“I Married a Man Who had Child Pornography”

I’ve been with my husband now for four and a half years, married for one and a half. About two years ago, the cops showed up at our door with a search warrant for child pornogrophy. Apparently, he had downloaded it onto our computer. Obviously, it was extremely upsetting for me. Within the next week he started counseling. I’m not saying that I made the right choice, but I loved him and saw that he was getting help and wanted to stay by his side.

But now, here I am two years later and I still can’t get past what he did. We’ve also been dealing with multiple court dates, possible jail time, and since he has this floating over his head, no one will hire him. So that’s plenty of added stress. Nobody outside our immiediate family knows this happened. He didn’t want to tell anyone, which I understand. But he’s also lying about to people about working (he’s unemployed). He’s lied about having issues with porn when confronted has lied about it.

I feel like our relationship has been poisoned. I have a hard time being romantic with him. He is my best friend, and has supported me through my fights with bipolar disorder. But when I look at our future it is all one big question mark. I don’t know if I can trust him with any kids we might have. He may have not physically done anything but he looked, and to me that’s just as bad. I don’t trust him at all. Somedays I decide “I can’t do this” and then when I see his face my resolve melts.
We talked briefly about counseling, but he doesn’t seem to think we need it, since I’m the one having trust issues. I can’t make someone want to go to counseling. But I also don’t know if I can ever rebuild that trust.

I’m so confused. Should I stay or should I go? — Not a Child

I had to read this letter a couple of times to make sure I was doing the math correctly. Your husband was found in possession of child pornography two years ago and, yet, you married him six months later? I understand that you have a mental illness and I am sympathetic to that, I am, but still. Still! You knowingly married a man — with at least an idea that you may have children together one day — who only six months earlier was caught with downloaded kiddie porn on his computer! Honey, even if he won’t get counseling with you, I hope and pray that you are going on your own.

But if your husband refuses to go to counseling with you — if he isn’t even willing to do that very basic of things to earn your trust back — you need to move on. Frankly, I’m shocked that you even suggest that you might have kids with him eventually, or that it’s enough of an idea that you are wondering if you trust him enough to be around them. Hell to the no. A couple weeks ago, I wrote an essay about the importance of finding a good father for one’s future kids (I also wrote a column on the subject recently, too). Tip one for finding a good co-parent: stay away from dudes who like kiddie porn. Seriously.

Please, for your own sake, even if he refuses to get counseling with you, go to counseling on your own. You need a professional to help guide you through processing the end of your marriage and building a new life for yourself. And take a look at this column where I answer a similar question and readers left some very insightful and supportive comments that may be of some help to you. You may fear the life you’ll have without the best friend you’ve known all these years, but the bigger fear is the life you’ll have with him.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.


  1. kerrycontrary says:

    I said it in the last column about this subject and I’ll say it again: Pedofiles NEVER get better. The only thing they can do is keep themselves away from child porn and children, but they will never stop having those urges. Please cut your losses and move on.

    1. highest rates of recidivism of any crime – sex offenders

  2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    Yuck yuck yuck. Deciding to stay by him and marry him at the time doesn’t mean you have to suck it up now and stay together. You’ve learned you can’t forgive and forget, and you’ve learned you want kids but not with him. It’s ok to move on right now, LW. Like, right now. Yuck.


  3. I agree with kerrycontrary. Recidivism among pedophiles is high. Your husband cannot be trusted around children.

    This is another ‘but I love him, so I stuck by him and married him’ letter. The simple answer is no, you did not love him. If on the first date he had told you ‘I”m a pedophile, but I haven’t acted on it, beyond looking at and collecting child porn’ would you have gone on a second date? Could you possibly have fallen in love with him, knowing that? I’m quite sure the answer to both questions is no. What does that mean? It means that you didn’t fall in love with this man. You fell in love with the person that he pretended to be. He conned you from day one. You are in love with an imaginary person, which the guy whom you married is never going to become.
    If you and he together created the fantasy man to whom you wanted to be married, then at least you know what you want and can now go out and look for that guy. It is time to MOA and start over.
    This was not a little white lie he told you while he was courting you. He hid the very essence of his sexual identity, the core of his personality, which will drive almost everything he does in his life.
    Also, after knowing how much he has lied to you already, how can you really believe him when he tells you that he has never physically acted on his urges? YOu just can’t know.

