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.

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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

348 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.”

    Like

  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?

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  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.

    Like

  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!

    Hugs,
    Brenda

    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.

    http://debtorsanonymous.org/

    http://debtorsanonymous.org/getting_started/index.php/find/findameeting

    Take care.

    Like

  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.

    Like

  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: https://web.cybertip.org/cybertip/

    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)

    -Anon3

    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.

    Sandy

    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,
    Mergirl

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  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.

    Hugs,
    Brenda

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  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!

    Anon3

    Like

  13. I am in a situation currently. My husband was inappropriate with my younger brother in his teens. He’s 34 now. When he came to me and disclosed, he was 18. We decided we could keep quiet and watch dog my husband. We both believed it was isolated, wouldn’t happen again, still feel that way. My brother came out and is married to a man. My marriage was strained due to loss of respect. Had an affair with a teacher of our daughter. We decided to tell my family. They were pretty upset, and my parents want nothing to do with my husband. We separated 6 years ago. I hoped with time, my husband could search proper counseling. He says at the time he didn’t know it was wrong but does now. He thinks he needs no boundaries and we should all forgive and move on. We have been in counseling. He wants me to reconcile the marriage, regain respect, first. I would like him to appologize to my brother and parents, so that I can respect and rebuild trust. He is covered by statue of limitations. Our struggle is he simply believes he didn’t walk away from my brother who made himself available after the first encounter. He doesn’t think he abused my brother or that he is a child molester. They both exposed themselves on the first encounter and there was a minor touch from my husband. He doesn’t understand the position I’m in. I wish to reconcile because I know God is gracious and i should be also, and I believe aside from this, he can be a redeeming, valuable person. Like the saying, “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. But also tempered with the scripture that talks about harming a child, that person should be thrown in the sea with a weight around their neck.(Matt 18:6). What help or encouragement could you give me?

    Like

  14. Dear Jody,
    Thank you for having the courage to reach out for help and maybe a reality check? You spent the bulk of your marriage being a “watch dog.” I did as well from a mistaken belief that I could actually prevent him from molesting again. We know that perpetrators often molest in plain sight precisely because they are trusted members of a family or social group (i.e. church). I know the pain that serving as a “watch dog” for the man you are married to can cause.

    I’m wondering if you are being “gaslighted” by your husband. Gaslighting is a term coined from an old movie by the same name. It is used in psychology to describe an attempt to alter someone’s reality. Minimizing, blame-shifting, denial and counter-attack are common gaslighting tactics. The reality is that your husband molested your brother. End of story. It doesn’t matter if he didn’t know, or if your brother made the first move. Until your husband can admit this reality and begin facing this fact, it certainly seems like he is attempting to gaslight everyone about what occurred.

    Perpetrators do not like boundaries–they do not respect them. They often encourage the “forgive and let’s just move on” stance. Someone in recovery who truly understands and accepts what he did will welcome boundaries and truth-telling and accountability. And they certainly will not minimize or diminish in any way the pain they have caused another.

    You are right–God is a gracious God. But only God can redeem–He doesn’t call us to do His work. Your husband’s redemption is not your responsibility. Your responsibility is to care for yourself and any children in your life. What we know about perpetrators is that they usually do not stop but rather progress. Without qualified and ongoing treatment, they are most certain to re-offend and even with that treatment there is no known cure for pedophilia.

    My advice is to heed the airline safety mantra: “put your own oxygen mask on!” Marriage to a man who has offended can be incredibly damaging to a woman’s sense of self, value and identity as a woman. Get yourself to safety before you are caught up in another one of your husband’s “indiscretions.” I’m sorry but I have no encouragement to offer for staying in the marriage. Some may disagree with me but my concern is first and foremost for you and for any children in your/his life.

    Hugs,
    Brenda

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Brenda, been reading this thread and cannot even begin to describe how valuable your comments are in insight and wisdom. I know it was hard earned.

    God bless you!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. So true, Lydia. Both Brenda and Anon3 have played such an important part of many women’s worst nightmares, coming along side during the height of their crises and giving them hope. I am so grateful for their involvement here and on the forum.

