Being Married to a Pedophile: A Wife Speaks Out and Offers Hope to Other Wives of Pedophiles

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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.

PHOTO

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

181 comments on “Being Married to a Pedophile: A Wife Speaks Out and Offers Hope to Other Wives of Pedophiles

  1. feeling so very desperate today. i cant stop the tears. I just want to spend my days in bed. I know no other life than that with my husband. 30 years and not a day lived without him since i was 16. I am so lonely and feel so guilty for not knowing and listening to my gut instinct about what he was doing to our baby girl. he is so good at telling me what i need to hear. I actually miss the stories he told me that always “fixed” everything i was feeling in my gut. it has been 8 months since he left me and I still feel just as sad. my therapist says my healing cant really begin until the trauma ends. the trauma continues as the court dates and trial proceedings progress. the image he portrayed for 30 years is NOT what i am seeing now. it is as if he wants me and the children dead. such hatred. Who is this man I have loved for 30 years? how will I ever be okay?!

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  2. Dear Mary Johnson, You all ready sound like a much better mother then mine. Miss Brenda is right, considering you married him when you were only sixteen makes it much more understandable. Please let your daughter know there are people she does not even know who care very much about her and understand. Much LOVE to you and your family.

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  3. we met at 16, dated 5 years and married at 21. never a day apart until he joined the navy. we had 12 babies together. we lost 3 late into my pregnancies and lost an infant daughter to leukemia. i thought watching my baby girl leave my arms for Jesus would be the worst time in my life but that grief and pain doesnt touch this shock, devastation, pain, loneliness and heart ache. not only have i had to wrestle with the fact that my husband is a child molester and i have also had to realize that he has been sleeping with other women since we were engaged. it is so much to take in at once. my head allowed me to believe he was my knight in shining armor for 30 years. i pretended very well. it is hard to face the truth. i wish you well guest. so very sorry for the abuse.

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  4. i am very worried about the lasting impact on my daughter. may i ask your age now, when the abuse took place and if you are able to have stable relationships now? how are you?

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  5. I am 35. I was not abused by my father, I would assume that makes a huge difference. Before my tenth birthday. I do not trust or respect men, I have never had counseling though. We are all very different, your daughter could have different feelings then me. Knowing people hate sexual abuse always makes me feel better. Try to put good feelings and memories in her life, bring home a fun, happy, peaceful movie, smile at her, hug her, tell her you love her. Maybe surprise her with a bake night, put on some good music. When I hear that someone hates sexual abuse it makes me feel better, I love Julie Anne, Dee, and Deb. They are my heroes.

    The examples you set for your daughter will affect her, be assertive, confident, NOT arrogant, have self respect, read informative info online or/and books. You embodying peace and joy will help. Empower yourself. How you live your live is going to help or hurt your daughter. I love you both and cheering for you;)

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  6. Dear Mary,

    My heart hurts for you and I do understand. Please know that it will get better. It is a healing process so trust that in time you will come to a place of indifference towards your husband. This is relatively recent and there is much going on right now. I do encourage you to find a S-Anon group and begin attending weekly. It was incredibly important to my healing and helped with taking off the rose-colored glasses with which I viewed my 34 year marriage and begin to see my spouse as he truly is rather than how I thought he was. It will get better.

    And your daughter will heal. With counseling and support she will come to see that you did not know what was happening–you are a victim just as she is.

    Brenda

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  7. thank you so much. my counselor does indeed believe i am a victim as well. i dont see myself as such. he never hit me but did threaten to hit me. it is so confusing. i am so grateful i finally found a place that understands my feelings and doesnt think i am crazy. my family is so angry at me for having feelings for my husband and still loving him. they are so frustrated with me and dont know why i dont see the monster they see. what is s-anon? i am so desperate. i will do anything to be the best mom i can be and to find some relief from the pain.

    so grateful i found a place that “gets it”.

    in deep gratitude,
    mary

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  8. S-Anon is a 12-step support group for individuals involved with a sex addict. A pedophile is more than an addict so you qualify for attendance. It is free and it works.

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  9. Dear Mary,

    Thank you for opening your heart on this blog post. Those of us who are former wives of pedophiles know exactly how you feel. Even though our husbands are monsters, for a long time we still felt a lot of love for them, felt dependent on them, attached in some way, not quite able to stand on our own. I think it’s part habit and part our own insecurity in facing the world alone.

    It might help for you to see it as a cycle that goes around and around—
    – anger
    – numbness
    – fear
    – love
    – vengeance
    – betrayal
    – dependence
    – disgust
    Then throw in some loneliness, and it really hurts!