  4. LW because of scum like your husband, innocent little kids get hurt. You say you don´t trust him (and with good reason, because of what you went through and because it would seem he lies a lot).
    Next time you could get arrested too, as I understand (him downloading that dirt on a shared computer and all).
    Please read the other column,l ike Wendy said, there were a lot of great comments on there, if I recall correctly.
    And if you choose to stay with your husband, please, PLEASE never have kids.

    1. Never ever have kids with this man. Even if he never touches them, even if he only looks and thinks, imagine how screwed up those kids will be having that energy around them their entire lives.

      1. Absolutely. My husband’s ex-wife’s father had an unhealthy fixation on her. To his credit, he never laid a hand on her, but she just knew. She’s had alcohol problems for most of her adult life, enormous conflicts with her sexuality that ended two marriages, and two of her three children are carrying on the cycle of depression. It isn’t enough for a pedophile to restrain himself from harming children (though I recognise that this is a difficult thing and in a way a sign of self-insight and strength). Pedophiles need to stay away from children completely, to avoid temptation and to avoid tainting the sexuality and trust of children who cross their path.

    2. lets_be_honest says:

      I wonder how that would even work, seriously. Are you allowed to have kids (custody) when you are a convicted pedophile? 99% sure you are not.

      1. ReginaRey says:

        If you’re a convicted pedophile with children, I honestly don’t believe you should even be allowed visitation rights. I think children are better off never knowing their father, in this circumstance.

      2. Surely they wouldn’t be allowed to? When I wrote my comment, I forgot he was being convicted, and would have a record.

      3. In many states, it is likely that he wouldn’t be allowed to have contact with his own children if convicted.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        And that’s what makes this even scarier…the fact that this “woman” would probably allow him to see their kids since she’s still willing to be with him.

  5. Oh, dude. If possession of child porn isn’t a solid reason to move on, then nothing is.

  6. ReginaRey says:

    Jesus, LW, there are so many parts of this letter that need tackling, I don’t even know where to start. But you need some serious help, so here goes:

    “I’ve been with my husband now for four and a half years, married for one and a half.” — Like Wendy said, I’m SHOCKED you married him after this. Completely and utterly shocked. Frankly, I think it says quite a lot about how warped and unhealthy your mindset is (and I understand and sympathize with your mental illness) that you went through with this marriage. At the very least, it reflects a VERY low sense of self-worth. No matter what, it seems like you could use some immediate therapy, both for your bipolar disorder and to discover why you are willing to accept this man as a partner.

    “I feel like our relationship has been poisoned. I have a hard time being romantic with him…I don’t trust him at all.” — No matter what your husband did, whether he had cheated on you or betrayed you in some other way, THIS kind of mentality on your part means that your relationship is beyond repair. You have no trust for him, feel that the relationship is poisoned, and have a hard time being romantic with him. All of those seem to indicate that this relationship is beyond salvageable. And more to the point — I think you should REALLY examine why you want to salvage it, in the first place. I understand that you love him…but in this case, I think that “love” is far more twisted, unhealthy, and obsessive than it is healthy and happy.

    “We talked briefly about counseling, but he doesn’t seem to think we need it, since I’m the one having trust issues.” — If his thinking is so distorted as to believe he doesn’t need counseling, he’s beyond the point of even potentially saving this marriage. And more than that, it seems like he’s blaming YOU for your trust issues, which is one of the most ridiculous and disturbing things I’ve heard.

    To be completely blunt and frank — This marriage is not worth saving. You should never have married him in the first place. Whether distorted love, or mental illness, or naivete or whatever else led you to marry him…it wasn’t the right call. Child pornography is a BIG. FUCKING.DEAL. The desire to look at that kind of material is NOT normal. And when it comes to people with sexual urges associated with children, it’s not something you can ever “recover” from. It’s an illness. A lifelong, forever illness. One that means you should NEVER, EVER have children with him. Or have him alone around any child. And yeah, he’s not going to be able to find a decent paying job…probably ever again. He will be a social pariah, too, to anyone who finds out.

    Is all of that worth it, LW? I PRAY that you will see that it isn’t worth it. And if after all of this, you still think it’s worth it, I’m a bit scared for you. Scared that your thinking could be so distorted and skewed that you think being with this man is a good idea. I wish you luck, perseverance, and strength, and hope you seek some therapy for yourself.

