Oh yeah. You read that right. Putting this one behind a cut.
Dear Captain Awkward,
My best friend and her fiancé invited my boyfriend and I away for the weekend to her parents’ house in the country. She and I have been best friends since we were 13 (we are now 29) and I am also very close with her fiancé as they have been together for 9 years now, we have a lot in common and the three of us are extremely close. Boyfriend has met best friend a few times but it was his first time meeting her fiancé and they got along really well (we’ve been dating for about a year).
We had a really lovely weekend until yesterday, when we were due to leave. My boyfriend and I had jumped into the shower in the guest bathroom, then I got out and went to our room to dress and start packing our bags. Shortly after my boyfriend came in and was acting really weird, checking the wardrobe and the windowsills and ignoring me when I asked him what he was looking for. He then quietly told me he’d found cameras in the guest bathroom, and they were recording. I thought he was making a mistake, but then he took me in and showed them to me – there was one pointing at the toilet and two pointing at the shower, I’d mistaken them for powerpacks but he showed me the lenses and got me to touch them to see that they were running hot. He also looked the model up on his phone and showed me that they were marketed as “hidden cameras” (he works in IT so he knows what he’s talking about).
We assumed it was my best friend’s mother’s partner (let’s call him Jack), who was a friendly older man that I’d only met a couple of times before. I was horrified as my best friend and her fiancé often brought friends and family up to the house for weekends away (she partially owned the property with her mother) and if we had been filmed without our consent so many other guests could have been as well. Boyfriend decided to go to speak privately to fiancé about what to do. Fiancé was naturally horrified, and between the three of us we agreed to remove the cameras from the bathroom so that boyfriend could see exactly what had been recorded. Fiancé was reluctant to tell best friend as Jack had been like a father to her for the past 15 years or so, but boyfriend and I weren’t comfortable keeping something like that from her (for all I knew he had been filming her too) Also this obviously affected her mother and we felt it was only fair for her to decide how to proceed.
He agreed that he would tell her, and we decided that he would keep one of the cameras to show her and boyfriend and I would hold on to the other two. We would leave immediately, and they would leave soon after and fiancé was going to tell her in the car on the way home. We discussed meeting for dinner back in our home city to discuss what we wanted to do. Boyfriend and I left, and when we got back to our hometown fiancé called us and told us he still hadn’t told best friend, and wasn’t sure if he should as he didn’t want to upset her. I told him straight up that I couldn’t keep a secret like that from her, plus who knew who else Jack had been filming (children had stayed there before too). He said he needed some time to process everything but would tell her that night.
Boyfriend dropped me home and went home to review the footage to see exactly what had been recorded. A few hours later, fiancé called me and told me that he told best friend, and that it was him, not Jack, who had set up the cameras. I was in shock, and he put it on speakerphone so I knew that best friend was with him while he was talking to me. He apologised profusely, and said it wasn’t the first time he had done it and that he would be getting help and that he hoped I could forgive him. We agreed to get dinner later in the week to talk about it, and I told them both that I still loved them and we would work things out.
I then called my boyfriend and told him. He already knew as he’d seen the tapes, which showed fiancé’s face very clearly as he set the cameras up. He had been debating whether to tell me the truth or not as he knew how close we were. I asked my boyfriend if he was okay (as he’s obviously also naked on these tapes) and he said he was fine, he was more worried about me as he’d only just met fiancé but he knew we’d been friends for almost a decade.
I honestly don’t know how I am. I love fiancé as a friend and he’s always been such a good partner to my best friend, I really don’t know what to do. I’m also not sure if I should contact my best friend privately and ask how she is, as we haven’t spoken at all since I found this out (it’s only been a day but still). I don’t know what this means, I don’t know if it’s about the voyeurism or if it’s about me (fiancé said on the phone that he’d only done it to me, not anyone else). There was also an incident years ago which I thought I dreamt but now I’m thinking it happened (someone touching me in my sleep when only best friend and fiance were home).
Captain if you have any insight at all on what to do I would really appreciate it, I don’t even know how to begin processing this or what I should be doing to move forward. I’m upset, and I feel very paranoid whenever I enter a bathroom, but I’m not angry, if anything I’m worried for best friend and fiancé. My boyfriend has been completely wonderful and supportive through all of this too, and I’m also worried for him.