    Please continue sharing your story with safe people. The more you cry and share, the more healing you will find. You will eventually feel indifferent about him. It takes a long time because you have been dependent on him, just as Brenda and I felt dependent on our pedophile husbands. But — do you know what? — we ended up being able to stand on our own two feet. We are free from fear, free from his bad influence, free from having our reputations destroyed by his self-centered behavior. He is no longer our responsibility. He is 100% culpable for his actions. We do not share any of his guilt.

    You’ll have to train your mind to stop thinking about his preferences, his feelings, his opinions. From now on, your own preferences and feelings and opinions are more important. Ask yourself: What do I want? What would make me happy? For years we wrapped ourselves around them. Now it’s time to stop and rediscover ourselves.

    Today, more than 10 years later, I feel a level of affection for my ex-husband that doesn’t make sense to anyone who has never been married to a pedophile. I no longer love him, but I don’t hate him either. He’s a broken man and he is no longer my responsibility. I don’t wish evil on him, but at the same time I don’t want him near me or near any children.

    Eventually your children will get happier and healthier. The healing starts now! Even though the court case is terrible and brutal, at least you are fighting, and that counts for something. A lot of ex-wives just simply give up. Don’t feel guilty. You were specially selected by your husband because he thought he could deceive you forever. He was wrong.

    Continue to ask God for courage. He will give it.

    -Anon3

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  10. I meet my husband five years ago and all I knew was he had been in some trouble for under age pornogrphy. I’m a very trusting person and believe everyone deserve second chances. We have been married two years now and it was a wonderful marriage so I thought. Until I get a disturbing phone call to come to the police department because my husband has been arrested for molesting my 9 year old girl. I can not see her or my 2 year old they will not release any info to me because they say I am a perpetrator. Yes I allowed him in my home but I never in a million years thought he would harm my kids and my daughter’s always seemed to adore him and always wanted him around

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  11. Jennifer, praying for you, and please make sure you contact our hostess–she will get you set up with people who will help. Also, since you’re listed as a perpetrator, you will do well to talk to a lawyer–traditionally, the first consultation is free. He (or she) will guide you into how to find and present the evidence to put the right person in jail. If you’re poor, the police and social services may have lawyers you can work with for free.

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  12. Jennifer, yes, please do contact me and I can get you connected with other wives who have gone through similar circumstances in a private forum. It’s so important to get support and good information, especially from women who understand. My email is spiritualsb@gmail.com

    I’m so sorry you are going through this!

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  13. I am as damaged today as I have not been given any support from family, Church, friends.

    I have moved away to a new state, last year has been hell, as my husband was on trial for the rape of his daughter and my Son.

    He was found guilty and is in Prison as an old man. He will like that, he may die there, but he will have peace in himself. He believes that forgiveness comes by asking Jesus to forgive him. He gets help.

    I get nothing. I feel that people think I should have known.

    Do they really believe that? I would let my Son be raped and do nil?
    If I knew this I would be in Jail.
    To live each day, away from my family is HELL.
    What have I got to live for?
    My Heart is broken.
    My life now is in constant pain.

    WHAT IS LOVE? I thought I was good at sharing love, I now. look back and believe that I didn’t get any LOVE for myself.

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  14. lynn (I removed your last name for privacy),

    I’m very sorry to hear about the pain and trouble you have gone through. I don’t understand family, friends, and church who abandon someone in need or in a crisis. It just doesn’t compute for me. It is wrong and you should not have been treated like this. You have a more clear understanding of love than many in church. I wish there was something I could do to ease your pain. Would you be interested in connecting with other wives of pedophiles? If so, please let me know and I’ll send you an invite. I think you might find it helpful to have support from women who understand and care.

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  15. Lynn,

    First, let me assure you that you are not at fault for your husband’s behavior. Child molesters are charming, manipulative, and incredibly secretive. They are excellent at deflecting suspicion, blaming others, and laughing at your concerns. They choose wives who are trusting. They excel in minimizing, denying, and explaining away whatever evidence you see. Your husband has been molesting children long before you came into his life. He’s a experience con-artist and fooled many people. It is not your fault. It is his: 100%.

    Help me understand your story. Are you saying your children have been taken away from you as a result of your husband’s sexual abuse, or that you moved away from them?

    I will pray for you tonight, that God will bring you and your children back together, that you will find professional help from someone who is an expert in this area, and that you have the courage to end your marriage so that your husband no longer has the right to step foot in your home again.