    1. ReginaRey says:

      And to be even more blunt — I can’t imagine what kind of person does NOT immediately vomit after their significant other has been arrested for possession of child pornography. To not become sick to your stomach after that news blows my mind…and then to marry that person? I can’t fathom the kind of warped, brainwashed, unhealthy mentality you’re operating under to be able to actually WANT to marry someone with this kind of history.

      1. Agreed. I actually feel sorry for the LW because she didn’t think she could do better than a dude with a collection of child porn! LW, you need counselling anyway for your low self esteem.

      2. Probably the same kind of women that meet and marry men via prison-pen-pal programs?? (See: the Menendez brothers, et al). For every broken man there is a broken woman, even if their pieces don’t fit together.

      3. Thank you for addressing the LW’s mental state in your response. She is in need of a lot of help, and (just from the way this letter reads) she more than likely feels so unworthy of love that she thinks she deserves this. No one should feel like this. No one should be allowed to feel like this. It makes me wonder how much of her mental state is attributable to manipulation and/or grooming of her on his part. I hope she listens to this advice and acts on it. I hope she’s strong enough to save herself.

    2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      Ok, now you’re just showing off. (She’s righter now than ever though, LW. Yes, “righter is a word.)

    3. LW: You need to leave this man. And you should look into whether there are conselling groups for people in situations just like yours. I’m sure they have them.

      Just a question: How did your family not intervene when you said you wanted to marry that man? If my sister said she willingly married a pedophile I would cut her out of my life immediately – there is no way that I would let her and her husband around my family

      You really need to go to a therapist or try group therapy sessions. There is clearly something going on where you thought that it was a good idea to marry this man.

      Don’t let him drag you down with him -your life will be very difficult because of a very wrong thing that he did. Furthermore, you don’t even trust him anymore and the relatinoship has been poisoned – that’s reason enough to leave let alone the fact that he’s going to be a sexual offender. Do you want to be the only bread winner in your house because your husband likes to look at other people sexually abusing children? How could you leave him at home with your kids knowing that kind of stuff turns him on? Think about yourself LW – you are not a bad person for leaving. People have left others for far far less reason then you have now

  7. I wasn’t able to read this letter because of the title. It makes me sick in my soul. LW, what the fuck were your thinking? Divorce your husband and get yourself to therapy, quickly.

  8. lets_be_honest says:

    I’m not feeling nearly as kind as Wendy. I’m disgusted by your husband, obviously, but also by you. WTF. You cannot, CANNOT, use the pathetic ‘but I love him’ argument when your husband is abusing (likely!) or supporting the abuse of/being entertained by innocent children getting their lives destroyed! You no longer have a right to use that argument and think its even 1% acceptable. He didn’t cheat on you once with a neighbor, he didn’t sext an ex-girlfriend, he didn’t lie about having a job (oh, wait). HE FANTASIZES ABOUT HAVING SEX WITH CHILDREN! Put that image in your head and realize how bad it is! I can’t believe you even are concerned about having sex with him. I’d vomit at the thought of it. I don’t commend you for trying to stick by him and wanting to go to counseling with him, and even if I did, he won’t even go!! I’m so disgusted. Enough of the juvenile ‘but I love him’ bullshit.

    1. ReginaRey says:

      This is what I was trying to say, only you said it much more succinctly and frankly, in the way I think it needed to be said.

      I keep wondering what must have happened to this woman — in her past, or mental illnesses, or whatever — to make her think that this is an acceptable kind of “love.” Or that “loving him” is a good enough excuse to stay with this man. What kind of examples of love was she exposed to throughout her life to accept this?

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I can sympathize with people who are fucked up because of their childhood. To a degree. Even people who use it as an excuse far longer than they should, ok, I can try to be understanding. This though, no. This is where the line is drawn that you are not capable of making decisions for yourself any longer. I honestly think both of them belong in an institution. There is no excuse and obviously they both are so beyond fucked up that they should not be allowed to live as an independant adult in our society.

      2. Wouldn’t surprise me if she had a shitty or absent father. You’d have to have really low self-esteem to be willing to settle for this type of shithead. And I would have thought her having bi-polar disorder would have sent her into a castrating rage. We should be discussing whether or not she should tell future boyfriends that she was arrested for castrating her ex-husband when she discovered his child porn, not whether or not to dump this loser or not. Makes.my.head.hurt.

      3. GertietheDino says:

        I was thinking abuse in early childhood where a person of trust manipulated her into thinking it was her fault.

