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I have been married for 15 yrs. We have four children, the first two from my previous marriage, we married when they were 5 and 2 respectively, and had two more. Two weeks ago, my oldest daughter who is eighteen, found a video camera in a laundry basket in her room, it was on, but not recording. I was at work and heard about it later from her stepfather who told me he was upset about her staying out till all hours and trying to figure out what was going on with her. (short version) She had already moved out by the time I got home. Needless to say, I was hysterical. I don't know what to do. My daughter says that she doesn't want us to divorce, my husband's family is telling me that I need to take into account what a wonderful father and husband he has been all these years, which he has been. The problem is that I need to be convinced that what he did was an honest mistake of judgement on how to deal with a teenager sowing her oats, and not a sexual thing. I hate to think that I am putting my head in the sand because I am too uncomfortable or scared to face the situation. He has been sleeping on the couch ever since and we have been talking about divorce. I have two younger children at home and this is just taking it's toll on everyone. I am sick with grief and fear of what this all means to our family. Am I being stupid to even entertain the idea of trying to fix this?:(
Hello, and might I say that I am sorry to hear about all of this. First off, he was young once too and you can't control anybody. What is he thinking, people need to communicate and not just say I am going to put in a video camera to find out. She changes in there and she deserves her privacy. That is very bad. There are other solutions to this as well. Also, this is a major issue, why did he not ask you first? I don't even agree with you video taping your daughters room to see what she is doing. I don't mean to be so harsh here, but really, I would not want to see my girls in all their glory and humiliate them and disrespect them like that. My girls have told me some of the stuff they have done and really, we all have, get over it. It was none of his business to do this thing and I immediately wondered if there were previous times and tapes maybe? At least she is grown and he did not do this when she was younger, oh man. I feel like deleting this and not sharing my opinion, but this really upsets me a lot. He should have come to you. Why was it not recording? Had he already removed the cartridge? How is your daughter? Have you got to speak with her? Is she going to the police?
No you are not stupid or out of line for thinking this might be sexual. If he only wanted to know what time she came home, he could have sit up and waited. I think he was trying to see this 18 yr old (who is an adult by law) undress. In the past have you ever noticed anything about his actions toward her? Have you talked to her to ask her if she has noticed anything?

True, this could just be poor judgement on his part, but any woman would be thinking it is sexual, and your daughter must also be thinking this....I think before you make another move, I would sit down and have a heart to heart with her.

My heart goes out to you. Please keep us updated.

It's hard to judge people from a distance, but ...

I don't think this is a case for divorce, unless there has been some kind of very serious and unsolvable problem or conflict going on for some time and this incident was the last straw breaking the camel's back.

I agree that was a very inadequate and even silly thing to do. He could at least have sought your advice on how to approach the problem, but I don't know what kind of relationship your daughter and he have with each other. Is he an authority for her, or not? Does she look up to him? Do you or rather did you allow him to have a say in her education? All these things are relevant to the case in question. If he was really concerned about your daughter's current behaviour, but if he had no power to check it (either because she is an adult now, although still living in this house, or because you never granted him any right over her), then I might understand why he resorted to that kind of spying. To me, it basically shows that they probably have no dialogue. And that you and he have different ideas about what is going on with her. You are taking her behaviour for granted, but he isn't. Again, that was not the right or efficient thing for him to do. Following her, if anything, would make more sense, but what do I know?

The fact that you were hysterical and probably acted hysterically as well (you don't say this, it is just my deduction) probably made things look worse for him. I don't know if you made any accusations right on the spot. Whether he is guilty or not, your reaction didn't really help. But I know: often it is hard to control yourself when there is a blow like that. However, I hope you are not making a mountain out of a molehill.

Anyway, I don't think this is an easy case. You have been married for 15 years and you have a considerable amount of history on your shoulders. I don't know if along these 15 years you were able to observe any other suspicious or ambiguous actions on his part. If this was simply an isolated event, then the best way of coping with it is through dialogue: in fact, the three of you need to sit down, talk and by turns apologize, and set up rules for everyone. Is it too late for setting up rules? I don't think so. Actually, I have the impression that much has not been said over all these years, a lot has been swept under the carpet... The rules must not be too hard to follow, but they must be clear and the people involved must be accountable.