    Like

  17. I am in a situation.. My husband, my hero, a retired state trooper and all around good guy, has blown up the world as I know it. A year ago myhusband of nine years was charged with involuntary sexual intercourse with a minor under 13. He was 49 at the time. This charge along with six other charges against him were made by his niece. He admitted to me that he did do improper things with her, and messaged her extremely improper messages on social media. I have a daughter myself who is the same age as the accuser, but I KNOW he didn’t do anything to her as she would tell the world. He swears it was only that one time. Because I have a daughter in the house, children’s services are involved, and my daughter is tired of the intrusion into her life. My son is over 18 and just ignores the situation. My step daughter is over 21 and has special needs. I thought we could work through it… I thought I was strong enough. My children depended on him and the stability he gave them that their biological father did not. I’ve been living in a fog for three years. Faking happiness and professing his innocence. But I know better. And I’ve finally told him I need to breathe. For me, and for my kids, and his daughter who has chosen to stay with me. He is in the process of moving out. But I’m so sad. Sad for the loss of what I thought was a good marriage. Mad that he did this to her, to me, to us. And confused that I feel guilty. Guilty for believing him. Guilty for still loving him. Guilty for asking him to leave his home. I feel guilty for hurting HIM when he’s shattered my heart and soul. What is wrong with me!? How can I feel this way?! I’m so lost.

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  18. Dear Conflicted,
    I am so sorry for your pain and for that of your children. This betrayal is just about as bad as it can get. The only thing I can imagine that would be worse is the death of a child. All of the emotions that you describe–anger, sadness, guilt, shame–are normal. It is perfectly normal to hate and love him at the same time so your moniker is a good one for any of us who have been in a similar situation.

    Please know that the guilt you feel for believing him is misplaced. It is misplaced because these guys are incredibly skilled at convincing everyone around them that they are really the good guys. And it is misplaced because you love/ed him–you trusted him because he was/is your husband. You were not evaluating his behavior forensically–you were accepting and valuing him because of the nature of your relationship with him. Does that make sense? Hindsight is always 20/20. When we know, we know but until then we are often the very last ones to discover what our husbands have been up to.

    Nothing is wrong with you–you are experiencing an incredible betrayal and the breakup of a marriage that you valued and believed in. But you did not do this, you did not cause this, you could not control it (had you known) and you cannot cure it. For the sake of your children, it is right and proper that he leave the home. He did this to himself, he did this to you and to innocent children. He is the criminal, not you.

    I’m glad you found us and that you were courageous enough to post. You have a community here who believe you and will support you but who will also speak truth to you, gently and compassionately. I will soon celebrate five years post world explosion and I can honestly say that life is good again–very good. It will be for you as well.

    Hugs,
    Brenda

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  19. Conflicted, I have no good experience/advice except to echo Brenda that you have no reason to feel guilty. I don’t know how much that will help, you may have to just work through it, but you are doing what is best for you and the kids. I am glad you think your daughter is safe, but I would not trust this man at this point.

    I wish you all the best!

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  20. Brenda… Thank you for the boost… My heart and soul have taken a blow. I don’t know how to act around him as I still see him when he comes to get his daughter. I want to hate him. I’m just not there yet.

    Lea… I do know my daughter and she is safe. She does NOTHING she doesn’t want to and would NEVER let him touch her that way. She is disappointed in him as we all are. Several years ago, there was a gunman in our area. My daughter was put in lockdown at her dance school. Once the gunman was found and the girls were let out… She ran straight past me into his arms… He was her rock of safety, too. Now…. She’s angry.

    What a mess.

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  21. My husband and I was married 10 years before I found out he was sexually abusing my then 15 year old daughter (his step daughter) I’m still married to him, but we’ve been separated for 2 years now. I have 3 other children, 4 total 2 girls and 2 boys. The one whom he committed the act with is turning 18 soon and leaving home after graduation this summer to join the military. He’s receiving counseling and I feel like it had helped but, I’m still afraid to live in the same house with him again.
    I feel so very trapped like I should leave him completely but at the same time I dont want to divorce him. I’ve been shunned and ridiculed by my family because this. I’m often feel embarrassed, depressed and feel so very alone. I do receive some support from friends, which I have few of.
    I’m afraid of being in a new relationship because I feel like it would open the door for this to happen again but to my younger daughter, that’s the main reason for the separation and not the complete divorce.

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  22. Dear Raz,

    It must be heartbreaking to be mistreated by your own family. After this betrayal by your husband, you most certainly don’t need that.

    What on earth would your family have against you? That you’re separated from him, or that you haven’t divorced him yet? Either way, I can make no sense of it. Why can’t they see that their love and support is exactly what you need now?