      4. I understand (maybe) a little bit about why the LW didn’t get all “I’m gonna vomit right this instant” when she learned about her hubby’s predeliction for child porn…

        Having suffered three types of abuse in addition to neglect as a child, I grew up with a warped mindset that I didn’t even discover/understand until my mid-twenties when I finally built a life full of “normal” people. Until then I HAD NO IDEA that children were supposed to be specially protected. Really. I had no understanding that crimes against kids were any worse than crimes against adults. And in accepting that idea, I had to acknowledge that what happened to me as a child was even worse that I’d previously accepted it to be … I had to admit I was even more a victim that I already didn’t want to identify as. That SUCKED.

        In no way does this excuse or justify behavior, anyone’s. I just wanted to share that mindset which seems alien and impossible to almost everyone I know.

        LW, I will add my voice to those asking you to seek counseling. Maybe there are things in your history that need inspection so that you can understand what you believe (about yourself and others), compare that with what’s true for the rest of our culture, and then reconcile those beliefs in a way that’s healthy for you.

    2. lets_be_honest says:

      I just can’t.
      How could you even fathom having children with this pedophile? People like you should not be allowed to be a part of the world I live in. Willingly producing children that you KNOW will at the very least be jerked off to, but more likely raped, by your own husband. No. You both belong in an institution.
      The fact that you have family that is aware of this and they haven’t ripped you out of that house and kept you locked in a basement to keep you away from him is almost as disturbing as your letter.

    3. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      This times a million and one.

    4. Avatar photo dandywarhol says:

      I can’t see how she can have sex with him either…the thought just skeeves me out. And have children??? Really?? No.

  9. LW, you are married to a man who’s into kiddie porn and he’s telling you that you guys don’t need counseling, because you’re the one with an issue, not him?!!


    I take marriage and divorce very seriously, and there are very few things that would make me contemplate divorcing my husband, but you’d better believe this would be one of them.
    Get out of this now before you get any deeper into it.

    1. Is it wierd that if my husband killed someone ( An adult), I would have to know all the details before considering divorcing him. However, if it was child porn, I wouldn’t care about the details and would immediately file for divorce.

      LW – Any worse case, alone forever scenario is better than the situation you are in.

      1. iseeshiny says:

        If it’s weird, then we are both in the weird boat together.

      2. Nope not weird. If he killed anyone else who was bad I wouldn’t divorce my husband.

      3. Not weird at all. Killing sometimes is justified.

      4. Astronomer says:

        I feel absolutely, 100% the same way.

  10. Leave now. No explanations necessary.

    1. And I find this part particularly disturbing:
      ”Somedays I decide “I can’t do this” and then when I see his face my resolve melts.”

      How about every time you see his face, you imagine the faces of millions of abused children??? Because that is what I would see. That is what I would see instead of your face at this point as well, because you are enabling him. As long as there is a single person beside him that ”understands” and ”supports” him, that may be enough for him to justify his abhorrent behavior. Pedophiles who enable child abuse do not deserve understanding or support.

  11. Reading this made my head hurt…

    Why on earth would you marry a guy caught with child porn?!? That was your wake up call, hello. For crying out loud there ARE other single guys out there who don’t masturbate to pictures and videos of naked 6 year olds! I just do not know how to feel sympathy/empathy in this situation…

    Yes you should fucking go. What did you think the commentors and Wedny would say, sure go ahead and stay with him honey—I’m sure he’ll get better!

    Not only is he a pedofile but he’s not even willing to go to couples therapy with you to work on the relationship and try to regain some trust in him. “…since I’m the one having trust issues” … seriously? How stupid is this guy!?! On second thought please don’t answer that. LW, you don’t have trust issues, you have character judgement issues. Hint, this is a bad one. Oldie made a good point in that the person you think you love doesn’t exist. You fell in love with a personna designed to protect and hide the pedofile within. Please get away from this creep before he ruins your reputation and credit score anymore than he already has. And for the love of God do not ever have children with him. Not even if zombies invade and you two are the last two humans left on Earth. Move.On.Already.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      See, I almost wish no one would even touch the subject of them going to counseling. There is no amount of counseling that will fix their marriage, or should fix their marriage. She needs to leave and get herself help. Let’s not give her a reason to say ‘well, he’s now come around to the idea of counseling, so I’ll give him a chance.’

      1. ReginaRey says:

        100% agree.

