Married to a Pedophile: Weird Behavior

If you’re new to this blog, I’d like to say “welcome” and I’m glad you have found this place of education and hopefully some healing.  This is my story of what it was like being married to a practicing pedophile for almost forty years — without knowing it!  There were red flags — things that I should have picked up on — but I didn’t know anything about pedophilia.  So, out of my painful experience I hope to bring about some good by educating others so that this wave of child molestation can be stopped! 

If you’re new to this blog, I suggest you begin reading at the beginning

Let’s pick up where we left off last week.  John’s behavior was becoming more and more odd to me as the weeks passed by.  He was so very different to others than he was to me.  Put him in a mix with his beloved church people and he was the clown, the jokester, the laughing person, and the one with endless energy.  Put him home with me, and I hate to use this word, but he was a deadbeat.  It was like there was no life in him.  I had to pick and pry to get a simple sentence out of him.  “How was your day?”  “Good.”  “What did you do?”  “Nothing much.”  “Are you hungry for anything special?”  “Not really.  Anything you fix will be good.”

Honestly, it was like he had a split personality — and I often cried myself to sleep because of this.  As a newlywed, I felt like very early on my husband was no longer interested in me, and that’s a horrible feeling.

To add insult to injury, he purposefully avoided me by his schedule  that was so strange.  Very, very strange.  He got up religiously at 4:00 a.m (as I mentioned in last week’s blog), which is fine, I guess.  A lot of people like to get up real early.  But, the hurtful thing was that he said he had to get up to “study” and not only did I not have a clue what he was studying, BUT he would continue with his “studying” in the bathroom a minimum of two hours every morning, and most evenings at least two hours.  With the door locked. That’s just plain weird for a newly married couple! 

I’ve done a lot of thinking about this over the years, and this should have been a huge red flag.  This “secrecy in the bathroom” was always baffling to me.  What in heaven’s name does anyone do in a bathroom for two solid hours at a clip two times a day every day?!?!?

His answer was simple:  “I’m studying.  I like my private time.  That’s my time on the throne and that’s where I can do a lot of my thinking.”

Okay — so you’re up at 4:00 a.m. and study from 4:00 to 6:00, then you eat a bit of breakfast, then you go lock yourself in the bathroom for two more hours from 6:30 – 8:30 and study more?  NOTE If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t!  Much later on I would find that John used this time many days as his “list making time” — his time to go over and over all of the details of his day — which included his masterful studying of the female mind, what makes young girls attracted to men, and how to read body language.  (I found countless books in his private library on these topics!)

Use this one!

 Pay attention!  If you live with someone being “secretive” in their daily routine, beware!  There is a reason for this!  If you are living with someone who loses interest in you, but is totally, completely fascinated with others, then you have a real problem on your hands!  Yes, I had a real problem!  I was living with the “fun John” and the “secret John” and I didn’t know what to think of this!  None of this made sense to me at the time, but later on in years to come it would become more and more of a problem in the marriage, and once the real John was known, it all made perfect sense.  John was consumed with studying others.  Learning about them.  Watching their every move.  He didn’t need to pay attention to me.  I was his.  I married him.  I was  carrying his baby, for Pete’s sake!  He knew I wasn’t going anywhere!  Besides, I wasn’t the topic of his thoughts — unknown to me at the time  little children were his focus! 

I’m going to interject something here because I know it’s a question that you have.  Many have asked me — others have hinted that they wanted to know.  Yes, pedophiles do have sex with their wives/adult women, although their fascination is with a child’s prepubescent body.  I’ll be very honest here because I think it will shed some light on what John was doing in his “private time.”  If I didn’t initiate sex, we didn’t have it.  And, many, many times, he’d turn his back to me and flat-out say “no.”  Period. End of discussion.  He also said something I’ve never forgotten because it hurt me clear to the core of my soul.