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  23. Dear Raz,

    I am so sorry that you are experiencing this enormous betrayal, not only from your husband but also from your family. This is not uncommon, unfortunately. It is also not uncommon for the partner to feel a reluctance to divorce the perpetrator and while some may disagree, I believe it is partially due to something Patrick Carnes wrote about–a betrayal bond. A betrayal bond forms when someone is both incredibly kind and loving and cruel to you. You can often see a betrayal bond at work in abusive relationships and the cycle of violence. Women stay through the tension-building and explosive phases because they know that when the violence is over, the man they fell in love with will re-emerge, if only for a brief period of time.

    While many find fault with the idea of betrayal bonds, I think they may partially explain the dynamic that is at work when we find it hard to let go of a marriage that has been destructive to children–we long for that man that we fell in love with. The notion that he has done heinous things to a child is so incongruent with our experience of him. Recovery involves really looking at that experience of him and understanding the manipulation and deception that he used to keep us from knowing the truth about him. This is often a very difficult process.

    You are not alone in your experience. But let’s look at the truth of it, shall we? He has molested a child and you still have three vulnerable children in your home. Can you really allow him to have access to them? That is what remaining in a relationship with him means–access to additional victims. He may sound like he has changed but few actually do. Pedophilia is incurable–the most we can hope for is to contain it. What would genuine repentance look like? Would a man who has molested and is truly sorry for that behavior actually want to subject himself to additional temptation? I don’t think so.

    You are remaining tied to a dead corpse of a marriage. He may have singled you out because you had children–potential victims. You deserve better than this and your children do as well. I encourage you to find a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist and begin the work of disentangling yourself from this man, for your sake and for your children’s safety. You are worth so much ore.

    Hugs,
    Brenda

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  24. i am the ex-wife of a child molester. i found out that he perpetrated crimes many years ago and discovered the horrific truth 18 months ago when he was arrested. My three adult children and I are not supporting him. He did not abuse them. I live with the concern for the victims and worry for my kids’ future knowing he is a child rapist.The trauma of the situation is not only the worry for the childrens’ lives he has abused but the fact that my kids and I must live with the repercussions of having conflicted feelings about him. Our reaction to these crimes is visceral and feel the crimes are heinous and unforgivable. I am hoping that time will heal somewhat.

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  25. Jen,

    My heart goes out to you. You and I have similar stories, except that you found out after your children were adults.

    It’s okay for your children to have confllicted feelings about their father. They have a two-part relationship with him. One is that he’s their father, and they feel some level of affection for him simply for that. The second part is the horror of knowing they were raised by “a monster” (“monster” is my son’s word, the day he found out the truth about his dad).

    It’s okay to feel both. My children feel both love and deep disapproval for their father. (They weren’t victims.) They have their own relationship with him, now that they are adults. My daughter keeps him at arm’s length. She sees him a self-centered, shallow, and manipulative. My son and ex-husband enjoy a few hobbies together. My son sees his father as immature but a worthwhile companion for adventures. Neither of the kids enjoy spending more than 24 hours with him.

    Your kids will sort out that relationship themselves. It’s okay — no matter what they decide. But once they have children of their own, I plan to remind them that pedophilia doesn’t go away in old age.

    -Anon3

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  26. My husband of 20 yrs was sentenced to 27 yr this morning…. while I feel some relief I still am so incredibly sad… and in mourning for a marriage and family Iife that will never be… I struggle with he did and the love I feel for this man… a man I know I never really knew…dealing with the pain that he inflicted on my daughter. Hoping she can forgive me for staying married to him for now… all I want to do is give her innocence back

