I just came across evidence that my friend and roommate has been using my computer for cybersex and for looking at pornographic photos.
The computer is in the living room, and when we moved in together last year I agreed to share it.
This person is often selfish and very defensive, even cruel, whenever I confront him with any problems I'm having with him.
I'm repulsed as well as angry at his lack of respect for my stuff, but I'm also a little worried that I could get in trouble if he does anything illegal. I have a friend whose ex-boyfriend is serving two years in a medium-security prison for downloading kiddie porn, so I'm hypersensitive to the risk.
The friendship is beyond salvaging at this point. That said, should I confront him and risk a miserable few months living with him until the lease is up, or should I simply cut off the Internet connection and avoid confronting him?
Repulsed Roommate in Md.
I can't quite tell whether this guy is creepy or scary or both. Only you can judge if you are at risk, but if you feel you are, you need to not only get rid of the Internet connection but also him.
Your roommate can't possibly think that you wouldn't find out about his online habits; only an idiot wouldn't realize that every Web site is revealed in your computer's history. Tell your roommate that you are severing the Internet connection and moving the computer into your room; only you can know whether it's better to make up an excuse or confront him directly about this. If he has downloaded any of this objectionable material, you're going to have to figure out how to erase them from your hard drive. If you are afraid of him or think he might hurt or harass you, you should consider calling the police.
I know that people frequently write in, concerned that their spouses occasionally spend time with their exes. I wish more exes could be friendly with each other. When my ex remarried, I was present at his marriage. When he got the shakes before the ceremony, I talked him through it. His wife and I became good friends.
My parents have been divorced for 34 years and are still good friends. My father and stepmother invite my mother and me over for holiday dinners. After the death of my younger sister three months ago, my dad began stopping at my mother's a few times a week for coffee and some healing chats together -- all of this with my stepmother's blessing. I love her no less than my mother -- just in a different way.
Absent circumstances such as adultery and abuse, maintaining contact with one's ex can enrich each other's lives and provide continuity for the children. When I see children being used as weapons between parents, I want to hit the parents upside the head with a frozen fish and tell them to play nice.
Been There, Done That
I have often said that there is such a thing as a "good divorce." Your family demonstrates these "family values" beautifully.
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