    If you look to the Lord, he will help you. He will give you courage to do what’s best for you and your children. He will give you more strength than you EVER thought you would have. He will guide your steps and lead your decisions. He will also give you peace in the storm. Lay your worries, cares, and fears at his feet. He loves you and will be your protector. You did the right thing: The healing starts now.

    “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.” —Nahum 1:7

    “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” — 2 Cor. 4:8-9

    -Anon3

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  16. I’m exhausted from crying. Husbands been in jail for 10 days for something my older son claims happen 8 years ago. I am so sad and so sick. I cannot bail him out because he can’t be around my kids. He is a great father and my family is ruined from this.

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  17. Dear AC,
    I have been where you are now and I so well remember the pain and anguish you are experiencing. I am so very sorry that you are in the middle of this perfect storm. There is so much that I want to say to you but let me just tell you what I wish I could tell that scared, wounded and broken woman that was me a mere three years ago:

    You will survive this, in fact, you will thrive again. You are far stronger than you ever believed and your kids are more resilient than you can imagine. You will learn things about the man you love in days to come–things that take your breath away and make you want to vomit. You will face ridicule, suspicion and fear will be your constant companion–oh and tears, oceans of tears.

    But this place right here is not the end of your story. This is not your defining moment. This is a moment of brutal truth but in the end it will set you free. You will find freedom you never knew existed. You will laugh again–I know that seems impossible at this moment, but trust me, you will. And you will love again. You will lose a lot in the coming weeks but you will gain so much more.

    You are afraid and anxious right now, and rightly so. But somehow your needs will be provided and God will be with you through every tomorrow, just as He is with you now. You are not alone and your tears count for something, in fact, the God of the Universe is collecting them–they are so very precious to Him. Hang on, the ride will get bumpy but you are being held and in the end, all will be well. It really will be.

    Much love and prayers,
    Brenda

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  18. Dear julie anne,

    I have spent all my morning today looking for forums that will guide me and l discovered yours. i am in desperate need for guidance. Am an african wife and i have been married for about 9 years and we have 4 kids. My domestic help just informed me yesterday that my hubby has been touching her inappropriately for almost 2 years now and she is just 15 years old. i believe her because l had similar issues with previous helps but my hubby denied the accusation. Now what do i do? i love my husband and he takes good care of me and our kids and l really do not want divorce him but l need to do something or how do l put a stop to this disgraceful and shameful act. This is the 3rd help under my care that is experiencing such torture. Please i urgently need your expertise or advice on how best to handle this matter and still have my home in tact. Do i confront him ? The previous cases he had denied. God bless you.

    Angela

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  19. Hi Angela,

    I’m so glad you found the blog. I’m so sorry to hear about this obviously devastating news about your husband.

    I would encourage you to report him to authorities. You do not need to confront him that you are doing so. If you know about criminal activity he has done with minors, it’s imperative that you report it. This could be a very difficult step for you to take, but it is the right one. It also may be important for you in the event that someone else reports him and authorities find out that you knew about his crimes, but did not report. You want to make sure that you take the proper steps to ensure that you retain custody of your children. Yes, it is that serious.

    I am going to send you an invitation to join the private forum where other women who have been in your situation have gathered for support. I think you will get very helpful support and advice there.

    My heart and prayers are with you, Angela!

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  20. Angela,

    If you have not already done so, please, please report your situation to the police. This is not my area of expertise, but as a lawyer I am very concerned that you may be placing yourself at great legal risk if you do not contact law enforcement now.

    You may be afraid that your husband will retaliate if you report him. Even if you are not afraid, I would encourage you to contact your local domestic violence center. Sometimes they are called things like domestic safety resource centers. You could get started by calling the national domestic violence hotline. The number is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

    Brenda, who comments above, has been through a situation much like yours. You may wish to take a look at her blog, http://brendafindingelysium.blogspot.com/. You might also want to email her directly at the address she posts on her blog. It is brendafindingelysium@gmail.com. Brenda has professional training and experience, so she is a really good person to contact.

    Finally, I would encourage you to recognize that your children may very well be at risk. Nobody wants to think such things, but with stuff like this it is better to be safe than sorry.

    Like everybody here, I do wish you the best. I wish I could provide comfort without burdening you with advice, but there is just too much risk if you do not take proper steps now. If you take action, I am confident that there will be people to help. It won’t be easy, but it will be much easier than what you will have to deal with later if you do nothing now.

    Be very careful about going to a pastor. They generally mean well, but just aren’t equipped to deal with this sort of situation. They can get so caught up in saving sinners that they forget to care for people like you who are their victims.

    I am so sorry you are having to deal with this.