Yes, I think this is something you can fix, but all the parts have to commit themselves.
Could he have been streaming live to a computer, my husband is a programmer and that is very possible.

I am very disturbed that he was video taping (attempting to or did) an 18 year old, again an 18 year old. Totally inappropriate and I would not be suprised if the police don't get involved here. You may never know if he has successfully taped anything or not. This is your daughter. I think there is a lot to get to the bottom of here.
I really feel for you. This is such a hard situation to face. If you think back, did you ever notice anything suspicious during the last 15 years involving your husband's behavior towards your daughter? It is hard to know if he just made a very stupid decision by putting the camera in her room or if something nasty is going on. My question is why did he not consult you and ask for your opinion. Everybody knows that when you are in your room, you think that you have privacy and you can do anything (undress etc.) It is very disturbing to find out that somebody has been taping you. I wonder if he has done this in the past, but I guess if he has, by now the tapes aren't in the house any more. Why was the camera not recording? Have you spoken to your daughter and how does she feel?
I have a daughter from a previous relationship as well. My husband and I married when my daughter was 4. With that being said, if I EVER found that he had a video camera in her room for ANY reason I would be done with him. I have to be honest and say it wouldn't matter in the least to me that he was a wonderful father and husband up until that point.

If your husband was concerned with her whereabouts he had several other options to explore. What he did is a crime! Does he realize that people go to jail for that??? He invaded her privacy. He had access to seeing her completely undressed (which may or may not have been his intention, IDK). Regardless of his actual intention (which I doubt he will ever tell you) he made a very poor judgement call.

As her mother and his partner he should have at the VERY LEAST came to you first and discussed options and not go doing this without your knowledge. That is why deep down I feel he did this for "other reasons" and not because of what she has been doing. It sounds like a lame excuse to me.

If you do want to work things out with him I suggest marriage counselling to get everything out in the open. I would be rumaging through the house top to bottom of any other evidence of taping or something. This is very unsettling and I truly feel for you, your daughter, and the rest of the family. I hope everything works out in the end. :angel:
His behavior is unacceptable. If he was concerned about her coming home at all hours he should have discussed it with you or put cameras in hall or at entrance to the house. His excuse is just a cover.

In all other ways he may be a great husband, father and provider but that is just a deal breaker. How can you be with him knowing he is a pervert?! How can you have family get togethers with your daughter and him in the same room?! I'm glad he is sleeping on the couch! It is hard on the whole family and hard to break up a family over an isolated mistake like this. Time will calm you down but if you stay, you will never forget his behavior. Even if he just recently planted it and never taped anything it is hard to forgive.

I hope you can have a good relationship with your daughter.
I have to chime in with (almost) everyone else ... this is inexcusable, disgusting and very perverted. There are very few things that a marriage can't overcome, IMO, and being sexually attracted to and secretly videotaping one's stepdaughter while she undresses is one of them.

How could you ever expect your daughter to feel comfortable around this man again? How do you think her opinion of you will change if you forgive/accept this about your husband? How would you ever be able to be intimate with him again?


I'm so sorry you ended up with a rotten grape.
Still here......still thinking about you and your daughter....G
I am upset, like everyone else, about what your daughter must be feeling. Please stay close to her...she needs you. However, she has gotten out and will heal in her own way, with your support.

I am mostly worried about you. You must be in a backbend! Please let us know how you are.
[QUOTE=healthseeker;3712101]I am upset, like everyone else, about what your daughter must be feeling. Please stay close to her...she needs you. However, she has gotten out and will heal in her own way, with your support.

I am mostly worried about you. You must be in a backbend! Please let us know how you are.[/QUOTE]

Actually, this has been one of the most intriguing cases ever posted on this forum. I might have to revise one or two points I mentioned in my first post, whereby I might be said to be speaking about this man in too light a way. The thing is I tend to stick to a principle in Law which states that "in dubio pro reo". In English, it translates as 'Give the defendant the benefit of the doubt'.

I have many questions about what really happened in this house. It is very easy and much too obvious to say that this man is guilt of a sexual crime or whatever. Perhaps he is, probably he is, but we don't seem to have all the elements to judge him yet. Until we do have them, we'd be better to go on investigating or asking questions.

