Married to a Pedophile: “He’s the Nicest Man I Know!”

This blog is being written to educate you so that you can educate yourself and your children about child sex abuse.  I am telling my story of what it was like being married to a practicing pedophile for almost forty years — and not ever seeing that criminal side of his life.  How did that happen?  How did I not see?  How did others not see?

Rather than see signs of this dark, harmful side of life, others would remark to me time and time again, “He’s the nicest man I know!”

Listen to me carefully.  Pedophiles are not the creepy guys hiding behind the bushes in the dark waiting to grab your child.  Throw away that perception right now because that’s the furthest thing from the truth!

Instead, think of a person who is loved and adored by family, friends, and community.  Think of the person you would least suspect of hurting anyone — especially children!  In over 60% of all child sex abuse cases, the molester knows the child! 

If you are new to this blog, I would strongly suggest that you begin here.  It’s important to read my story from the beginning so that you can fully understand exactly what is meant by the grooming process. This is, without doubt, the single most important thing to be watching for along with the ongoing persistence of the grooming process.  Pedophiles are relentless!  Once they have chosen a child to molest, they will not give up!  Not unless you and your child have been adequately educated.

Now, to pick up with my story………… John, at this time in our lives, was doing lots and lots of FREE, unsolicited babysitting.  By that I mean, he was asking people — mostly from church — when he could babysit.  Let me explain this a little better.  He didn’t just ask.  He insisted! 

He was beginning to really confound the rest of us (his family).  By that I mean, we just didn’t understand him!  He had given up good paying jobs, and took on part-time weekend preaching jobs often requiring travel and overnight stays.  And, to top it off, he was getting known among the churches as the “free babysitter.”

Several of my kids called me at different times and asked, “What is wrong with dad?  Is he crazy?  Why is he driving all of those miles every weekend to preach for a few dollars when he could be working a steady job locally and be earning decent money?  He’s not even making his gas money!”

And, other kids would call me and ask, “What’s with dad always babysitting?  It’s like he’s obsessed with taking care of little kids!  What’s going on with him?”

I knew why they were calling me.  They wanted me to fix what they saw as a problem — both an emotional and a financial problem.  John had long talks with the kids I have later found out — long talks telling them how lonely he was since we were separated.  He said he didn’t know how to live without me.  He often told the kids he felt so lonely he felt like killing himself.

I can think of three different times when there was a “family intervention” type of meeting with me, and the kids laid it on the line.  They said I was selfish and I had hurt their father so bad that I was killing him, and it was up to me to do something to try to make things better.  They were worried about him.  And, they couldn’t stand seeing him so sad.

Guilt is a terrible thing to live with, and I’ll be honest with you at this vulnerable time in my life I was full of guilt.  Seeing my children sad and worried about their father tore at my heart in a way I can’t even explain.  I never intended for our lives to be lived apart, but the years of neglect and absence in my life had taken their toll, and I felt like I was too weak to live like that anymore.  I honestly couldn’t go on like that any more.

One side of me was feeling so guilty that at times I even considered calling him up and saying, “Let’s give this marriage a try again.”  The other side of me kept replaying the pain of years and years and years of emotional neglect and abuse and I knew I could never go back.

What a dilemma for a mother to be in! No mother wants to be responsible for inflicting pain on her children!  There were days when I couldn’t stand myself feeling so responsible for causing so much pain in our family! 

So, I often would email John and ask how he was doing.  I’d ask him to please let the kids know he was okay.  I’d beg him to see a counselor.  All to no avail.

John was the most quietly stubborn person I had ever met!  He told me in plain language that he would do what he wanted to do, and there was no changing his mind.  He said he loved the weekend preaching jobs because it gave him lots of free time during the week to take walks in the woods to clear his mind.  He had lots of study time.  He was also very involved in service projects with the different churches where he preached.  He was serving as a mentor for young men on how to be better husbands and fathers.

And, he began a ministry of service to married couples and single moms.

He offered his services as a babysitter — anytime they needed him — free of charge!

I often laid in bed at night thinking about this.  It didn’t make sense.  John and I are the same age, and I know how tired I am at the end of the day.  The last thing I feel like doing is babysitting someone else’s kids.  Don’t get me wrong, please.  I think children are precious beyond words.  I believe they are truly gifts from God.