      2. She needs divorse papers, therapy, and stronger anti-psychotics.

    2. Avatar photo dandywarhol says:

      Ooh I didn’t even catch that part about them going to counseling for her “trust issues (probably because i couldn’t make it through the whole letter ugh). Wow. That’s a pretty jerk move. I think she should go to counseling to figure out why she stayed with this man, personally…

      1. Yeah, seriously. “We don’t need couple counseling, because you’re the one having trust issues”? NO SHIT SHE HAS TRUST ISSUES NOW. He’s not even doing a good job pretending to be remorseful!

      2. Probably because he isn’t.

    3. That part about the conselling was ridiculous. “No honey, I won’t go to counselling because you are the one who has a problem with my pedeophilia – you have the issues” What a load of crap.

      1. agreed. One of the many things in that letter that made my brain slam into my forehead screaming WHAT?!?

      2. bittergaymark says:

        Letters like these seriously make me question the overall sanity of most LWs. I mean, seriously? How can they pen most of these letters with a straight face?

      3. It does make you wonder if trolls ever make it through Wendy’s filter. But there are some pretty messed up people out there so I believe they’re capable of being true.

      4. So recently I stumbled upon a blog of a woman in a very similar situation to the LW. I can’t really describe the range of emotions I felt reading her posts which described her supporting her husband through this ‘process’ and the fact that she already has kids with him and hasn’t left makes my stomach churn. However, one post that particularly grossed me out was one where she talked about her daughter still having friends sleepover and the fact that it seemed like the other parent knew about the husband and still let her kid sleep there. The writer called it a ‘kindness’ I had to click out super fast because i was seriously skeeved out thinking about these kinds of things.

      5. iseeshiny says:

        Oh god. I feel ill. I hope the LW reads that.

      6. Holy crap… The LW should definitely read this. It could so easily be her a few years down the road.

      7. Wow. This is so awful.

      8. Thanks for that. I feel sick to my stomach, but also better informed about what the LW probably is facing. My heart goes out to the people who are suffering and feel so broken that they can’t do what we all know so readily to be right.

      9. ReginaRey says:

        I pray that the LW reads this, and realizes how quickly this could turn into her situation. The cycle of abuse absolutely SICKENS me. I was SHOCKED that this woman could actually stay with a man after knowing he had raped their 1-year-old baby girl, because he said “I won’t do it again,”…until I got to the part where she had been abused by multiple men, including her own father, as a child.

        This is what happens, people. If the abusees don’t turn into abusers themselves, they can end up like this woman — with children whom they are powerless to protect. It’s a sick, sick cycle. And for the LW to even CONSIDER staying with this man and having children with him sickens me more than reading that article ever could.

      10. How widespread do you think sexual abuse is? I have one friend who’s very open about it and I feel like I learn so much about strength and resiliency though her, but she still has pretty fucked up relationships with men so i know its a process. Stuff like this makes me wonder who else could I know thats silently struggling with all of this. I wish they know that i’m hear to listen and help.

      11. It’s very hard to estimate since so many go cases go unreported. I have seen statistics quoting between 33% and 70% of females have been sexually abused in some way. It’s unfortunate that so many people choose to remain silent about it. I’m very open with my friends about having been sexually abused as a child, but going along with statistics, I have probably had a good friend who has also gone through a similar experience, yet not anything that I am aware of, because so many people feel too ashamed to talk about it. I’ve always wanted to make it my goal to not only end the cycle, but to help others end it too.

      12. Well I know the statistic is that 1/6 american women will be raped in their lifetime (and I think the majority of which is by someone they know). Not sure how many of those occur when they’re a child vs adult. So sad really.

      13. I wish people could figure out how to stop the cycle. What makes some victims go on to become enablers or abusers, while others manage to break the awful, awful cycle?

      14. lets_be_honest says:

        That’s all you’ve got?! Come on Mark! I expected a lot more, actually, I was looking forward to your comments on this letter.

      15. bittergaymark says:

        Eh, this issue is so black and white (to even me) it’s actually kinda boring to comment on. I mean, it’s such a DUH moment. Once again, though, it sadly highlights my theory that deep down, most women willing create their own problems… Even when given such a clear “out.”

      16. lets_be_honest says:

        I was actually curious about your stance on the argument JSW was trying make.

      17. bittergaymark says:

        Okay, LBH, I don’t agree with JSW’s argument here.

        Simply because there WERE kids involved in the creation of said porn.

