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Letter from the wife of a pedophile explaining why she stayed and how she finally got out. Encouragement for other wives of child molesters.
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Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2
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Some of you may have read the following comment from last night, but it just will not leave my mind. A courageous woman, Anon 3, who was married to a pedophile reached out to address the wives of pedophiles involved in the Sovereign Grace Ministries lawsuit. Her words were beautiful and gave hope. In a later comment, she said that this was the very first time she had disclosed it publicly and felt that maybe God was prompting her to do so. I, too, feel compelled to make Anon 3′s comment into a post in order to reach a wider audience via internet searches and so it will not be merely buried in the comments area.
To those who have stopped by via an internet search on this topic, welcome. You may be in a very difficult place. No one knows the path each individual takes. Some agonize for months and even years on whether to stay or whether to go. On this blog, we talk a lot about spiritual abuse, but haven’t delved into the topic of what it is like to be married to a pedophile. I happen to know a wife who is married to a pedophile and has remained married to him. Although she would say things are fine, when I look at their marriage, I do not see that. I see pain and emotional distance. There is no intimacy, but two people living two separate lives. She never got the courage to leave and it has taken its toll on the entire family, including extended family. But she believes that she has made the right decision.
No one can make that decision for anyone else. It comes with a cost. That might be why Anon 3′s comment struck me profoundly. This brave woman chose a difficult path of leaving the familiar behind and venturing out on her own with her children. Her words speak for themselves. If you are the wife of a pedophile, know that as I type these words, my prayers are with you - – that you will be able to make the best decision for you and your family and that you will also continue to surround yourself with safe and loving support from friends/family who care. You should not have to be alone in this process whether you decide to stay or leave. ~Julie Anne
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A Letter from the Wife of a Child Molester
I actually do feel compassion for the perpetrator’s families. And I have a message for the wives:
I want you to know how sorry I am about your situation – both for you and your children.
You are not the only Christian woman who married a pedophile. I did too. I left him more than a decade ago because I knew that someday I would end up on headline news, just as you have. I am so sorry for the embarrassment and humiliation you’ve suffered.
Each of us makes our own decision. I stayed a long time with my husband too. I’m probably about your age. I hoped that my love would fill that empty place in his heart. It didn’t. I had fasted and prayed during my entire marriage. We tried years of counseling and even an in-patient treatment center. My husband got a masters in marriage and family therapy from a Christian university. It didn’t help.
One day, I found out about a new incident, and I realized I had to get out for the sake of my children and everyone around us.
I felt the Lord saying, “You are like a bird in a cage. But see? I have opened the door. You may fly out or stay in. But that door won’t open again.”
I flew out. And I am so happy I did. I asked my husband to leave – exhibiting a strength and toughness I never knew I had. I got him out of my home, out of my church, out of my neighborhood, and out of my town. I did not hate him; but I knew he was a walking disaster area.
Yes, the first couple of years were hard financially, but God was faithful. My children suffered at first, but they have turned out as lovely whole people. They are winners in every sense: personally, academically, and spiritually. They don’t have the level of damage in their lives that their father does. They love him but see his limits. I told them the truth when they turned 21. (They hadn’t been victims themselves and hadn’t known.)
I want to give you hope that if you want to fly out the open door, that life is wonderful out here. Yes, you will hurt a lot for a year, maybe two. But the joy of living without the burden of a pedophile in your life is incredible.
• I thought God could never use me again. But he has.
• I thought I would never be in ministry again. But I am — even more than before.
• I thought people at church would condemn me. But they didn’t. They surrounded me with love.
• I thought I would never be financially solid again. But I am. In fact I have 10 times the assets I did when I was married, and my retirement is nearly fully funded.
• I thought I was disqualified for God’s best. But I know now I am a daughter of the Lord, and am blessed.
• I thought my children would be damaged and hopelessly dysfunctional. They aren’t. They tell me that they feel the same as everyone else. In fact, they look at their friends’ mothers and see a lot more dysfunction there.
• I thought I would never have any honor. I’ve been put on many corporate and non-profit boards and served in far more leadership positions in church than I did when I was married.
• My children are proud of me for what I did.
I hope this has given you hope.
Whatever you decide, the choice is truly yours. I am thrilled I was set free. My life is incredibly happy. There are much worse things in this world than divorce.
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Update 7/27/13: Even though this blog post is not current, the comments are being followed by others whose lives have been affected by pedophilia. Feel free to reach out in the comment section (using a pseudonym is perfectly fine). I keep all e-mail addresses strictly confidential.
If you are struggling with the fact that your spouse/family member or close acquaintance is a pedophile and need help, please let me know. I will try to find help/resources for you. I have been in touch with others behind the scenes gathering resources on this subject.
You must know that you are not alone. There are many wives/families who have walked your journey and would love to reach out to you. ~Julie Anne