“I can’t stand looking at you when you’re pregnant.  It gives me the creeps.  I think pregnant bodies are ugly.”  Yes, he used the harsh, hurtful word “UGLY” and it made me feel lower than dirt.  My own husband didn’t want to look at me because I was “ugly” — and he maintained that stand all through our married lives.  Of course it makes perfect sense to me now!  He loved looking at little girls’ bodies.  At the time, I curled up in a ball at night and cried myself to sleep.  (Later on, I wouldn’t give him the chance to hurt me that way.  I stopped initiating sex and that part of our relationship came to a near halt.  Yes, I did have eleven children, but even the doctor commented, “You’d get pregnant if a man sneezed on you!” )

NOTE:  If your husband loses interest in sex — especially when you are wanting that part of your relationship to thrive and be enjoyed — there is something very, very wrong! 

I felt that this was something that needed to be addressed because lack of an intimate relationship became a huge barrier in years to come.  Little did I know that John was getting his fulfillment from little girls (by his own admission).  Pedophiles also stimulate themselves and I had the terrible experience of seeing John do this many years down the road.  I was shocked, I was hurt, I was confused, but I kept quiet.  I thought maybe that’s what all guys did — married or not.  I wanted to be the only one to satisfy his needs, but that wasn’t going to happy. Not in the first year of marriage.  Not ever!

Cemetery blog More strange stuff!  John was still a “volunteer” at the church waiting to take the place of Jim as the full-time youth minister in an “unpaid” position.  I was a nervous wreck because we weren’t cutting it on my salary.  So, I begged, pleaded, encouraged, and sobbed, “Please get a part-time job.  We really, really need the money.” 

One evening, he surprised me with the news, “I have a job!  You’re never going to believe this, but I found some part-time work at the cemetery.”  (Yes, it was the same one where he stole the flowers for my table setting.)

Okay, I’m not picky.  A job is a job.  And, we needed the money.  He was going to help with the landscaping, as well as help cover the caskets after a burial.    John loved this job!  In fact, he was giddy over it!  The reason?  He made best friends with a guy named, “Salt.”  Salt was an old man who lived in a shack with his little seven year-old-grandson  who used to run around the house naked.  How do I know this?  Because John would get home from work, fill up the bathtub, soak in the tub for his two hours and hee-haw on the phone with Salt and his little grandson while in the bathroom. 

I was getting sick of being treated like a piece of furniture or a lamp-post — something to sit on or lean on for convenience.  I threatened to pull the plug on the phone if he didn’t stop with that nonsense.  It never stopped!  He visited Salt on weekends, and played with the little boy.  Although he said under oath  that his preference was little girls, I do believe he at least experimented with little boys.  (His investigation brought out evidence of the same!)

Note:  It’s not  normal to toss aside your new bride for a relationship with a 70-year-old man and a little boy!    Yes, I was jealous and so hurt, but it did no good!  Salt won out over me every time!  I never met Salt, I didn’t want to meet Salt, but I do have pictures of him.  John could talk endlessly with Salt.  With me, I got nothing more than a grunt.

Caution:  If an adult relates better to little children than with adults beware!  In this case, I do believe John was getting some thrills from Salt’s grandson.   I think there was a thrill in hearing about this boy running around naked and using vulgar language to describe it.  I could hear John talking, but it was so confusing to me.  With me, he NEVER talked any kind of sex talk.  But, he sure could with  Salt!   

One more thing before we close today.  Pedophiles are known to make detailed lists about everything.  John fits this to a “T”!  Very rarely was there a day in our near forty years together that he didn’t leave me a list on the kitchen table.  “Get groceries at the Piggly Wiggly, aisle 5, near the back, towards the top, left side — you’ll find the baked beans.”  I’m not kidding one bit about this.  It would take forever to read his lists, and it made me feel like a little girl with no brains when he did that.  I think I have the know-how to find the baked beans in the store! 


Please pay careful attention to the list making part!  This is a biggie, and I didn’t know it.  Everything John did revolved around lists!  Everything!  He planned detailed kids’ parties with lists.  He planned visits to people with lists.  He planned everything and anything with lists.  Always, always he had his pockets stuffed, his car, his bible, stuffed with very detailed lists. 

