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'AITA if I break up with my BF after he told me about his secret hacking phase?' UPDATED

'AITA if I break up with my BF after he told me about his secret hacking phase?' UPDATED


We all have our dealbreakers.

"Would I be TA if I break up with my BF after he told me his secret?"

I (24F) have been dating my boyfriend (23M) for 1 year now, we met on Tinder 2 years ago but I had trust issues so it took time for me to be official. We have a good relationship, he is caring, sweet, and funny. We have a few fights here and there, but nothing major. I moved in with him last month.

So last night, he was working on his mac while I was uploading a backup file to one of his drives. I found a spreadsheet and asked him if I should delete it since the drive was empty. He came over and opened it as he didn't remember what it was. It contained roughly 25-30 names, email addresses, and phone numbers, including my details. I laughed and asked what it was, and his face turned red.

He told me that this was from when he was learning hacking about 2 years ago and testing his skills on people. Every few months, he develops a new hobby that doesn't stick for more than 2-3 months, I think it's because he has ADHD and OCD. Nowadays, he is learning guitar. Then I asked him if he got my email and phone number before he knew me, and he said yes.

He told me he got lucky because two of my accounts were compromised, and that's how he found my details. I asked him why he didn't tell me this before, and he said he was going to but he forgot and he was sorry for doing this. Then he asked me not to tell anyone because people would be cr**ped out by it, and no one knows about this.

I love him, but after learning about that, I can't look at him the same way. He now seems like a crazy st*lker who used my social media to get with me. I am in this dilemma where I don't know if I should break up over this issue or not. Everything else in the relation is almost perfect.

The internet did not hold back.

WTFMseP wrote:

I dunno, maybe use his talents to get info on your enemies.. lol. Yeah but this is a bit creepy, if he has stopped doing it then everything should be fine. Def change all your social media passwords and enable 2FA.

OP responded:

I think he stopped because the sheet was last updated 2 years ago. I have 2FA but we already know each others passwords and use each others devices all the time.

SweetWaterfall0579 wrote:

NTA. Your feelings are valid. I have ADHD adult children. They also hyper fixate on stuff. Just to see how far, how well, they can do, whatever. It’s well over two years old. He didn’t even know what it was. He didn’t hesitate to open file, or tell you what he did. And he knows it doesn’t sit well. He knows it’s weird! He’s weird! So are my children! But we love them.

Over two years ago means he was only 20-21. At least he’s grown up some, since then. I’d just talk to him about how you feel, if it still bothers you. Sounds like he’s just a geek on a hunt, sometimes. You can tell him I said that! Mama on Reddit says you’re a geek, buster! 💜

gloopglopglup wrote:

I would’ve put money on it being a list of his past romantic partners. Are we sure this isn’t a ridiculous lie?

OP responded:

But there were men on the list too and he is straight also he showed me sites form where my data got leaked.

Bulbapupaur wrote:

He showed a lack of judgement for sure. And he knows that because he was ashamed. So when was the last time he had done it? When was the last time he used that information? Have a conversation with him. Did he use that information to lie to you, mislead you, or do things that would violate your consent further than the act of gathering that information?

I’m not saying don’t walk if this is over the line for you, but I am saying that if things are as good as you think they are, he should be willing to have an open conversation about it and handle the consequences of said conversation, even if that means you break up anyway.

OP responded:

The sheet was updated roughly two years ago atleast he was telling the truth but the whole situation is weird for me and also he opened it front of me as if he didnt even know what was inside.

guinea-pig-mafia wrote:

If he was just practicing, why would he keep the info he got in a spreadsheet? At best these entries were "trophies" and at worse he was planning to use that info. A lot of men really really hate that they can be shut out if the person they are pursuing doesn't want to interact anymore.

This sort of thing could be a way of keeping a feeling of control over the person/interactions to protect thier (fragile, immature) ego. This doesn't sound like white hat, it sounds like someone who wants to be a "hacker" so they feel powerful. I realize a lot of this is conjecture.

This may not be this guy, but it is good to realize it is MANY guys, and you need to be really sure any guy you let around you isn't one of them. Listen to your gut (not your wishbone). My rule has always been don't think about it as "is this a big enough deal to dump him over," think of it as "do I want a future with someone who behaves/thinks this way."

OP responded:

I dont think it was "trophies" because there were men in the list too and he is straight and the spreadsheet hasnt been updated since 2 years, atleast he was telling the truth but the whole situation is weird for me and also he opened it front of me like he didnt even know what was inside.

A few weeks later, OP shared an update.

After my post, I got some good advice but didn’t know how to confront him. I was hurt and felt betrayed but tried to act normal. After a day, he asked if I wanted to talk about what happened. I told him that he had hurt me and betrayed my trust by invading my privacy before even knowing me. He said it was a long time ago and he was stupid. He never meant to hurt anyone.

When I asked why he didn’t tell me before, he said at first he didn’t know how and was afraid I would leave him. Over time, he just forgot about it. I told him I needed time and stayed the night at my best friend's house. She told me to take my time and not judge based on my past relationship (I was in an abusive relationship, my ex cheated on me twice).

When I thought about it, our relationship seemed almost perfect, he is the best person I know just with some weird hobbies. The next day, he told me he would do anything to regain my trust, including going to therapy and starting his meds for ADHD and OCD, which he usually avoids because he says they make it hard for him to think straight.

So, this is the update. I would have posted sooner but got caught up in work and forgot. Over the past weeks, he showed me how he got my info and to my surprise four of my accounts were leaked, it made me realize that anyone who knows very little about me can see it.

People were happy to hear an update.

LBB-21 wrote:

I’m glad this is turning into a sort of bonding thing for you guys. Your communication with him seems very healthy! I hope things continue to work out for you.

panthertome wrote:

OP listen to your gut instinct on this one. I am dating someone with ADHD and this seems like an absolutely plausible thing he would do. Especially the part where he did it and then completely forgot about it. Was it just email address and phone numbers for people? If yes, this does not seem that bizarre to me. If it was home address, job, workplace, last boyfriend etc. then I might be concerned.

But I can find email address and telephone numbers for many people, I'm not even sure I'd consider that hacking. As long as the apology feels genuine to you and you have no other issues, I think you're fine. Well done for having am honest talk with him about it though.

Jennabeb wrote:

Soooo I feel like this is important:

Did he delete the info/document? Like, completely and utterly erase it so it’s irretrievable and also prove it’s not back up anywhere?

OP responded:

He deleted it on the first day itself. Then he said "look at this cool trick" and showed me how to recover permanantly deleted stuff.

Interesting_Chef_896 wrote:

This is just f-ed up. The dude is a stalker. How many people did he stalk before he got with OP. That is the biggest and reddest flag someone can fly without m-rdering people. OP he is still playing you for a fool. Stalkers are not good people. They can be dangerous. When you end up dumping him, watch your back. Tell me just one story with a happy ending that starts out with one of them being a stalker.

Sources: Reddit
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