Why? How? When? I thought I knew my husband! These are all of the things that go through a wife’s head when she finds out “for certain” that her husband has been molesting children. At least that’s what went through my head initially. And, guess what? It’s now been five years plus some since I’ve known, and there are still times I cry and want to scream, “I can’t believe this! I don’t want to believe this!” But, I do….I do believe. It’s true. It’s real. The man I shared my life with molested innocent, precious children. And, he did it while married to me.
Part of my mission, my purpose in life, is to educate others about child predators. I’m not here to stir up some kind of crazy hype, but to present the facts and to give you a bit of insight as to what happened in my own life. How was I so blinded to the fact that for forty years I was living with a practicing pedophile? How did I not see the signs? How did I not pick up on something being very wrong with the man I married?
The truth is that I sensed something was wrong even before we got married, but I didn’t listen to my inner being. I didn’t pay attention to those nudgings that something was wrong. Why? Because as a Christian it had been taught to me from little up that people who went to church were good, honest, moral people. I was taught to trust people who said they believed in God and followed His teachings. And, I did just that. I was, unfortunately, one of the most trusting women who ever walked the face of the earth!
I worked hard all through high school so that I could go to college. But, I didn’t want to go to just any college. It had to be a Christian college because I sincerely believed that was the only place I would ever meet a Christian man to marry. Because I worked so hard all through high school, I earned a four-year scholarship to a four-year state school. BUT, you guessed it! The idea of finding and marrying a Christian man was so ingrained in my heart and mind by now that I passed up the scholarship and instead went to a very small, two-year Christian College. Little did I know that this one decision would lead to so much heartache for me and for those who are most special in my life — my children. While it’s true that we can’t see around every bend in the road, there are signs and signals along the way. I didn’t pay attention to anyone who tried to talk to me. One thing was on my mind — finding a Christian mate!
Every person wants to feel special, and longs to be told that they stand out among all of the rest. During the summer between my first and second year of college I met a young man who was articulate, bright, funny, witty, and who also told me that I stood out. He was spending the summer at college and so was I. A friendship developed, and even though I was engaged to marry someone else, this young man worked very hard every day to convince me that I was with the wrong person. He pointed out all of the flaws of the man whose ring I was wearing until he finally convinced me to break off the engagement. That’s a story in and of itself — maybe I’ll share that with you another day.
What was a bit strange to me was that the man I would soon marry had a quiet control over me like nobody ever had before. Even though I had low self-esteem I was used to making my own decisions and being very independent. For the first time in my life I found I was reporting my every move to this quiet, shy young man. He told me I was special. He said out of all the girls on campus I was the only one that he thought was pretty and was a true Christian. He told me just what I wanted to hear. It was the word “Christian” that nailed me! I knew he was the one I had been praying about since my youth!
One of the greatest stories my now ex-husband loved to tell was how he spotted me from across campus and said to his roommate, “See that girl? I’m going to marry her.” This was totally absurd because at the time he said that we had not even met! He later told me he would hide and watch me — study me — and he knew my schedule, when I was going to eat, when I’d walk back to campus, when I would go to work. He said, “I knew everything about you. I knew where you were from morning until night. I knew I would marry you.”
Instead of being freaked out and thinking this guy was some kind of stalker psycho, I was flattered. “He chose me.” Out of all of the girls around, he chose me and that again was more evidence of answered prayers. Deep inside, though, was a gnawing feeling that something wasn’t right. He didn’t talk much. And, for a man who said he loved God, he made fun of people in a mean way. He mocked people’s insecurities. Yes, you guessed it! He mocked me on several occasions and I felt like a piece of dirt he had stepped on. He made fun of the size of my nose. He made fun of my feet calling them “hammer head toes.” He made fun of the space I have between my teeth. I cried myself to sleep many, many nights, but still……..he was a Christian man, and he was so nice when we were together in public. He opened the car door for me (it was my car, by the way). He paid the bill when we went out to eat and left a nice tip. (It was my money that he used.) He talked me into giving him my car (which I had since I was 16) and I found myself asking him for permission to use my own car. This was really weird!
Why did I put up with it? Why does anybody put up with abuse? Because they’ve been so used to being beaten down that they think this is the norm. Please, please — if you’re in a situation like this run for your life!!! This is NOT the way a good relationship works! And, it’s a red flag indicator of many other problems — in my case, it was a big red flag that I was being masterfully manipulated. Groomed to be the wife of a pedophile who was already deeply involved in porn and child sexual molestation!
Learn to listen for “clues” that a decision you’re making might not be right. I had BIG clues that I passed off as “odd”, “not making much sense”, “silly”, or “not that big of a deal.”
Clue 1: For the last four months we dated, my fiance was in Israel doing overseas study. We corresponded by letter only. We were to get married less than one week after he arrived back in the states. In his letters he would write to tell me how he would hide behind the grasses on the beach and watch girls changing out of their clothes and swimming nude. He said he’d skip class and stay there all day. In other words, he was openly telling me he was a “peeping Tom.” This was a test of how far he could manipulate me and I passed with flying colors! I never questioned him about it. Oh, I cried lots, but I never questioned him!
Clue 2: He told me while we were dating that he and one of his cousins spent the summers together and they would steal cartons of cigarettes from stores and sneak out of the house at night and smoke the cigarettes and look at “porn” all night long. Another test! I looked at him quietly but never questioned him. If you want to know the truth — I didn’t even know what porn was!!!!! I had to ask my college roommates. Again, I was being tested. Could he get away with doing things right under my nose? Sure he could. I’d never question a man of God!
Clue 3: He was almost 21 and his favorite job was to “babysit all the little kids at church for free because he loved to give them baths and powder their little butts.” I’m totally sick now as I write these words. Why in heaven’s name didn’t I run from this man? There were so many clues that something was wrong, and I passed them off as being a little odd. Nothing more — just a little bit odd. In fact, I actually thought this was kind of nice. I never saw my father get involved in parenting like that, and I thought, “Wow! This man will make a wonderful father!”
Porn. Lying. Peeping Tom. A young man who loves bathing and powdering little kids. Masterfully manipulating. Gaining the trust of adults. (Church people loved him babysitting their kids!)
I was another one of his victims. I was being set up. I was being groomed I would be the perfect alibi for his continued evil behavior. He was calculating. He studied me. He used me. He used my faith as a means to get what he wanted. He knew what he was doing! His actions were no mistake. He worked very hard to plan every detail.
Listen up everyone! Please don’t do as I did! If your gut is telling you something is wrong, it probably is!!! Pay attention to the little details and the little voice that is whispering something is wrong!!!
This is just the beginning of my story. I will share more in the weeks to come in hopes that others will not be blinded to the facts as I was. We must get educated about child sexual molesters so that we can protect life’s most precious blessings — our children!
Why am I sharing the ugly, sad parts of my life? That’s simple. Because children are beautiful. Children are precious. Children deserve to be protected. Statistics (according to information found here ) tell us that 1 in every 3 girls and 1 in every 6 boys are molested by the age of 18. Please help me to stop this! Let’s get educated! Let’s do all we can to make it incredibly difficult for the molester! Let’s be vigilant on behalf of our children — at all times!!!
Every child should have the ability to grow up feeling safe and loved and whole and pure!