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

*     *     *

Letter from the wife of a pedophile explaining why she stayed and how she finally got out. Encouragement for other wives of child molesters.

*     *     *

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

*     *     *

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

*     *     *

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.

*     *     *

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

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

  1. Hi Aly,

    Anon3 posted this action plan to Carmen on May 30th in the comments above.
    I think the advice is sound.
    “You have something good in your life that Brenda and I did not have: You have time to plan. I would recommend you get out a piece of paper and figure out how you could start a new life without your husband. It might take several weeks to get this information together. Give yourself 90 days.

    • 1. Bank accounts
    • 2. Credit cards
    • 3. Mail delivery (to a private mail box? A family/friend’s house?)
    • 4. Mobile phone
    • 5. Making photocopies of all his legal documents: social security card, drivers license, tax returns, paycheck stubs, loans, etc.
    • 6. Stockpile cash
    • 7. Start talking with people and find a network of friends who will help you.
    • 8. Stay connected with us on this blog…or join the forum.

    Finally, it’s important to pray for strength and pray about timing. When it is time to go, the Lord will tell you … and will give you strength.”


  2. My 60 year old mother just married a man who had previously been my landlord for the past 2 years. Due to health issues I have been out of state and lost my apartment during my treatment. My landlord/now stepdad has always appeared to be a good man. I am glad my mom found happiness. However, due to my circumstances I am now living with them while I recuperate and was called for a family meeting with a close family friend/counselor. During this they tried to take a preemptive strike by informing me, before I got too close to his daughters and heard it from them, that he cheated on his ex wife 30 years ago and molested his 9 year old daughter 15 years ago. And he had disclosed this to my mother before marriage, but they were afraid it would be a “dealbreaker” for me and I would cut my mom out of my life. Needless to say I feel I’m in shock. My heart bleeds for his kids. I have a recent history of sexual assault and rape too so I was especially triggered. I feel angry at my mother for KNOWING this and still marrying him. AND having me move out of state to live in a home with someone with this history and not tell me until I settled in!! Then ONLY because they don’t want me to be dissuaded by his daughters even though he openly admitted it. He showed obvious remorse and extreme guilt and swears he would never do it again, but I’m having a difficult time trusting either of them. I am completely broke, my car battery died, I am literally stuck where I’m at and can’t leave and I don’t know what to do or how to handle this. I’ve felt sick to my stomach all day since and locked myself in my room (he has a spare key). I just feel unsafe and not sure where to turn. I’m not a child, but a young adult; however, I have PTSD and childhood memories of my own abuse and I would appreciate advice and any support out there. Anyone have an idea?


  3. What do I do I feel trapped and worried he will hurt my baby girl as she grows even just by looking.

    I’m so sorry. I think this is a reasonable fear. You should act on it.


  4. Dear Aly,
    First of all, I am so sorry for the pain and confusion you are feeling. I know those feelings. I did not learn about my ex-husband’s molestation of children until three years into our marriage during my first pregnancy. It is a devastating and overwhelming grief.

    Here’s what I know about child pornography from a personal and professional perspective: it is progressive–what titillates and excites today won’t work tomorrow so more graphic material must be found. It is all-consuming–it will demand more and more and more of his time and energy. It requires secrecy and hiding, which will spill over into all of his relationships. Even when he seems to be present to you or your daughter, he isn’t completely–his mind is absorbed either with maintaining his secret life or reliving what he has watched or viewed. It will eventually render him incapable of normal relationships and work productivity. One day he will be caught and you and your daughter will be in harm’s way when that occurs.

    If I could give advice to that pregnant 23 year old who was me when I first learned of my ex’s behavior, I would say “RUN!” I am remarried and the layers of grief and pain that are now healing are rooted in my marriage to a man who was and is a fake. I have over three decades of “junk” to heal from–times when I was blamed and accepted that blame for his criminal behavior, times when I felt less than as a woman and wife because I could not satisfy him after I “grew up.” I still struggle with disrupted sleep because I learned as a 23 year old to stay alert during my sleep to the potential cry from one of my children. I struggle with trust and with shame. I struggle with fear and anxiety. I live waiting for the “other shoe to drop.” I live with trauma responses.

    My children? In one day they lost the dad they thought they had. Had he died, it would have been easier for them. What Velour quoted above is so true of pedophiles–they have a different relationship to truth than you or I have. That will color every day of your marriage and life to this man–not only for you but for your children. So I say to you, unapologetically, “RUN!” Run and don’t look back. Save yourself and your daughter because you are married to a predator. Child pornography is not a victimless crime–the children depicted in the pictures your husband loves to look at did not willingly pose for those pictures. They are documents of some of the worst days of their life and your husband gets off looking at them. RUN!


    Liked by 1 person

  5. @Rebecca,

    First, I don’t know if you used your full legal name. If you used your last name too, you may want to have Julie Anne remove it (if she can) so that only your first name appears. [JA note: I removed last name. Thx, Velour]

    I am sorry you lost your apartment and are struggling with health issues.
    And I’m sorry that you are having to live with a man who seems nice but is unsafe, your mom’s current husband.

