Christian Marriage, divorce, domestic violence, abuse, marital counseling, extramarital affairs
My friend, Valerie Jacobsen posted this statement on her Facebook page and I asked permission to share it. I found it powerful, and yet, so contrary to the way marriage is handled in the church – especially when abuse is involved. I’m sick and tired of women being forced by their pastors/elders to bear the brunt of evil in their marriages by staying in their evil and harmful marriages.
I do not believe for a second that it is godly advice for pastors tell abused wives to remain married to their chronically evil and reviling spouses. If marriage is supposed to be representative of Christ and the church, an abusive marriage is a mockery to Christ. It seems that pastors would want to help rid the church of the blot of evil when there is an abuser clinging to his marriage and refusing to change his evil ways.
Women who leave their chronically cheating and/or abusive husbands are saying NO to evil. It is their husbands who abandoned the marriage long ago when they started their evil ways.
We need to stand beside these women and tell them they are free to go when pastors tell them otherwise. Pastors who give this bad advice are not living with this evil. And I’ll bet that they would not say this kind of thing if it were their daughter living with an abuser. Let’s stop this crazy business!
h/t Hannah Smith for image (taken in Hawaii)
Pedophile, Wife of Pedophile, Sex Abuse
Today I am posting a personal story from a woman named Cindy who left a comment yesterday on the 3-1/2-year-old article, Being Married to a Pedophile: A Wife Speaks Out and Offers Hope to Other Wives of Pedophiles, which has continued to reach women who are searching for support.
Her comment was posted at 4AM on the West Coast the day after Christmas. It got me wondering . . . maybe Cindy lives on the East Coast and was posting this in the quiet hours of 1AM after a pleasant Christmas day (the story ends on a positive note). What struck me was that she posted this around the time where families are gathered for the holidays. Perhaps she, too, was reminiscing of Christmases past, of what it was like when their family appeared to be whole and happy. But obviously she also thought about the pain and felt at liberty to share that with us the process of getting to acceptance and peace with herself and her family. The memories of living through the destruction that pedophilia brings to a family doesn’t ever entirely leave. And maybe that’s why Cindy shared her story – to personally acknowledge what she went through, to share it in a safe place where others who have walked in her shoes can also identify.
Although this story is not about abuse in church, this is about abuse that many families go through. How can the church connect with these hurting families and support them? I share these stories because pedophilia is yucky and disgusting. It’s easier to walk away and let someone else deal with it. The reality is that being the wife of a pedophile is a lonely place. Once the pedophile is discovered, their family will never be the same. They don’t need to walk this path alone. Continue reading
Sexual addictions, pornography, pedophiles, family and friends of sexual addicts, S-Anon
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Thanks for bearing with me as I’m getting hit with year-end activities for my children and me at school. I’m in the middle of cramming, finals, and looking forward to having a Summer break this year!
While the blog articles have tapered during my busy school schedule, the activity behind the scenes continues and I’m grateful for all I have learned in walking with people who are going through challenging and very difficult times. Last night was one such example which I’d like to share.
Last night, I attended an S-Anon meeting. It was my first time going to a 12-step meeting of any kind. I attended at the request of a new friend who, understandably, didn’t want to go to this meeting by herself.
What is S-Anon and for whom is it geared?
S-Anon a 12-step group that meets weekly for family members or friends of people addicted to sex (pornography, relationships, etc).
With any addiction, family and friends become a part of the addict’s system. Family and friends are impacted by their loved one’s addiction. It can affect them personally and in relationships, present and future. Additionally, how they respond to their addicted love one can have ramifications. Is the sex addiction talked about openly? Or is it the elephant in the middle of the room that people know exists, but refuse to talk about.
Would S-Anon be a good fit for me? The sexual addict I know is not in my immediate family.
At first, I was thinking that I really didn’t qualify to be at this meeting since there’s no sex addict in my immediate family and I don’t have close friends addicted to sex (to my knowledge, anyway). But then I realized that my in-law certainly has affected my immediate family. He is a pedophile, and our family has had to make very clear boundaries on visitation rules; for example, he is not allowed in our home, period. We allow time for meals, etc, but my kids are always reminded about safe touching, not being alone with him, etc. So, yes, I would benefit from these meetings, as would my adult children. There is a teen version of S-Anon, so that would be an additional option for my younger kids.
While the sex addict in my family is not in our immediate family, the situation has presented challenging issues for our family. We have had to broach the subject of sex and sex abuse at a very young age and in very clear terms with our children. We have had to grieve the loss of a normal grandparent-grandchild relationship.
I remember the day it struck me that my dreams of leaving our kids with the grandparents for a special weekend or a few days was completely out of the question. My children have had to find other “adopted” grandparents to fill some of those roles; but it will never be the same as most families where grandparents are an integral part of their lives. That’s just one of a number of losses we have faced due to sexual addiction. This is definitely something I could bring up at a future meeting that has affected me. Do I have anger about it? You bet! I wanted my children to have the best childhood possible and that was robbed from them (and me) due to the pedophile.
Another area that I’ve seen an increased amount of discussion is the issue of a husband’s use of porn (including child pornography) and it’s effect on marriages and families. This is a very real and ongoing problem many Christian families face. The sense of betrayal, lack of trust, self-blame, body shaming issues really come to surface for wives of porn addicts. With porn, the marriage bedroom becomes very crowded and complicated. This takes its toll on wives, and the ripple effect on the children can become very apparent. If the sexual addiction interferes with a job and the addict gets fired, obviously this will have severe consequences on the family.
