Ask Brian: I sent my ex's nudes to his family and I'm afraid he'll find out
Our no-nonsense agony uncle gets straight to the point of your most pressing issues
I really need some help.
There is this guy in my life who I'm in love with, and I think I've really messed things up.
This all started because recently at college he's been hanging out with a girl who he classes as his ‘friend’.
I don't like this at all because he never talks to me in college unless I talk first and he never comes up to me etc. Sometimes I think we're friends with benefits in his eyes, even though it's more than that. He shouldn't be trying to keep me a secret. I've been suspicious of his behaviour so I decided to test him.
I asked my friend to make a fake Snapchat account and she messaged him and eventually he sent a nude. This broke my heart, how easily he'd send such an intimate photo to someone he'd only been chatting with a few hours.
My friend told him it was a fake account and she knew who his girlfriend was to test him.
He rang me and told me what he had done because he was scared that the fake account would expose his nude.
I know it's bad, but the fake account gave me a buzz. I enjoyed making him sweat.
Then out of the blue he broke up with me, he said he needed time to himself blah blah. I was livid, so I sent the nude to his family.
He's texted me saying he is now in a lot of trouble with his family and he doesn't want anything to do with anyone, he said he doesn't want to leave his house.
He is slowly cutting everyone out of his life including me.
We had a huge argument yesterday on the phone because he kept accusing me of making the account and showing his family the nude - I can't admit it's me because he will hate me for life, but I have deleted the account etc.
I'm hurt and I feel really bad for doing what I did out of jealousy for him hanging with that girl in college. Help. I can't ever tell him I'm behind it all.
Where to start?
Let's get the major thing out of the way here - sharing nude pictures someone has sent you is called revenge porn. It's a criminal offence in many jurisdictions and soon will be here too. In fact, under the proposals you could be listed as a sex offender if convicted. So do not underestimate how serious your actions are.
I'm also not sure exactly what you relationship status is - are you casually and not exclusively seeing each other? Or is it a proper relationship?
I'm answering this on the assumption that this is a proper relationship, if it's not - literally everything you have done is so, so wrong.
So, on the assumption you were in a relationship let's deal with his major transgression - he should not be sending nudes to anyone else.
I mean, I'd advocate no one should send nudes to anyone - you're just asking for them to leak. The only way I'd ever end up doing it is when my future boyband career starts to fail and I need to some headlines in the tabs. If Kim Kardashian can become a billionaire from it, so can I.
You shouldn't set up fake accounts on social media in some form of entrapment - but that's done now and you have to deal with the information you learned from doing it.
The problem is for every one person who finds their partner cheating by setting traps, there are 99 who don't - and it's a horrible betrayal of trust.
If you don't trust someone, for whatever reason, that can be a reason to end things. There's no justification for being a full on catfishing lunatic.
Even though I completely disagree with your methods, I understand how hurt you must be too see how he can send such intimate pictures willy-nilly (excuse the pun - well don't, it took me ages to think of).
Once you found out about his cyber infidelity, that's where you should have ended things if you could not forgive him. In fairness to him, he did tell you about it - albeit when he thought he was about to be exposed (on fire with the puns today).
You and your friend catfishing him was bad enough - sending the nude to his family crossed a whole other line.
You don't say whether it was his parents or siblings or fifth cousin twice removed who you sent it to - but that is a seriously vindictive thing to do. It's horrendous for your victim (which he is, by the way) and traumatising for his family as well.
Any moral high ground you may have had from finding out he sends nude photos (and I stress 'may' here - how you found out is dubious) was lost as soon as you chose to send those photos to other people.
He already has expressed his suspicions to you that you're behind the leak - so maybe you're not quite the double agent you thought you were.
You have inflicted massive pain and stress on him and his family - he is better off without you in his life.
You've both made mistakes. He shouldn't have sent the nude in the first place, but you shouldn't have conspired with your friend and set up a a fake account - and you definitely shouldn't have sent that picture to his family.
He will definitely learn from his mistake, and you should try to as well. Your actions don't belong in a relationship.
If you really don't want him to figure it out you're better off staying out of his life. If you continue to pursue him, he will eventually figure out it was you.
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