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Unsure what to do, honest advice please f(25) m (29)


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So I thought it would be best to write this down on here and get some advice from people outside my friends and family.

I met my boyfriend around two years ago and we fell in love instantly. We were soulmates from the start, doing everything together, making each other so happy. People would often say he's "the male version of me" and visa versa. I couldn't have been more happy.

I moved in after about 7 months and things were still really good.

Around June last year things got a little tricky. I do modelling and he found some work I had done when I was very young (18) that he found to be very worrying. I had genuinely forgotten that I had done this shoot and apologised profusely to him. It was a shoot I massively regretted (wasn't porn or anything, they were some glamour nude photos) but I genuinely had forgotten about it. I was abroad when he found this out, on my way to the airport back home. He told me over WhatsApp that he wasn't sure he wanted to be with me anymore.

I had the worst panic attack of my life for around 5 hours, ending up so bad that I went to hospital as I got the most intense migraine I've ever had.

He told me he did want to be with me still as I explained that I was influenced into doing the shoot, it wasn't really something I wanted to do and I regretted it massively and had genuinely forgotten about it.


After this things got better again and then worse. We were bickering a lot and just falling out a fair bit over small things...

Something really silly I can recall is me accidentally putting a spoon which had a little oil on in his coffee which ended in him saying "you don't care about me, thats why you do things like this."


One night I realised things weren't great between us so I suggested we do a "date night". During the date he was avoiding eye contact and seemed really awkward. I asked what was the matter and he replied "it's not like we're in love anymore is it?"

This hit me like a tonne of bricks, I felt like all the air had been punched out of me. I had a modelling tour the following day and spent the week feeling in a daze. (I have never stopped being in love)


Around September had the worst argument one time going to see his family....

I'd spent the evening with his friends (all male) and it got to 2am so I was tired and was playing with my phone whilst they played pool. He went up to me and said "wow, are you that bored? can't you just make an effort for once"

and I started crying and ran to the toilet where some random girl found me. She asked me what was going on, I told her (stupidly) and she threatened to beat up my boyfriend. I told her to leave me alone. So I ran out, found him and then she saw me speaking to him and asked him directly in front of all his friends "are you bullying this girl?" and then she asked me "is he bullying you?" and I just said (again, stupidly) to him, "I just want to make you happy!"


We went home after that and he told me that he wants to break up with me and that he doesn't love me anymore. I was pleading on the floor for him to forgive me and he told me I'm "desperate".

So I spent the night feeling panicky and horrible and had to socialise with his family after this, they had no clue what had happened the night before.



I got teary in one car journey on the way to see one of his brothers and he told me that I was "embarrassing him."

So I spent the day not talking to him and just spoke to his family + played with his nieces and nephews.

He then warmed up to me and we started behaving like a couple again.


Around October things got better again, and then november things got worse.

During these times he would say he wants to "break up" after every fight we had.


My anxiety just got worse and worse.


One evening I had my friends over and he seemed off all night, my friends all agreed that he was not himself at all. They all love him to pieces, but it was the first time they noticed him talking to me in a really condescending way (he always speaks to me like this) and they even called me up on it.

That evening I went into bed to give him a kiss and he turned over and shouted "I'm trying to ing sleep!"


So again, I started crying and then he got up and said "I can't deal with this, I'm sleeping in the other room". (he did this often when he would make me cry)


I had an emotional breakdown and he came in and told me that he wants me to move out.


So I ended up moving out, staying at my friends for a few days.


He then told me he wanted me to stay.


We had another argument around a week later as he told me it's "creepy when I look at him" and it sent me into another emotional breakdown, which resulted in him asking me to move out.


He then told me he wanted me to stay again, which I didn't this time. So I ended up moving to my dads.


We went on holiday to Thailand, which was up and down. He broke up with me three more times whilst we were there.



Now, when we came back my anxiety was really awful. Every time I would come back to my old flat (which my room had been replaced with some other girl living there, as well as his best mate who lived with us previously) it would just feel wrong. This was my old home, so I would feel quite down whilst I was there.

If I ever felt down or wanted to talk about our relationship he'd tell me to "go home if I'm not feeling happy".


Anyway, this went on for a few months so I eventually, decided to leave him.


I really want to know if I've made the right decision. He's sent me messages saying he never wanted us to break up, I'm his soulmate and will be in his heart forever. That he is thinking of me everyday.


Whilst bearing all the arguments in mind, we have A LOT in common. We're both into fitness, self development, the same music, have similar morals, love travelling... he's got a great sense of humour too...


I would say the worst of our arguments started when he got his new job. When things were amazing between us is when he was studying for his course.


I just don't know what to do. I love him so much.



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You did not forget about the shoot - it just wasn't a big deal to you so it wasn't on your mind. If these were professional photos - not some dude who had you come down to his basement, then this is part of being a model. Going forward you can choose differently what jobs you take. How did he find out? Are the pictures part of an advertising campaign on the web? was it in portfolio?


I think you did the right thing because he would always hold it against you. You would always be groveliing. Meet someone new and be upfront that you are a model and as they get to know you make sure they know about them.

