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Is this a dealbreaker?

Published on April 1, 2010 by natyie

I found videos on my boyfriends (of 3 years) computer. These videos clearly show his face, and also show him filming explicetly up the skirts of several women out in public. There were 5 videos total, and all of them were pretty much the same. Him behind women on escalators, holding his iphone under their skirts and filming their underwear and genital area. I confronted him on the videos, he began to sob and beg for forgiveness. He said this was the only time he'd done anything like this, that it was childish and stupid, and he would never do it again. He is actively seeking couples couselors for us to speak to. I am heartbroken, but I dont know if this means the relationship is definitevely over, or if its an addiction that he can heal from. Any help would be appreciated. Also, he's 33, I'm 27, living together for 1.5 years....


I think the fact that he's reaching out to a couples counselor shows signs that he feels it's an impulse addiction kind of thing that he wants to work through. If you really love him and want the relationship to work you should give him a chance. At least he's trying to get better. It may take some time, but if you are patient and committed to the relationship I think you two can work through it. Although the fact that you are thinking this is a dealbreaker shows that you feel unsure about him. Has he exhibited other perverted behavior that you've been turning the other cheek at? There are always warning signs in a relationship whether we choose to acknowledge them or not. Do you have deeper doubts about his character besides this one instance. I think your letter shows that you feel there's something else going on here besides the videos. Be real with yourself. Are you really willing to try and work through this or do you honestly feel like your heart is not in this relationship?

To be honest, this would be a dealbreaker for me. But I think you need to realize that with issues like this, the first time he is caught is not the first time he has done it and until he can be completely honest, you won't be able to heal from this.

Also, what does actively seeking a couples counselor mean? It sounds like he needs his own counselor and there are plenty to be found that he can go to right away. There is no reason for him not to be in therapy right now. Speaking from experience, finding a counselor is a matter of opening up a phone book or calling your doctor for a referral and then going. If its been weeks and he isn't seeing someone, I'd sincerely doubt the sincerity of his apologies. I have someone in my family who has debilitating addictions and the cycle is always the same, he gets caught, says he's sorry, promises to change and then never does and then after a few weeks or a few months of going back to AA or "seeing" someone, he is back to his old ways again. Addicts go through these cycles. It's the cycle of abuse.

If you really want to make this work you need to take a break from the relationship while he goes to counseling on his own. And then you need to be in counseling on your own. In cases of addiction, its not the best idea to seek counseling together. You need a space where you can be honest without feeling like you have to filter for him.

Interestingly, I wrote a response yesterday which was not posted (I think I forgot to hit the answer button). Lyz has taken the words out of my mouth, however. I found it odd that he wanted to go to couples counseling as opposed to individual counseling. How are you responsible for his compulsive (and criminal behavior)?

Unless there are very good reasons to go to couple's counseling, I think he definitely needs to work on his behavior himself. Psychology Today has an excellent directory of therapists to choose from. If he is relying on you to choose a therapist for him or if he has done the "I'm sorry, I'll never do it again, I'll go to church, I'll go to therapy, I'll be a better person, I promise" routine and nothing has changed, I fear he is only doing it to keep you from leaving him.

I have seen this way too often in my years of working with couples, so I do speak from experience. Adrian makes a great point when she asks if there are other warning signs that you have overlooked or even denied. Pay attention to this as you make your decision to stay or go. I do wish you the best, Michelle