Pictures are worth a thousand words

by Bernard Williams
(Tampa, Fla)

Dear Stella


My girlfriend keeps a shoebox of pictures that she has collected over the years. A lot of the pictures in the box are really questionable, including one or two piks that are of nude men.

No man wants to see piks of ex’s or cut buddies in his old lady’s memoirs! Shouldn't she already know that?

She knows they are questionable, because one night she was showing me some of her piks, and she kept saying "Not this one", and she would turn them over. So one day, I decided to look in the box for myself. There were so many guys in the piks, I really got upset!

I didn’t want to ask her who the guys were, because it really wasn’t any of my business. But why keep piks of ex’s? It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to know at least one of the guys in the pictures was an ex!

No man wants to know that his girl has pictures of partially and completely naked guys in her pictures. That is so disrespectful, there is no other way to put it!

We ended up having a huge argument over the pictures, and a lot of harsh things were said by both of us. I really do love her, and I truly want to be with her.

Should I have gotten mad about the pictures?

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FROM STELLA:

Dear BW:

You know, I'm with you on this one. If you two are a serious item, with a permanent future together planned, I would think that it's time for her to get rid of her trophies, let the past go, and pledge herself to you exclusively.

The only reason I can think of for her to keep pictures of all the men in her past is for ego-stroking. I am a mature woman in a serious relationship myself, and I wouldn't even think of keeping something like that, because I would be afraid of hurting my guy, or of planting the seeds of doubt in his mind about my fidelity. Trust is such a wonderful thing, and once it's broken, things will never be the same, whether unfounded or not. I just wouldn't risk something that precious.

If your girlfriend does need these old photos, for whatever reason, they should have been kept strictly private and forever hidden from you. For her to pull the box out and tease you with them, well, I think that was a pretty mean thing to do. Is she playing mind games with you? Do you trust her? Are you sure she is not seeing someone else right now? Are you guys serious, or are you going to become another pic in her shoebox? Lots of questions to ponder!

Where to go from here? That's a tough one. Love is all about compromise, and I don't think an ultimatum is a good idea. I think you two should have a serious talk, with no alcohol or anger involved. Ask her why she feels the need to keep nude pictures of her exes, and let her know that you find it disrespectful and hurtful. If it really bothers you, I would think that she should get rid of the more questionable ones out of consideration for your feelings. Your happiness should be more important to her than some old memorabilia.

I'm sorry I don't really have a black-or-white answer for you. I think there is some work to be done on this relationship for it to have a happy future. Good luck to you both.

Stella

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