Sorry just one more thing, boyfriend is now talking about getting the police involved as overnight he thought about the fact that fiancé is a pub manager, and he thinks that if he’s done this to us who knows who else it has happened to? I don’t know what to say because I feel like doing that would completely destroy my relationship with best friend, and I’m hoping he’s only done this to us and no one else, but at the same time I don’t want to invalidate boyfriend’s feelings about this as he is a victim in the situation. I don’t really have anyone I can talk to about this as my friends all know each other and I’m worried that if I tell them they won’t want to associate with best friend anymore and I love her and don’t want her to be ostracized.
Your care & concern for your friend is admirable here. But this situation is screamingly not okay and you are not a bad friend if you refuse to make peace or spackle it over.
- Her fiancé is a creeplord who secretly records people, including you, including your boyfriend, including possibly* his employees & customers at his pub, including other guests at that house, including the kids.
- When y’all caught him at it his first action was to lie to you and blame it on someone else and put on a big show of concern for your friend. He didn’t have enough actual concern for her to not do it, mind you, just a big show of “she’s gonna be devastated, let me be the one to tell her.“
- Speaking of him being the one to tell her – It lets him control the narrative of what and how much she knows. Are we even sure he told her everything?**
- He has repeatedly sought your help in covering things up by making it about not alarming or hurting your friend.
- He may have touched you without your consent in your sleep?
*Possibly = ALMOST CERTAINLY
**We are not sure, friends. Not sure at all.
My question is: If this is the creepy stuff y’all know about and that fiancé will admit to, when he gets caught in his lies, what does the rest of that creepy iceberg (creepberg?) look like?
Or, to be more clear: If this is what he does to you, what does he do or will he do to your friend?
Nine years is a long time together, and your friend’s fiancé is going to put a TON of pressure on her to forgive and forget. I’m not surprised that she’s gonna put that pressure on you in return. She loves him and would probably give anything to make it all go away, and if you and your boyfriend can helpfully act like all is forgiven and none of it every happened it will help shore up the foundations of her relationship. This whole narrative is dangerously close to becoming a thing where the fiancé is TRYING and why won’t you just GIVE HIM A CHANCE and FORGIVE HIM like y’all would be the ones “ruining” the relationship with a dude who secretly videotaped you in the bathroom.
What I need you to do right now is to completely re-examine the assumption that this man is some kind of great and loving partner to your friend who is worth keeping on good terms with. He videotapes you, he probably does this to his customers and employees, too! And then he lies about it and lies about it even when he’s caught.
This man is not good enough for your friend.
If he wants to get help and repent and change his ways, then fine, he should go do that! The people he’s violated don’t have to hang out with him and cheerlead while he does.
It’s horrible and unfair to your friend that this is happening and kind of you to want to minimize the shame and potential isolation that will come when this guy’s actions come out into the light. But I think it is 100% not on you or your boyfriend to keep a predator’s secrets.
If you want to be a good friend to your friend, listen to her and remind her that you love her and that this isn’t her fault. But also remind her that she isn’t obligated to stand by her man, forgive, support him, let him play the Prodigal Son with a big party to celebrate turning away from the Creep Side of the Force. It’s okay to dump people for being too creepy for words. It’s okay to kick them out of your friend group and warn others about them. It’s okay to talk honestly about what happened to you and name names without having to spare the feelings or worry about the welfare of someone who violated you. It’s okay to be divided and conflicted about involving law enforcement, it’s also okay to involve law enforcement and let them investigate the full extent of what this dude has been up to, even if that makes your friend sad. It’s okay to say to your friend, “I know you love him and I care about him, too, but he did this terrible thing to us and I can’t hang out with him or be silent about what he did.”
I don’t have a way to fix this situation – it’s unfixable at present because y’all are entangled with a predator and a liar. You and your boyfriend didn’t break it and your silence won’t mend it, so do what you need to do to take care of yourselves.
P.S. FUUUUUUUUUUUCK that upcoming “double date of reconciliation where we perform that everything is okay!” Cancel it. Right now it is 150% okay to see your friend, just your friend, when you want to see your friend.