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Love doesn't do that to two people, I'm afraid. Men generally don't handle it very well when they see their women exposed in any way. It conjures up archaic and basic male hominid predispositions that seem to relate to private property and objectification (owning women as property). I've even met men who are genuinely puzzled and hurt/confused by their own reactions to this issue. I'd treat it as a fact of life and simply accept that's the way they are hardwired but that views regarding women's bodies and personal freedom should be stressed and emphasized. Do not bend under this type of oppression. Your best way about this is to live your best life forwards. You are certainly not under any obligation to stay mum about it or speak about it with a loving partner and deal with such issues but I think that's not an option in your case.


He simply isn't mature enough or able enough to speak with you about your past and you deserve to be with someone who appreciates and loves all of you. You were inexperienced and likely haven't seen this type of reaction before from your partner. He's not a unique snowflake, let's put it that way. Simply love you, appreciate you and do you. You don't need to bow down or hurt yourself anymore. Be free and continue your modeling.

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Sorry for your pain and confusion.


To get to the meat of things: Yes, you made the right call. Why? Because, I'm sorry, your ex-bf is not a good man, not a real man. I'm sure he has great qualities, but the way he handled the modeling photo, and his behavior ever since? That is the stuff of someone who is self-centered, immature, unstable, manipulative, weak, and deeply insecure.


All that anxiety you felt? All that feeling bad about yourself? That was his own petty bulls*t being thrown onto you, plain and simple, in insecurity infecting you like a contagion. That was him trying to bring you down to his level, because he knows, deep down, what's what: that you are two to three to a hundred times the human being he is.


You're a model, you did a nude shoot 7 years ago—there is no reason to feel shame about that, none. If you ran in the circles I run in, for instance, that would elicit a shrug. A hug if it was a weird period in your life, a laugh if it was goofy and fun. End scene. I have dated a number of women with such chapters in their past, and I assure you they were not for a microsecond made to feel awful about it, just like I don't want to be made to feel awful for the various places I've been in this whole being-alive business.


Whether you want to tell a romantic partner about it or not—well, that's your call, since it's your life. If someone can't accept your life, either where you've been before them, what you opt to reveal or conceal, or past choices that you're still processing—well, that person is not for you. If dude couldn't handle it—well, fine. A real dude, a good dude, knows his limits, walks away, wishes you the best. A weak dude tortures you because he's too weak to handle his own tortured soul and wounded ego.


Moving forward I'd try to make that the lesson here, or one of them. There are men out there—many of them—who would have had a drastically different response to this. Who would have made you feel loved, accepted. Who would be secure enough in their own skin not to react like a caveman. Who would have given you space to accept something about yourself that maybe you hadn't fully accepted, rather than enflame shame that was already on its way out of your system. Who would have found it all to be no big deal, which, well, it isn't.


Don't let this relationship, as you process it, make you feel bad for that shoot. At all. You're beautiful, unique, and that's one small chapter in the wild adventure that is your life, your becoming of yourself. That adventure is the thing another should cherish, respect, and find fascinating. Those who can't, because of their own fragile egos? Those are the people to move on from, head high.

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Moving forward I'd try to make that the lesson here, or one of them. There are men out there—many of them—who would have had a drastically different response to this. Who would have made you feel loved, accepted. Who would be secure enough in their own skin not to react like a caveman. Who would have given you space to accept something about yourself that maybe you hadn't fully accepted, rather than enflame shame that was already on its way out of your system. Who would have found it all to be no big deal, which, well, it isn't.


I agree with this hope but disagree about the "many men". I'm probably a lot older than you and being a woman who's rather liberal in many ways, I've seen plenty of judgment and oppression from the male sex. I agree with many of your points but I'd caution the OP not to be too much of a dreamer either. Just be realistic about what's out there and speak up if she doesn't feel comfortable in a relationship. Like you, I also believe the OP should move on head high. I really enjoy reading your take on things, bluecastle. It takes courage to speak clearly about ideals.

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It's safe to assume nude photo shoots are stigmatized by a a good number of those with either set of sex chromosomes. And while a plurality of either or both may not look to a nude shoot someone did at 18 and think them some objectively bad person, I wouldn't be surprised if the general population wouldn't at the very least consider it an adverse circumstance to gauge compatibility with. Still, given how young you were and how long ago it was, I can confidently tell you that there are indeed "many" guys who wouldn't dismiss you as an option simply for it. Personally, I wouldn't care enough to know about it, much less get upset from it.


Regardless, it sounds like you've had a dozen and one breakups since then, and I doubt somehow it all stems from your shoot. Not to suggest you don't have any issues of your own if you're running into public bathrooms crying over some relatively light quips, but it sounds like this guy's pretty quick to subject you to a mock execution. You made the correct decision committing to pulling the trigger. Spend some time single and being happy with yourself so that you don't find yourself in these sorts of yo-yo relationships.

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Honest advice...


I think all you can do at this point is move forward, and try and learn the lessons from this relationship. When someone says ' I don't want to be with you ' , do not continue to stick around to go through the ringer over and over again. When someone shows they no longer respect you, walk away with your head up high.

