Sasha Answers: My PTSD Boyfriend’s Naked Pictures
I'm in need of straight talk here. I've been with my man for two years. I knew pretty early on I wanted to spend my life with him, and so proposed. We've been engaged for about a year and a half. We haven't set a date because during our time together we've had to find a way to work through his PTSD, which is pretty severe. He's functional, but very reactive and angry. That being said, we've made amazing progress, and that's only part of why I'm writing. So what's my trouble? I've discovered in his email not so ancient naked pictures of other women, as well as at least one email dated from within the last two years to his ex asking her for naked pics. Like, the email was sent last week.
I don't think he's cheating, however, the emails and pictures are very upsetting. I've brought the subject of naked pictures, getting/receiving them from other people, and emotional cheating up with him, to which he gives me lots of eye contact and denials. I haven't blatantly pointed out that I've gone through his emails and have seen, with my own eyes,that he's lying about at least getting photos or sending requests. I'm afraid to do this because of his explosive temper (and this is where the PTSD comes into play). He can get very violent (not towards me), throwing things, screaming, yelling, that sort of thing. I'm afraid, genuinely, of bringing this up, inciting his anger, and causing mad drama. What do I do? S
Let me first tackle the naked pictures and then I’ll get to the PTSD.
S, if you had just stumbled upon random naked pictures, I would have chalked it up to the fact that he was horny and just using them to rub one out. Embarrassing that you found them, yes, but no biggie. BUT that gets instantly voided when the person in the pictures is someone he knows – HIS EX! Sheeeeet, that’s f-cked up. In my opinion, that crosses the line from porn over to perv, and that’s not cool AT. All.
Look, S, you’ve got to be honest with yourself. You went snooping through his computer because something tipped you off about his behavior. Obviously, something wasn’t sitting right with you, so now that your gut has been confirmed do you still think he is the right one for you? This isn’t a trick question. I just want to know if this is something you can accept. So can you?
Whether you choose to forgive or end things, you’ll still need to confront him and this is where the PTSD makes things WAY more complicated. I’ve spent a few days reading up on it and to say this disorder is heavy is a vast understatement. This is not something that just goes away; it’s typically a lifelong process that is very very emotionally taxing for everyone involved. I can say without a doubt I couldn’t sign up for a life like that. However, I do admire you S, for sticking with the one you love and trying to make it work.
Now, what I don’t know for sure about your situation is if you’re both seeing a therapist either individually or as a couple. If you’re not, you have to make this a priority. First and foremost, your fiancé needs to get the appropriate support. You cannot “fix” him. You may think you have the tools, but seeing as you fear confronting him and fear it going badly proves that you need someone else to help you through this.
So here’s the deal, while these naked pictures are of deep concern to me, the bigger issue is how you and your fiancé plan to communicate and work through your future problems. There will be a lot bigger sh-t storms coming your way and you need to find a peaceful way to work through them.
So again, you too need to find a therapist who specializes in treating people and couples with PTSD, because if you don’t, I really fear for your emotional and physical well-being. If you don’t know where to start please email me back and I’ll help you find someone. I really hope this helps and keep me posted! Xx