I am in a very serious relationship—my first one. I love him very much, but something has come up and I’m not sure what to do. Due to some suspicious events, I decided to go into his email and MySpace accounts to look around. I found that he’s been asking female “friends” to send him pictures of themselves in revealing clothes. Furthermore, early on in our relationship, an ex-girlfriend sent him naked pictures that he apparently asked for.
I’ve let him take pictures of me in revealing clothes and in suggestive poses. I also know that he invited one of the girls he asked for dirty pictures to his apartment and asked her to bring a camera with her. I know what happens after we’re done taking pictures and I hate to think that he would do the same thing with her. I don’t know how to approach this subject without revealing that I snooped. Should I ask him about it now? Should I even bring it up at all? I’m hurt and I’m angry, but I don’t know what to do. —MS, San Francisco, CA
The straight woman’s perspective: Rebecca Brown
See, this is why you don’t get all Scooby Doo and go snooping around in people’s medicine cabinets, drawers, and especially their email and MySpace accounts. Because if you find something objectionable, it’s difficult to discuss what’s wrong when you yourself did something wrong. Aren’t ethics a bitch sometimes?
As I see it, you have three choices …
Option one: You can keep quiet and say nothing, but that’s lame. Option two: You break up with him and tell him, “you know why” but don’t give him details; you let him feel guilty. This is the pussy way out, though, because you never have to own up to what you did—and you never get to hear his side. (Or see him sweat, which I’m frankly loving the thought of.) It’s page one of the Passive-Aggressive Handbook, but I don’t think that’s how you want to play this. I say go aggressive as hell, which leads me to... Option three: Tell him what you did and confront him about what’s going on. Make him squirm. But beware, he’s going to try and make the whole discussion about what you did (snooping), not what he did (being a dirty, philandering piece of naked-picture-taking crap). Don’t let him. Probably the very events that made you suspicious enough to check his accounts are related to his little photography hobby.
Since this is your first relationship, let me say this: dating a guy who takes naked photos of other girls and who most likely has sex with them after is not the basis for anything meaningful. Dump his ass and don’t look back. But make sure you get back every single naked and/or suggestive picture of yourself before you confront him. Otherwise you might find yourself in a Kim Kardashian or Pamela Anderson kind of situation, only without the huge boobs and Baywatch reruns to comfort you.
The straight man’s perspective: Chris Kennedy
So you’re in your very first very serious relationship with someone you love very much, but he’s been inviting women to come over and get naked while he takes pictures of them and then has sex with them? So much for beginner’s luck, MS.
I’m going against the grain here of those who will scold you for snooping around. Trespassing on someone’s privacy is not good. But sometimes the end justifies the means. Let’s face it, had you not snooped, you would’ve continued on this false road for far too long. One would argue you could have asked him if anything was going on before you went investigating, but I highly doubt this guy would’ve been honest with you. Guess you could’ve given him the chance, though. Anyway, it sounds like he gave you due cause to sniff around. If someone enters your house without a search warrant and finds the dead person you’re responsible for killing, you’ve committed the greater crime and you’ve waived your right to cry foul about the intrusion.
Why are you willing to stay with this guy? Do you think telling him you know what he’s up to and expressing your disapproval of it is going to stop him? I don’t. He’s proven himself untrustworthy and I don’t think you’ll have any peace of mind with this guy if you let him convince you he won’t do it anymore. He will. Your suspicion has been justified and you know what you should do—get away from this deadbeat ASAP!—but you’re feeling too hurt to do it. Granted. But the temporary hurt you’ll feel gathering up the pictures this dirtbag has of you and leaving him will pale in comparison to the prolonged hurt, confusion, and degradation you’ll feel if you stay and continue to waste your time in this dead-end relationship. Trust me, I’m the grim reaper. I know about dead-ends.
The gay man’s perspective: Darren Maddox
Too late. You’ve already made the discovery so you have to bring it up or you’ll remain hurt and angry. Let’s talk about how you should do that. Clearly you can’t tell him you were curious about what he was getting into so you invaded his privacy. He’ll immediately turn the tables on you and you’ll feel like you brought all this on yourself. Don’t even go down that path.
Instead, let me quote something you said to bring this into perspective, “He invited one of the girls he asked for dirty pictures to his apartment and asked her to bring a camera with her.” Do you think she came over to play Monopoly? NO! This tells me you may be in a serious relationship but if he thought he was in a serious relationship, he would know he can’t do that unless you two have an understanding. Seriously!
Here’s what I suggest: get on his computer to “send an email” when he’s in the shower. Then tell him what you saw and see where he goes with it. Remember, you come first. When you start making compromises like this early on in a relationship, those compromises go deeper as the relationship moves along. If you’re prepared to handle that, then it’s fine. If you’re not, then you have not yet met someone who appreciates what you have together as much as you do.
The gay woman’s perspective: Jody Fischer
Let me ask you a question. If because of your snooping, you found out your guy was involved in an illegal activity, would you hold back telling him? There’s a bigger issue to work out than you snooping around. You mention that this is your first serious relationship. Well, congratulations, you have yourself one serious problem. But it’s not the problem you think you have. You need to tell him what you know. If he twists it around and tries to make the issue your snooping, you have an even bigger problem.
MS, your boyfriend is cheating on you. What are you going to do about it? How long will you ignore it for the sake of just staying in the relationship? Why would you want to stay in the relationship? What exactly do you love about this guy? It sounds like you enjoy the picture taking and posing, but that’s not love. This guy loves looking at pretty girls in varying degrees of undress?girls that are not you. Girls that he knows or has known intimately. Are you okay with that? That’s probably just the tip of the iceberg.
From my end of things, he sounds like a dirty stinkin’ liar. Wash that man right out of your hair. Get back ALL the pictures of you he took, and then delete them from his hard drive. Confront him and move on. He won’t change but you can; in fact, you must.