Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend Collects Photos Of His Female Friends On Facebook”

I am in my late 20s and have been with my boyfriend for about five years and living with him for about 3.5 years. This past spring my computer broke, and he gave me his to use. While I was using it, a bunch of porn sites came up in the autofill, as well as his download folder. Curious as to what he was downloading, I opened the folder and found hundreds of pictures of his (and my) female friends taken from Facebook.

We were kinda in a bad place at the time; sex was infrequent at best — once every month or so — and I had given up moving (for a career opportunity) for him. These issues definitely contributed to how I reacted. I just felt so unattractive, disrespected and unsure of myself, and I blew up at him. He promised to delete the pictures, and we both agreed to work on intimacy. Things got a little better, but fast forward to the past few months: again, sex is in a rut; and once again, I face a job prospect in another city. Anytime I bring up either sex or moving, he just shuts down. With no reason but dissatisfaction, I snooped on his computer, and again, I found the porn, as well as all the Facebook pictures, including new ones. I am angry and hurt and don’t know what to do, or even how to broach this subject. Help! — Computer Woes

If you’re in your late 20s and you’ve been with your boyfriend for five years, that means you got together when you were in your early 20s, and statistically speaking, relationships that start at that age rarely last for the long-haul. You just change and grow so much during your 20s, and eventually, if you grow in opposite directions, the closeness you once felt is replaced with distance. And what happens when a couple starts feeling distant? The sex usually stops. Let me reiterate: the lack of sex isn’t the real problem; it’s a symptom is the real problem. And the problem is that you’ve grown apart.

Add to that problem your boyfriend’s creepy collection of female friend’s Facebook pictures, as well as your desire to relocate for a job, and his complete and utter disinterest to discuss any of these issues, and you have a classic MOA situation here. You’ve been in a bad place since at least last spring — almost a whole year — and your boyfriend doesn’t care about making it better. There’s no way to sugar-coat that. He doesn’t care about making it better. If he did, he would. He’d at least talk to you when you bring up your issues instead of shutting down. He doesn’t care about making it better and he’s too cowardly to break up with you. So, you need to be the one to end things. MOA, sister. You’re too young to be stuck in a relationship that died a long time ago.

43 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Calliopedork January 26, 2011, 1:31 pm

    I wonder if those women know hes going “one hour photo” on all of their pictures. I agree dump buffalo bill take care of your self and your career, and be happy

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      Anne (I Go To 11) January 26, 2011, 1:40 pm

      Bahahaha, Buffalo Bill! “It puts the lotion in the basket…”

      Seriously, though, I do agree with Wendy that this relationship is not even on its last legs–it no longer HAS legs. He’s being a coward, and you deserve better. Go take that job and move on with your life. 🙂

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      Natasha Kingston January 26, 2011, 2:45 pm

      HA. That was amazing.

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      thefierycrash January 26, 2011, 4:37 pm

      oh my god. my coworkers are now wondering why i’m laughing out loud.

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    Amber January 26, 2011, 2:09 pm

    I definitely agree it’s time to move on. It would be different if he was willing to talk about things, but if you can’t communicate effectively your relationship will never get better.

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    Laurel January 26, 2011, 2:18 pm

    “You’ve been in a bad place since at least last spring — almost a whole year — and your boyfriend doesn’t care about making it better.”

    This is so important. I know you’ve been together a long time, but think about how long you’ve been unhappy with him. In my last relationship, I let things “be bad” between us for a year and a half (out of a two and a half year relationship!) because I just kept hoping things would go back to how they were and we’d be happy again. My boyfriend wasn’t willing to make any changes to make me happy (ie, accepting a few crucial aspects of my personality) and it became clear we weren’t really compatible.

    Your bf isn’t willing to do the work to make things right between you—he isn’t even willing to delete the creepy picture folder he told you he would get rid of! Take that job offer, chica! (Seriously, they’re so rare these days.)

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  • avatar

    Sarah January 26, 2011, 2:30 pm

    This is so sad. If he really loved you and wanted to be with you for life then he would do everything to fix what is wrong. If he isn’t doing that then he must not want things to work. Sad…. 🙁

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    Emily January 26, 2011, 2:34 pm

    I thought this was sad too. Obviously there’s isn’t much trust here and I think it is time to MOA! Sounds like they both deserve better. And in your late 20’s I don’t think you should already be settling for something which is unsatisfactory AT BEST and really just kind of a mess.