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  27. Anon3 and Terie-my heart goes out to both of you too. Sometimes I wonder what was real in my marriage and what wasn”t and maybe that’s the same for you. My husband was always very kind but separate from me too. It’s so hard to accept the deviant part of him. Anon3 I am not as kind as you-I feel terribly threatened by the possibility of my kids having any sort of relationship with him in the future. Although I live with the trauma of hating and loving him I can”t support him. He has rang me four times from jail and it hasn’t gone well-I’ve either cried or been really angry. When I have answered the phone I am waiting to hear ‘sorry’ but it doesn’t come. I thought we had a beautiful family life and in many respects we did. He has been on remand in jail for 18 months and is due to be sentenced in March. There are 9 victims.
    I hope your daughter is going o’kay Terie and you have supportive people that are there for you, The grief at times can be unbearable and so can the depression and inertia. One amazing thing that has happened is one of my kids has had a baby recently so we are so very lucky! But sometimes my head goes to a dark place and I worry that the sexual deviance may have a genetic component and future generations may struggle with this paraphilia. I worry about everything. I worry about how my kids will continue to live with this. I worry about how the victims have coped with the crimes during their life. I worry that I won’t ever be happy again. I worry that I haven”t openly disclosed his crimes to but a few people in the community and fighting my feelings of an obligation to let people know. I worry about him too and if I am making the right decision to have no contact. He is being sentenced for crimes from the 1980s and was extradited to the other side of the country. He was in his 40s at the time of those crimes. Just as he concealed his crimes for all these years now I feel that I am concealing them now. I want to protect my kids from too many people knowing and protect myself too. I think he made better choices during his life with me however I have had renewed contact with a child that was in our life 25 years ago and he molested her. I feel so sorry that he molested her and I didn’t protect her. I want to feel free of all this.

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  28. Dear Terie and Jen,
    How well I remember the pain, confusion and conflicted emotions you both describe. And the anger? It is a white-hot, consuming anger. The pain of this betrayal not only steals what hopes we had for the future but robs us of the past that we have cherished. Everything from our past life with the perpetrator comes into question. Every single romantic moment or “happy” family event. Realizing that the man we have loved and devoted our lives to is a fake and was never truly present to us is beyond huge.

    As I began writing the paragraph above, I was listening to Chris Tomlin’s Christmas album and the song refrain was “Noel, come and see what God has done.” And from the vantage point of nearly five years post discovery, my heart resonates with that refrain. It is a concept I could not grasp five years ago but my heart message to you is that refrain. God is working, even in this catastrophe and He is all about redeeming this pain. Hang onto that. Breathe that in–He is for you and has not abandoned you. As long as there is breath, there is hope.

    Jen, you have a new grandbaby–congratulations! My son and his wife found out they were expecting just two weeks into our nightmare. My two granddaughters are absolutely a delight and they are just his type. I am incredibly grateful that his evil was exposed before these two precious girls came into our family. I don’t have to worry about protecting them because my ex will never see them.

    Freedom does come but it takes time. And the refrain of this season of the year–Emmanuel, God with us–is so true. I look back on those early days with awe–awe for what God did in the midst of the chaos and pain, and with gratitude for my deliverance.
    Hugs and prayers,
    Brenda

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  29. Thank you so very much Brenda-you are so beautiful! I was not brought up in a Christian family but throughout this difficult time God has revealed himself to me and I now know that he has always been there. We are very lucky and I look forward to feeling like you do now in the future! Reading what you wrote has put a spring in my step today-thank you X

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  30. Jen,

    I notified the parents of any possible victims my ex-husband might have had. I felt it was my duty. And of course it was my duty to tell the authorities, which I did.

    I was incredibly angry (and rightfully so) for the first 7 years. But now that many years have gone by, I don’t see him as my responsibility. I leave him alone.

    I feel nothing. I see him as a shell of a person: The lights are on but no one is home.

    -Anon3

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  31. i know I will feel like you too in the future Anon3.. His arrest and crimes are not common knowledge where I live-just my close friends know.-and thankfully their daughters were not victims. I have made contact with a woman that we knew many years ago that I thought could have been at risk-and she was-and I have offered her support-emotional and legal- and am so sorry.. But I haven’t come out to everyone in the community but think I should, My gut tells me that he offended less as he got older-I met him when he was nearly 50 and I as 24 years younger (that says it all!!) But even if it was the one or more it doesn’t make a difference to how I view his criminality.. The police in this state and every other state here will be informed by the police of his crimes. Looking forward to seeing him as a shell of a person but I guess it’s pretty early days for me yet.

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  32. So very low at the moment. Do the conflicted feelings ever go away? My psychologist said that my exs offending was caused by his own abuses in childhood. He lived with an abusive family and was in institutional care for 5 years duing his childhood. I tell myself that a part of him knew these offences were wrong but he committed them anyway. I hope I have made the right decision to abandon him. Usually I feel quite clear and then I slip right back and doubt myself all over again,

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  33. Jen, I’m so sorry to hear that you are experiencing such confusion and doubt. From the stories I’ve read if women in your shoes, it sounds very normal and part of the process. Praying that you will have peace with your decision.

