What do you do when you discover nudes of someone on your partner's phone? And what do you do if those nudes belong to a student that both of you have in your classes? Those are the questions at the center of a recent post on Reddit's Relationship_Advice subreddit.
This story truly seems like the plot of an Oscar-bait-y movie that would star people like Virginia Madsen and Greg Kinnear or something. A 46-year-old woman explains that her 50-year-old husband and she both each in the same department at the same university. One of the students they both teach is a young girl named Kate, who OP describes as, "nice, smart, and very pretty... just a normal student, I guess."
OP has a flip phone, and her husband has a smartphone. They recently went on vacation and she used his phone to take photos. After the trip, she decided she wanted to send some of the pics to her sister. Her husband had left his phone charging while he was out of the house.
Although she was surprised to see he'd added a passcode to the phone, she figured he'd done it so it would be harder to steal or something, and she guessed the code easily. She writes, "I realize that this is something a lot of people would consider very snoopy and inappropriate, but like I said we've always been open with each other and I had no intention of digging up dirt on him or sneaking through his private stuff."
She started scrolling through pictures and found an untitled folder. She could tell from the preview that it was full of nudes, and she couldn't help herself. She looked. "When I did," she writes, "my heart fell into my stomach because they were all pictures of Kate. He had probably fifty nudes of her on his phone. I couldn't believe what I was seeing and I still can't. I am horrified he would do this to me and to her."
Most of the pictures looked like screenshots and had filters on them, so she continued snooping and found that he had made a Snapchat account with a fake name. His only friend was Kate, who was using a pseudonym. "At this point I set his phone back and went on my computer to dig some more," she writes.
She writes that, on his computer, "There was a lot of porn as well as an advertisement for a Snapchat you could pay to be friends with her on for more porn. I am assuming this is how my husband added her. I am also assuming he is one of her paying customers on the website, unbeknownst to me. I have no idea if Kate knows her professor is buying her porn, but that seems unlikely to me."
At first, OP was at a loss for what to do. It's obviously disturbing and so gross that her husband would buy the porn of one of his students. She was so shocked that she couldn't confront him when he came home, and she doesn't want to out Kate to the whole school, but she knows she can't keep her mouth shut about this forever.
Commenters were on her side. "It's one thing to watch porn and another to be basically obsessed with and building a collection of a specific person that is also his student," one person wrote. Uh, yeah. There's so much wrong with that. Many were also curious how he came across her profile in the first place. There's so much porn out there. It seems unlikely that he would accidentally stumble across the specific profile of his own student.
One commenter suggested neither she nor her husband should continue evaluating this student's work. At this point, it would be totally unethical for both of them. What he's doing might not be illegal, but it is definitely an ethical issue, and because of that, another commenter suggested that she bring this to her department head or a dean or something.
And that's what she decided to do. It's not Kate making porn that upsets her. It's the fact that her husband, Kate's teacher, is curating a collection of her nudes. "Regardless of whether she consented to making the content, I don't feel like it's ethical to grade someone you pay and at the very least I don't want to be responsible for grading Kate in the future," OP writes.
For now, she's staying with a friend, especially after finding "unexplained transactions" on their shared account. For someone who's experienced such a shock, I think she's handling this with an extremely level head. Women often blame the "other woman" in scenarios like this.
OP seems to understand that Kate is not the problem here. It's her husband's massively inappropriate and unethical behavior that he needs to reckon with.