Is it cheating?
Thankyou for that clarification. We cant always get all the information onto the first post.
What seems to be lacking between the two of you is teamwork, a bond of discussion if you like. When we buy a car for example and is in a partnership/marriage, couples often say "lets discuss this over a cuppa" as an example. That's when both of your beliefs/routines/ideas mesh and out should pop- a conclusion for the way forward.
In this case you both appear to have different ideas on what you do as individuals but not as a couple. During a tea break you can say to him that you would "feel more secure if he stopped any contact with her otherwise it is like she is lurking in the background showing you all sorts of signs that she is available when and if you leave me. That isnt ideal for any partner, what do you think"?
The trick here is to seek clarity you must ask many questions.
A partners response to that suggestion is vital to your future. If he refuses for any reason you might need to reassess the situation with him because he is not displaying strong signs of commitment, indded he would be showing less commitment that is ideal for you and thats my message, that we do all have different values but if they are too left and right side, that it is hard to compromise when both are really happy, then your have your work cut out for you to succeed without trauma.
Finally, in respect to photos in his album of other women he has dated- we all have different views on this. My wife has photos of her ex husband in her album and it doesnt bother me at all. However, in your case you are dealing with a woman that is still having inappropriate contact with him (texts and the words in them) in a manner that tells him she wants him. I think it is fair to discuss often this topic and for yourself to be resolute in what you want and seek a compromise. If that is not possible perhaps a decision has to be made for you to seek a partner that has similar values as yourself.
Good luck and repost anytime
Hi Tony, I left him not because I no longer loved him but because I was struggling to live with him. At the time I was struggling on a personal front and didn’t feel he was there for me. At the time I felt separating was the best option and for me it was. The distance allowed me to see what I really wanted and needed which was him. I was devastated when I found out that he had “moved” on but I only had myself to blame. When we got back together I asked him what was he most scared of in reuniting. He said he was scared that I would leave him again. I said to him, you need to give me a reason not to. I don’t think he has really taken any responsibility for the part he played in my leaving. It was easier to blame me. He admits he misses stuff, doesnt pick up on cues. There was a part of me that felt sorry for her. I’m sure she is a nice person but she was never right for him. She has moved on. She no longer texts or emails him and hasn’t done so for some months. I guess im concerned he hasn’t. That he would like to keep her on the back burner “just in case”. I know if I was to put this to him he would say I’m being silly. I have wanted to talk about this to him but whenever I try to he evades or avoids it. I’m not sure why and I guess this lends itself to me feeling insecure. I think it’s time for me to let it go and just focus on the now, my needs and what I want. I’ve put myself out for others for so long it’s time to think of me.
When talking a bit earlier on about your thoughts during that separation you said
The distance allowed me to see what I really wanted and needed which was him.
I'm assuming that is still the case, please tell me if I'm off track.
To be left by someone is a very big deal, and as Tony mentioned he may have felt he was alone and in a position to seek another relationship.
Though you are back together, which is great, I'd think that his saying his biggest fear was you might leave again, when taken together with a self-knowledge he does not pick up on things, would give him a lack of confidence, even proper commitment.
One side effect may be a reminder he did have the ability to find another, hence the photos. A guess on my part I'll admit.
I would imagine if you both want to be together then you will have to come to an understanding, for example you take into account he may be oblivious to your needs and you may need to be forthright at the time and say "I need ...".
I find at times I have to ask my partner point blank what the matter is and what I can do. I too often miss what others might find is obvious.
It will be his reaction to that declaration of your need at the time which may be the pointer towards his commitment long-term.
To be fair I'd think you might need to ease his fears too. Pardon me if I seem a little blunt but saying "you need to give me a reason not to" does seem a trifle negative and even perplexing for someone who knows they have poor insight. I'd find it hard. Perhaps a bit of encouragement might help. Certainly saying when you were away you found you wanted to be with him would be one approach.
Please, I'm not critisising your very understandable words, just wondering about about my own reaction in the circumstances.
I hope this makes some sort of sense -what do you think?
Maybe I’m just overthinking it.
Thanks for being so patient wiht your explanations, you paint a clearer picture now.
You are of course right, it was the way things were that lead to your leaving, and so it was a combination of two people, not just you, leading up to it. Frankly if my partner left me I'd be looking at myself to see what I was not providing that was needed as well as looking for the reasons inside her.
Not to have that acknowledgement it takes two is not only frustrating but worrying. Having someone who drifts passively from one life event to another is not somone I'd imagine I could rely upon to 'have my back' when it was needed.
Perhaps I'm overlooking something, please let me know.