        Now, if the porn was “fake.” Like 100% purely computer generated realistic images, I would be less harsh. (I talk about this elsewhere on this page a bit…) It’s a very gray area. I don’t even know, are faux kiddie porn imaged illegal? I don’t mean photoshopped fakes, I mean like full on animated but hardcore images… If she had found materials such as these, I would still very very concerned… VERY. I would probably go so far as to give the guy “props” I guess for actively seeking an outlet that didn’t involve kids… (I do believe that this is a hardwired mental condition…) But I would still be VERY concerned if I was her… And I would still very much tell her to end this marriage. Especially if she wanted kids…

      18. Cartoon images of child porn are illegal in a few countries and that number is growing, there was a large national debate about it in Japan recently. Partly because studies show that brian responses to any images, real or cartoon are similar and still signify this particular kink which cannot be acted upon.

      19. ele4phant says:

        Oh BGM, sometimes I love what you say, sometimes your perspective drives me up a wall.

        Most women (as evidenced by the vehement responses) would not stay with a pedophile who’s gone so far as to download child porn. Please don’t assume those that write into DW with some huge issues (and honestly, a woman in a well adjusted functional relationship isn’t going to be writing in as she has no need) are representative of our entire gender. Its a small but vocal minority.

        It would be like if I read Savage Love and thought “Gee, a lot of the gay guys who write in have some major issues – my theory is that gay men have a lot of deep seated issues.” Obviously not true.

        Maybe you have female friends or acquaintances whom you observe similar behavior, but again, they don’t necessarily represent all women. Outside of your social circle, things could look very different.

      20. bittergaymark says:

        It’s not just letters. I know A LOT of women in my own life. And while they all have very different problems… So many of them are self created. So many involve them staying with guys who are so clearly and obviously assholes… Clinging to the hopes of a dream long dead.

        But it’s very possible that this is not only true of women, but most human beings… Maybe we all just create our own problems… Hey, the biggest crisis facing mankind as a species is over population and the ongoing not so slow destruction of the planet… Both of which we totally have gone out of our way to create and done precious little to stop…

      21. ele4phant says:

        Fair enough, fair enough. It still bothers me to have someone malign an entire gender, particularly when it is the gender they are not.

        I could just as easily say that I, in my mid-20s, know A LOT of men-children. Men who don’t know what they want when it comes to relationships or professions, men who need to cut the apron strings from mommy and daddy, men who would rather hang out a play video games all day then move onto the next phase of their lives. Is it fair for me to say that MOST men or like this, or that even MOST men my age are? I don’t think so.

        People have issues, sometimes we’re are worst enemies. But I don’t think its fair to say “Those women (or men). They’re all a bunch of hopeless cases” even if you’ve observed it a good deal personally. You can’t generalize a whole gender (or even the whole human race – when it comes right down to it).

      22. THIS! THIS! This!

      23. lets_be_honest says:

        I liked yours and marks comments. I would venture to guess 90% of any individuals problems are self created.

      24. painted_lady says:

        Good point, lbh. Obviously the majority of people writing in are women on here, but I seriously doubt it’s just a woman thing, getting stuck in bad relationships and not knowing how to get out, being the cause of the vast majority of their own life’s problems.

        “Dear Wendy,

        Two years ago I was arrested for possession of child pornography. My wife just won’t let it go. She keeps yammering on about going to counseling, but we wouldn’t have these problems if she would just *trust* me. And she keeps whining about how we have to lie to her family – I mean, they’d probably think I was a perv or something if they knew! How do I get her off my back.”

        Ugh. Women. Amirite?

  12. I haven’t read the other comments, so I apologize if I am repeating anything. First of all – your husband is a SEX OFFENDER. Not just that, he is a sex offender who had child victims. Sure, he may not have been the one to physically assault the children, but just by viewing child pornography, he enabled those children and other children to be victims. And if he has a sexual attraction to children (which his possession of child pornography tends to lead me to believe), that can’t be fixed. I specialized in criminal behavior with a concentration on sex offenders in grad school. Believe me when I say it CAN’T be fixed. There is some sort of miswiring in his brain. DO NOT have children with this man. If you have children in your family, DO NOT let him near them alone. Just. Don’t. Do. It.

    Secondly, this line really bugged me – “We talked briefly about counseling, but he doesn’t seem to think we need it, since I’m the one having trust issues.”
    Wait, what? No. Not ok. You have a damn good reason to have trust issues and the fact that he doesn’t think you (alone or together) need counseling because, basically, it’s your problem not his shows a huge part of his character. A part that sucks big time.