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    Nicole January 26, 2011, 2:35 pm

    So time to move on- you shouldn’t be turning down job opportunities for someone who either doesn’t care enough or isn’t adult enough to discuss issues that are important to you. It probably won’t be easy, bur having the chance to pick up and start over fresh in another city may actually make it a little better. A chance to start a new job, meet new people, explore new places… good luck!

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  • avatar

    Sarah January 26, 2011, 2:37 pm

    How do I get a picture like y’all have?

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    • avatar

      Sarah January 26, 2011, 2:45 pm

      I think I figured it out….

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    Natasha Kingston January 26, 2011, 2:46 pm

    Wow, Wendy, you’re blazing today with all these posts! I love having so many to read! 😀

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  • Chaotonic

    Chaotonic January 26, 2011, 2:47 pm

    I think I would also tell all my girl friends what he’s be doing with their pictures. But thats just what I would do.

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      Laurel January 26, 2011, 3:35 pm

      Yeah, I agree. It’s totally creepy and they deserve to know that part of why you’re having trouble with him. Might make them reconsider how good of a “friend” he is to them, and it might make your bf see how truly creepy he’s being.

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    Jill January 26, 2011, 3:29 pm

    Definitely sounds like you’ve grown apart. I’ve never posted anything before but always read Wendy on The Frisky. I felt the need to post now. I’ve been in and still am in this same situation. We grew up and apart years ago. MOA before you wait for it all to work out and find yourself 20 yrs, 1 marriage and 2 kids into it and are in so far deep you really can’t get out. It’s hard but it could be much worse later.

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  • avatar

    Nuttin January 26, 2011, 3:57 pm

    The guys just reviewing his options, albeit in kinda of a creepy way. As far as the porn well, come on were not all prudes here.

    I’m sure he also feels the deteriorating of this relationship, and is moving on in his head. I’m sorry but you, his girlfriend, are now in the “I’m looking for something better zone, but I’ll keep her until I do.” I’ve seen it a dozen times.

    Is the guy a creep maybe. It’s hard to make changes when you need something to force you to. Like finally cleaning your house before the relatives come over. But we’re talking people here and either way it’s all gonna hurt until, like everyone has said, you make a change.

    PS Let’s see once a month sex, I’d be snapping my zippy to porn also.

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      Natasha Kingston January 26, 2011, 4:13 pm

      Yeah, well she did try and “force him” (not that I agree with this tactic, nor do i think she was being unreasonable) by confronting him about what she had found and having a long talk about the lack of sex the FIRST time. Now she’s trying to talk to him again and he refuses to discuss it. What more is she supposed to do?

      PS- your last sentence implies that it’s HER fault he is relying on porn and pics of her friends, when in fact it’s HER that is complaining about how little sex they are having, and she is the one actually trying to do something about it.

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      • avatar

        Nuttin January 26, 2011, 4:32 pm

        My take was she was concerned about the lack of it, not wanting it (Sex). Which I would be also. I know when things start heading south in a relationship sex is not a real priority. (Unless it’s make-up sex) which is a whole other story. Anyway, as Wendy stated “lake of sex is a symptom.” I would be angry and hurt also if I found my wife doing the same thing. I’m just saying he is doing something about it just in kinda creepy / weird way.

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      Wolvie_girl January 26, 2011, 4:34 pm

      I didn’t actually get the impression from her letter that she was complaining about the lack of sex, it was more like an admission of the fact that thier sex life was struggling.

      I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with porn (the facebook pics are another, kinda creppy, story) it’s human nature to “take care of business” for yourself, especially if business isn’t happening with your partner. This doesn’t mean it’s either his OR her fault. Like Wendy said, it’s just an indicator that the relationship isn’t working.

      The red flag here is not porn and pictures, it’s his unwillingness to work on a clearly disfunctional relationship. If your SO refuses to work with you make it better, you have no choice but to MOA! You can control/change YOURSELF ONLY, never anyone else, they must do that for themselves.

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      • avatar

        plasticepoxy January 27, 2011, 10:53 am

        I agree with the advice to move on from the struggling relationship. I stayed in a relationship for 5+ years that hadn’t been good since the first year. I too kept hoping that things would “go back to the way they were” and worked to make the relationship work. I changed my behavior, my appearance, etc because he would say “if [fill in the blank] were different, our relationship would be different”. Eventually I wised up and realized that I was the only one making changes/working to save our relationship. I stopped my changes and started a campaign to change him. He wasn’t interested in changing. (I’m going to mention I know you shouldn’t try to change someone in a relationship, I just kept telling myself that he wanted the changes I was suggesting (get a job, start and maintain a hygiene routine, start a savings account, etc), and that I wasn’t trying to change him, I was encouraging him to take care of himself. But honestly? For him these would have been major changes.) Super long story made short: I broke up with him and my main regret is that I didn’t break up with him earlier, so we could both move on with our lives.

