Is it cheating?
I can't answer your question exactly, however I suspect if you think she has moved on then things may well be ok.
It is quite possible to remember someone fondly, though know there is no relationship, it's in the past. As an example I kept one photo of my first girlfriend and it is in the family album, along with thousands of family snaps. My wife knows about her and there is absolutely no way I'd want to be anything other than in love wiht my wife. The photo is not a threat, just a memento from a chapter in my early life.
It might be worth asking your husband if he would mind getting rid of the material that distresses you. I most certainly have thrown away that photo if I thought it made my wife unhappy. Also not to maintain close contact with her, no happy birthdays for instance. After all you should be his priority.
I'd also suggest the pair of you work out some sort of open door policy, with both of you allowing the other to look at each phone if they want. Simply looking wihtout permission does sow seeds of distrust with both of you
What do you think?
Hello Sunflower, I also believe some agreement should be made whether or not looking at each other's phone should be accepted or not, because if you do happen to look at what's on his phone then trust is a question.
There is the possibility that he may be looking at a site, that's perfectly acceptable, but it's something you have never believed in, and if you find it on his phone, then you might say 'why are you still looking at that rubbish', but it may interest him and not you and does want to hide it from you.
In regard to these photos, if they are just friends then why would he want to hide them from you, that's the question that needs to be answered, especially as she did dump him.
Sending her birthday wishes, may or may not be answered and if her new partner found out then how is he going to feel if photos of your husband and her are also sent, however, if I was her partner I would ask her to delete the message and block him from contacting her, as she had dumped him.
Likewise, I would remind your husband that she did not want anything more to do with your husband and not send her any more texts, birthday or Xmas, it's over.
It’s complicated but isn’t it always? When I first left him (I left the state), I was happy with my decision. I was looking forward to being able to put me first and do what I wanted to do. Even though I had left we stayed in regular contact via email, Facebook messenger and texting. About 4 weeks after I left I got a message from a friend saying that they had seen him out with a woman and they looked very friendly. I think that’s when my world began to fall apart and I entered a very dark space. I found out who she was. I began stalking them. He had no idea that I knew but he kept denying to me that there was no one. May be if he had of told me the truth things would have turned out differently. I went back home for a long weekend and stayed at our place (he went and stayed at hers). Before I left we had another conversation and he said he still loved me and wanted to be with me. I asked about her and he told me for him it is just a friendship. She is someone to go out with, she is convenient. I now know that she fell madly in love with him and told him this about 3 months after first meeting him. He told her that he thought of her as a good friend. Anyway fast forward to 9 months down the track and I get a job back where he is. I move back, find my own place to live. I let him know and we start talking again. She gets wind of it and dumps him but still wants to friends. I told him that won’t work because of the feelings she had for him and she needs help letting go. He couldn’t see it. She continued to send emails and would text him late at night. She met another guy about 2 months after the dumping and moved in with him 5 months later. She still texting and emailing him. Finally, 16 months after she dumped him I send an email to her to stop and asked her how she would feel if her new man was still texting his ex? She finally stopped. Unfriended and blocked him and me on Facebook. He still has photos of her on his phone. I don’t understand why he needs this? And sending her a happy birthday text (even though he got the wrong date), why would he do this? There is a whole lot of stuff I haven’t mentioned. She is extremely manipulative and did her best to undermine me by playing on his fears. I guess for me there is a fear that he may change his mind. Maybe that’s why I can’t talk to him about this because I don’t want to hear the answer.
I can see your dilemma, I can also see that you have been very active in getting back to where you used to be, with the job, having your partner back and getting the other woman to stop communicating.
All pretty good stuff, however the feelings of security and being loved that anyone would naturally want are not there. I guess one of the main reasons is that those photos still exist and his motivation in the birthday greeting.
Given all this may I ask what you realistically think would be a good place to be in? Photos gone and an undertaking not to contact her?
Maybe an extended effort on his part to make you feel more happy?
OK if that happened it would of course take time to have an effect that was part believable.
On the other hand do you see yourself not disc using the matter with him now and being prepared to live in limbo like this, at least for a while? Would that sort of life be worth the uncertainty?
I'm not trying to suggest one way or the other, both have down-sides.
I would expect as time went on there would be a good chance he would be more likely to come to terms with no contact and perhaps be quite glad to delete the photos, yes I'm guessing, but it's a possibility.
The only thing I"d suggest is taking your time and not rush things, however that of course means you have to live as you are now for a while - not a pleasant place.
What do you think might be best?
Hello Sunflower, the concern is why does he want to keep photos of her on his phone, maybe it's the possibility of them breaking up, so they can get back together.
Where does his love stand, compared to a crush he has on another person, however, the majority of us do have a real liking towards someone else, but we know our limits and understand that it's not physically possible, and are allowed to have this crush, but it can only go so far, otherwise it can be a problem.
I've read this and the sound replies and just would like to make one comment.
When you leave someone it is only conditional if you agree to conditions. Had you both agreed to separate to have a break without dating others with the intention of reuniting, then him dating would have breached that agreement.
As I see it, the moment you left, he was a single adult with no ties. You really can't put expectations on his movements if you are not a couple. He can and did, as he pleased believing it was over. Often people date on the rebound. He did but to get back together meant his heart is with you. Croixs mention of a photo of one ex GF in his family album is a good example of memories kept.
However your fear is justified. This is best overcome with keeping him happy and enjoying life together. Not knowing him, that's my best thoughts for you both. Good luck