Every relationship is a negotiation.
Sometimes the negotiation is simple, quick, and makes sense for everyone involved.
Other times there’s more give and take than either party was prepared for.
What happens when the negotiation – and the relationship – takes a drastic, painful turn?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) throwawayAHmayb when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for kicking girlfriend out after she deleted dead wife’s pictures from my phone?”
OP began with a tragedy.
“My (25 male) wife died 19 months ago.”
“It was really hard on me the first few months but finally started putting myself back out there.”
Then he explained more recent events.
“I met my girlfriend (23 Female) 7 months ago.”
“It was going pretty well and she moved into my apartment around 4ish months ago.”
“In hindsight, we probably rushed this.”
“My girlfriend is very overprotective and clingy and scared of me cheating as she’s been hurt in the past.”
“I let her have my phone password so she could ease her mind. She saw a photo of me and my wife and asked who she was and I explained.”
“She seemed to take it well but was a little bit awkward about it.”
Everything was fine, until…
“Fast forward 3 days and I go to take a shower and leave my phone on charge in the bedroom. I come out to see my phone unlocked.”
“Weird but I let it slide.”
“Later in that day, I go through my photos to upload a new profile picture to Facebook.”
“All the photos of my wife and me and her together are gone without a trace.”
“I check my Snapchat (my eyes only) because I had a few in there along with intimate photos of us together.”
“I knew it was my girlfriend.”
“I confronted her about it and she started yelling.”
“She said I need to get over it and get rid of all the reminders of my wife because she was here now.”
“She also called me really creepy for ‘having nude pictures of a dead girl”’.
“(Granted I probably should have deleted those a long time ago, but I didn’t want to because they were special to me, might be AH on my part there).”
“I was livid.”
“I told her to get out.”
“She stared at me in disbelief as I told her again.”
“She packed some stuff and left.”
“I went to my room and cried.”
“I woke up to many missed calls and angry texts from her and her friends for calling me the AH.”
“This might not have been a big deal but she permanently got rid of 95% of the pictures of my wife.”
“I still have some printed like the wedding and some vacations, but I’m still missing a big chunk of them.”
“I feel like she deleted a part of me as well.”
“I’ve had to block multiple numbers (including my sisters, wtf). I do miss her though and want to talk but I’m confused.”
OP was left to wonder,
“Reddit, am I in the wrong?”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Many responses focused on the deleted images.
“Who the f*ck thinks it’s ok to delete someone else’s photos.”
“Doesn’t matter what it is.”
“But ESPECIALLY photos of their precious spouse who passed away.”
“Those photos being there so not hurt her in any way.”
“I’m sorry this happened. Are you able to retrieve some kind of backup?”
“Try posting in a subreddit able to help. I’ve seen miracles happen for people who have lost special photos.”
“Edit: Hey OP! Check out u/shadowfury45 comment below mine!”
“They have some backup tips that might help restore the photos!” ~ corbiebby
“As far as recovery I can think of a few easy ones offhand…”
“Start with the phone’s recently deleted photos or files and you can recover from there the easiest.”
“iPhones back themselves up most times they connect so you can reset them to when the last sync was via computer.”
“Androids have the gallery but also google photos most of the time and you can recover from there. plus have more options for recovery apps”
“(use recovery apps with caution, they are sketchy af but can help in a pinch)”
“*sorry for the hijack u/corbiebby *” ~ Shadowfury45
“New android phones have a trash folder in the photo gallery and you can restore from there.” ~ RangerKotka
“If it’s on iPhone there is usually a ‘Deleted photos’ album where you can recover them. Sadly, these can easily be found and deleted as well but he could try his luck. (If he has an iPhone)”
“Edit: it appears that android or at least latest versions of android have a similar functionality.”
“(According to other users), so there may still be hope.” ~ BlackCore_
There were also personal stories.
“Yes my SO didn’t like that I had a lot of folders saved of me and my ex and our camping trips and whatnot.”
“(This was over 10 years ago that this happened. Back then I kept most of my photos in my laptop.)”
“Did he delete these photos?? No.”
“He sat me down and we talked it out.”
“I pared the photos down to just a handful that I wanted to keep as remembrances. It was very civil and he was really nice/smart about it.”
“It also helped me a little bit because there was definitely a little voice in the back of my head at that time that didn’t wanna give up on my ex. But this helped me move on.”
“And that’s how adults go about doing that.”
“My SO was 24 at that time. So… This girl has no excuse.”
“OP is so NTA. OP Please never talk to that girl again” ~ Trillian258
“Same here! Me and my husband were just talking about photos.”
“He’s still got his wedding album from his past marriage.”
“I’ve still got pictures of my ex.”
“We would never ask the other to get rid of them. The relationships might have failed badly and not amicably. But they are still happy memories of how we used to be.”
“It’s beyond weird to get jealous over photos.” ~ sweetprince686
Commenters were appalled by the girlfriend’s behavior.
“NTA-this chick is nuts, block her everywhere and change your locks” ~ RollingKatamari
“I just can’t conceive how anybody would do this to somebody.”
“My current boyfriend still has pictures on his phone of him and his (still living) ex-girlfriend from like, 2016.”
“Why the hell would I delete them?”
“They’re still his past and his memory, just because I came along does not mean he doesn’t have valuable and meaningful memories from past relationships.”
“This is just gross.” ~ tpdrought
Others pointed out the red flags.
“Yes, and someone who ‘needs’ the password to their partner’s data to feel secure is not ready to be in a relationship.”
“I have the passcode to my husband’s phone for emergency purposes, but I’ve never felt any urge to go through his photos or files ever.” ~ LifetimeSupplyofPens
“Totally agreed, I think the ‘red-flag 🚩🚩🚩🚩’ trope can be a little played out on this subreddit.”
“But someone expecting access to your accounts or who monitors your activity is a red flag for controlling behavior and insecurity, it is abusive and she crossed serious boundaries.”
“I really hope that in the future, if someone ever asks for passwords again, OP shows them to the door.”
“It not only violates most TOS agreements for the majority of services, but it’s just common sense to never share your login information (unless you are a minor being supervised by a parent/guardian of course.)”
“(But no partner should ever infantilize you like that!).”
“100% NTA, OP needs to reset all his login information and make sure that he doesn’t use similar passwords for other accounts, this could go downhill majorly in that case!” ~ _HappyG_
“Thank you for saying this, it drives me crazy that people think it’s normal to have to put up with a partner’s insane jealousy.”
“I had a bf from age 21-25 that was like this and I was too young and naive to realize that it is not acceptable behavior.”
“He’d get mad at me for smiling at customers (I was a bartender) and that’s just one example but I spent WAY too much time and energy trying to reassure him when grown-up me would tell him to eff directly off.”
“I want to shout it from the rooftops now: don’t put up with that!” ~ Dashiepants
OP did return with some final updates.
“Thank you all so much for your kind words and support.”
“I’m taking your advice and kicking her out of my life for good. I’m also going to my local tech store later as they said there might be a way to recover my photos.”
“I love you all!”
Every relationship requires a give and take.
Every person has faults and foibles and fantastic traits that fit with some people and not with others.
These should be respected, of course, but your past trauma does not give you license over someone else’s history.