A 25-year-old man who was widowed 19 months ago finally found he was ready to move on with his life.
But when he settled down with a new girlfriend who moved in with him, he realized there were certain things about his deceased wife he was not ready to let go.
When the girlfriend tampered with his cellphone because of her own insecurities, he made a tough decision that led him to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit, where he asked:
“AITA for kicking girlfriend out after she deleted [my] dead wife’s pictures from my phone?”
The Original Poster (OP) wrote:
“My wife died 19 months ago. It was real hard on me the first few months but finally started putting myself back out there.”
“I met girlfriend (23 F[emale]) 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 wife and asked who she was and I explained.”
“She seemed to take it well but was a little bit awkward about it.”
“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. Reddit, am I in the wrong?”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Many Redditors were sympathetic and declared NTA.
“NTA. Don’t let her back in your life, she needs therapy for her issues.” – I_wont_hold_back
“You should take her to court for this if it cause you emotional trauma. You’re definitely NTA.” – spiralmadness
The IT literate offered their wisdom for the OP in the hopes of retrieving the deleted photos.
“NTA. Check the deleted files folder on your phone. A lot of phones have the equivalent of a recycle bin, so hopefully they are sitting there. Fingers crossed she is not tech savvy enough to realise that.”
“P.S change any passwords she may have had access to.” – Cottage_Elf
“OP depending on what kind of phone you have you might be able to restore to last back up and retrieve those pictures, or navigate through the picture files in you old back up to extract those photos manually.” – zoomerang93
The OP was reminded that certain boundaries within relationships should be respected.
“It’s not normal to go through your SOs phone. I get that is no big deal to you right now but it’s a huge red flag and a precursor to her controlling behavior.”
“Her trust issues are her own thing she needs to work on, it doesn’t mean you need to give up your own privacy.” – alancewicz
“Second this. An SO even attempting to go through my phone is a deal breaker for me. Not only do I expect a level of trust (if we don’t have that then wtf are we even doing), but I vent my private feeling to my best friends, my mom, and my sister and they do the same.”
“It’s a violation of my privacy and the privacy of any one that has text me.” – Decidedly-Undecided
“This. It’s basic privacy. I know my partner’s passcode too but never use it, unless we’re in the car and he’s driving. And even then only on his request. You need trust for a relationship to survive.” – darthvadercake
This Redditor gave a heartfelt comment about processing grief.
“Hey man, everyone handles grief differently. Some people find solace in having a partner to rely on or direct their emotions to so they can comfort and be comforted. Others can’t handle the idea of having another partner like that for a while.”
“There is no timeline on grief and no proper way to grieve. It affects everyone differently and everyone responds differently. You are not stupid for processing and healing in your own way, there is no shame in that.”
“You can have a relationship after the passing of a partner, that isn’t wrong nor a bad thing. Just because society tells you or leads you to believe there is a proper way you should be acting, or tells you to wait x years before dating, don’t listen. You do what you want to do, and more importantly what you need to do. Not what someone else believes you should do.”
“I am very sorry for your loss, losing my partner absolutely terrifies me. I cannot imagine what you have been through and dealt with and I know it was a little while ago but still, I know pain just doesn’t up and disappear. Not to mention when you lose valuable mementos, I am so sorry for that loss as well.”
“That was cruel and wrong on your gf’s part and it also speaks to her maturity level. You deserve someone who values what you had with your late wife and someone who understands she is not a replacement nor is she competing to be your ‘biggest love’. Just someone who loves you and knows that you love her.”
“The respect should be there and in my opinion, it needs to be there. I don’t think your gf will ever have that.”
“Always do what is best for you, not what others think is best for you. This is your life and you gotta live it your way. I wish the very best for you man, you deserve it. NTA” – reaperr99
In an update, the OP expressed his gratitude for the supportive comments and shared his plans for the future.
“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 !”