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        plasticepoxy January 27, 2011, 10:54 am

        I forgot the / to end the bold. Wish there was an edit function!

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy January 27, 2011, 11:33 am

        I fixed it for you.

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet January 26, 2011, 4:00 pm

    Take the job and end your relationship… even if it’s just a temporary break up. Sometimes it takes a huge step like that to realize how much you love someone and want to make it work.

    Example: A friend of mine was in a serious relationship her sophomore and junior year of college. She grew apart from her boyfriend and they broke up before the summer before their senior year. Well, during that time apart they realized how much they missed each other and wanted to make it work. They got back together 6 months later and actually put effort into their relationship. They’re still together several years later (except now they’re married). Sometimes you really do need a break to realize how you feel about someone.

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    AnitaBath January 26, 2011, 5:02 pm

    I’ve actually known a few guys who have saved pictures from Facebook or Myspace (when Myspace was still cool). I don’t know if it was for their spank bank or what. I had an ex who did it, but there were all kinds of things wrong in that relationship and he cheated on me all the time.

    Ha, funny story. So in high school I was sitting at the lunch table with some friends. One of my friends was dating this guy who had a friend who had a huge pervy crush on me. My friend says, “Oh, [her boyfriend] and I were at [her boyfriend’s friend]’s house the other day and I was on his computer. There was a window minimized that said [my name] on it, and when I clicked on it there were all these pictures of you in it.”

    I was weirded out and asked, “What? Pictures of me? Like what kind?”

    “Oh, you know, just some pictures. There was one of you messing around in the shower…”

    *The table goes dead silent as everyone gets a horrified look on their face and I start to scream*

    “What? NO NO! Not like that! You were fully clothed, you were just on the other side of the glass!”

    *huge sigh of relief as I realize it was just a funny picture of me from Myspace*

    So, yeah, this guy was just saving all these pictures of me from my Myspce onto a folder on his computer. So it’s not unheard of, and I think it’s actually slightly more common than some people think, but that doesn’t make it any less creepy and weird. It’s probably also kind of telling that the people who I know who did this were in high school, and the LW’s boyfriend is almost 30…

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    • avatar

      Natasha Kingston January 26, 2011, 11:50 pm

      Just wanted to let you know I am always going to use the term “spank bank” from now on. THANK YOU.

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  • avatar

    AnitaBath January 26, 2011, 5:07 pm

    Wendy, I’ll also add that I don’t necessarily agree with the bit that suggests her relationship is doomed to fail just because they started it in their early-to-mid twenties. I think you meant it is consolation that these kinds of things happen, but every time you mention something like that in your letters, it just comes across as kind of condescending.

    Relationships don’t work out for a variety of reasons, not just because of age. I think, by focusing too much on the age part, it’s almost glossing over the real issues or reasons. Sure, people in their twenties are doing more growing than people in other stages of life, but everyone is different and that doesn’t mean they can’t grow together and couples in their twenties have to carry around a sense of impending doom with them in their relationships.

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      Marie January 27, 2011, 3:34 pm

      I agree with Anita here. It seems the real issue is the lack of intimacy from sex and emotional intimacy, he has this cache of photos of other women.

      Probably would be a good idea for her to take the job and get some time to herself to see if they still want to be together.

      Yes, there are people that most certainly get together in their 20s and married and it works out, I think it is more a matter of how mature the two people are in the relationship not just age.

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    • avatar

      BeccaAnne January 28, 2011, 2:57 pm

      totally agree. Often times people just don’t work out. And often times people are not ready for a mature relationship.
      And these things can happen at any age.

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  • avatar

    ArtsyGirly January 26, 2011, 5:20 pm

    LW – I am sorry to hear about your relationship. It is always frustrating to know that something isn’t working, but not being able to fix it. If your BF shuts you down there is really nothing you can do. If I were in your shoes I would write him a letter. Make sure the tone is non-confrontational or blaming, but explain that you feel you have grown apart over the years. You have a wonderful out since you can move out of town and are able to reestablish yourself in a new job. Best of Luck!