But, at the end of the day, there is no way I had either the time or the energy to babysit until late at night.  I wasn’t even able to find the energy to do that for my own grandchildren much less someone else’s children!

Yet, here was John — an icon in the community and within many churches. He was known as a man of God who loved children and families so much that he would give freely of his time and money to help out any couple or single parent who needed some time out away from the stress and ongoing fatigue of raising young children.

You have no idea how many times I beat myself up for not being half the Christian that John was!  He was giving of his time.  He was giving of his money — what little he had.  He was giving of himself!

And, unknown to me or to anyone else, he was molesting children! 

If you are in a broken relationship, you know how difficult it is to constantly hear how wonderful your ex-spouse is.  I don’t know of any other way of explaining it except to say it hurts to bad to hear over and over again, “You’re crazy!  You had life so good!  You had such a loving, caring husband.  Why could you not work out your differences?  Do you know how many people your selfish acts have hurt?  Can’t you see the pain you’ve caused your children by this separation?  Don’t you see the pain in John’s face?”

I had nothing to say.  The guilt I felt during that time was so bad that it often felt like there was a 500 pound weight pushing on my heart and crushing it.  Night after night I would hide my face in my pillow and cry bitter tears of regret until the wee hours of the morning.

Maybe they were right.  John was a wonderful person.  Look at all of the people he was helping.  He never missed a church service.  In fact, he preached every week and taught Sunday School and was mentoring several people about how to become a stronger Christian.

Me?  It was all I could do to get myself to church one time a week.  I wasn’t teaching any bible classes, and I sure wasn’t doing church and community service work.  It was all I could do to work a job and come home and go to bed.

I felt like my life was such a waste in comparison to his! 

One thing constantly nagged at me, though.  John ALWAYS put others first!  Always!  It was like he was “too caring.”  He would drive as much as three hours one-way to babysit a young child rather than spend time with his own children!  He missed birthday gatherings.  He missed family picnics.  He missed out on visiting his children.  He even “chose” to miss out on his daughter’s wedding shower because he had promised to babysit a young girl (three hours away) while her parents went to a wedding.

His actions did not make sense to me! 

And, yet, he was still adored and praised by all!

This was the beginning of the most lonely time of my life.  It felt as though I was a disappointment to everyone.  I disappointed my children.  I disappointed my church family.  I disappointed my community.  I disappointed so many friends.  And, I was convinced I totally and completely disappointed God.

I felt worthless.

And, while I sunk to the depths of my hell,  John thrived while basking in the praises he was receiving.  “What a godly man!  What a man of faith and service!  What a giving man!  What a Christian example!”

John was put up on a pedestal!  He was admired and adored!

Yet…………. not one person knew what the real John Hinton was doing!  He was grooming children and adults.  He was controlling children and adults.  He was manipulating children and adults.  He was lining up his cheerleaders……creating a place of honor and adoration for himself.

And, all the while he was in the throes of molesting several little girls

My heart feels totally sick to write those words. 

Please listen carefully to me!  If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.  We have an internal “something” that alerts us to right from wrong.  Learn to listen to that small voice within. 

Don’t fall into the guilt trap.  Pedophiles know just how to work it so that YOU are the one made to feel like you’re doing something wrong.  I cried hours and hours thinking about how much I had hurt John, how he was threatening to kill himself, how he needed little children in his life to fill the void left by me.

It was all a pack of lies.  John was just fine.  In fact, he had people like putty in his hands.  He had free time like never before.  And, he had people handing him money so that he could continue serving without worrying about gas money, food money, or money for treats for the children he babysat!

Stand back and look at a person objectively and not with your emotions.  Does this person push beyond boundaries you have set for your children?  Is this person persistent and pushy insisting on getting his/her way with your children?  Does this person seem too good to be true?

Learn how to identify a pedophile. Stop thinking the pedophile is a nasty, dirty old man you would never trust.  Instead, remind yourself that most often the pedophile comes off as the most trusting person in the world!