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  34. Thank you so very much Julie Anne. I guess the crux of it all is the actual crimes and the horror and pain he caused. Even if a big part of him was good it can’t outweigh the evil. I always felt that there was a broken boy in him and somehow that’s what caused him to commit these crimes. However to support him would be perverse in a way.. I have inquired with more childhood friends of my kids if they were o’kay and haven’t found any further victims.I don’t think there were any after the one I discovered from 25 years ago. I think he did make better choices from then on but I just can’t live with the knowledge of his historical crmies. I don’t even know if he is a pedophile or a regressed situational sex offender. I hope the conflicted feelings will become easier to live with and consume me less, He is due for sentencing in March

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  35. I was married to a man for 20 years and had dated him for 2 before we married. When we meet I was 27 and he was 44. I had the daughters, one 8, one 5, and one 9 months old. I was so in love with him, he took such good care of me and my daughters.

    We moved in right before we married and all was so good. When my youngest was 3 right after we married, he started bathing her in the afternoons before I got home from work. I asked him to not do that anymore because it just didn’t feel right, and he stopped and I never really thought of it again.

    After several years together, he started wanting to role play during sex. In the beginning it was ok to do every now and then It was when he wanted me to be a teenager, and we would laugh about our age difference and what would have happened if we met when I was that young. It became the only way he wanted to have sex and the age kept getting younger. I told him that I just couldn’t do that anymore, my girls were getting older and it bothered me. So our sex life became nonexistent.

    The two older girls grew up and moved out. The youngest got pretty rebellious and got pregnant at 15. She had a beautiful little girl; they lived with us until my daughter graduated from high school.

    When my granddaughter was around 2, my husband’s niece accused him of molesting her sister when they were little girls. The sister told her mom that he didn’t do anything to her and she didn’t know why her sister was saying that, so we all just moved along and forgot that too.

    When my granddaughter was 3, almost 4, my daughter had trouble finding day care so the granddaughter stayed with us a lot. He was retired and I worked at a nearby college, so he would keep her during the day. After a couple of months, my daughter quit bringing her and would not talk to me.

    Finally, after a few weeks, she contacted me one morning and said that he had molested my granddaughter. Well I just could not imagine that. In another week the police asked us to come in and talk with them. At this point I almost had a nervous breakdown. There were these old things that had happened that kept playing in my mind, but him being the manipulator, he always explained things away. And mostly I believed him because he and my older daughters never had gotten along well.

    It was almost Easter and I called my mom to see what to bring and she wouldn’t talk to me either. All I knew was that they said he did something to my granddaughter, I had no idea what it was because no one would talk to me so I assumed that nothing had really happened.

    One full year went by with no word from my family or from the police department, so I assumed there was nothing to it. My husband needed a knee replacement so he went in for surgery and ended up going into afib and was in ICU for a week. The day after I brought him home from the hospital, the sheriff’s department showed up at our door really late that night and said he had been indicted on 5 counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. I was just blown away, he was in jail for a week but was released with a reduced bond due to his health.

    They kept moving the trial date as they do in criminal court a lot. We went to trial in July of 2015. Seeing my family there was one of the hardest things. I was still in denial, I testified on his behalf. He was found guilty of 3 of the aggravated sexual assault charges, as well as indecency with a child by exposure and another indecency charge. He was given the highest sentence because even with the lowest one it would mean life in prison for him. He was 66 at the time of the trial. He went immediately to jail and Hhs attorney immediately filed an appeal.

    We kept in touch regularly, but deep inside me this whole time i was just so unsure of everything. I loved my granddaughter so much. My heart was broken. Through out all this time, i had relied on my Faith and asked God daily to give me the wisdom to know the truth, i stayed so agitated and depressed.

    In December of last year, my sister in law called and told me that her oldest daughter was in counseling because she was remembering my husband molesting her when she was little, and the other daughter said she was having dreams and remembering him molesting her. I felt like that was God giving me the answer I needed. I waited until he called from prison and told him that I was divorcing him and cut off his phone calls and wrote him to tell him he could not contact me.

    In the last year, I divorced him. I got my family back and I am so thankful. I dealt with the ones who blamed me, wondering how could I let that happen. I’ve dealt with those who couldn’t look me in the eye, and I certainly have had supporters that I am so thankful for.

    I have learned that he groomed me and tried to groom my daughters. He called them into the bathroom when he was showering to ask them to get him a towel. He walked around the house naked at night and sometimes with an erection. He had my oldest daughter model her swimsuit for him, using the excuse that he needed to see if it looked decent.

