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You Asked: He Still Has Nude Pictures of His Ex

Dear Sugar,

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

To see DearSugar's answer,


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.


Join The Conversation
Murmur314 Murmur314 9 years
There are reasons for it to turn up in his recent documents other than him looking at it on purpose, so I wouldn't assume the worst just yet. Instead, I'd casually ask him if he still keeps anything from previous relationships (plural!) - and if so, let him know that you're unhappy about it and make him get rid of it. The boy doesn't sound too smart to not remove it from the recent documents (or even check it), so maybe it doesn't cross his mind... but there are literally tons of ways to hide files from you. If he wants to keep images of his ex he will, and no talking or snooping you do could ever change that. If I were you, I wouldn't worry about it. As long as he's honest about his views, honest about his intentions and makes you the center of his life then you have nothing to be afraid of. Who knows, maybe he was just with her for the sex (which would explain his patience with her) and that's all he remembers about her now. With the right mind set in your head, he'll voluntarily delete the images he possesses :) Meaning: if you make your bed experiences better than anything he had with her. Being open-minded and open to experiment really helps.
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 9 years
He's being disrespectful by keeping those pictures. How would he feel if you had sex pictures of your ex and went looking through them. I would confront definetly confront him about it and let him know where I stand.
plasticine1 plasticine1 9 years
i agree with stacey cakes. i don't think a guy needs a hard visual to fantasize, he's already done worse to her body than just look at it, what difference does it make whether he has a photograph of it?? still, the fact that he looked at it recently, and was contacted recently by her, makes me think that he's got her on her mind. regardless, if it bothers you, you'd only torture yourself by not bringing it up, so do it. and only you can really gauge his reaction and figure out whether this is just innocent fantasy (even it is about his ex and not a pornstar he'll never do) or something else. good luck!
annbaby annbaby 9 years
Ouch. Since you say that you know he was recently looking at the pictures, I would agree that you SHOULD do something about it. I don't think you should delete the pictures yourself, though. After all, it's not your computer, and you've already done something wrong. I guess that just leaves talking to him about it. If you had reasons to feel suspicious and that's why you snooped, then maybe tell him that as well. And apoligize for your actions first, because no matter what you found, his mistake doesn't make you right. And I also think that the other girls are right as well, that this is definitely worse than porn. I think that in this case, honesty is really the only way to go.
Marci Marci 9 years
He still has naked pictures of his ex, which makes you wonder what that's about, and you only know about them because you snooped, which isn't at all admirable. I'm not sure what you can do about this without him always having it over you that he can't trust you - which is rather a big issue if you want to have a longterm relationship with him. I wouldn't like that he has those pictures either, but I don't see any way for you to tackle that issue without it becoming an argument about you snooping. Sounds sticky.
evenxstarx evenxstarx 9 years
I agree that you need to confront him about this. You should be honest about snooping, but if you can't, just say you were trying to find a picture that you had recently saved on the computer, and you came across the nude picture of his ex. And I agree; if he gets defensive about the picture you should seriously reconsider how worthy he is of your trust.
Lyv Lyv 9 years
I'd be pissed too. Porn = ok, X-GF Porn = NOT. BUT I'd never admit snooping because I think it's really rude, so I guess I would just have to live with it or come up with some really clever & creative way to confront it without him knowing I snooped in the first place. :/
Stacey-Cakes Stacey-Cakes 9 years
I know that i'm definitely going to be in the minority here, but i don't see the big deal. I mean, it's not like he can't just picture what she looks like naked from his memory, so looking at the pictures really isn't that much different. And if any girl thinks that her boyfriend never thinks of/pictures his ex's naked body is she just kidding herself. I think if it bothers you, you need to be honest with him and tell him how you found them and that you are uncomfortable with the pictures. But he also has every right to be mad at you for snooping.
emalove emalove 9 years
I'd delete them too, crackaddict...
lilprincess lilprincess 9 years
omg I don't even know what I would do! I would FLIP OUT. You can always try to say that you accidentally found them. Good luck, you have a lot more maturity and willpower about this than I would have!
pureperfection pureperfection 9 years
i think you should demand the truth from him. i mean, its your RIGHT to know the truth. i mean.. both parties should always try to be honest with each other in a relationship, bottling up all these feelings and doubts will only make matters worse.
Bearwoman Bearwoman 9 years
No. I don't agree with the last speaker. Just be honest. And try to remain calm. And guys totally forget. My boyfriend told me once (before we got together) that he had naked pics of his ex. I recently asked if he still had them and as it turned out, he did. He says he just forgot to delete them. I'm not sure if that's completely true, but I told them I was bothered by it and I asked him to delete them. He said no problem. My friend had the same situation. She snooped, he had naked pics of his ex, said he forgot to delete them. It really should not be a big deal if he really loves YOU and nobody else. (I understand how you feel though. But remember that guys can just be plain stupid about these things.)
