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Dear Wendy

Boyfriend caught with abusive ex’s nudes.

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  • #876333 Reply

    So, I’ve been dating my boyfriend for about 10 months now. It hasn’t been the easiest thing in the world, but I’ve stayed with him because I care. Right before we started dating, he had an abusive ex who assaulted him and was very manipulative. His ex would threaten to kill herself if he left and also lied about being pregnant. It was really hard in the beginning of our relationship because he was still dealing with the trauma of her and it affected our love life. Well, things turned around and he started to go to therapy and take medication to help. I was really proud of him for doing all of that because it can be hard. Everything has been actually really good between us and so when I found these nudes it through me off. I had a bad feeling and so I went through one of his old phones. He recently upgraded and still had the old one. I was just sitting in his room and the old phone was still connected to the WIFI. The phone just kept going off with notification. Curiosity got the best of me in that moment . I had this bad feeling and the first thing I did was open his camera. I then saw 19 photos and videos of his ex-girlfriends’ nudes. The worst thing is that the date for all of them said February 20, 2020. I confronted him and asked why he would have these horrible pictures. He told me that the reason they were recent was he was moving them all to a different folder and that’s why they were recent. He said he wanted to delete them in a “cathartic moment to get rid of her at once”. I truly don’t understand that because I discovered them on February 23 and they weren’t deleted. Also, to top off this shitty situation he told me months ago he never kept ex-girlfriends nudes because that’s disgusting. Nothing is really adding up in the situation. If he deleted all his ex’s nudes, then why does he have his abusive ex’s. I don’t know what to do. I can’t tell if he still somewhat wants to be with her. He keeps telling me he doesn’t, and he wants me, but I don’t know. I feel so lost and hurt.

    #876336 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy

    Here’s the thing: the first few months of dating someone you really gel with SHOULD actually be one of the easiest things in the world. It should be smooth and organic and feel right. When it doesn’t – when it, in fact, feels hard and challenging instead, that’s a sign that this isn’t the right person or the right time. Your boyfriend was still dealing with his feelings around his ex; he wasn’t ready for a new relationship yet. It sounds like he still isn’t, and it sounds like you don’t trust him. It’s really not cool that you would snoop through his phone, and it’s not cool that he would lie to you – multiple times – about having nudes of his ex.

    There’s a lot going on here. As recently as a few days ago, your boyfriend was still feeling like he wasn’t rid of his ex and needed a cathartic moment to symbolize getting rid of her. At best, this is what he wants you to think anyway. At worst, he isn’t actually ready to let her go. Either way, you need to take a break from each other until he figures out his feelings around the ex. It’s clear she’s still very much a part of your relationship with your boyfriend.

    Oh, please don’t tell you you already live with him or are pregnant!

    #876337 Reply

    Thank you for the advice. I really appreciate it! I’ve told him multiple times I think he needed to sort out his feelings for her, but he always assured me he didn’t have any for her. We definitely need a break. Luckily, I don’t live with him or am pregnant.

    #876342 Reply

    The line that really stood out to me was “right before we started dating…”

    If he was in an abusive relationship right before you, he needed time to process, reflect and move on. He never took that time. He just jumped into dating you.

    No one needs to put all the pictures in one folder to delete them all at once. That’s BS. And you know it’s BS because you snooped three days after he did that and found them. And this is after he told you months ago that he would never keep nudes of an ex.

    I think you should move on. He’s clearly not over his past relationship, and the nudes are just a sign of that.

    #876347 Reply

    I always advise friends (and am really wary myself) not to rush in with a someone who has just broken up. There’s so much going on, people need time to process. I like a guy who’s done his post mortems and learned his lessons. But his past issues aren’t your fault. It’s good that he got treatment and therapy, but it may be that it’s not the right time for him and you.

    If he did want to keep them, you can make a private folder on your phone – so there’s no way to know for sure – you just have to trust a partner. When there’s trust, you don’t care what’s on their phone or in their inbox. As others including Wendy have said, feeling the need to snoop on his phone is a sign something is not working and there’s not enough trust. Sometimes it’s deserved, sometimes it’s not.

    He told you he would never keep nudes, but he did. For days after he said he was planning to delete them. And if you’re gonna delete, you just delete. No drama. He wouldn’t be moving them around and accessing them right now; that’s worse to me, than leaving them in some old folder and having to steel yourself to delete them. He’s messing around with them, and viewing them, whilst reassuring you it’s over. And it is, technically, and he may not want to be back with her, but his ties and head aren’t fully over her if he’s still perusing her nudes. Old wedding photos (or old ex photos) kept out of sight somewhere are one thing (and are fine), but nudes? No. When the relationship ends, the permission for intimacy like that is revoked. And if it’s truly ‘over’ then you don’t need reminders of sexytimes on your phone. If he’s still holding on to nudes from her then he’s clearly not over her. Even if he doesn’t want to be with her, he’s still not ready to let the whole thing go.

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