Last June my husband and I opened up our marriage when I realized that I had very strong feelings for my best friend, another man. My husband is straight, and is not involved in my other relationship. Today we discovered that my husband has been recording us during our alone time since mid-February. He claims that he hasn't watched any of the footage. My husband and I have been together for over a decade, and have two children. I'm very confused and don't know what to do or how to feel.
I don’t usually do this, but I moved this letter up in my queue so that it would post the day after I received it. Because this is an emergency. Letter writer, I am so sorry this is happening to you. Secretly recording someone during intimate, private moments in what is supposed to be your safest place is such a horrible violation, and you have every right to feel angry, unsafe, violated, confused, betrayed - anything you feel is normal and okay.
What your husband has done is also very likely illegal, depending on where you live. If I were you, I’d consult with a lawyer immediately. Check this list or this list for one near you, and if there isn’t one near you, consider calling one of them anyway to see if you can get a phone consultation or a referral to one more local. You could also try reaching out to Ben Schencker, who does speaking and advocacy about polyamory issues in law. Even though this isn’t specifically about kink, Kink Aware Professionals would also be a good directory to find a lawyer.
I don’t think a relationship after this is salvageable, so your goal now is to find a good lawyer who understands your unique situation, and follow their advice. Everything from establishing a custody plan with the kids to protecting your privacy with those tapes now in your husband’s possession is on the line, and you need professional help.
If you can, stop being in any of the rooms where your husband has been hiding cameras. If that means sleeping elsewhere, please do that. Keep all records of what is happening - back up texts and emails, and keep notes and documentation of what has happened. Take photos of the devices if it is possible to safely do so. Communicate with your husband via text or email as much as possible. Do not discuss this with anyone else, and don’t make any rash decisions or escalate the situation. Be as ‘normal’ around the kids as possible. All of this will serve you well if things go south legally.
It is okay to lean on your boyfriend in this situation. Both of you have been betrayed and violated by someone you trusted and loved, and both of you are going to be absolutely reeling. Make space for whatever rage or pain needs to be felt. Be prepared for your husband to want to explain or talk things out; but don’t get twisted up by his excuses or anything else. He may be apologetic, he may want a second chance, he may have a complicated explanation for why this was actually an okay thing to do, he may have very strong feelings he ascribes this choice to - but none of that changes what he did, which was fundamentally not okay and a total violation. Your job now is to get out of this unsafe situation in the safest, healthiest way possible, for yourself and for your children. I am so, so sorry.