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Can I Ask My Ex to Delete Those Nude Pics?

You mention retaliation. Do you think that asking him to delete them would make it more likely that he would circulate them — perhaps to a selected person, perhaps more widely? Most states criminalize the nonconsensual dissemination of nude or sexual images, subject to various conditions.

But your aim is to avoid the violation in the first place. You’ll be the best judge of how to manage your ex; I’ll just note that asking people to do something they’re not obliged to do needn’t be antagonizing. Politely let him know that you regret having shared these pictures with him, that you hope he will delete them and that you trust he will continue to respect your privacy.

I went over to my father’s house one recent morning to do some work while my floors were being cleaned. I told my father the day before that I would be coming over in the morning and then texted again a few minutes before heading over. I have a key to his place, so I let myself in. I quickly realized that my father was not prepared for my arrival and was in the shower. I shouted hello and headed into the kitchen area. In the kitchen, a brightly colored vibrator was charging. I was very surprised to see this, especially as his girlfriend of six years was currently out of town and would not be returning until the following evening. I called out to my dad that I was going to go for a quick walk to get some air, and when I returned the vibrator was gone. I know there are a number of possible explanations, including that he was preparing for his girlfriend’s return. However, my father does have a history of infidelity, and it makes me sad to think that he may be lying to his current partner. I honestly do not want to broach what I saw with my father, but do I have an obligation to let his girlfriend know of my suspicions? Name Withheld

First, you saw what you saw because your father trusted you with a key to his home. Although you texted him, you don’t say that he gave you reason to think he read your texts. So we’re talking about what you saw by gaining entry, unannounced, to someone’s home. Second, his girlfriend’s relationship to you passes through him, so to speak; your obligations to her are lesser than your obligations to him. Third, you have no relevant knowledge to impart, just speculation. (As you note, there are a number of possible explanations.) Yes, if he were being unfaithful and she didn’t know it, she would be better off, other things being equal, if she did. But that’s a wrong for him, not for you, to put right. I’d say you owe it to your father to keep your own counsel about this violation of his privacy. And you owe it to yourself to put it out of your mind.

A Facebook friend of mine, who is on the faculty of my university but whom I’ve never met, was instrumental in introducing me to a publisher for a manuscript I have been working on for many years. To my delight, the book has been accepted for publication!

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