    You want an honest, informed opinion? You shouldn’t have married him, especially if you ever want to have kids. You stepped into a whole mess of legal and ethical dilemmas. Do you have any idea what its like to be married to a felon? I do. Do you have any idea what it will be like if he does go to prison? Believe me… they won’t look kindly on him in there. You will fear every day for his safety. Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about that but I can imagine how frightening it would be. Get counseling and get out. Obviously his past behavior is a problem for you. Obviously you are having second thoughts about being with him, so do it. The fact that you often tell yourself that you can’t do it anymore shows a lot. Don’t let your “resolve melt” when you see him. When you are thinking calmly and logically, you know you should leave. Hold on to that.

    1. Moneypenny says:

      Totally agree, well put.
      Aside from the pornography thing (which is bad enough as it is), he’s totally gaslighting her. She’s the one who needs counseling? Because of trust issues? Gee, wonder where that is stemming from?! She needs to leave, now.

  13. We need Tracey’s input on this letter. Maybe this LW will listen to someone who’s been there.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Was thinking the same thing!

    2. Agreed. LW, also go read her comment on the previous column (Wendy linked it above).

      1. I just logged on and saw this and almost fainted. Deja vu all over again. God, I hope she gets out and gets help.

        LW, please get help. LW, please leave. You have to save yourself. Love yourself enough to do so.

  14. ReginaRey says:

    All of this has me thinking…is there a chance that the LW doesn’t realize the severity of this? Is the reason she’s still with him because she believes he’s not really a pedophile?

    LW, let me make it inescapably clear for you — Your husband is a pedophile. In the world of *adult* pornography, “just looking” at certain material (maybe kinkier stuff or different orientations than you identify with) doesn’t necessarily mean you’re into that stuff in real life. It’s a fantasy, and it’s healthy.

    The same DOES NOT APPLY to child pornography. The act of sexually enjoying NON-CONSENUAL, ABUSIVE, sexual acts being UNWILLINGLY performed on CHILDREN (we’re not talking 16 or 17, we’re talking CHILDREN…prepubescent, little CHILDREN) is NOT a healthy fantasy. It is NOT normal for adults to sexually enjoy this kind of material.

    More than that, from what I’ve been told, child pornography is not something you accidentally stumble upon. It’s difficult to access, which means you access it with full INTENT. Your husband purposefully searched for this material in order to watch it. Frankly, the idea of watching children be sexually abuse should make healthy adults sick to their stomach. The fact that it doesn’t have that effect on your husband; more than that, that he sexually enjoys it, is seriously disturbing.

    And finally, to drive the point home that this is REAL and not fantasy, child pornography is a gateway to worse things. The fact that he watched this in the first place means the urge is there. And given enough time, watching it online isn’t going to be able to (or maybe already was not) to satisfy the urge. Eventually, more than likely, he’s going to feel compelled to act out in real life.

    This is serious fucking stuff, LW. This isn’t innocent third-party watching. This is your husband actively participating in and condoning the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. Can I be any clearer, on that front?

    1. “child pornography is not something you accidentally stumble upon.” 100% agree. Slightly embarrassesed to admit it, but I’ve looked at internet porn off and on since I hit 13, and I’ve never once had a child porn popup. I don’t even have a clue how you’d find it in the first place. Those site are illegal and are taken down all the time, so the operators have to hide them and mask them, so it takes a little know how and the right search terms to even find them. And anyone visiting those sites are not only sick in the head but also incredibly stupid. Those sites get shutdown by the FBI all the time, but prior to shutdown they’re monitoring the IP traffic. That’s very likely how this idiot got caught in the first place.

      1. This might be tmi but 15 years ago I stumbled on it. It was through a cartoon website (seriously). There are better protections now but it was so shocking. However, I think there is a difference between hitting a link and downloading as well.

      2. Why are you embarrassed? Doesn’t just about everyone look at porn? I sure do! But you are right; I’ve never once just “stumbled upon” child porn. The only way I could see that happening is if you’re looking at adult women who are supposed to be 18 but one of them lied about her age or something and she’s actually only 17.

      3. ele4phant says:

        I’ve never come across any child porn, but then again I am not the most vociferous user so I don’t stray to far from the mainstream. I guess it *could* be possible for someone with, shall we say diverse or eclectic tastes, to stumble across it.

