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!

Love,

Clara

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Married to a Pedophile: Our First Christmas

Thanks so much for visiting this blog!  I appreciate the love, support, and interest shown in the message here.  I am not an expert in the field of child sex molestation.  I am, however, a woman who was married to a practicing pedophile for almost forty years without knowing it.  It is my hope and my prayer that I can use my experience to help educate you so that you will know what signs to look for and what to do should you suspect actions of pedophilia.

If you are new to this blog, I suggest you begin by reading my story from the very beginning.

The months seemed to be moving along smoothly — the baby was growing inside of me and that was a feeling like I can’t explain. There were little bursts of excitement from John about becoming a father. In fact, I could say he was very excited for him. He wasn’t normally one to show a lot of emotion, but he did like telling others that we were having a baby!

We’re skipping quickly through the months of August through December because life remained “normal” in most respects. John was back in college and continued to work part-time at the cemetery as well as continued his volunteer work at church. I was happy being a working mom-to-be. In fact, all that filled my mind most days was the fact that soon I’d have a little one to snuggle with and that thought excited me so much! Sadly, I had to stop working in November due to the work laws at that time. Women who were beyond seven months of pregnancy weren’t permitted to work.   I worked as a secretary for Kerr-McGee Corporation. The people I worked with were wonderful and saying good-bye wasn’t easy. They had become like family to me. My bosses visited in our tiny apartment which was so funny as I think back now. They were multimillionaire oil men and John and I were as poor as church mice. I’ll never forget the look on their faces when they saw where we lived! I fixed them tacos and chocolate chip cookies. Isn’t it funny how you can remember details like that? I’ve always been so appreciative of the way they accepted my invitation to dinner and they and their wives were so gracious to me!

I made the decision to quit my job and stay at home to take care of the new baby when he/she arrived. John encouraged me to do this even though I was offered a big fat raise to come back to work, and Lord knows we needed the money. “Stay home and enjoy this baby. I have everything under control. The elders are going to start paying me for being the youth minister. They finally agreed I was ready to be put on as staff!”

NoteCan you see the insidious workings of control?  If I stayed at home, I didn’t have access to the outside world.  My world was suddenly growing smaller and smaller. 

That news of John getting extra pay was music to my ears, and so I began planning for Christmas. ( As an aside, Thanksgiving was a disaster — I ended up throwing out the turkey. It tasted like burned rubber!)

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I LOVE Christmas! It was going to be so much fun with a baby due on January 23 — just one month away! John and I decided we were too poor to buy anything for the baby, and we’d just exchange cards for our gifts and have a nice meal together. That being said, anybody who knows me knows that I love giving surprise gifts. And, this Christmas was super special! This was our first Christmas together! So, I had begun giving up my lunches way back in June to start saving for a Christmas gift for John — well before we said we’d only exchange cards. It was so much fun watching my stash of money add up. When the other girls at the office bought barbecue beef for lunch, I’d pull out my packed lunch — two slices of bread and one piece of bologna. It didn’t matter because I knew that the money I would have spent was being saved for something super special.

I made a surprise visit to the church and visited the minister and asked him what his best study books were. “That’s easy! I study from the Bible and my ISBE’s — International Standard Bible Encyclopedias. John will love them!” Yikes, they were expensive, but……I could do it! I knew what gift I would be buying John!

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My belly was growing and I only had one maternity outfit to my name other than baggy shirts.  I would have loved something new to wear, but……it was Christmas! I could not wait to see the look on John’s face when he opened up his gift! While I was at it, I decided to buy one more gift — a basketball that he could have so that he didn’t always have to borrow one from the church when he wanted to play ball with the kids he brought home. Oh, I cannot tell you how excited I was wrapping up those gifts and hiding them until Christmas morning!!!

Christmas eve arrived. We went to church, came home and lit a candle, watched a little TV and called it a day. I was too excited to sleep. We had a small tree that sat on top of a desk in the living room (yes, it was a tossed out shrub from the cemetery, but I didn’t even care this time around. At least it was a tree!). I watched the flickering candlelight and counted the minutes until morning!

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Finally, morning arrived. We were  away from all family — living in Oklahoma City. We didn’t get to go home because the doctor wouldn’t give the okay for me to travel being so close to my due date. This was going to be so ROMANTIC! Our first Christmas together!!! Let’s face it, anything could be better than the honeymoon we had!

I fixed an awesome breakfast for John, handed him his card and inside it had a little note saying where he could find his surprise. My heart is pumping faster as I’m telling this story! Can you tell I get like a little kid at Christmas time? “I thought we weren’t giving gifts?” “I know…but I couldn’t let this be our first Christmas and not give you a gift! I’ve been saving up since June! I can’t wait for you to see what you got!”