Because sexual addictions are such a secretive sin, children might sense that something is wrong, but not know quite what it is. They might not understand why mom is so depressed. It would be good to explore this topic more and I hope to be able to share personal stories because I know it is a growing issue that is rarely addressed from the pulpit. I wonder how many wives of sex addicts are sitting in the pews each Sunday at church wondering how their church can help them. It’s typically not a topic that pastors address. Where will these wives turn for help?
Over 3 years ago, I posted the first article on wives of pedophiles, Being Married to a Pedophile: A Wife Speaks Out and Offers Hope to Other Wives of Pedophiles. This was written by a SSB reader, Anon3, who shared her experience and offered words of hope to another wife of a pedophile. I wish I had kept track of how many women have found that blog post and responded. Looking back, I would say that on average, one person per week has either comment or sent an e-mail asking for help. Those are just people who land at the blog by doing using search engines. Wives of pedophiles would certainly be welcome at A-Anon meetings.
What are the meetings like?
The meeting we attended was quite small, but it varies at every location. The meeting is structured and begins with reading excerpts from their S-Anon book which establishes the rules, objectives of the meeting, and a focus topic area. There is a time where people are allowed to share and a closing. It is confidential and what is said there, needs to remain there.
What I did find is that it is a safe place to gather, share personal stories, get encouragement and support. So many times when we are dealing with something by ourselves, we take it personally, blame ourselves. When we open up with others and exchange stories, we will see familiar behavioral patterns. This is similar to the familiarity many of us have had with spiritual abuse. We have a common denominator with similar, but not exactly the same experiences. (More questions about meetings.)
I think in time, an S-Anon member can get clarity and understanding why they have responded the way they have: why they may have trust issues, why they may have anger, etc.
Knowing and identifying these patterns will be helpful when learning to make healthier decisions and setting appropriate boundaries with the sexually addicted loved one. This is not an easy process. It takes work, but I have spoken with several people who have said the program has given them great tools.
I sensed that those who were at the meeting last night found confidence, understanding, and a tremendous amount of weight lifted from them as have traveled this journey. Rather than trying to survive, they seemed to be thriving AND have enough energy left to help others along in their journey. That was very encouraging for me to see.
For those who have just found this article via a search engine and who are dealing with a sexual addict, welcome. You are in a difficult place, but you are certainly not alone. You are always welcome to comment here on the blog. I also have a private forum you may ask to join. (Email me at email@example.com). But I also encourage you to seek out a local S-Anon for ongoing support. You definitely do not need to walk this road by yourself. Many have done it before you and would like to offer support.
Here are a few questions from a longer set of questions at the S-Anon website:
- Have you felt hurt or embarrassed by someone’s sexual conduct?
- Have you secretly searched for clues about someone’s sexual behavior?
- Have you lied about or covered up another person’s sexual conduct?
- Have you had money problems because of someone’s sexual behavior?
- Have you felt betrayed or abandoned by someone you loved and trusted?
- Are you afraid to upset the sexaholic for fear that he or she will leave you?
You can see if there is a local S-Anon group in your area here.
Note: Although I used men as addicts in the examples above, women are not exempt from having sexual addictions.
I have two things to share, first the following invitation. Some may have seen this on Twitter or Facebook, but I want to make it more public here so more eyes can see and have an opportunity to meet:
Toward understanding the blame borne by wives in Duggar Family religion in the wake of Josh Duggar’s involvement in the Ashley Madison scandal
Ex-Wife of a pedophile shares from her heart about mishandling of sex abuse cases at The Village Church and Josh Duggar
Ex-wife of convicted pedophile writes open letter to Editors of Christianity Today after they published and then removed an article written by a former youth pastor and convicted pedophile.
Ex-wife of pedophile shares how she and her family are dealing with their new reality after his conviction and sentencing.
*** Continue reading
Two years of blogging, two years of growth, hope for those hurt by church abuse
* * *
Survivors of abuse have to climb many mountains. The first mountain is acknowledging the fact that they are being abused. Then they have to decide what to do. They are left emotionally reeling and yet, have to survive, take care of their children, put food on the table, etc.
One of SSB’s regular readers, Brenda, found the blog via a Google search which landed her at this article: Being Married to a Pedophile: A Wife Speaks Out and Offers Hope to Other Wives of Pedophiles. While Brenda’s story is horrific, the story of how she found the blog and what has happened since is one of my favorite stories. You can read the comments where she connects with another former wife of a pedophile. It’s a beautiful story in that two women who had their lives completely disrupted by their pedophile husbands were able to connect and tell their stories. Now they have a unique connection and can offer one another hope, share heartaches, and struggles. I just love how God works. Brenda has a blog, A Solitary Journey, and is so vulnerable in sharing her personal story in hopes that she can be of encouragement to others. Continue reading
* * *
Announcing New Private Spiritual Abuse Forum
Blogging is great for introducing a variety of topics, but sometimes it’s awkward to break the conversation to share a personal need or concern. Over the past year, there have been times when I have wished there was a private place to share and encourage one another in a deeper level – – – a place where there could be ongoing support from people going through similar experiences.
Over six weeks ago, our moderator, Fiat Pax made an online forum for SSB. I have been stewing about it for a while, not sure I wanted to go public with it, not sure I had the time because the blog already takes a lot of time. However, there have been a few unique incidences that have happened behind the scenes that have convinced me that this is the right time. Continue reading
* * *
Letter from the wife of a pedophile explaining why she stayed and how she finally got out. Encouragement for other wives of child molesters.
* * *