Pedophiles make lists.  They will plan details about winning over adults so that they can molest a child using lists.  They will use list making to write down every detail so that nothing is left out.  A great book enlightening me on this (since John’s conviction) was “Not With My Child.” Honestly, it was like a blaring red flag being waved at me!  All of our lives lists dominated our daily living.  Lists about stupid stuff.  Endless details.  Now it makes sense!  It takes a lot of detailed planning to win over the trust of adults so that eventually there comes the climactic thrill of molesting their child!

Individually, none of this “odd behavior” is too crazy.  It’s hurtful.  It is neglectful.  But nothing so far is more than “odd.”  Odd.  Very, very odd.  Certainly not enough to go running to others about.  But, it was enough to make for a very sad, very broken relationship which began forming early on.

I felt lost.  I felt alone. I felt confused.  I felt betrayed.  I felt ugly. And, I now feel  like our entire marriage was a big, fat lie.  I feel like my life as a wife was a joke.  I feel like I was used as a ploy — a decoy.  I’m finally getting answers after all of those years, and that part feels good.  What doesn’t feel good is knowing that while I tried everything I could to be a better wife, it didn’t matter.  A better wife isn’t what John wanted.  He wanted to fulfil his growing appetite for manipulation, pornography, and the ultimate thrill of winning a parent and child’s trust enough to molest that child — and keep that child from ever telling!!!!! 

Please stick with me through this series on my life with a pedophile.  Next week we will talk about more red flags — the red flags that went up in church.  BIG red flags!  Keep in mind, churches are known as “playgrounds for pedophiles” and such was true in John’s case.

Keep your eyes open.  Stay alert.  Watch people with odd behavior who target you or your children.   Don’t allow yourself to be swept away by someone’s overkill of kindness — especially if it’s making you feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable.  If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t!

Pedophiles are cunning.  They are smart.  They study body language.  They study people.  They make lists.  They never rush with their plan to molest a child.  It’s time for us to smarten up and get educated enough to spot them BEFORE they can draw children and adults into their evil snare of manipulation. 

For the children, let’s get educated!

   somerfest '09 090 - blog

Your comments are always appreciated!


PS  My sister lived with us through the end of that summer.  John continued with his church teen parties, the cemetery work, and spending countless hours at the church building (if that’s where he really was). Our relationship was never right from the very beginning. 



13 thoughts on “Married to a Pedophile: Weird Behavior

  1. I cannot believe he ever said you were ugly, especially as a pregnant woman. You are a beautiful person, inside and out. I am so saddened by everything you have been through. You are a hero of strength for me. I strive to be as strong and as amazing as you are.

    • You are such a special young lady! I know now that part of saying I was “ugly” was a way of abusing me. If he could keep me in that state, it made it much easier for him to abuse others because I would have such a low self-worth that I’d never question him, confront him, or make any real waves with him.

      I think that it’s only by the grace of God that I found my way through this mess. It wasn’t until years and years later (37 to be exact) that I finally was able to say, “no” — you will not treat me this way any more. Interstingly, that’s when his life began fraying at the seams. His molesting escalated, became very open, and he spiraled out of control when he lost control of me. Having control over every area of my life gave him POWER!

  2. I did ask for a separation after 37 years together. Due to the very strong religious background and of not recognizing abuse as such for many, many years, I kept thinking it would get better. I put the blame on myself. You get beaten down over the years and don’t have the strength to think you can do it on your own. The kids didn’t take well to the separation and eventual divorce. That was a hard, hard time for the family. They saw John as the “fun, nice father who was deserted by his wife”. That was a painful three years of separation, then divorce. He would have nothing to do with agreeing to the divorce — said if it was going to happen, he wanted people to know it was all me. (That was so that when he applied for preaching jobs he could say his wife abandoned him. Smart on his part, wouldn’t you say?)

    Thankfully, the year he got arrested we were divorced. I would have collapsed otherwise.

