“I [25F] found out after seeing a vague message from his friend asking them to take down certain videos because they might get caught. I only caught a glimpse of the said message so I asked my boyfriend [25M] about it and that’s when he shamefully confessed that after he broke up with his ex of 3 yrs, he shared her private photos/videos to his all-male circle of friends as others did it too. They were 18/19 then and apparently didn’t find anything wrong with it at that time.
When he showed me their chat, some even joked about wanting to watch the videos again before the uploaders (including my bf) delete them. I asked my bf to tell them I found out and that I’m utterly disgusted but no one expressed remorse; no one even mentioned the women involved and how they should feel bad towards them. They just pointed out that I’M the problem for blowing up something that happened in the past and that it’s not like they’ve done it again recently so it shouldn’t be an issue now.
When I found out about this, I initially wanted to break up ASAP because the thought was just so nauseating for me especially since these were women they all personally knew or used to be friends with. But he’s been extremely apologetic and regretful so I think I can still give him a chance…It’s his friends I can’t stand given how lightly they treated the matter. How can I deal with this situation?”
TL;DR – My boyfriend and his friends used to share nude photos/videos of their exes to each other without the latter’s consent. I’ve pointed out what’s wrong with that but they’ve shown zero remorse and don’t think they should apologize to anyone.
Dear Throw RA 031919,
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. This behavior might not be illegal. Depending on your local jurisdiction, this might not fall under revenge porn. But it is clearly unethical and morally wrong. To share private content that which they do not “own” without the consent of the people involved represents a deep lack of understanding and compassion. This was non-consensual. He and others might have shared these nudes and videos with their circle of friends in a way to get back at their exes, and might have been motivated by pain and difficult emotion. But that motivation does not excuse their behaviors.
And now it’s your turn to decide what you want to do with this new information.
I sincerely hope that your boyfriend does not possess any nudes or naughty videos of yours. If so, you should ask your boyfriend to delete/remove them since he has not displayed good sense of judgment in possession of sensitive materials pertaining to his previous partner. Don’t just take his word for it; watch him delete them off of his possession. And going forward, do not send him any more nudes or videos until he shows better sense of judgment and you can trust him to keep those to himself again.
It is perfectly okay for you to distance yourself away from his friends who have all displayed a gross betrayal of trust for all the women that have had the misfortune of being involved with these poor excuses of men. If that means never interacting with his friends until you feel like they’ve represented proper level of maturity, do so for your own sake. It isn’t your job to convince them that they did anything wrong, just that what they did was so clearly wrong in your eyes.
Maya Angelou once said “when someone show you who they are, believe them the first time.” Your boyfriend and his friends are showing you who they are. Are you going to believe them?
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