Q. My wife had some nude pictures of me in our computer. Her best friend Natalie saw them while she was over here working at our desk. One day, I answered the phone and it was Natalie. She said she knew exactly what I “looked” like, as she had e-mailed the nude pictures to herself. Then, she sent me some nude pictures of her.
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Now, Natalie goes out of her way to wear something I will get a show from, like a skirt with no underwear. What should I do? Is this just mind games or does she want to have sex with me? I don’t know how to tell my wife. Although I would never cheat on my wife, I still have the pictures of Natalie in my computer. Is that wrong?
A. If you are wondering whether it’s wrong to keep nude pictures of your wife’s friend on your computer, you already know the answer — it is. It doesn’t matter whether Natalie is playing mind games or wants to have sex with you. What matters is that you are participating in this secret with her. She has clearly crossed a line — her behavior is wildly inappropriate for someone who is a friend of your wife’s.
She swiped these pictures, with no invitation to see them. She went ahead and sent you nude pictures of herself. Now she is inappropriately flashing you. What kind of friend shows her crotch to her best friend’s husband? This is not the way a good friend acts. She is lusting after you and willing to betray her friendship with your wife.
By letting her behavior continue, you are colluding with her. And by keeping a secret from your wife, you already are on a slippery slope of betrayal.
When Natalie first called, you should have immediately told her that you were not comfortable with the fact she had those pictures. Now, the situation has escalated. You are even having show-and-tell! Though you didn’t go looking for this or ask for it to happen, it now falls to you to take action to stop it.
Tell your wife immediately. Say “I feel bad about this because it involves your best friend, but she swiped nude pictures of me from our computer, and then sent nude pictures of herself to me. I am not interested, and I want this behavior to stop.” Then tell Natalie you have informed your wife about the situation and that she must stop coming on to you.
Your wife will no doubt be angry at her friend. If you don’t tell her, however, she will eventually find out and feel betrayed and angry at you.
As far as the nude pictures of Natalie are concerned, don’t fool yourself that keeping them doesn’t reflect your own temptation. Delete them. Put yourself in your wife’s shoes. If you had a male friend who was secretly sending her nude pictures of himself and flashing her, how would you feel?
Dr. Gail’s Bottom Line: If a spouse’s friend is coming on to you, it is up to you to stop this behavior immediately.
Dr. Gail Saltz is a psychiatrist with New York Presbyterian Hospital and a regular contributor to “Today.” Her latest book, "Amazing You! Getting Smart About Your Private Parts" (Penguin), helps parents deal with preschoolers' questions about sex and reproduction. Her first book, “Becoming Real: Overcoming the Stories We Tell Ourselves That Hold Us Back,” was published in 2004 by Riverhead Books. It is now available in a paperback version. For more information, you can visit her Web site, www.drgailsaltz.com.