I was recently back home for a family event while my younger brother, age 14, was away on a mission trip with his church. My iPad died and my mother told me to check my brother's bedside table for a charger. I opened the drawer and found one.
I also found a few pictures of gay porn and a couple of pictures of male celebrities with their shirts off that had been clipped from magazines. It isn't the porn I have a problem with: I fully support his sexuality, whatever it might be. But then I found a few things that were more disturbing: a picture of our father in his swim trunks, and another of a fully naked man with a cutout photo of my father's face glued over the model's face. Needless to say, I was freaked out. I put everything back where I found it, and haven't said anything about it. Now I'm in a tough spot. Telling my brother I found the pictures would mortify him, and telling my father would be a complete dick move.
Concerned And Scared
I can appreciate why those pictures squicked you out, but I don't understand exactly what it is you're afraid of. While your brother appears to have an inappropriate and -- fingers crossed -- fleeting sexual obsession with your father, can you picture a scenario in which your brother's desires could be consummated?
Unless something much, much squickier is going on back home, the only danger I can see is in the false choice you've laid out in your letter. Saying something to your brother will only poison your relationship with him; saying something to your father will certainly kill his relationship with his son. And destroying either relationship over what is most likely a temporary obsession that will soon be an unpleasant memory for your brother -- seems extreme.
If those pictures weren't in a place where your parents might also find them, I would advise you to stuff this way down the ol' memory hole. But they are in a place where Mom and Dad -- ESPECIALLY DAD -- might find 'em. So you're going to memorize this and say it your brother ASAP: "Hey, kiddo, Mom told me to look in your nightstand drawer for a iPad power cord. I found one -- along with what looked like gay porn. I didn't peruse your collection because I wanted to respect your privacy. But you need to get that stuff out of the house before Mom or Dad finds it. It's cool with me if you're gay -- but leaving porn around is not how you want to come out to Mom and Dad, OK?"
Then tell him grown-ups don't keep porn in their bedside tables anymore: He can access all the porn he likes safely and discreetly on his iPad.
I would like to know why my husband is divorcing me to marry an 87-year-old woman.
Only your husband knows the real reason, but if I were to hazard a couple of guesses: Either this woman is extremely wealthy or your husband is a gerontophile. Sadly, neither makes this situation any less humiliating. But try to look at the bright side: No one who hears what your husband has done -- or who knows you both personally -- is going to think there's something wrong with you.
I am a 43-year-old mother of three, married for almost 20 years. Three years and one child in, my husband confessed that he had a penchant for being a BDSM sub. My reaction was, "OK, I'll try it, but if you want to explore that with pro doms, be my guest." Which he did.
Fast-forward a dozen years. I'm going bonkers because my husband is impotent. So my husband gives me his "blessing" to take a lover.
Now I have two lovers. One lives far away, and I see him a few times a year; the other is local. The problem is that they are both married to spouses who don't know. Like me, neither of my lovers is interested in divorce. That's the good news. But I'm not happy with the integrity of these situations. I know that what I am doing is considered despicable by many, despite the fact that I'm probably a marriage-saving device for both women. (Their husbands are happier, I'm not trying to steal their husbands, and I'm not a financial burden on either of them.) I would love to find someone in an honest open relationship. How do I set up a situation with more integrity when the world isn't ready for people like me?
Normal Soccer Mom From Afar
The answer NSMFA seeks is obvious: There are hard-up single men out there, married men in honest open relationships, men in the organized swinging movement, and she should go fuck some of them. But I'm including NSMFA's problem for all the smug monogamists sending me angry letters in the wake of Mark Oppenheimer's recent feature about monogamy and its discontents in the New York Times Magazine ("Married, With Infidelities," June 30). While regular readers of Savage Love know where I stand on monogamy, not many New York Times readers did.
Anyway, smugsters, here's what I think is interesting about NSMFA's letter: Everyone involved is perceived to be in a monogamous relationship by their friends, family members, coworkers, elected representatives, etc. Two of the women -- the duped wives of the men that NSMFA is seeing -- may actually believe themselves to be in monogamous relationships. But not one of these six "traditionally married" straight people actually is.
Just something to keep in mind, monogamists, before you email me about your beautiful, deep and monogamous relationship, about how none of your married friends would ever cheat, and about how people like me have no idea what real love means because we're not in monogamous relationships, etc., etc.
Because you just never know, do you?
Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.