Wedding Woes

I really have a lot of questions about this phone swap situation.

Dear Prudence,

My boyfriend and I have been together for just over a year. Recently, he disclosed to me that he was sexually harassed by his boss at a retail store two years prior. I was supportive and tried to be a good partner and confidant. Last week, I broke my phone, and he told me I could use his old phone while mine was being fixed. When I turned on the phone, I saw that there were explicit sexual messages between him and his former boss that appear to be consensual. They spoke about meeting for sex, described things they wanted to do to each other, and even sent each other naked photos of themselves. Normally, I wouldn’t care since it was before we started dating and it’s his business, but this is the person who he said sexually harassed him. I have no idea why he would lie about something like this. I’m not sure if I should ask him about what I saw on the phone or just leave it.

—Phone Problems

Re: I really have a lot of questions about this phone swap situation.

  • Ro041Ro041 member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I personally wouldn't be able to just leave it alone.  Although, consensual can turn into harassment, so he may not be lying.  

    OliveOilsMomei34ahoyweddingernursej
  • right?  Why would he lie?..... the evidence is smack dab in your face though, LW, I would definitely bring it up and ask questions and it's also a good insight of character fyi.

    short+sassy
  • right?  Why would he lie?..... the evidence is smack dab in your face though, LW, I would definitely bring it up and ask questions and it's also a good insight of character fyi.
    This. I had a boyfriend who would lie just for funsies. I have no idea why. He'd lie about everything from cheating on me, to old girlfriends to what he had for lunch. 
    Obviously I can't assume the same for this guy since LW didn't say anything about a history of lies. But I would ask about it because like Ro said, I wouldn't be able to let it go and it could very well all be true. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    short+sassy
  • MRDCleMRDCle member
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
    mrsconn23 said:
    I also don't love the tone of Prudie's response.  It seems like they are unpacking baggage in responding to this LW:

    I doubt that when you turned your boyfriend’s old phone on, these messages were displayed on his home screen, so you did at least a little digging in order to see them. That’s a serious violation of his privacy, and something you should be concerned about in yourself. Moreover, the fact that your boyfriend appeared to have responded in kind when his boss contacted him for assignations does not mean he was not sexually harassed. Remember that this person was his boss at the time, with the power to fire him or make his work life unbearable—he may not have felt like he could risk his job by not playing along. What you saw is not a contradiction of the story he’s told you but evidence that his boss sent him nude pictures and had sex with him. He trusted you when he made this disclosure, and you violated that trust when you went through those messages. Even if one had come up accidentally, it was incumbent on you not to give in to your curiosity and go scrolling back through them.

    I think you should be very careful before deciding whether to tell him that you saw those messages, because it has the potentially to further harm him. My gut reaction is that you should forget you have seen them. If you ever do tell him, the conversation should not be along the lines you propose here—“Having seen a handful of old text messages between you and your boss, I now no longer believe you felt exploited and harassed, and demand that you explain yourself to me.” It should be like this: “When I used your old phone, I read some of your old messages with your boss, and I want to apologize to you for snooping. I shouldn’t have done it, and I’m sorry. If you ever want to talk more about what that experience was like for you, I want to be available for that. If this makes it harder for you to trust me, I understand, and I want to do what I can to rebuild your faith in me.”

    ******

    He gave her the phone to use. She didn't go looking for it or take it while he was in the shower or sleeping to snoop.  

    I mean, did LW turn on the phone to make sure it works first?  Deactivating a phone doesn't mean the information stored on it goes away.  So it's entirely possible that the LW was just checking functionality of the phone before swapping out the memory card or something and happened upon these texts. 

    I'd just need more information before shaming LW for 'snooping'.  As far as what LW should do with the info?  IDK.  I mean, maybe he and the boss were into each other (up to and including having a sexual relationship) and he tried to put a stop to it and she wouldn't quit? Especially since there was 'evidence' of their previous interactions and she could have been holding his job over his head.  You can be sexually harassed by someone you had sex with. 

