Dear Prudence

Help! My Husband’s Former Mistress Still Posts Pictures of Them Together on Social Media.

Dear Prudence answers more of your questions—only for Slate Plus members.

An Instagram photo of people around a bonfire, with a graphic of a trashcan over it.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Drew Farwell/Unsplash.

Every week, Dear Prudence answers additional questions from readers, just for Slate Plus members.

Q. Don’t need photo reminders: My husband had an affair in another city for a year. I had no idea, and found out three years after it ended. I looked the woman up on social media (as I am sure she did with me). She has a few pictures of him in group settings from that time. She has even re-posted them, thus keeping them “alive.” The affair fizzled. He has not spoken to her. She knows I had no idea about her existence.

I want to contact her to ask that the images be taken down. Do you think there’s an approach that could work? Side note: I have chosen to stay in my marriage and know my spouse is to blame for putting me through this. But lady, have a heart and take down the pics.

A: I guess there’s no harm in asking but this doesn’t seem like a winning strategy to make a request of a woman who clearly has no regard for you or your marriage. Your side note is right but blame isn’t the only issue here. If you want to stay with your husband, you have to actually work on processing and being OK with what happened. It’s always better to do that work than to try to strongarm other people—especially people who have shown a willingness to hurt you—to do things to manage your feelings.