1. How would he be able to see anything from a camera inside a laundry basket? And how good, how visible would the images be that way?

2. Why did this happen now, as it were out of the blue? Previously, had there been any kind of harassment, persecution, innuendo, leading on, etc? Did nobody notice these?

3. Couldn't it be the case that he first talked to the poster (his wife) about the ways of the girl, but having had his concerns simply dismissed, decided to take an initiative on his own, silly as it may have been?

I could keep asking questions, but I don't want to bother anyone further nor appear to be ranting.

I don't doubt this is a serious problem, but until I can see it in a clearer light, I'd rather suspend my judgement of this man, even if I know that I am in a minority here and may be even be disliked by this posture. My fault.
I think an issue as this, is going to raise many responses. My main concern is you, the original poster, and your daughter. It took a lot to come here and post, and ask for advice, and I am just going to support you in any way I can.
Without more detais and previous history, I really cant do anything but that...just be here for you.
I have been checking every day for a post from you, anbd iM hoping that your family is ok. If you have a chance to reply, that would be super, but maybe you guys are all dealing with all of this.
I wish the best for all of you...
I stumbled across you post. While this is obviously serious, I don't think there is enough information for anyone to say what your husband's intent really was. Everyone exercises poor judgment at times - I agree that this was very very poor judgment, but I agree with the poster who posed a number of questions.

Obviously, you don't want to ignore a what could be a big warning sign and you need to address this, probably with professional help. Frankly, I could see my dad doing something like that when I was growing up. It would not have been sexual - it would have been about control and power - he can be very controlling and I have seen him exercise extraordinary poor judgment when his need to control takes over - he does things that are completely unacceptable in my mind b/c he needs to be in charge and control things on his turf. B/c he was so controlling when I was growing up, I rebelled in whatever way I could think of and he tried harder and harder to control me. Communication was non-existent. While he never put a video camera in my room (to the best of my knowledge), it really wasn't beyond the realm of possibility. It just wouldn't have crossed his mind that he was doing anything wrong, particularly b/c his need to control had nothing to do with anything sexual. I have no idea if this your husband has any issues w/ control, not communicating openly, or anything else that might cause him to exercise such poor judgment. I simply think that one has to be careful before making serious assumptions or accusations. Again, I'm not trying to minimize the seriousness of this and I think getting professional help is really important. I just wanted to point out that your husband may have other issues that led to this behavior and that they may not be sexual at all. If they are, of course, I imagine it would be very very difficult to hold the marriage together. But again, I think only you can know if that's possible.

It's hard *not* to overreact or judge in situations like this. If he has some other issues, he could have made a "dumb" guy mistake, w/o even thinking about what else the camera might show - particularly if this was the first time. The laundry basket seems a bit bizarre as well - what a lousy hiding place! I mean, unless he does the laundry, I'm not too clear on how the camera wouldn't be found...

More questions than answers...I truly hope you're doing ok - whatever anyone here says, you're the only one who has the full picture & might be able to get a "gut" sense of what occurred. I too hope you and your daughter are ok - it seems like this situation calls for really good communication, which can be hard with such a volatile issue - just one of the reasons why a professional's help would be so important in this case. I would hope that the professional would encourage open communication and not make a judgment immediately.
[QUOTE=gwoman;3712012]Still here......still thinking about you and your daughter....G[/QUOTE]