Respect is even more important than love, IMO. It's fundamental. Self respect, first. Respect from your partner, second.

I think he lost respect for you a long time ago, sadly.

Hopefully in the future you will not waste time having nervous breakdowns over and over for a guy - it's not worth it! And you do control what you stick around for.

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I agree 100% with everything Bluecastle said. Everything this guy put you through was about HIS insecurities, it wasn’t about you. You’re far better off without him.


Btw, just to give you a true comparison...when my husband and I cleaned out my old laptop from college to give to a friend, we found some of my old nude pictures (my husband never saw me naked prior to childbirth, quite a difference lol). He not only wasn’t mad, but he was actually excited to have found them and asked to keep them on his own hard drive. He didn’t make me feel bad at all, he made me feel proud of my body because he was delighted. A good man will lift you up, not hold you down. Your ex is not a good man. Sounds more like an egotistical teenager tbh.

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A good man will lift you up, not hold you down.


Read this sentence a few times, OP. Then, when you're having doubts, repeat it to yourself.


Because at the end of the day that is the most important gauge of a relationship, and I think a great lesson from this experience will be to make that your barometer moving forward.


I kind of think about it from the idea that we all come with a specific "weight." I'm not talking about baggage, per se, which we also come with and have to sort out on our own. But I mean just the weight of our past experiences that make us who we are at present. Places we've been, people we've loved. Noble choices, questionable choices. Forward steps, missteps. And so on...


Some people will be able to handle that weight almost effortlessly, lifting you up in the process. Others will crack and crumble, bringing you down. You lean in to the former, and step away from the latter—always.


Easier said than done, of course. We get attached to people, attracted to people, share such good times with people that it's hard to accept when good has gone sour. We also have parts of our weight we haven't fully accepted—that's the baggage—and when that's what causes another to crack we can crack up a bit in the process. Nasty road, that. Nasty dynamic. You got a real taste of that, as most of us do at one point or another in seeking love and connection.


Ultimately we want to accept our weight, where we've been, who we are, how we got here, where we're going. We do that on our own, and along the way we meet people who actually help with that process, rather than derail it, as this man did. He can't handle you because, frankly, like a lot of men with outsized, too-fragile egos, he can't handle much. He's all baggage, just sometimes posing as something else.


There are a lot of men with strong arms and weak spirits, cavemen in civilian clothing. You got tangled up with one, and no doubt will encounter more. Let this tune that radar a bit, so the future entanglements are shorter, less emotionally corrosive, and so you keep guiding yourself to that person who will lift you up as you reveal yourself to him, and vise vera.

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This guy has spent the best part of a year punishing you and psychologically torturing you for something which you did before you two had even met, and was nothing to do with him. And it's not even as if you'd done anything wrong in the first place. (As an aside, I've modelled nude for life classes, and also for videos which would have a limited circulation - not glamorous, but for a campaign called 'The naked truth', and if any new guy I met had a problem with that, he'd be shown the door pretty quick).


You had a lot emotionally invested in this guy, so it will be painful for you in the short term - but nothing like as painful As years of emotional abuse would be if you went back to him. Being sorry, tearful and pleading for you to come back to him is typical abuser behaviour, unfortunately.


Unfortunately, in your efforts to remain loyal and true to him, you have really lost your sense of self and your self esteem. Now you need to get them back for yourself, and hanging around with someone who's systematically trying to destroy you will continue to undermine you. You say that you have similar morals, but I'd question this. There's nothing in your post to suggest that you're vicious and punitive - but he very clearly is.

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Hello everyone!

I wasn't expecting so many responses, so I'd like to thank you all for giving your time up to share your advice.

I think one thing I'd like to add to this, the modelling pictures aren't what caused our relationship to go downhill, it was judt the first time he'd threatened to break up with me. I should have made that more clear, haha.

It was an example of how when he didn't like something he would just break up with me on impulse and continued to do that for the next 4/5 months.

He actually stopped saying it when we came back from Thailand.

And I've spoken to him about me genuinely thinking he's emotionally abusing me and his response is always "i dont want to be with someone who thinks that of me."

So there is no winning, no reasoning.

If I ever speak out or try to explain to him I don't like something, he just accuses me of moaning at me and says "you're doing it again. You're moaning at me."

And then he gets frustrated when I hold things in and don't talk to him, saying I'm distant.

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Thanks for the update.


Sounds like you've known for a good long time—since the photo moment—that he has abusive tendencies. Good. Take some time to heal, to mourn, and to recognize those parts of yourself that were susceptible to that kind of manipulation.


You never want to be in a relationship where you're apologizing for yourself, where your feelings are seen as an attack on someone. That's just a weak partner with weak character, end scene.

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I don't think he's abusive or controlling. He seems to have poor ability to control fight or flight responses and his gears are oiled for flight. He's got some issues remaining stable(of stable mind), in my opinion, due to that difficulty controlling his fight or flight. It may be he's immature and has never had someone challenge his thoughts or his actions before(has always got his way or he's inexperienced in relationships). Regardless if he's "abusive" or immature, I don't think you deserve to be stifled in a relationship. A good bond between two people should be inspiring and rewarding.

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