The more educated we get, the more we will be equipped to prevent child sex abuse.  It’s a fact that most abuse can be prevented with proper education — I urge you to please take the 9 minutes to listen to this video.  You will be enlightened!

Child sex abuse must be exposed!  We must bring this darkness to light and begin arming ourselves with the education we need to keep our children safe!

Thank you so much for reading this.  Thank you so much for sharing this information!  Thank you for being a part of this commitment to make this a safe place for our children!

Colors are GREAT

If you ordered a DVD from the Sex Abuse Workshop that was held, I will be getting in touch with you.  The videos are being edited at this time.  If you would like a copy of that workshop or if you are in need of a speaker, please email me at clarahintonspeaker@gmail.com .  My son Jimmy and I would be glad to set up a workshop for you!

Next week we will continue this story……..I think you will be surprised at the level of expertise used when a pedophile is molesting children! Every move a pedophile makes is calculated and well planned out!

24 thoughts on “Married to a Pedophile: “He’s the Nicest Man I Know!”

  1. Pingback: Married to a Pedophile: “Why Don’t the Abused Tell?” | Finding A Healing Place

  2. Hi Clara,

    It has been a long time since we have heard from you–I’ve been concerned. I hope you are ok; just know that you are loved and missed.

    Brenda

    • Brenda,
      I’m half-okay. On May 22 I received a phone call that no mother ever wants to receive. My oldest son (my second child) died very unexpectedly of a massive heart attack. I thought my heart was broken before, but it’s nothing compared to the pain that I’m feeling since my son’s death. He left behind a precious wife and three beautiful young children who miss him terribly. My hope (and prayer) is to write a blog post in the next day or two. I feel so bad that I haven’t written in so long, but my heart just hasn’t been there. Thanks so much for asking and caring, Brenda.

        • Linda, I *should* be writing a very brief blog entry tomorrow. As of right now, that’s my plan. I feel the need to explain to my faithful blog followers where I’ve been for the past three months. Losing my son was a kick in the heart that I certainly wasn’t expecting. Do we ever expect anything like that? And, the pain was beyond what I ever thought imaginable. If it wasn’t for prayers and friends at this time, I’m not sure what I’d do.

      • Oh my dear, sweet Clara! I am so very sorry–so very sorry. I was afraid it was something like this. Prayers for you friend and tons of hugs over the miles. Write when you are ready and maybe something on grief and loss? Certainly what you have just experienced has tapped into the loss of your marriage, etc. I know that I have found writing to be so cathartic and if it can help one more person experiencing loss, then it is even better. Take care of yourself!

        • Brenda, I thought I would have written something today, but not so. I have thoughts swirling through my head, but haven’t the energy just yet to put them down on paper. Definitely grief and loss will be included. I think the part that is most painful for me is seeing the look of more loss in the eyes of my children.

      • Hello Clara,
        My heart goes out to you for loss of our son. As if your life has not been traumatic enough now this deep, deep sorrow. And his wife and children; just heartbreaking. God wrap all of you up in His arms and carry you each day.

        Love,
        Ann

        • Ann, Thank you so very much. This pain is a pain that has definitely rocked my boat. I can’t even explain how this feels — it’s too soon to put it into words.

  3. It’s been a long time since you’ve written any updates. Even with Google I couldn’t find your blog until I remembered your ex husbands name. I miss your writing.

    • D,
      I will be continuing my writing. I haven’t given up, nor have I become complacent about this topic of child sexual molestation. I’ve had a detour in life — a very unexpected turn of tragic events. My oldest son died very unexpectedly on May 22, 2015 and my heart shattered the moment I got the news. He left behind a lovely wife and three precious children. This loss has knocked my family to the ground. We are in the process of learning how to re-enter life again. Definitely not an easy process, and it’s taking some time.

  4. I’ve been missing your posts. I hope all is well with you and yours! I am praying for you and your ministry! <3

  5. Did you ever blog about his strategies that persuaded you to break off with your first fiance?

    • Linda, I did not blog about his manipulative strategies for getting me to break off my engagement with my first fiancé. He was relentless and had a plan that was very well laid out. I will definitely include this in a future blog. I fell for his manipulation hook, line, and sinker.

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