    I would recommend that you up the self-care such as low-cost therapy if it’s available in your area (call an advice nurse to ask where you can get it).
    Sometimes students in training under supervision will have sessions.
    Catholic Charities also is known for it with therapists/social workers. Just an idea.

    *Suggestion for safe support/help with action plans, etc: Debtors Anonymous where they deal with debt, underearning, cash flow, medical problems, etc. If you are in an urban area there may be a meeting near you. If not, there are phone in meetings. There is also one just for medical issues and the participants focus on that. Ask for a Pressure Relief Meeting.

    Take care.


  6. Dear Aly, I am so sorry you have found yourself in this position. My heart hurts for you.

    You have already discovered the important thing about pedophiles (a man who is drawn to child pornography is a pedophile): they lie. They are liars from the very heart of them. None of his promises are trustworthy. He says he has not molested a child, but his words are meaningless. He says he is attracted to girls the age of 9, why do you think he says that? So that you will think your baby girl is safe from him for years.

    It is so hard to realize someone is not who you thought they were, it can be very scary, actually. But look at the clues. You say, “he decided he wanted to be there in her life as her father,” there is your clue. Think about it. In fact, he may have already molested your baby girl. Please put her safety first. She has no one to look out for her but you. You aren’t trapped, it just feels that way. There is help for you.


  7. his words are meaningless

    Having had a brush with a person I suspect was a narcissist last year but who was most definitely a liar, I would say please listen to this.

    You have a baby girl. He likes young girls. He knew you had one or were having one when you met, right? I don’t think that was a coincidence.

    Take care of yourself. Take care of her. Get out.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Aly,

    You need to report the child porn to the police or you too could be liable. Law enforcement will ask about date, time, and history.

    The secure URL to submit National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTipline reports is:

    Do not share, show anyone, print, or make copies of the image(s).

    Do not discard the image(s) until directed to do so by law enforcement. When directed to do so by law enforcement, ensure the image is permanently destroyed. (18 USC § 2258B) Ask them how to destroy it.

    Limit the number of people who may view the image. (18 USC § 2258B)


    Liked by 1 person

  9. Aly,
    Please turn him in. I found child pornograpy on my husbands phone too and I turned him in. Do not take picture or print any of the pictures. When he is asleep take his phone with his passcode to the police department and turn him in.


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good Evening,
    I am writing to try to find help for my dad. I recently found out that my stepmother had sexually molested my 2 year old son. My dad believes it 99% but is probably not going to leave her. If he doesn’t I don’t think I can have him in my life anymore and my brother and his family are standing by our sides. My dad will lose all of us if he doesn’t leave her and I think he is just too weak. He just keeps making up excuses for not leaving. I really want to convince him that standing up for his grandson is the Right thing to do but it’s getting impossible to get through to him. He feels like if he leaves her he is abandoning her when she has a mental illness and she needs him. She hasn’t admitted to it and continues to lie about it and is a sociopathic liar. How can I help him to see that he can do this?
    Any advice you can give would be great.
    Thank you,


  11. Hi Mergirl,

    You are in a particularly tough situation. I understand your dad’s perspective and I understand yours, because my story includes elements of both. I stayed with my ex-husband out of a sense of loyalty, being true to my vows and compassion for him. I stayed because of poor theology and because I felt his criminal behavior was my fault. I was wrong. So very wrong.

    After my world exploded, two beautiful granddaughters joined our family. I spent the last two weeks with them and we shared so many delightful moments and created some amazing memories. As I sat on the beach cuddling my youngest grandchild early one morning, I realized anew that if I were still married to my pedophile, I would not be able to enjoy these wonderful moments and these precious girls would not be safe. I’m so grateful for our world explosion because I cannot imagine life without these girls and I know I would be unable to keep them safe from my ex.

    You are right to protect your son–that is your job. I encourage you to stand firm in that. Your dad needs help in understanding what he is dealing with. If your stepmother is an addict (and she probably is), this will not get better, no matter how hard he tries to placate and contain her. Addiction is a progressive disease and perpetrators violate in plain sight. He might find some help by reading my blog (A Solitary Journey), attending S-Anon or reading some of the books I list on the sidebar of my blog. He is not alone and neither are you. I’m proud of your resolve and I hope you realize how courageous that is.



  12. Hi Mergirl,

    I agree with Brenda’s advice.

    My only addition is to say you can invite your father (alone) to come visit your children even if he chooses to stay married to your stepmother. He sounds trapped in codependency, and his self-worth is probably too low to leave her at this point.

    You won’t be able to rescue him or coerce him to leave. He’s a grown man and he’s will make his own choice. There are many good articles on male codependency online. I hope he discovers his true value, gets out, and eventually finds a healthy woman to share his life with.

    For decades Brenda and I were both tied (by our own codependency) to our pedophile husbands, but we both left, found our healthy identity in Christ, and discovered new healthy relationships! Even if your dad is codependent, he can break free and have a loving and nourishing relationship next time. He is not trapped in a cyclical pattern. What joy!



Thanks for participating in the SSB community. Please be sure to leave a name/pseudonym (not "Anonymous"). Thx :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s