Most Helpful Girl
Not a guy but I had PTSD from ages 12-15, then I was re-traumatized at age 18, and every now and then it's still triggered, so I have a bit of experience in explaining my situation to boyfriends. Unfortunately most of the ways I tried to explain it they misunderstood. Either they would get mad at me for "overreacting", feel terrible, or take my explanation as an apology and not bother adjusting their behavior towards me and would do it over and over again. The one that worked the best most often in situations where they were most likely to feel bad was explaining what happened to me, and then explaining my triggers complete with examples triggered by random sounds, inanimate objects, or other people I'm close to in order to show that there was no way he could've known that would hurt me. It's sort of like smelling brownies and immediately having a memory of being at your grandma's house, but instead it's a noise or similar movement or similar language that triggers a vivid memory of something very traumatic. I mean for a while, oak leaves falling triggered me. It does get better though.