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DS15 with fake online profiles

(4 Posts)
user1473183693 Tue 06-Sep-16 19:08:06

Background - a few years ago I found out, by accident, that EXH was using prostitutes and had a massive porn habit. It was a terrible shock, I was a completely trusting person before this. He denied it, had an answer for everything and we stayed together until a couple of years ago when I knew he was doing the same but didn’t want my concerns dismissed again and got some hard evidence off his phone/email before kicking him out. I've been very happily single ever since.

We have two kids DD18 and DS15. I have been very, very lucky with both of them but something has started with DS and, maybe because of what happened with my ex, I think I’ve handled it badly. DS and I talk a lot, about everything, but I’m realising now not about the important stuff and I feel I’m losing him a bit. I bought him a phone last Xmas. He didn’t ask for one or want one but it was easier for me to keep in touch with him if he was out or at EXHs. He mostly plays games and keeps in touch with friends on playstation network. He isn’t allowed to take it to bed but I suspect he does at EXH. A couple of nights ago I noticed he was scrolling through instagram. I asked him about it and he says he wasn’t but was a bit weird about it. He’s on my itunes account so I can see that he’s recently downloaded twitter, instagram, pinterest, snapchat... I asked him again, said I didn’t want to follow him or anything, but just wanted him to know about being safe - he’s really opinionated and I can imagine him arguing with trolls, or perhaps becoming one. Still denied it. So I checked his phone, he set it up himself but used the same passcode as my phone so he knows I can access if I want to but I don’t. I found out that he’s set up a fake email account under a woman’s name (actually it’s [fakename]fuckable@xxx) and has set up fake accounts on most platforms as this person. He's deleted his tweets but I think they were mainly about gaming/news. On Instagram he's pretending he lives in India for some weird reason. He’s following a lot of scantily clothed women, pornbots and some older girls I recognise from his school. His Pins on pinterest are all half naked women and he has lots and lots of sexually explicit screenshots saved. His internet searches are wiped. That was just a couple of minutes of looking.

I was so confused and afraid that I hid his phone and said he wouldn't be getting it back until I knew what was going on. I said I don’t have a problem with him being on there (he’s 15! DD was on FB at 11) but he should do it as himself and not pretend to be someone else. I just wanted him to talk to me about it but he completely denied being on any of them and I said “well why are you posting as xx then” and he said he didn’t know what I was talking about. I had to stop myself from showing him what was on his phone but he must know I’ve checked it - it’s the only way I could find that out - and will never trust me again.

I’m having horrible flashbacks to the years of not trusting Exh and checking phones and pockets and I just don’t want DS to grow up like him. The children don't know the real reason we split. I've never once checked DDs phone but she follows me and all of my friends and family as soon as she signs up for anything! He's so secretive in comparison and I feel like I've just made everything worse.

Sorry for the long read sad

Itrytoohard Tue 06-Sep-16 22:51:39

I wouldn't even dream of having any of my 15 year olds passwords. That's just a bit weird to me.

AllieinWonderland Thu 08-Sep-16 18:52:55

Itrytoohard I don't think that's really the point of the thread - yes, she shouldn't have snooped, but what she's found is the main issue.

I haven't got a lot of advice here other than talk. Talk to him about it. Just be honest - tell him you've looked in his phone, even though you know you shouldn't (I understand doing it for younger children but by 15 I think he deserves privacy unless something seems wrong), and explain that you only did it because you knew he was lying and wanted to know why.

Talk about lying and hiding things - about how it always gets out. Maybe reference EXH while discussing this - explain that he often lied and hid things from you and it damaged your relationship/

Then I'd move on to the content you found. I imagine part of the reason he's done this all is because he feels very insecure. That is why, in most cases, people make up fake online personas - because they don't like their own person.

I think you need to be gentle, but also talk about the unacceptability of it. Porn is illegal for under 18s - and yes I'm sure thousands of teenage boys have broken that law, but that doesn't make it right. Maybe talk about the industry too, and what a poor representation it all is of real life, and the poor treatment of many of the women?

You just need to communicate. Calmly, and honestly. And maybe he needs to talk to someone like a counsellor, just to sort his head out with who "he" really is. It's an age when boys really struggle with identity.

user1473183693 Fri 09-Sep-16 14:23:01

Allieinwonderland Thank you so much for your reply. I set up a new account to make this post and immediately regretted it but now I’m glad I did.

I didn’t consider that he might have an issue with his identity but you’ve reminded me of something. A few months ago he broke down in tears as he was leaving for school. He said he was worried about my father’s ill health but also, since his dad and I broke up, he didn’t know who he was anymore. I gently tried to get him to explain what he meant and gave him time to let it all out but he switched it off as quickly as it started and wouldn’t say any more about it. I’ve asked him about it since but he just says “I’m fine” and refuses to talk about it. Because of the timing I wondered if he just didn’t want to go to school and that there wasn’t anything wrong really. Perhaps I could suggest him talking to someone else.

I’m going to talk to him over the weekend and be honest about how I was feeling and why I looked at his phone. I’ll talk to him about the sex industry too, we’ve touched on it before but I can tell he mostly just wants me to stop talking. I didn’t know that porn is illegal for under 18s so that’s really helpful, thank you.

Despite everything this week has been brilliant. I still have his phone but I haven’t looked at it since, I couldn’t bare it. And he hasn’t asked for it back. He seems to have thrown himself into the new school year, has signed up for a couple of after school clubs and even asked to take on an extra GCSE which is so unlike him. He seems really happy. I made a decision to not be on my phone when around him and have been keeping it upstairs in the evening too. He’s been helping out a bit, walking the dog with me and we’ve had a great couple of nights actually talking, eating and catching up on tv without one eye on our phones. I guess that can’t last for ever unfortunately and he’ll have his phone back this weekend after our chat.

Itrytoohard Background about the password. I don’t “have” his password. He chose a password that is openly used around the house, it’s for my phone (which he would sometimes use), the house alarm, the padlock for his gym locker… He told me he was using the same code on the day he set up the phone. I didn’t ask for it. I don’t think it occurred to him that he’d ever need to keep a password a secret from me because I’ve never, ever monitored what he’s doing. I’ve always given the children privacy. But this time felt off and it was only after I had gone too far that I remembered that I was like this with his father and felt sick about it.

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