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Old 08-30-2008, 01:09 PM   #1
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Husband caught hiding video camera in stepdaughter's room

I have been married for 15 yrs. We have four children, the first two from my previous marriage, we married when they were 5 and 2 respectively, and had two more. Two weeks ago, my oldest daughter who is eighteen, found a video camera in a laundry basket in her room, it was on, but not recording. I was at work and heard about it later from her stepfather who told me he was upset about her staying out till all hours and trying to figure out what was going on with her. (short version) She had already moved out by the time I got home. Needless to say, I was hysterical. I don't know what to do. My daughter says that she doesn't want us to divorce, my husband's family is telling me that I need to take into account what a wonderful father and husband he has been all these years, which he has been. The problem is that I need to be convinced that what he did was an honest mistake of judgement on how to deal with a teenager sowing her oats, and not a sexual thing. I hate to think that I am putting my head in the sand because I am too uncomfortable or scared to face the situation. He has been sleeping on the couch ever since and we have been talking about divorce. I have two younger children at home and this is just taking it's toll on everyone. I am sick with grief and fear of what this all means to our family. Am I being stupid to even entertain the idea of trying to fix this?

 
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Old 08-30-2008, 01:36 PM   #2
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Re: Husband caught hiding video camera in stepdaughter's room

Hello, and might I say that I am sorry to hear about all of this. First off, he was young once too and you can't control anybody. What is he thinking, people need to communicate and not just say I am going to put in a video camera to find out. She changes in there and she deserves her privacy. That is very bad. There are other solutions to this as well. Also, this is a major issue, why did he not ask you first? I don't even agree with you video taping your daughters room to see what she is doing. I don't mean to be so harsh here, but really, I would not want to see my girls in all their glory and humiliate them and disrespect them like that. My girls have told me some of the stuff they have done and really, we all have, get over it. It was none of his business to do this thing and I immediately wondered if there were previous times and tapes maybe? At least she is grown and he did not do this when she was younger, oh man. I feel like deleting this and not sharing my opinion, but this really upsets me a lot. He should have come to you. Why was it not recording? Had he already removed the cartridge? How is your daughter? Have you got to speak with her? Is she going to the police?

 
Old 08-30-2008, 02:16 PM   #3
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Re: Husband caught hiding video camera in stepdaughter's room

No you are not stupid or out of line for thinking this might be sexual. If he only wanted to know what time she came home, he could have sit up and waited. I think he was trying to see this 18 yr old (who is an adult by law) undress. In the past have you ever noticed anything about his actions toward her? Have you talked to her to ask her if she has noticed anything?

True, this could just be poor judgement on his part, but any woman would be thinking it is sexual, and your daughter must also be thinking this....I think before you make another move, I would sit down and have a heart to heart with her.

My heart goes out to you. Please keep us updated.

Mileena

 
Old 08-30-2008, 02:56 PM   #4
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Re: Husband caught hiding video camera in stepdaughter's room

It's hard to judge people from a distance, but ...

I don't think this is a case for divorce, unless there has been some kind of very serious and unsolvable problem or conflict going on for some time and this incident was the last straw breaking the camel's back.

I agree that was a very inadequate and even silly thing to do. He could at least have sought your advice on how to approach the problem, but I don't know what kind of relationship your daughter and he have with each other. Is he an authority for her, or not? Does she look up to him? Do you or rather did you allow him to have a say in her education? All these things are relevant to the case in question. If he was really concerned about your daughter's current behaviour, but if he had no power to check it (either because she is an adult now, although still living in this house, or because you never granted him any right over her), then I might understand why he resorted to that kind of spying. To me, it basically shows that they probably have no dialogue. And that you and he have different ideas about what is going on with her. You are taking her behaviour for granted, but he isn't. Again, that was not the right or efficient thing for him to do. Following her, if anything, would make more sense, but what do I know?

The fact that you were hysterical and probably acted hysterically as well (you don't say this, it is just my deduction) probably made things look worse for him. I don't know if you made any accusations right on the spot. Whether he is guilty or not, your reaction didn't really help. But I know: often it is hard to control yourself when there is a blow like that. However, I hope you are not making a mountain out of a molehill.

Anyway, I don't think this is an easy case. You have been married for 15 years and you have a considerable amount of history on your shoulders. I don't know if along these 15 years you were able to observe any other suspicious or ambiguous actions on his part. If this was simply an isolated event, then the best way of coping with it is through dialogue: in fact, the three of you need to sit down, talk and by turns apologize, and set up rules for everyone. Is it too late for setting up rules? I don't think so. Actually, I have the impression that much has not been said over all these years, a lot has been swept under the carpet... The rules must not be too hard to follow, but they must be clear and the people involved must be accountable.

Yes, I think this is something you can fix, but all the parts have to commit themselves.

 
Old 08-30-2008, 03:58 PM   #5
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Re: Husband caught hiding video camera in stepdaughter's room

Could he have been streaming live to a computer, my husband is a programmer and that is very possible.

I am very disturbed that he was video taping (attempting to or did) an 18 year old, again an 18 year old. Totally inappropriate and I would not be suprised if the police don't get involved here. You may never know if he has successfully taped anything or not. This is your daughter. I think there is a lot to get to the bottom of here.

 
Old 08-30-2008, 04:18 PM   #6
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Re: Husband caught hiding video camera in stepdaughter's room

If he had discussed it with you first, that is one thing. The fact that he did it without your knowledge gives reason for concern. I applaud you for taking this seriously. Too many parents do not and come to the realization much too late.

I believe a counselor would be extremely helpful in this tough situation. I feel for you.