    Nobody is in my life at this time. I, too, wish I’d have a few years of knowing what it was like to be in a wonderful relatonship — not sure, though, if that will ever happen.

  3. Hi Clara, i met your lovely son, Chris via Kelly when he visited Switzerland. Thank you for sharing your story. The world needs more authentic people like you! You explain beautifully how its possible to be gradually beaten down and manipulated over the years! Some people will read your blog and think it won’t happen to them, But psychological abuse is very difficult to spot! Especially when you’re young and naive. I’ve also learned the hard way that following your inner compass is essential. Trust your vibes as they are never wrong. Ignore them at your peril! Keep up the excellent work x

  4. Hi Clara, I met your lovely son, Chris via Kelly, when he visited Switzerland. Thank you so much for sharing your story. The world needs more authentic people like you! I think you illustrate beautifully how a young woman can become the victim of severe psychological abuse. Some people will read your blog and believe that it couldn’t happen to them. But it can creep up on almost anyone as its very subtle and difficult to detect in the beginning. I have also learned the hard way that we should all trust our inner compass and vibes, even if the rational mind tries to give logical explanations. Ignore these vibes and feelings at your peril! But these things are easy to say with hindsight. Keep up the excellent work!

  5. Oh, it’s so good to see you visiting here! I’m so happy that you’ve met Chris — and I’m so thankful for the wonderful friends he has!

    The gradual beating down — the insidious manipulation happens slowly and methodically and so intentionally, but it’s hard to see when you are the victim. There were moments in my life when I was certain I was going crazy! I cannot imagine what the young children must have felt who were being molested. So many conflicting emotions!!! So confusing! So destuctive!

    You are so right — “trust your vibes as they are never wrong” — sadly something a lot of us learn the hard way!

    Thank you for your kind encouragement. Greatly appreciated!

  6. thank you so much for sharing so honestly. It broke my heart when you said “I now feel like our entire marriage was a big, fat lie. I feel like my life as a wife was a joke.” God can work amazing things even from the sins of other people. I can tell He’s working amazing things in your life even now 🙂

    • Thanks so much! I do believe that God is working right now in my life to help others. I guess the saddest part, to me, is knowing that the deceit of the marriage began even before we were married. Those are years that can never be recaptured — ever. Moments with the kids, moments as a young married couple, moments as the kids began leaving the nest. I envisioned life being so different, but… is what it is. That’s true for the majority of us. Every now and then I allow myself to wallow in a bit of self-pity, and then I stop and say, “Okay, that’s enough. What’s in the past is gone. Today is what we have. That’s it. No promise of tomorrow, but I can make every today count.”

      I will say this — from that marriage came eleven of the most wonderful kids any mother could ever ask for! They are amazing, and without them I seriously cannot imagine what my life would be like.

      And, through writing and speaking I have met some of the most amazing people who have ever lived! I know for a fact that this world has many true heroes!

      Again, thank you. Your words mean a lot to me.

  7. Hindsight is just terrible. I remember so many things about John from his last 3 years at First Christian Church – up until his arrest. “Clara divorced me. I will never understand why” “I’m a nanny; I just love little kids” “I won’t babysit little boys, only little girls” “The neighbors don’t like it when I take the girls (his last victims) out. They say if they catch me ‘doing anything’ (fingers up in the quote sign) they’ll kill me. Isn’t that ridiculous” “I’m going to be in charge of the Nursery at church while you all are in the marriage seminar.” – The older kids were sent downstairs with the teens and he was with the toddlers. I could go on and on. I’m ashamed that we didn’t pick up on this…

    • Julia, You’re so right. We can see so many things in hindsight that we didn’t see before. Thanks so much for writing what you did because it will help others to see just how this “manipulation” works on people. He was able to come out and almost blatantly say things that were HUGE red flags, but nobody caught on. Why? Because he had spent a long time building up the trust of everyone. And, also because he was so kind and so believeable. And, that’s just why I will continue to write. So that we have the education we need to see things more clearly now.

      Again, thanks so much for your input!

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