    He is now in prison for life. And my family, it’s healing.

    ***Admin note: Julie Anne has made this comment into a new post here: https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2016/12/27/ex-wife-of-pedophile-shares-her-story/ Please respond at the new post.

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  36. Pingback: Personal Story: Wife of Pedophile Shares How Her Husband Manipulated Her from Seeing the Truth | Spiritual Sounding Board

  37. I am so grateful for this sounding board and the support from others that have had to tredge this path of betrayal, deceit, and heartbreak. Here is my story.

    Two months ago, my life changed as I knew it, forever. I was married at the young age of 21, looking back, it was a stressed relationship and my spouse had dissociated me from all of my family for several years. Thankfully, after a health emergency with one of my family members, I was allowed contact again and family visits were a part of our celebrations over the next several years.

    I supported his educational path and he thrived growing and becoming a successful scientist. He created a life for us that grew and over the time adopted two children, and 20 years later, had our own. I know now that I defined myself by all he accomplished and did not focus on my own growth spiritually, emotionally or mentally.

    After twenty two years of marriage, buying our first home, being a stay at home mom, and having the opportunity to raise and care for our children myself, everything changed. There was the knock on the door. The sheriff had a warrant for an isp address located inside of our home. I was so naive that I thought someone was trying to hack into our personal computers. As it was explained to me shockingly, it was downloading and distributing child pornography. My heart exploded, my mind couldn’t process such a thing, I was completely blown away. How could this even be real? I knew this man better than myself, so I thought. I thought I could also see a perpetrator from a million miles away and taught my girls to be safe around strangers, in fact, I was borderline overprotective. The shock hit me to the core of my soul. Complete Sevastopol.

    Sitting across from him while the police had us sign forms to allow them to review his computer, I questioned him. Screaming, did you do this? Did you hurt our children? He confessed to the internet usage and held true that he had never taken any actions on our children. Many fears succumbed me, had he harmed our girls? What about the many victims that were being harmed on the worst day of their lives? How many were there? What is this sick world? Can I somehow change it? What do I do?

    Cps became involved immediately; my daughters were questioned and recorded through behind the glass interrogations. I was afraid that something might have happened, and thankfully it had not.

    He was not the kind of man that hung out with the children, he kept this secret privately. He never acted inappropriately around the children, he was overly modest, which now I know to be something of interest.

    I still could not believe what I was dealing with. This was my best friend — we had gone through everything together. Over the last two months before his arrest, things were stressed. He wanted me to have another baby, he only wanted girls, he was stressed at best and I thought it was due to his work. I remember asking him to get therapy for himself. He told me once that the problem he had was not something I could help him with. He was afraid to seek therapy because he thought he would be turned in, and lived in fear of being found out.

    I filed a permanent restraining order, went to courts, took the children, relocated to my parents’ home. I left my beautiful home, my life as a stay at home mom, my hopes, my future dreams, and everything I once thought I knew. The support of my family has been exemplary and I would not have been able to be where I am today without them. The cost his actions have had on us is extreme, but we are all doing better each and everyday.

    I am so thankful for the women who have gone through this before me and the support I revceived from them in the beginning. Hearing that it is ok to cry, that this is not my fault, that I did not cause this, that I will get through this and my children will live their lives and be successful, gave me a new foundation which I was able to put one foot in front of the other and move forward.

    I still have grief, loss, and trauma that I am working on with a therapist. I am, however, so grateful for all that has happened for us, to carry myself and children through.

    The thing that I am most grateful for is that I now know the TRUTH. As ugly as it is, I’m aware and can protect myself and children today in a new way which gives me independence and hope for a new life.

    Thank you Spiritual Sounding Board and all those who share the courage strength and hope of a new life, a new day. Without you, I would have felt complete isolation in a world where people just assume the wife knows everything. I know now from experience, that these perpetrators are mastermind manipulators, wolves in sheeps clothing. It’s not our fault, we did not cause this, and there is hope.

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  38. I have been off and on looking for stories online about suspicions a person close to you, in my case best friend (now former) might be into child porn. I am not sure if it is intuition or trying to figure out why their behavior and personality became so different in the past few years. I eventually separated myself from her at the advice of close friends and after praying about if for a little over a year, to protect myself from their suddenly abusive (not physical, but all other ways) personality. It made no sense, her personality change, and it’s been over a year but I can’t shake the feeling something sinister was/is going on.

