I know I shouldn't have snooped around on my boyfriend's computer, but I did, and was shocked to find naked pictures of his ex (from about two to three years ago). I know he doesn't speak to her anymore. She cheated on him numerous times and treated him terribly. He has told me that she recently tried to contact him through Facebook and he blocked her and did not respond. I have access to his profile, so I know he did this and is telling the truth. But now I also know that he has looked at a certain nude picture of her, because I found it in his recent documents.
I was out of town last week, and it wouldn't have bothered me at all to know he was looking at porn, but I do have a problem with him looking at his ex. Should I confront him? If I tell him how I found it, I can't very well yell at him for not respecting me when I didn't respect his privacy. But it's really bothering me. We have been together about a year and a half and we have talked about a future together. What should I do?
— Ex Problems Erin
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Dear Ex Problems Erin,
You're right; snooping isn't OK, and you did betray his privacy. However, just because you did something wrong doesn't excuse the fact that he still has naked, recently viewed pictures of his ex on his computer. I don't blame you for having a hard time just letting them go, and I do think you should broach the subject with him. But you will have to 'fess up to your misdeeds as well. Keep in mind that if you come at him with anger and reproach, he's likely to get defensive and turn it around on you. However, if you sit down to talk to him from the perspective of trying to fix some of these issues as a couple, then he'll be much more receptive.
Before you have this uncomfortable conversation, it's a good idea to figure out why you were snooping in the first place. Do you have trust issues that stem from a previous relationship? Did you feel like you had reason to look? Whatever it is, make sure to explain to your boyfriend that you intend to work on the issue and ultimately fix it. Then tell him that you expect the same from him in regards to hanging onto those pictures. You both have some work to do in order to create a more respectful and trusting relationship.