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    A Girl Who Found Porn On Her Dad’s Phone, And Our Other Favorite DM 911s From 2021

    “You really don’t know what’s going on inside your parents’ marriage.”

    2021 is coming to a close and this week we’re looking back at some of the best and worst moments of the year — including some of the wildest DM 911 messages we got.

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    So, Stephen got a lot of DMs and gave some great advice this year, and even though it was hard to pick just three, we’re going to highlight a few of our favorites. Enjoy!

    BuzzFeed Daily: Here's the first one, from a woman who found out about her coworker having an affair with a married friend of her husband.

    "Hey, Stephen, I need some advice. One of my husband's friends cheated on his wife. This was confirmed to me by the woman he cheated with, who is one of my coworkers. To add insult to injury, the wife is pregnant, but the pregnancy is not known yet. I really feel like I need to somehow tell the wife that her husband slept with another woman, but I don't really know how to go about it or if I should at all. The wife and I know each other, but not well. The situation has really bothered me since I found out. What should I do?"

    Stephen LaConte: OK, well, you're a good person for wanting this woman to know the truth about her husband, and I don't blame you for wanting her to know. I certainly want her to know, too. But I think you should pump the brakes a bit before deciding that you are the person for this job. You say you know this woman, but not well. And ideally, this is the sort of information that should come straight from the source — that source being her husband, the guy who actually did the cheating. And if the information can't or won't come from him, the next best option is for her to hear it from someone she actually knows and trust deeply.

    There's also the fact that this cheater is your husband's friend and while I really don't care if you were to blow up the cheater's life, I worry that doing so would put your husband's friendship at risk, which would then in turn, possibly put your marriage at risk. Or to say it another way, if your husband is trusting that you will keep this a secret and he's asking you not to intervene in a situation involving his circle of friends, I think you should try to honor that. Even if keeping the secret feels a little bit icky and gross. 

    But here's the good news. I do think there is something you can do in this whole mess. You and your husband have a close personal relationship with the cheater here, and that's the guy who should actually be the one to break this news to his wife. And I think as his friends, it would be absolutely appropriate in this situation for you guys to sit him down and urge him to do the right thing here. I mean, just lay it out for him. Explain that the woman he cheated with is now telling people about the affair, including you. You can point out to him that things like this don't tend to stay a secret for long. If people are already talking about it — which they are — it's only a matter of time before his wife hears it. It's going to be really bad when she finds out. But wouldn't it be at least 30% better if she heard it directly from him in a voluntary sort of way? I hope he listens to you and tells his wife the truth, because, at the end of the day, that job should be his, not yours.

    BuzzFeed Daily: Next up, we have a writer who looked through her dad's phone and was horrified by what she found.

    "Hey, Stephen. Last night I saw my dad's phone on the counter and felt compelled to look through his search history. Yes, I know this was wrong, but I'm glad I did. I found that he's been watching porn consistently for some time. The most recent time was four days ago. Is this cheating on my mom? My parents have been happily married for over 15 years, and I'm 99 percent sure my mom doesn't know because I know her opinion on that stuff. What do I do? Do I confront him first, or do I tell her? Do I not say anything for the sake of their marriage and my family? I am extremely conflicted over this, so please respond."

    SL: Well, letter writer, I have good news for you because my advice here is actually super easy. You should do absolutely nothing here. And I can pretty much stop there because nothing is really all you should do. Forget you saw it, do not go to your mother about it, and move on with your life. And if being silent about this makes you uncomfortable — and I hope this doesn't sound harsh — but maybe you can kind of chalk that up as your small punishment for invading your father's privacy, which I just need to say was very, very wrong. And you can say that you don't regret it. And that's your business. But it was still wrong. 

    I will give you a few reasons why you shouldn't feel bad about the porn, though, and I hope these things do make you feel a little bit better. First of all, watching porn is not cheating on a partner. It's just not. Second of all, you say that your mom wouldn't approve, and maybe you're right about that. But also, maybe you're not. A typical mother isn't going to tell her child, "Oh, by the way, sweetie, your dad watches porn, and I am totally cool with that." 

    Now you may know that your mom has some negative feelings about porn, but it's quite possible that that's the lecture she's giving her children about porn, and the rules that might apply to a minor living under her roof may not apply to her adult husband. Maybe she's fine with him watching porn. Heck, if it makes you feel better, maybe they watch porn together. You might think you know what's going on in your parents' marriage, but you just don't. And then third, and finally, even if his porn viewing did somehow constitute a violation of their relationship, that is not your business and not your problem to solve. 

    I noticed that you framed your question as, "Do I not say anything for the sake of protecting their marriage or my family?" But that framing totally misses the mark. You shouldn't stay out of this to protect anyone. You should stay out of it because it's just not your business and you really don't know what's going on inside your parents' marriage. I think you should stay out of this one and please, moving forward, stay out of your dad's phone.

    BuzzFeed Daily: Our last question comes from someone who wants to know why she was ghosted by someone she got feelings for and is struggling with how to get back in touch with said ghoster. Here's what she wrote:

    "I got ghosted about a week ago, and unfortunately, I've caught feelings, and now it's hard for me to shake them. Before he ghosted, he said that if he didn't want a relationship, he would never do "what the other guys have done in the past and ghost." But that's exactly what he did. I wish I knew why he did this. I called him twice and texted him once to see if everything was OK, but he never answered or responded. I want him to know that I would be there for him because he lost his job to help."

    That’s a wrap on this year’s DM 911s. If you need advice from Stephen — and let’s face it, we probably all do — you can DM him on Instagram and Twitter, and check out his Hey Stephen column.