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How to Let Go of the Negative Emotions After Seeing Pictures of My Boyfriend with Another Woman  E-mail


Hi Maria,

Me and my boyfriend have known each other for a year.  We started dating six months ago.  We have a lot of trust issues.  I am a quite strong woman who prefers to never trust than to give trust and get hurt.  I started abandoning this philosophy with that boyfriend.  It didn't work, because he let me down.

The story is sad, but the fact is that he did not mean to be such a jerk.  At that weekend I was working.  I worked all day tutoring and babysitting.  My boyfriend gave me calls regularly, saying that he missed me, etc etc.  He was a president of one student club, and they had an event/party this evening.  During the party, he called me couple times.  I didn't really want to talk because I was mad that he was at a party without me.  On the money I earned that day, I bought him a valentine's present.  We spent a great holiday.  A week ago, I discovered some things that hurt me to the bottom of my heart.  I cannot figure out if it was more about my pride or my heart, but oh well.

At the party, he made some provocative pictures.  At one picture, it looked like he was dancing with a girl.  He was holding her hand and staring at her face as if he was trying to hook up with her.  On another picture, he put his face really close to hers.  I know I sound very stupid, but it did look provocative!  It looked like he was trying to flirt with her.  On another picture, he almost kissed her cheek (i say almost because there was some distance between her face and his).  He was acting like that with a person that he just met.  I felt horrible.

He showed remorse and changed.  I doubt he would do it again.  But sometimes, bad thoughts come to my mind.  It happened a while ago and I keep remembering it.  The problem is that I am moving to another town in a month to go to college there.  I'm afraid that my distrust will grow.  I keep thinking "what if he does it again and I will never find out because I'm too far away?"

His explanations make me sick.  I keep telling him that he better admit that he did not care about me that evening.  He said he did it not because he was hitting on the girl.  He said that he actually missed me, that's why he called so much.  He said that people were just taking pictures there and he wanted to pose in a way that it looks funny.  He was just being silly.  Well hell no, it didn't look funny to me.

I'm still sick to my stomach.  I keep crying and remembering how he mistreated me.  We love each other and have a potential.  But I just can't forgive.  Sometimes, I even feel like revenging.  I can't let go.  Nobody ever looked at another girl when in a relationship with me.  I am quite a catch.  It's unbelievable that my boyfriend did not appreciate me to that extent. I would never do that to him!

Thank you, and I appreciate your time.


The goal of this website is to give support to people who are feeling depressed and unhappy with their lives. I am living in Europe and English is not my native language, I wish you will excuse me if I make some grammatical errors. I decided to write in English because I wish to reach as many people as I can around the world.


Maria's Reply:

How to let go of the negative emotions after seeing pictures of my boyfriend with another woman?


Dear Friend,

Thank you for your email. I understand that you feel hurt after seeing the pictures. Emotional pain is a very personal thing: What hurts one person may not have any affect on another person. Some of the readers of this website may think that you are overreacting because your boyfriend did not actually cheat on you (he did not have an affair with someone). However, as I said emotional pain is very subjective matter. I am sure that the pain you feel is real and strong. You need to get over the pain in order to continue a happy relationship with your boyfriend. Otherwise your negative feelings might seriously injure your relationship. I do not wish that to happen.

Think for a moment what is the true reason that made you feel hurt when you saw the pictures. You said no one has ever looked at another woman while in a relationship with you. You have never experienced this kind of a situation before. The reason for your pain was most likely that you felt insecure, insulted and angry while thinking that your boyfriend might have felt something (even if that "something" was nothing very special) towards that girl he was dancing with. When you saw him physically touch that girl's hand it made you feel that your boyfriend was sharing something with her that was supposed to be merely between you and your boyfriend. Dear Friend, our feelings are perfectly normal. There is nothing abnormal in feeling insecure and angry after seeing such pictures. Let us now discuss how you can get over the negative emotions and move on with your life.

It will help you to get over the pain when you are comparing your situation to the situation of many other people who have shared their story on this website ( see section Stories). Your situation could be a lot worse. Your boyfriend has not cheated on you with another woman, he only danced with another girl at the party. Let us try to think about the situation from your boyfriend's point of view. If he wanted to keep the event of dancing with that girl as a secret from you he would most likely not have allowed any pictures to be taken of him. Instead he did not seem to think it was such a big deal. He also called you several times during that evening. This shows he was thinking of you. I see no reason why you should question your boyfriend's words when he told you he called you because he missed you. I do not know if he had been drinking when the pictures were taken but if that was the case it explains a lot. When people get drunk they often tend to behave in a way they would not behave if they were sober.

You wrote: I am quite a catch. I have no reason not to believe you when you say this. I believe your boyfriend also feels the same way based on how he has been behaving after you found out about the pictures. He has promised not to do such a thing again. You said you believe your boyfriend when he says this. Many men would get angry and claim they have done nothing wrong to begin with. Instead of getting angry your boyfriend is very supportive of your negative feelings and wishes to help you to get over them. It seems clear that you are a priority to your boyfriend. You have no reason to feel bad and to "torture" yourself with negative thoughts.

You said you are going away to college and are afraid your boyfriend might do something similar again when you are away. Dear Friend, I can understand your feelings. However, no matter what we do we can never fully control another person. If I were in your position I would not worry about these things before they happen. If you are already worrying about the possibility of some sort of a betrayal it is preventing you from feeling happy with your boyfriend. Your boyfriend will undoubtedly sense your negative emotions and it might affect his perception of you.I also strongly advise you not to contemplate on any kind of a revenge. I understand why you would like to do such a thing. However, if you attempt to revenge you are only making matters worse. Nothing good will come out of it. Instead you might cause unrepairable damage to your relationship.

Try to let go of the pessimistic thoughts and instead enjoy your relationship. It is clear that you have a man who cares for you and puts your happiness as a priority. Let the memory of this hurtful event sink into the past. After all, as I said matters could be a lot worse. Your boyfriend may have acted a bit immaturely but he has not cheated on you. It will help you to get over the emotional pain when you remind yourself of this fact. Nothing is preventing you from regaining your full trust in your boyfriend. The situation is much worse for those who actually have been cheated on.

Dear Friend, as I said in the beginning of my response, I understand your pain. I wish my feedback has helped you to see the situation from your boyfriend's point of view and to realize what is causing the feelings of anger and insecurity in you. When you put yourself as an outsider and think about what has happened you realize that your boyfriend made a small mistake but that in the end of the day he is putting you and your emotions as a priority. You are lucky to have found such a man.

You said that you love each other. Dear Friend, I recommend you to hold on to your boyfriend and let go of the negative thoughts. Do not waste your energy and your time on worrying about something that has most likely been a completely meaningless episode in your boyfriend's life.

Warm hug,


It helps to know we are not alone. To read more stories of people who are experiencing problems in a relationship, visit section Personal Stories.



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