My thanks goes to everyone who responded to my post. I have spoken extensively with my daughter and she assures me that nothing untowards has ever happened before this. Her and my husband have always been very close. I think it makes it that much more devastating to us. She called him Dad. She was never called a stepdaughter, she was just his daughter. He has always been so proud of her. She was very successful in school, graduated with several scholarships and awards this past spring and has her whole life ahead of her. Most people don't even know she is his stepdaughter.
I was relieved to see everyone's responses. It lets me know that my daughter and I are not overeacting. Sometimes, when your in the middle of the storm, it's hard to see clearly and objectively. My heart is broken in more ways than one. I am horrified that my daughter has had this trauma and I worry about her feeling like she did something to cause the breakup of our family. I am heartbroken about losing my husband who has been my best friend for over fifteen years and my younger children not having their father, whom they adore, living with them anymore.
My husband has been to a counselor who instructed him to start with a letter of apology to my daughter, which he promptly did. She seemed happier after reading it and went to visit his family for the holiday. They have been good to let her know that she still has a large extended family.
There is so much unknown ahead of us right now. I would love to find a solution to this dilemma that would result in us getting back to the way we were a few weeks ago, but, as I tell my kids all the time, "You can't un-ring the bell". My husband is still sleeping on the couch, or our son's room until he can get another place. This has been as stressful as dealing with a death. I guess it is a death though. The death of our family as we knew it. We will be scattered now. I just hope that a year from now that we will be able to feel normal again. Right now, I feel so abnormal. I feel like we have had the rug yanked out from underneath us and am just trying to get through each day one at a time.
I think most people are being too caviler about this issue. This is serious and him putting a video camera in a womens bedroom to see when she's coming home is ludicrous. Lets all be honest about what he was doing it for. It's sick. To the people that feel that it's not something to break up a marriage over; How would you feel if someone that you weren't intimate with watched EVERYTHING you did when you thought you were alone in your bedroom? Changing-totally naked and what- not. At 18 you're just discovering your sexuality. Even if she never did anything wrong it's a huge invasion of privacy. He's a pervert. How do you know that he's not doing anything to your other children? Or that he didn't install the video camera when she was under 18? Please consider your children in all of this. Sleeping on the couch isn't enough. If I found my husband using my children as sex objects he wouldn't leave the house alive.
Please get your daughter into counseling as soon as possible. This will affect her for the rest of her life; her trust with family, men and her perception of safety and privacy.
[QUOTE=IZZY'SMOM;3713376]Thanks for the update...Im sure you are all going thru hell. Did he ever tell you where the tapes are, or what the deal was with that? Did he HAVE a tape, or was it a live feed as someone suggested? You dont have to answer, but that has been my biggest wonder thru all of this. Did you ever see the tape or tapes if there were any? I would probably choke him until I got an answer.
Im sending positive thoughts your way. I would be sick as well...

It is a digital recorder and nothing that we have found indicated that anything was actually recorded. My daughter found it and there was nothing on it and there was no evidence of anything being deleted previously. With this particular recorder, it is rather difficult to delete individual frames, in fact, we have yet to find a way to do that at all. It is designed to edit from your computer, making room on the hard drive by deleting everything on it after downloading. Everything that had been recorded from different events etc., were still on it when she found it. There is no live feed or anything of that nature or any remote control. That being said, while we are happy that nothing was actually recorded, we are appalled at the idea of the camera being in an innapropriate place to begin with. It makes me feel like you can't really trust anyone.
I wouldn't make the assumption that because the husband is a non-techie and doesn't understand how to work the equipment or didn't work the equipment right this time that the INTENT wasn't there.....
I still say your husband is crossing the line of being a dirty old man.....
how does your daughter feel about this? what does she say??
Right, how does your daughter feel about this situation? Because I think that your first priority needs to be her feelings. If she is very upset and completely uncomfortable around her step-dad now, then I think you have to consider what you need to do about it. I'm very curious to hear what your daughter thinks about all of this.

Is your husband at all remorseful about this? Does he understand the seriousness of this situation? Has he expressed at all that he was wrong? What is his excuse?
I can't imagine what you must be going through. Sadly, I can't think of one good reason that a man would put a camera in a females room. To say it was to find out what she was up to when she was out? What does a video camera in her bedroom do to tell someone what someone is up to when they're "out" at night. I know that when something terrible happens we try to rationalize what happened by reaching for anything.. something that might be the cause of what happened so we don't have to deal with the hurt and pain of something so terrible. Your daughter is what derserves all the focus on this. I have to agree with many of the others on here. I would have him out in a heartbeat. He has betrayed you and your daughter in the most horrific way.
Wow, I'm so sorry your daughter had to go through that. I agree with most of the others, the intent was there and I would wager a bet that it wasn't to find out what time she got home. Is this the first time he's done this? Or have there been other times as well? Did he tell you about what he was doing? Did he ever do this when she was a minor? I'm sorry I think it's perverted and vile. Could he have done this while she has taken showers or gone to the restroom? Big, fat red flags all over this. Everything about this screams of all kinds of wrong here. I can't even comprehend a reasonable explaination for this, other than masturbation fodder and that turns my stomach for your poor daughter.

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