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  • avatar

    BeccaAnne January 26, 2011, 6:42 pm

    creeeeeeeeeeeeper

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    • avatar

      fallonthecity January 27, 2011, 12:36 am

      +1

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    Lindsay January 26, 2011, 6:58 pm

    This is pretty creepy. I agree with Wendy. There’s no reason to stay unhappy just in case things turn around. If they haven’t been going well for all this time, then it’s likely not going to improve.

    With this idea that relationships in your early 20s don’t work, I realize that a lot of times people change and find out what they want later, thus not necessarily wanting the same things from the same person. But I don’t think it’s something to base your decisions on. I don’t think it’s a hard and fast statistic.

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  • avatar

    Kristen January 27, 2011, 10:14 am

    I was kind of in the same situation.. but with text message pictures and as well as computer pictures.. I got mad had enough packed and left. There wasnt really a goodbye more of a “k bye” message from me and a “k bye” message from him.. then no talking to several days then he groveled for me back.. things have been better for the most part as of right now. we will see about the future…. I was so creeped out though!

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    • avatar

      Sue Bee January 6, 2013, 11:45 am

      Good for you, you stood your ground. Now if only more of our sisters out there would do the same!

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  • avatar

    Marie January 27, 2011, 3:36 pm

    Don’t we all run the risk of this though of a guy or girl keeping photos of someone if it is put on Facebook/MySpace the internet. The guy is keeping photos published to the internet, he didn’t go in their house and steal these. If you put it out there then anything can happen.

    It is not unusual for men and women both to look at porn even when satisfied with their sex life.

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  • avatar

    Jen January 27, 2011, 6:56 pm

    I don’t disagree that this relationship has seen better days, but…

    My download folder is full of all kinds of crazy crap. I only noticed recently when it randomly opened instead of My Documents. Depending on what browser you use, every single picture you click on will be downloaded and saved just by virtue of having clicked on it.

    Anyone going thru my computer would probably think i was creepy too, but in reality I was just completely unaware that my settings were such that every single thing I viewed was saved. Just sayin’.

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  • avatar

    spaceboy761 January 28, 2011, 3:36 pm

    MOA… because it looks like he already has.

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    Kim January 30, 2011, 9:32 am

    I think the fact that he has pictures of your female friends and his female friends in his “photo collection” says it all — He doesn’t care about your feelings, your trust or your relationship. Otherwise he would have worked on it (for real not just lip service) with you the first time you discovered his betrayal.

    Move on and find a gentleman who cares about your feelings and communicates.

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  • avatar

    Deborah July 13, 2012, 1:13 am

    I have a similar problem. Ive been with my boyfriend for a year and a half now. The sex is amazing and we do it daily. But 3 different times I’ve found pictures of girls he downloaded from Facebook and they were girls he had dated previously and one is a girl he works with. I don’t understand how everything can be so great but it he still jerks off to these girls. It hurts my feelings and he says hell stop but each time i find pictures again makes me think it will never end. I don’t know what to do i don’t want to leave him but i don’t get why he can’t stop.

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    • avatar

      Sue Bee January 6, 2013, 11:44 am

      I just dealt with a simular problem with my husband, we’ve only married for about 6 months and its the second marriage for both of us. I walked by him when he was on the computer yesterday and saw what looked like him downloading pics of other women, so I waited till he went out and took a look to verify what I saw. I was so irate that I deleted the pics, even though they weren’t pornographic in nature I was still hurt that he would be downloading pictures of women that he did’nt even know. I asked him about it and he denied it, then I told him that I saw them and what time of day that he had downloaded them and he said that he “didn’t remember” doing it. I told that he’d better remember not to do it again or he could forget about us! Hopefully that’ll take care of it, if not I guess I’ll be moving on…

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    insecure July 26, 2012, 10:11 am

    Omg, I am the same age as you, my fiance did the exact same thing! I was so hurt and upset by it, especially since they were girls from facebook that we both know! Super awkward and humiliating. What ever came of your situation? I’m kind of stuck right now as well.

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    • avatar

      Sue Bee January 6, 2013, 11:48 am

      I wish that men would get the minds out of the gutter and see how this affects us. I’m seeing alot of my sisters who feel the same way that I do.

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  • avatar

    Jessica April 21, 2013, 9:29 am

    I caught my boyfriend screenshooting pics of his female friends..Omg I almost went crazy and he came up with some BS lie….I wanted to vomit…But i stay because I love him…hes been lying alot and becoming different :/ I hate men!

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