Ask Brian: I'm catfishing my ex boyfriend to get his nudes to prove he's a cheat
Our no-nonsense agony uncle gets straight to the point of your most pressing issues
Me and my boyfriend of almost two years broke up at the end of the summer.
Things had been on the rocks for a while, and I couldn't shake the feeling he'd been cheating on me for a few months. He kept 'liking' other girls' pictures on Insta even when I told him not to.
I then found out he'd been texting some girl from his job out of hours. I confronted him about it and he said it was about shift swaps and nothing else, but he refused to show me the messages to prove it.
One night when he was passed out drunk I used his thumb to unlock his phone. He'd obviously deleted all the incriminating stuff, as all that was there from her was things about work.
I went through his browsing history and while he might not have been texting her he had been looking up porn. One of the times was a night we were together.
I confronted him about his porn addiction and deleting the messages and we had a blazing row. I finished with him and told him to enjoy his porn and fling with the skank from work.
Since then I can't stop thinking about him. I need to prove to myself he was cheating so I can move on. I won't be able to until I know.
I created a fake email and social accounts and joined the usual dating apps waiting to find him. A few weeks passed and sure enough he popped up on my fake Tinder, his profile picture was one of us together that he'd cropped me out of. The absolute cheek.
I struck up conversation with him that's been going on a few weeks now. I eventually asked him about his previous relationship and he called me his 'crazy ex'. I nearly threw my phone at the wall.
I asked him if he had cheated on his ex and he said no, but he still must be lying. He had no problem sending me nude pictures at the drop of a hat.
Brian, I know I shouldn't be doing this, but I need to know for my own sanity. I'm thinking of threatening to send the nudes to his friends and family to get him to admit it. Obviously I won't, that's wrong, but I need some sort of leverage over him to get him to admit his infidelity so I can move on with my life.
I hate the term 'crazy ex girlfriend'. I think it's often used to categorise perfectly reasonable behaviour as the opposite. In this case however, it might be warranted.
You seem to have serious, serious trust issues.
If you really want to find signs of infidelity in a relationship, you'll always be able to find them. Your ex will always have female work colleagues, and on some occasions he will need to communicate with them outside of work. That doesn't mean they're having it off in the supply closet.
If every girlfriend broke up with their boyfriend because he'd looked at porn while they were together, there'd be an awful lot more single men out there. The divorce rate would skyrocket overnight.
I've been doing this column coming up on two years now, and I've yet to find a justifiable excuse for looking through someone else's phone. It's a massive violation of privacy and if you find it that difficult to trust your partner, you should just break up.
You've already said you know what you're doing is wrong; so I'm not going to lecture you on it. Even though I love nothing more than feeling morally superior at the expense of others.
You shouldn't be catfishing in any event - you especially shouldn't be doing it to gather nude pictures to extort him with. Whether you intend to or not, you are talking about revenge porn here. It's completely wrong and will soon be a criminal offence you could be taken to court over.
Sidenote; I think I need to do up a dos and don'ts of sending nudes. Don't send them would be my main rule.
And if for someone reason you do, never with your face or identifiable features that can lead to freaks trying to blackmail you (sorry writer, but, you know).
You want to prove he cheated so you can blame him for the disintegration of the relationship retroactively, rather than take responsibility that it was your paranoid behaviour that forced things to collapse.
I don't know if you're expecting me to validate your plan or tell you I think he was cheating, because I'll be doing neither.
You need to stop this now, before it leads to something that can't be undone.
This isn't a problem involving him and you, this is a you-problem. You need to take some time and maybe seek some counselling to try and deal with your trust issues.
The old cliché is true - you can't love somebody else if you don't love yourself.
You have done a lot of things you shouldn't be that's all in the past. You can chose to end this now and try and learn from it and move on, but it might be worth thinking about getting professional guidance.
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