    I think I'd need to know more about how he presented it to LW.  But it is in the past and maybe this is just a situation where LW should just maybe pay a little more attention to the consistency of what her BF tells her? 

    I recently used an old iPhone of my dad's while mine got fixed and it had his old texts on it even with my SIM card in the phone. I had to clear it of all data and back it up from iCloud before my things showed. 
    mrsconn23charlotte989875
  • If you (general you) tell me that you saw a little snippet of a text that may have included sexual language or a nude pic and you didn't open it, you're a liar. 
    Yep. 
    charlotte989875
  • kvrunskvruns member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Ro041 said:
    I personally wouldn't be able to just leave it alone.  Although, consensual can turn into harassment, so he may not be lying.  
    that's what I was thinking
    mrsconn23charlotte989875
  • kvrunskvruns member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer

    This. I had a boyfriend who would lie just for funsies. I have no idea why. He'd lie about everything from cheating on me, to old girlfriends to what he had for lunch. 
    Obviously I can't assume the same for this guy since LW didn't say anything about a history of lies. But I would ask about it because like Ro said, I wouldn't be able to let it go and it could very well all be true. 
    Same! I still remember one time we had been somewhere in separate cars and were both going back to his place. We'd left at the same time and I got to his place like 10-15 min before him. I asked what happened or if he'd stopped and he denied anything. Then I saw a Taco Bell cup in the car that wasn't there before. Why don't you just say "I stopped at Taco Bell" or really, why didn't you first offer to get me some too LOL He lied about so many stupid things it was ridiculous
    short+sassy
  • I'm with everyone else in the thread.  Prudie missed the mark.  It's not snooping if the phone is handed to you to use!

    Funny story - I lent my friend an old flip phone (about 8 years ago now).  She had to save up for a new phone, so I gave her my spare, until she had the money.  A few months after I gave it to her, she gave me the phone back while we were at a bar.  H was there too (BF at the time).  So I start to show him my photos I had on the phone.  Then all of a sudden, a pair of boobs pop up!  I turned my head to the side because those weren't my boobs and I was confused.  It quickly dawned on me that those were my friend's boobs!  LOL!  My friend was in the bathroom when it happened, so we just shut the phone and acted like it never happened!  Later H said he knew right away it wasn't me - they were too small!

    charlotte989875kvruns
  • kvruns said:

    This. I had a boyfriend who would lie just for funsies. I have no idea why. He'd lie about everything from cheating on me, to old girlfriends to what he had for lunch. 
    Obviously I can't assume the same for this guy since LW didn't say anything about a history of lies. But I would ask about it because like Ro said, I wouldn't be able to let it go and it could very well all be true. 
    Same! I still remember one time we had been somewhere in separate cars and were both going back to his place. We'd left at the same time and I got to his place like 10-15 min before him. I asked what happened or if he'd stopped and he denied anything. Then I saw a Taco Bell cup in the car that wasn't there before. Why don't you just say "I stopped at Taco Bell" or really, why didn't you first offer to get me some too LOL He lied about so many stupid things it was ridiculous


    Thank you, ladies!!!  I don't feel so alone now, lol.

    I dated a guy for almost a year in college who lied for no reason.  It was so baffling to me.  What is even the point of that?

    He was also a big exaggerator, but at least I can understand the motivation behind that.

    We had the same circle of friends, both before and after dating.  Shortly after we broke up, I remember one of his friends coming up to me and jokingly ask, "So Jen, I've always been curious, how much of what Jim says CAN I actually believe?"

    As for the LW, it is bothering her so I think she does need to say something.  Non-accusatory and hopefully with it in mind that, like some of you have mentioned, the info she found doesn't necessarily mean he wasn't sexually harassed. 

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • This little thing about Pandora and her box...  js..  LW learned more than probably should have, now it's up to them to put it back away or make other decisions knowing what they know now!
  • Yup. Prudie was too quick to blame the LW. Big red flags here.
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