Q: Dear Meredith,
My husband looks at porn probably every day and no, I don't like it. Before you dismiss my letter as the same as all the others, let me explain. I don't like the fact that he looks at it and yes, it makes me feel bad, but I've come to terms with the fact that I can't change it and have learned to live with it. However, I recently saw that he was looking not at regular pornography, but material made by jilted exes and hackers who film women and post private pics without them knowing it. I feel like it crosses the line.
I don't see much on the internet about women discovering something like this. Am I crazy to feel like this type of material is worse than regular porn? I'm deeply hurt by this and it makes me question how well I know him.
– Concerned, Boston
A: What you're describing is "revenge porn" -- images or videos that are posted without a subject's permission or knowledge. Yes, it is worse than regular porn. Yes, it crosses the line. It is horrible stuff, and these sites are often designed to scam people out of money (the victims can pay a fee to get the images taken down).
You're going to have to talk to your husband about this. Try to keep a neutral tone so that he feels comfortable explaining why he's on these sites. It could be that he likes the realistic look of the material -- that the images are real life as opposed to something fabricated for his viewing pleasure. It could be that he clicked the wrong link and fell down the rabbit hole. Just hear him out and decide whether his explanation gives you any comfort. Find out whether he understands why it's wrong.
If a conversation doesn't put you at ease, it's couples therapy time. Not just because of the revenge porn, but because you feel estranged from your husband. You should feel like you know him and trust him. If you don't, the marriage doesn't work.
Readers? How should she approach this? What can she assume about his desire to look at the material? Has anyone had a partner who was interested in these images? Help.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.