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  21. Dear Angela,

    A statement in your last paragraph really struck me, “how best to handle this matter and still have my home intact.” I know where you are coming from and understand your desire to protect your children by keeping their family together. I too felt that. But this is not a minor thing that you can control or deal with, in spite of what your husband may be telling you. You didn’t cause it, you cannot control it and you certainly cannot cure it.

    You are married to a sexual predator who is incredibly skilled at manipulation, deception, justification, rationalization, minimization, gaslighting and projection. He is probably a very likable man who has a lot of social capital and the last person anyone would suspect of harming a child. It is horrifying to digest that sentence because this is the man you love and have made vows to. You want to keep your marriage and you want to keep your home together. But–you are married to a serial molester. He is not the man you think him to be. He is not the man he purports to be. He is not a safe man, particularly to children.

    Will it hurt to report him to the authorities and expose him? You bet! But the cost to you and to the innocent children he has yet to harm is too great for you not to do something. Will you be believed? Maybe, maybe not. All you can do is try.

    And this is a safe place to land–the private forum is a safe venue to gain support, encouragement and strength. I know from experience that the road ahead of you is rocky and difficult. But I also know that there is hope, joy, laughter and freedom on the other side of this. It is rare to maintain an intact marriage once the secret crimes are exposed and that is painful. But living in truth an transparency is much better than living within a secret web of deception and criminal behavior. This I know for a fact.

    Contact me either through the email address that Gary W provided or through the private forum. There are a group of us who will walk this with you if you will let us.

    Your sister,
    Brenda

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  22. One little thing here, and first a couple of qualifiers. If the allegations Angela makes are true, her husband deserves to go to jail for it, and Angela has the right to divorce him. Depending on the severity of the offenses–obviously I am not a witness–those who minister to her might come to the conclusion that it would be wrong not to divorce him. In the U.S., this is pretty straightforward.

    That said, I notice one little thing in her note; she is African. Now which nation, or even whether she’s currently in Africa or has emigrated somewhere else, I do not know, but the legal systems and attitudes toward the divorced can be very different there–and regrettably there is also a tradition of using the Interwebs for fraud. Would recommend that those who interact with her make sure they make contact with someone who knows the situations there,or else you may risk hurting her (or you) pretty badly.

    (maybe missionaries would be good contacts?)

    All the best to you who do minister to her, just figured I’d put a little “word to the wise” here. And God bless you too, Angela.

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  23. Dear Julie Anne, Thank you so much for your response, it uplifted my spirit. I also wish to express my gratitude to Bike Bubba and Brenda(who made me laugh for the first time when she mentioned the different skills these sex predators possess.)Now i would like to raise some issues:

    1) Am a housewife with a master’s degree, with no money, no financially stable relative/sibilings, my folks are actually dependent on my hubby for everything. How do i fend for my kids? which court will grant me custody knowing that l can’t provide for them? Am very sure that my folks will advice that l stay and continue to pray because my hubby built a house for them and also sends monthly stipend.

    2) Without any concrete evidence,would the case not turn against me and l lose my kids in the process? Incidentally, l reside in my country, in africa were the judiciary is very corrupt and most of the time the jugdement tends to favour the high and might. Lets face facts, i don’ think i can survive without my kids, they are all l live for.

    3) When a woman divorces her husband in my home town, her inlaws invites everybody(the bigger the crowd the better) in the womans village to witness the return of bride price. This is just to publicly disgrace the woman and her family whether they are guilty or not. To some cheering news, i designed my CV yesterday , and as l write , the job hunt has started, as soon as i get something(anything at all) i will begin the legal process. I can only ask that you continue to pray with me and encourage me to see this process to the very end because immediately l report him to the authorities, i can safely say that he will throw me out of the house. Thank you all very much . Angela

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  24. I really could use some helpful feed back with my situation and how I feel and don’t know what to do? My husband is now on sex offender list and I am struggling even though we aren’t together thanks

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  25. Hi Mary,
    I’m sorry to hear of your struggle. Would you be interested in joining the private forum? There are others there who have walked in your shoes and may be able to offer you some support and suggestions.

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  26. I found this site and have read a few things already. I was with my boyfriend almost 20 years. I found out he was having an affair and left him. A few months later we were talking about getting back together when I got a phone call about how he has done this (and worse). I confronted him and he admitted it like it was nothing. I wanted him in jail where he belonged. He didn’t see anything wrong with what he was doing and I think that is what bothered me the most. I told him he was dead to me. I went through hell. How could I have not seen this? It eats me alive at times.

    Like

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