Married to a Pedophile: Is Rehabilitation Possible?

A few weeks ago, the question was posed on another blog I follow as to whether or not it was possible for pedophiles to be rehabilitated.  That’s a difficult question, but a necessary one for us to think about.  Using the information I’ve gathered from many different sources as well as from my own experience of living almost forty years with a practicing pedophile, I’ve formed an opinion.

The blogger, “Loony” (Erica)  from “Thoughts of a Lunatic” accepted my thoughts to be used as a guest blogger today.  I’d like to share these thoughts with you, also.  Please be sure to visit “Thoughts of a Lunatic” to see what I said as my response to this question about rehabilitation.

I welcome your comments, and ask that you keep them respectful.  I know this can become quite a controversial issue, especially when bringing God and His forgiveness into the picture.  Have you given it much thought?  Can pedophiles be rehabilitated?  If so, to what degree?  When they say, “I’ve been through a counseling program.  I’ll never do this again”, do you believe that’s the truth?  What about when they say, “I’ve been forgiven by God, and I’ll never do this again”?

Can pedophiles be 100% rehabilitated — enough that you would allow a pedophile back into your home living with children, into your church interacting with children, and into your community where there would be interaction with children?  What about the internet?  Can a pedophile be rehabilitated to stay away from child pornography and the triggers that will lead to actions of molestation?  These are hard questions — tough questions, but they need to be addressed.

My blog post later on this week is going to be somewhat different as I’ll be sharing with you excerpts from a letter that John recently sent to me.  I want you to draw your own conclusions.  I think you will be both enlightened and very surprised!

Thanks so much for reading.  I know this isn’t easy reading, but it is necessary reading.

Always, always — we have one goal in mind:  to protect our children!




8 thoughts on “Married to a Pedophile: Is Rehabilitation Possible?

  1. Love this. There is a huge difference between forgiveness and trust. God can forgive all things (even the sin of molestation) but that does not mean that the offender is automatically granted trust. I was friends with a man without knowing that he had been in prison for possession of child pornography. When I found out, I was hurt and furious. Particularly because of some hurts I’ve experienced in my own life. Since this was a man from my church, I felt pressured by the “grace” card constantly. I felt like the fault lay with me for not believing that he was truly forgiven by Christ. It’s also important to remember that forgiveness is granted to a heart that is truly repentant. And true repentance is always accompanied by sorrow over our sin, because it offends God and hurts others.

    • Thanks so much for your input! This is a topic that very few are willing to tackle because it’s such a difficult one to talk about, much less reason out. As more and more is known about pedophiles, the truth is that a characteristic trait is they never can get away from this sick way of thinking. Call is addiction. Call it sin. Call it a genetic disorder. Call it being a sociopath, but……very few are ever “rehabilitated.” If they were, I’d think we’d see book after book about rehabilitated pedophiles and the programs that worked for them.

      In the world of Christiandom, we don’t like to think like this. But, you hit the nail on the head when you said repentence is always accompanied by sorrow over our sin and add to that it’s accompanied by a “turning away from sin.”

      Interestingly, few pedophiles take full responsibility for their actions. In fact, most will try to lay the blame on drugs, alcohol, little children coming on to them, little children being improperly dressed, children who wouldn’t leave them alone, and yes — some even believe that the children “asked for it.”

      It’s a tough question that deserves our full attention. Again, thank you for your comments.

  2. As a mother, I would like to think I would be able to forgive. I have not been put in that situation. But to ask me to trust them? That is entirely a different matter and I don’t think the two are related. Although a Christian for many many years, bible class teacher of children and adults, missionary wife and minister’s wife, I believe I am not mature enough in Christ to allow a pedophile back into my home, left alone with children at church or anywhere. They would be constantly under supervision. And it just wouldn’t be my own eye that would be watching.

    I don’t believe little children ask to be exploited, abused. They are innocent.

    Sin is sin and we all struggle with it. Some sin has more consequences than others, some gets more recognition than others. I have sins in my own life that I have not conquered. We sin because it gives us gratification, it suits our own needs, if only short term. Therefore, it is my opinion that pedophiles, who are “rehabilitated” would fight against the urge 100% of the time because of the physical gratification they get from abusing, molesting children.: I would think that a TRUE rehabilitated pedophile would welcome an extra eye(s). Trust them, no, Try to help, yes But then again I have not been in this situation. I just don’t know.

    I do know it makes me wonder about a daycare provider who took care of my grandchild for awhile. I wonder if gave them permission without knowing it.

    • Melody,
      I appreciate your comments so very much! This is not an easy subject to discuss by any means. I think you summed it up all so well, “I would think that a TRUE rehabilitated pedophile would welcome extra eyes.” You’ve nailed it right there! I’m not sure that true rehabilitation is ever possbile. How can one be restored back completely when such acts have been part of their being? Forgiven. Yes. Restored? Not sure. Simply because crimes against a child fall into such a different category altogether. Once these acts have been committed, it would be very hard to erase them from memory and if that is the desire that a person is fighting all of the time, then I believe that rehabilitation would be a life-long committment — always with accountability in place. I’ve been researching some policies that churches have in place when a known pedophile re-enters society and comes back to church. And, there is constant accountability. This is a topic that will need to be explored and faced head-on in the months to come.