The look on his face was different than I expected.  He looked like he was hearing a melody that went sour. He didn’t look at all happy. In fact, he looked rather perturbed. “I really wish you hadn’t gotten a gift. A card would have been fine.” I felt disappointed a bit, but who cared? I wanted HIM to be happy! I wanted to see him open his gifts!

Instead, he went off to the bathroom. He said, “I’ll be back in a while. I have to do something. I have a big surprise for you.”

Woo hoo! I knew it! I knew he was tricking me! I knew he wouldn’t forget me on Christmas!!!!! I sat in the living room sipping some tea while he was in the bathroom. (Remember last week’s post about those hours in the bathroom? Well, Christmas morning was no different.)

Finally, John unlocked the bathroom door and had something hidden behind his back. Oh, I couldn’t wait! I had his gifts sitting under the tree, and now I would get to open my gift from him! I was so happy!!!

John walked over to me, and said, “Pick a hand. Your gift is small but I put a lot of thought into it.” I LOVE gifts that are thoughtful! Maybe a necklace or a bracelet. No, too expensive. Maybe a little teeny stuffed bear. No, that wouldn’t be like him. Maybe a tiny bottle of perfume! Oh, that would be wonderful!

I picked a hand, and out came my surprise………….. I looked, and then I looked again. I didn’t know what to say! I still don’t know what to say.  I could suddenly feel the hot tears streaming down my face. I began to shake and he just looked at me with the most bizarre expression. “What’s wrong? Don’t you like it? I’ll bet you’re the only person in the entire world to get a gift like this!

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He was right. He was so very right. Nobody that I know of in my lifetime has ever gotten a Christmas gift like this. He sat in the bathroom on the toilet and took two sheets of toilet paper and drew a picture of two deer — a buck and a doe. And, above the deer it said, “Merry Christmas, Dear.” My heart broke that day — it really, really broke. He hadn’t even gotten me a card. Instead, he wrote a message on toilet paper. That was my gift.

I’d like to say this was a joke, but it wasn’t. This was it. My body is shaking as I am writing this and it is now forty plus years later. That hurt me worse than if he had taken a kitchen knife and stabbed me right in the center of my heart.

Why did he do that? I’ve thought about that a million times over the years.   He said he thought it would be “unique” — something I’d remember always. I spent the remainder of the day in bed sobbing. He didn’t really like the encyclopedias. He said I should return them and get the money back, and he didn’t need a basketball when he could take anything he needed from the church.

NOTE:   As I’ve now learned, pedophiles are all about “control” — they must be in charge. In order to do that, they will find ways to beat you into submission. John didn’t physically beat me — he never even came close. But, emotionally, he was killing me. He was slowly beating me into submission for the years to come.  Once you beat a person down to a very low point emotionally, you can gain full control.  The person no longer feels worthy of being treated any other way.  And, I was slowly but surely descending into the dark pit of manipulation and isolation.

Thank you so much for reading. Thank you for trying to grasp what I’m saying. I know it’s not easy reading about sad experiences.  But, in order to learn what makes child molesters tick, I think we need to see the whole picture.  Pedophiles are calculating liars. They care about one thing — themselves. They don’t “get it” when it comes to hurting others. They are out to fulfill their mission and that is ultimately to get what they want.

I believe John was molesting children frequently at this time. I can’t “prove” it, but I now have reason to believe it was going on quite often at this period in our lives.  He had many, many opportunities. Two BIG red flags were there, but I didn’t know how to recognize them as such.   Johns spent so much time away from me with young children.  He always had a reason.  He was building relationships.  He was getting to know the families at church better.  He was encouraging the youth to love church and church activities more.  And, on and on it went.

Another strange thing was happening.  Many Sundays John wouldn’t take communion in church. I asked him why, and he would never say. In our church communion is taken weekly.  But, if you have wronged someone or if you have not confessed the sins in your life, it is considered “not worthy to partake.”

John apparently thought he was worthy to partake on many Sundays.

Note:  When a pedophile molests a child, he knows it is wrong!  Molesters absolutely know that it is wrong, yet they continue to do these vile acts on children! 

By the way, I never told anyone about my first Christmas gift until many, many years later. Why? It was too painful. And, John knew that I wouldn’t tell.   I believe this was one more test to see how far he could go with me. How much could he do? Abused victims rarely tell. It’s just too hard.

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My abuse was horrible, but it was nothing compared to what John did to little children. Please stick with me and let’s continue on with this story……learn what goes on inside the home where a pedophile lives. Learn about how they manipulate others into being enablers. Let’s learn together how other family members can be manipulated and controlled into thinking the molester is a wonderful, caring person — right while committing acts that are hard to speak about.

For the children, let’s stop these predators!  Let’s work hard to stop them in their tracks!  Let’s educate ourselves about what to look for, and let’s be on guard at all times.  For the children, let’s stop this terrible, painful cycle of abuse!

Love,
Clara

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!)

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 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! 

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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!

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Your comments are always appreciated!

Clara

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.