 
Old 08-30-2008, 06:01 PM   #7
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Re: Husband caught hiding video camera in stepdaughter's room

I really feel for you. This is such a hard situation to face. If you think back, did you ever notice anything suspicious during the last 15 years involving your husband's behavior towards your daughter? It is hard to know if he just made a very stupid decision by putting the camera in her room or if something nasty is going on. My question is why did he not consult you and ask for your opinion. Everybody knows that when you are in your room, you think that you have privacy and you can do anything (undress etc.) It is very disturbing to find out that somebody has been taping you. I wonder if he has done this in the past, but I guess if he has, by now the tapes aren't in the house any more. Why was the camera not recording? Have you spoken to your daughter and how does she feel?

 
Old 08-31-2008, 07:02 AM   #8
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Re: Husband caught hiding video camera in stepdaughter's room

I have a daughter from a previous relationship as well. My husband and I married when my daughter was 4. With that being said, if I EVER found that he had a video camera in her room for ANY reason I would be done with him. I have to be honest and say it wouldn't matter in the least to me that he was a wonderful father and husband up until that point.

If your husband was concerned with her whereabouts he had several other options to explore. What he did is a crime! Does he realize that people go to jail for that??? He invaded her privacy. He had access to seeing her completely undressed (which may or may not have been his intention, IDK). Regardless of his actual intention (which I doubt he will ever tell you) he made a very poor judgement call.

As her mother and his partner he should have at the VERY LEAST came to you first and discussed options and not go doing this without your knowledge. That is why deep down I feel he did this for "other reasons" and not because of what she has been doing. It sounds like a lame excuse to me.

If you do want to work things out with him I suggest marriage counselling to get everything out in the open. I would be rumaging through the house top to bottom of any other evidence of taping or something. This is very unsettling and I truly feel for you, your daughter, and the rest of the family. I hope everything works out in the end.

Last edited by happymom28; 08-31-2008 at 07:03 AM.

 
Old 08-31-2008, 09:48 AM   #9
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Re: Husband caught hiding video camera in stepdaughter's room

His behavior is unacceptable. If he was concerned about her coming home at all hours he should have discussed it with you or put cameras in hall or at entrance to the house. His excuse is just a cover.

In all other ways he may be a great husband, father and provider but that is just a deal breaker. How can you be with him knowing he is a pervert?! How can you have family get togethers with your daughter and him in the same room?! I'm glad he is sleeping on the couch! It is hard on the whole family and hard to break up a family over an isolated mistake like this. Time will calm you down but if you stay, you will never forget his behavior. Even if he just recently planted it and never taped anything it is hard to forgive.

I hope you can have a good relationship with your daughter.

Last edited by matter of time; 08-31-2008 at 09:58 AM.

 
Old 08-31-2008, 04:03 PM   #10
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Re: Husband caught hiding video camera in stepdaughter's room

Hello StrtrWfe, Oh my gosh, I am very sorry for you right now. I am just realizing that you are there, listening to all of these posts and......I just want you to know my heart goes out to you, all I want to do is hug you and hold you. You are in my thoughts and prayers, I know we haven't heard from you since your original post and I am very concerned about you. I just want to send some love your way......G

 
Old 08-31-2008, 05:41 PM   #11
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Re: Husband caught hiding video camera in stepdaughter's room

I hope you are still reading here to know people are thinking of you as you deal with this mess.

Only you know your husband. My concern with this is that it's such a huge bad decision. Does he normally exercise good judgment? If he does, and you are normally able to trust him, this even becomes more troublesome. However, if he occasionally has exercised very poor judgment before, maybe going for some marriage then family therapy might help. Normally I'd say to not rush into anything but with you all in the same house, that would be very difficult.

I find this inexcusable. In my youth I would have said I'd end relationships (from friendship to more) over many things that I have now learned to be more tolerant of. I have to say, this crosses the line. Even if he had no sexual intent (and really, I find that hard to believe) can you imagine being 18 years old and knowing your step father may have seen things no one should see? Even if she copes and moves on, this is going to impact her ability to trust for the rest of her life. Talk to her. Make sure she knows she can trust you. She really needs that right now. No matter how grown up she may be acting, she's still a kid and this is a very adult and bad situation for her to have thrown at her.

Hang in there. You are in a lot of folks thoughts.

 
Old 09-01-2008, 05:09 AM   #12
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Re: Husband caught hiding video camera in stepdaughter's room

I have to chime in with (almost) everyone else ... this is inexcusable, disgusting and very perverted. There are very few things that a marriage can't overcome, IMO, and being sexually attracted to and secretly videotaping one's stepdaughter while she undresses is one of them.

How could you ever expect your daughter to feel comfortable around this man again? How do you think her opinion of you will change if you forgive/accept this about your husband? How would you ever be able to be intimate with him again?

Yuk.

I'm so sorry you ended up with a rotten grape.

 
Old 09-01-2008, 05:17 AM   #13
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Re: Husband caught hiding video camera in stepdaughter's room

You must be absolutely devastated and disgusted, I am so sorry

What does your gut feeling tell you? I'm afraid that I, too, think this was a planned act of voyerism. I would not stay with him, but that is your decision of course.

You have other daughters in the house, I am sure you know that you will need to be very careful.

*hugs to you*

 
Old 09-01-2008, 12:25 PM   #14
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Re: Husband caught hiding video camera in stepdaughter's room

Still here......still thinking about you and your daughter....G

 
Old 09-01-2008, 02:25 PM   #15
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Re: Husband caught hiding video camera in stepdaughter's room

I am upset, like everyone else, about what your daughter must be feeling. Please stay close to her...she needs you. However, she has gotten out and will heal in her own way, with your support.

I am mostly worried about you. You must be in a backbend! Please let us know how you are.

 
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