      As for the daycare provider — much more common than we think. I pray with all of my heart that nothing happened. And, sometimes we never know, BUT when trauma has been inflicted it does come out in behavior in future years. I will soon be giving a list of good resources to read that will be helpful.

      My love to you,

  3. Hi Clara,
    I guess we are catching up again. While a pedophile may in fact be able to be 100% rehabilitated, I sure wouldn’t be testing the theory. As I told you in my last note, when I spoke of my ex-husband, it’s not just the pedophilia, it is also the sociopathic behaviour. Can that ever be changed? Or does the sociopath know how to manipulate that well? We will never know, so why take the chance.
    Somehow I feel as though I am going to tell you my story bit by bit as your story comes out. I think that is a good way to do it, just breaking it down to smaller more manageable pieces. I told you that I wanted to leave my husband before I ever knew he was gay. The manipulation that I had endured for almost 17 years had become too much and I couldn’t go on that way anymore. I finally got the courage to speak with my mom and ask the question “how do you know if you love someone, or if you have just gotten comfortable?” and her response was that if I was asking, there was a problem. So after laying it all on the line, and getting the emotional support, my mom offered to call a lawyer friend of hers so I could just get some proper advice. She called me the following day, gave me the name and number, and told me I had an appointment on Tuesday at 2pm. Imagine my surprise when my husband came home from work that night and asked me why I was seeing a divorce lawyer!! He would not tell me how he knew, and I could not figure it out. I have to tell you, from that point (june) onwards until May of the following year, I could not figure it out. I was stumped. I checked all the phone jacks for recording devices, I tried speaking from only outside the house in the yard, I looked for listening devices everywhere I could think of, and still nothing. It got to the point that I was afraid to speak to anyone, anywhere. I remember going to a ladies wear store with my mom. The owner, a man we had known for over 20 years, was a gay man. He told me he had heard the rumours, and I told him the whole story. After all, I had nothing to hide, and nothing to be ashamed of. When I got home a few hours later, the storeowner called me to once again tell me how sorry he was, and if I ever wanted to talk, he was there. The very next day, my ex stormed into my house (he had moved out over 3 months earlier) demanding to know why I would tell this man that he was gay. He told me I had a choice, I could choose a bullet to the head, or a bullet to the spine, and that would be the last choice I would be making if I ever told anyone he was gay. Now imagine; you would threaten the mother of your children with death or a wheelchair, all in order to protect the little world that you had created for yourself so you can screw other men with nobody finding out. And this is not in the ’60’s or ’70’s, this was in the year 2000. Gay rights were an accepted practice. He chose to torture me to protect his little secret.
    Can a sociopath be cured? No, I don’t think so. I didn’t mean to take up so much of your time, but thank you for reading.


    By the way, we eventually did find the recording device. He had had a phone jack installed atop a ceiling beam in the furnace room. Hooked to that was a tiny tape recorder. Whenever I was not at home, he would come in and change the tape. To this day, I don’t trust speaking in confidence on the telephone.

  4. Pam,
    Let me first restate my stand. I do NOT believe a pedophile / sex offender can ever be 100% rehabilitated. Some people do think it’s possible, but based on what I know to date, I do not believe it’s possible.

    That being said, I’m very interested in your story for a number of reasons, and one thing you said stood out like a neon sign flashing in front of my eyes. I have always believed that John had recording devices in our home! It gave me the creeps, and even though he is now in prison it is still something I look out for all of the time. I believe he was doing things to try to make me feel crazy. AND, interestingly, he knew things that I said in privacy and would let me know about it. To this day, I don’t know how he did it. I’m still hoping that one day I will find the answer to that gnawing question. I can still see his sneering face as he would tell me what he knew. I do know that he was able to hack into my email. But, I believe our phone was tapped by him, and I believe with all of my heart that there was a recording device in our bathroom. (That will be explained more in future blog posts.)

    As for the threat that was made to you — I will be sharing some things as I continue to blog that were evil that came from John, also. Just plain evil. And, yet to others he looked like a harmless, sweet, kind and gentle man. He was not. I’m sure your husband came off as a kind man to others, too.

    The sociopath was evident in John, also. The torment, the devious scheming and planning (to cover up lies as well as to carry out his manipulation and actions) are very similar to what you’ve experienced.

    It will be most interesting to hear more of your comments in response to what I post.

    I’m so very sorry you had to live through so many years of lies and deception and cruelty (and that’s just what it all is)!

    Stay in touch!

    PS I’m so glad the recording devices were found!!! You have answers!!!

  5. I too have been where you were. I do not believe pedophilia can be cured.

    In the 730 Evaluation during our divorce, the head of the court-appointed sex offender program who was interviewed in our case wrote:
    “There is nothing in the literature that supports the notion that pedophilia ever goes away.”

    • Thanks so much for this piece of information! I do a lot of reading on pedophiles and possible recovery/cures. To date, I have found nothing to indicate that this is possible. In fact, what I’ve been reading has been the opposite. There is data to say that pedophiles cannot be “cured.” To me, this information is frightening. That is why it’s so important to work on keeping our children safe!

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