed over the years. None of it involved him obviously engaging in a relationship with her, but it seemed to me like he was using details about our relationship as a "safe" way to talk about sex with this other woman.
I again told him that I had read the messages and apologized for violating his trust and expressed my feelings. I told him that while he didn't exactly cheat on me, I felt cheated on. We talked about it for maybe 1 hour and I forgave him and tried to move on. Now however, it is clear to me that I verbally forgave him before I was emotionally in a place to do so. I absolutely believe that when you forgive a person, you have to move on, you don't get to bring it up again or use it in other arguments. But, I think about his "almost relationship" every single day. I am incredibly insecure, and I breakout crying sometimes when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror or when he touches me, because I am comparing myself to her. I know that I love him, I am not mad at him, I just need to be able to move on and gain my confidence back. It is not fair to my husband to keep bringing this up when I told him I was over it, but I don't know where to go from here or how to get there. I feel absolutely broken.
You both have know each other and been together for a long time. Its incorrect on his part not to tell you about these messages when you first found out about the pictures that he had saved on his phone. As you correctly said, its alright for someone to fancy another person just for the fun of it. Fancying one person for a long time can get monotonous. But there is a line to all of this. Which he has crossed. The fact that he sent her shirtless pictures, tried to get an opinion about vibrators shows that he is trying to get the other girls attention.
Its unclear if he still is in touch with her or not. But this is a sign that you both need to spend some quality time together. Re-spark the bond between the two of you. One of the reasons that people generally tend to sway out of their relationships is because they want attention. They are looking for another emotional support. This guilt of him slightly fancying someone else is going to have an hard impact on ur relationship. We don't want him to hide things from you anymore. Cause, the next time he finds an opportunity to mingle with another hottie, he will be more careful and more discreet.
I totally understand your point of view of being heart broken and feeling insecure. Best way is to mix things up a little bit. Changing the routine is kind of essential here. A new look, a new hair cut, a unplanned trip, will help you'll forget this small bitterness that has built up. It is important for you'll to gain each others trust again. A lot of married men watch pornography. In a way it is good thing, they watch someone unknown and forget about it. I don't mean to encourage him looking at other women but it is also important for you to consider that these are unavoidable things. A little "bone & stick" theory works fabulous in every marriage.
Men constantly have to be reminded about their lines. So don't really worry too much. As i said before, you both need a good vacation together. It is always important to set boundaries with the people that you choose to be, you need to explain that to him. He can not send silly pictures of him to another girl. That is unacceptable.
I hope things work out for the best between the both of you.
You need to negotiate some rules. Is it OK to talk with others about your lives together (including sex)? How much should you share (do you see photos, get told about conversations, etc). The rules apply both ways (you can have friends). Then quit thinking about her an focus on you. You sound like a great woman but you need to be good enough that you know how great you are.