    I had the consistent sense that she has been hiding something – but by nature of her hiding it, I didn’t know what it is. She has always struggled with looking at adult (so she she said and I assumed) porn, and any time she would confess to me that she was struggling with it, I could tell that she was struggling with something the day before because she would be irritable, cold, sarcastic, and just acting a bit off. But she was always open and initiated talking about her struggles and told me about it.

    One time while visiting me, she asked to borrow my computer while I went to bed. The next day, I found my search history and Web history erased while she was sitting in the room next to me while I was checking email and some sites and realized it wasnt filling in and remebering websites and passwords I frequently visit. I immediately asked her if she erased it, and she said no. The rest of the day she was irritable, cold, sarcastic, etc but I forgot about it – didn’t think too much of it. A couple months later I remembered the situation suddenly one day and texted her, Did you watch porn on my computer when you were here, and erased my search history? She responded yes and that she was so sorry, etc. It didn’t sit right with me at all because. She plainly lied and then never on her own was going to bring it up. I just checked it off as her being embarrased.

    A couple years before this, she sat me down and showed me a story she wrote about a teen girl getting molested by an older male in a basement. She said she was afraid to show me, and that this is the kind of stuff she thinks about all the time. She had always struggled with sex and her babysitter from childhood molested one of her siblings and they were never sure if she was also a victim because she was too young to remember. I dismissed it as her trying to work out her possible molestation and what her sibling went through, but in the grander scheme I wonder if I should have looked at it more sinisterly and should have asked what she meant exactly by this is stuff I think about all the time.

    She has always struggled with being a bit obsessed with sex and would bring it up with girl friends and her struggles with porn. It sometimes made people uncomfortable.

    But then a few years ago she started acting different and changing her personality. She started lying, disappearing/falling off the face of the earth for a month or two, conflating her poor friend behavior onto me and others instead of taking personal responsibilty, gaslighting like crazy, started to become very irritable and sarcastic. Her personality became manipulative and abusive/shaming, and a started to feel a bit sociopathic. She started to carry an arrogant demeanor about her. I eventually had to cut her out and fade away but I have no idea what was causing the behavior and it was extremely painful.

    In this time, she also started working in counseling, and had children as clients and some times it would be issues of sexual abuse she would be counseling them on. I always got a feeling that is something she should not be doing, mainly because she has a lot of issues with sex and abuse herself that is unresolved and might not be the healtheist thing for her or the kids as she needed to be counseled herself on it. But then I wonder later on looking back if that feeling of unease was more intuition about possible pedophilia and child porn usage could be what was going on with her behind the personality change.

    Essentially, her personality change was exactly how she acted when she watched (supposedly adult) porn and was ashamed. But she was always open about it immediately and would get back to her normal self. It was mostly shame about it and maybe just her being a virgin and sexually repressed, figuring herself out. But in the past few years, she acted this strange way constantly, and lying and gaslighting and becoming a generally unsafe person at all times instead of just a few days, and I wonder if this is a sign of something really bad? That something more sinister was going on and she was hiding child porn, pedophilia?

    I have no proof or anything past intuiton or a weird feeling (obviously never found anything or noticed her acting weird around kids if she was around them). I opened up to a close friend about this and since I am not in her life any more I can’t really be aware and hyper vigilant to see if there is something going on, or if I was borrowing her laptop notice if anything was on there. Or start asking more pointed questions. It could be she’s hiding something else entirely. I hope so.

    No one here can give me a definitive answer, but just wanted to write it out somewhere I guess as it continually comes up as a concern in my heart, but since I cut her out over a year ago I’m detachced/no contact. It was after I separated from her that I started putting pieces together this might be what was going on with her.

    The only thing I have known to do is pray and hope that if there is pedophilia, child porn in her life that someone in her life finds out. It’s been an extremely confusing situation.

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  39. “I left my beautiful home, my life as a stay at home mom, my hopes, my future dreams, and everything I once thought I knew.”

    Meredith, you said this perfectly. It’s so so hard, and I feel for you. My home of 24 years goes on the market next week, but the worst part of the loss is indeed the way our spouses’ actions tear our lives apart — our dreams, our hopes, our past we thought was so good. But I’m looking forward to a new start, a new me. You sound like you are making good progress. Hang in there….it’s a long, hard process. I’ve been a little “stuck” trying to save a marriage that wasn’t worth saving, but now that I have moved out and divorced, I am starting to move forward and am finding the “me” who got lost many years ago.