crackaddict crackaddict 9 years
delete them and see if he says anything
kurniakasih kurniakasih 9 years
Imho, this will all depend on what his reaction will be when you bring it up to him. If his reaction is being defensive and immediately getting mad at you for snooping, and refuses to discuss why he's looking at her nude pictures recently, this isn't such a good relationship for you. If he admits that he still has feelings/unresolved feeling for his ex, it'll be in your call to either want to work it out or leave the relationship. And so on. It can be very innocent too. I happen to still use my old computer and I have a ton of my exes (more than one guy)'s pictures in this computer. I haven't erased them all, and I've not taken a peek as well. But there were instances when I had to dive into my pictures files, I ran across the pictures and just click on it (or even accidentally click on it), and it'll come up as if I'm checking up on my ex and if my hubby checked on my computer (he uses my computer too, by the way), he'll find this out easily. Of course, I'll explain to him what's up without throwing a hissy fit or being defensive because I have nothing to hide. Hence, I really think it'll depend on his reaction to your inquiry. Good luck to you.
Meike Meike 9 years
Or, he could have just forgotten they were there. Yes, some men keep naked pics to destroy an ex they hate. However, let's not forget there are actually men out there with enough integrity to not do that. He may have just been completely absentminded about them when he met you. If your relationship is strong, I don't think it's hurtful to confront your guy and ask him to delete it. If he's a good guy, there really is no need for him to hold on to these pictures and he'll delete them without question. However, if he throws a hissy fit, then I would be very cautious about the relationship you're in.
sass317 sass317 9 years
Im sorry but naked pics of an ex is NOT ok. Especially if it was a nasty breakup bc she cheated or whatever I would think he would want to erase/throw away/burn anything he had that would remind him of her and how much she hurt him. If your bf is getting off bc she hurt him and hes getting some sort of power trip over still having naked pics of her knowing that she has to know that he still has them and that he could do whatever he wants with them (like emailing them to her family or posting them online) then you might want to rethink your relationship (and obviously NEVER let ANYONE take naked pictures of you, no matter who it is). Now that I think about it, do you know why she contacted him? Maybe she was emailing him to ask him if he had destroyed the pictures- imagine having an ex that was mad at you bc you cheated and knowing they had naked pictures of you.
jessie jessie 9 years
this is something that does need to be bought up. even though you snooped, he shouldn't have the pics. get ready for a heart to heart with your fellow. be prepared to be honest in all things!
rosey_y rosey_y 9 years
Whoa. That was long, even for me, sorry! :p
rosey_y rosey_y 9 years
I feel for you. I found semi-nude pics of my ex's ex (hehe, when we were together) on his computer. We hadn't been together that long and they weren't recently viewed, but it still bothered me to know they were there. I asked my ex about them, and he apologised and said he just hadn't thought to delete them, and then did. This isn't quite the same as your situation, but it's relevant because of how I got out of the whole 'snooping' thing! I was doing a uni assignment on his computer while I was staying with him, and had to go looking for some files that I'd downloaded earlier, and that's how I found them. I knew that clicking on a folder named "Chanti" wasn't my files, but anyway. They were right there, as if I wouldn't click on it. If you have a similar feasible excuse, use it. I don't care if that's morally grey, or even morally bankrupt. If he puts it all back on you for snooping this is only going to deflect attention away from what he's been doing. We all know who's doing the more hurtful act here, and it ain't you. All that said, it still might not be a HUGE deal. I don't doubt that he has no interest in her now, just like he says. Guys simply like to look at naked pics, and if he can look at a naked pic knowing that he's slept with her, I guess it makes it all the more exciting. I'm sure he's not doing it maliciously, and simply hasn't considered how you'd feel if you found out. That doesn't make it 'right' of course and I'd be very upset too, but don't think this is anything more than just a frivolous sexual/fantasy thing.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
I know everyone feels differently about porn so that is a thing you decide about together. But naked pictures of an ex is not acceptable! Especially since they were recently looked at. I can understand forgetting he had them on the computer then run across them and then delete but the fact he still has them there (and actively looks at) is a problem. Yes, you should not have snooped but the fact is you found something so obviously you were right in your suspicions. I know I've snooped before (not my proudest moment!) but I didn't find anything like that! I would have flown off the deep end if I had. I don't see how you haven't confronted him yet I would have immediately!! Kudos for taking time to figure out the best approach!
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 9 years
is he tries to be like "how can u snoop, u dont trust me" then u tell him "well i DID find something now didnt i"
clareberrys clareberrys 9 years
Honestly, yes you snooped and it is not right, but he shouldn't have those pictures on the first place. SO I think he is more in the wrong than you and really snooping wouldn't be a problem if he didn't have anything to hide. I've snooped and found some unsettling things in my boyfriend's computer and when i confronted him i was like you are going to be mad at me but...and he was like no I have no right to be mad at you since I was the one that did something wrong.
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