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  40. Louise, I’m glad you’re finding the “me” again. You have to believe me that a home, no matter how beautiful, pales in comparison to our emotions, our mental states, dreams, etc. A home one can replace; a tortured and abused life is another story; it takes time, but in the end, it’s worth it.

    And Meredith, the same applies to you. And keep on reminding yourself that you’ve done nothing wrong until it has sunk in.

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  41. Hello my name is Cee and I recently found out about my husband and the father of our now 12 month old son molested my daughter and his youngest daughter. It has been rough and still is. Dec 4, 2015 was the day my life changed forever. Dec 14, 2015 was our sons 1st birthday and I tried to make it memorable as possible. Dec 25, 2015, Christmas was ok but I still felt a since of loss. Now, after all the holds are over with, I’m so sad. I do, however miss my husband. I sit here and I observed our son and he misses him. Sometimes I see that he may be thinking about him. It’s crazy I kniw, but he was depressed for a month. My daughter feels guilty that she told me some things, she wish I didn’t call the police but rather handled it a different way. Yes his life is ruined. He was active duty for 7 years and transition to reserve. The army was his life and his family dosent want him around and now I feel guilty for putting all of us in this position. He barely has a place to stay and the people he’s staying with dosent even know the situation. I do feel horrible cause my instincts dosent want my son’s father struggling but at the same time, I don’t want him around close to my daughter. Yes I am struggling financially and I have dropped out of school to handle and cope with what’s going on. I have no money. I was almost to the finish line to being a registered nurse. The question I keep asking myself is why he is like that? He seems so normal. I just don’t understand. How do I start my life from here?

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  42. Welcome to the blog, Cee,

    I’m so sorry for what you are going through — the pain your son and daughter are experiencing and the second-guesses you have.

    You ask, “Why is my ex-husband like that?” For some people it is learned, or fueled by rage, or might be hereditary. Whatever it is, you can’t help him. You can not stop him from offending, and you didn’t start him offending. He’s been doing this before you came into his life. And he’ll be molesting kids long after you’re gone.

    My ex-husband was the same way. He seemed so normal: good job, recent promotion, good looking, devout Christian…

    Your ex-husband acted normal because he wanted to win over a woman with a young daughter he could molest. I’m sorry to say it that bluntly, but people who molest kids (both men or women can be molesters) are opportunists. They groom single mothers and win their trust. They do it deliberately.

    My husband was bright and manipulative. Later he admitted to having more than 50 victims. He was doing it before he met me; he continues to do it years after our divorce.

    Let me give you some hope and insights about your children.

    Your #1 job is to protect them from their perpetrator and to make them feel loved.
    You need to empathize with their feelings. They miss the good parts about your ex-husband. That’s okay. You can hug them and say you miss the good parts too, but that he was not a good man and you cannot have him in your lives.
    Your daughter wishes it could have happened differently, but you did the right thing. When she’s an adult, she’ll understand. Right now she does not. My children missed their dad too, but today they thank me for removing him from our house and turning him into authorities.
    Let your children talk about their feelings. If you let them do that, they will feel better. I didn’t talk with my kids about the divorce for nearly a year, fearful it would make them too sad or more hurt. Finally someone convinced me to talk with them. It was a good thing. They really wanted to talk. It was good for them.
    My kids turned out great. They are adults now — educated, emotionally healthy, and normal people. Kids start to heal when the perpetrator is out of their lives and they can talk freely.

    Best wishes for 2017. Keep going on your nursing studies if you can, but be gentle on yourself. Right now you can’t go to school; you’ve got to support the family. Hang in there. God has a bright future for you even though this moment looks bleak.

    –Anon3

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  43. I found out on aug 19, 2015 by my daughter that her step father had been sexually assaulting her. 3 weeks pregnant and three children in tow I left and filed charges for his actions. After leaving there are seven victims total. Of which one he was convicted 5 days before his 17th birthday for. So he was a juvenile. My son still sees him supervised every Tuesday for an hour. My youngest is now 9 months. There is also DNA to confirm My daughters allegations. In the end, I need strength and how to learn to not let my emotions control the situation. We go to jury trial on April 17. It can’t come fast enough. 2 of his siblings have turned a blind eye to his actions. Both are aware he did it to two of his Nieces. One of the Nieces finds it fun to walk in front of my place of employment and laugh. I mean what is so funny about getting your youth taken from you??

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