        But if so, the obvious and automatic response should be to call the authorities and report it.

        Which of course did not happen in this instance.

      4. bittergaymark says:

        I have never stumbled across any random kiddie porn either. That said, I can see how it could happen. But I honestly very much doubt the police would arrest you unless you a long history of it on your browser. So I very much doubt that all the guy in question here just innocently stumbled upon it once either.

        Hey, I am ALL for porn. Usually.

        But NOT this kind of porn…. I suppose maybe, maybe if it was cartoons or something. Actually, on one website I, uh, visit, they advertise these oddly realistic cartoons of various adults having sex. I sometimes wonder — especially since I do listen to Dan Savage — if maybe this isn’t an answer of sorts. Computer generated images… You know, allow them to scratch the itch in a way where NOBODY is harmed…

        Although, yeah. It’s a very gray area… I mean, one could compellingly argue that it will only make them want to experience it in reality more or as others have said, feed the need…. That said (WARNING! POTENTIAL BITTER GAY MARK OVERSHARE MOMENT!!!) there are certainly some pretty “out there” gay erotica scenes (now, nothing too crazy, you know, Madonna-esque chains and what not) that I freely admit I find, uh, appealing on occasion. That said, I don’t see myself every going out and building a St Andrew’s cross to hang from my ceiling either…

      5. iseeshiny says:

        Must resist urge to Google St. Andrew’s cross. I am at work.

      6. bittergaymark says:

        Too see one in action. Go to youtube. And watch Madonna’s EROTICA video. I’m pretty sure one is in there near the end along with a bunch of candles… I know one was appeared in the SEX book. At any rate, the EROTICA video is pretty bold and amazing. Especially since it was done in 1992.

        The sequences of her laughing hysterically in her 1991 beaded oscar dress, whip in hand laughing at all the crawling on hands and knees gay go go boys is insanely iconic. So much so, she just recreated parts of it for her latest GIRL GONE WILD video… Say what you will about plastic surgery, Madonna looks shocking the same in these two clips and considering they were done twenty years apart… It’s fucking amazing.

        It saddens me that so many of you youngins all dismiss her as irrelevant when she alone has done so much not only for women and sexuality, but for gay men and AIDS awareness. Madonna took on AIDS right from the start. Back when our then President (Fuck you, Reagan!) went one or two terms without even mentioning it by name. Madonna was there. In the hospitals. Holding the hands of the dying. And more importantly, speaking out. Screaming about it from the rooftops. (And her thanks in the media for the better part of a decade was endless “Madonna Has AIDS” rumours. Hey, she HAD to have AIDS. Why else would she fucking care…

      7. iseeshiny says:

        Who is dismissing Madonna? Not this youngin.

        Lotta spiders pop up when you google that cross. Now that would be kinky.

      8. bittergaymark says:

        Spiders? Odd. Now that would be freaky…

      9. Yeah, I’m remember when I had just gone off to college and had my own computer all to myself and Kazaa had just come out. I seriously downloaded like all the porn I could find on there (no wonder that laptop didn’t live very long), including some really weird shit, because, I mean, I was 18 I had to soak it all in. But I still don’t think I came across anything with a child. I would have remembered that.

      10. painted_lady says:

        Oh my god. You just described my freshman year.

    2. Completely agree with pretty much everything you said, except the access to child porn. As sick as this is, it would take anyone about five minutes for someone to find it if they were looking, and often times porn sites “piggyback” additional files with downloads, sometimes containing a virus, sometimes to promote other material. I’m not into downloading kiddie porn, but I took a class with a communications lawyer who dealt with the porn industry, and the access to all kinds of porn, including incredibly illegal ones, is not that hard. Which is a whole other problem in itself not related to this, but still a pretty big issue.

      1. Yes, this. Especially in the days of limewire or if someone downloads a mass amount of files from a torrent site. You don’t know what kind of things get stuck in there. It’s unfortunately not very hard to find.

    3. lets_be_honest says:

      I also have to assume that police would not pound down your door and arrest you if you accidently clicked on the wrong porn once.

      1. ReginaRey says:

        I would tend to agree with you. I imagine your activity would have to be consistent enough and severe enough to raise some flags with the FBI.

      2. I really doubt it. They’re a government agency afterall so their budgets are limited too. They’re going to go after the major players like the ones uploading content. The only time they will go for the smaller fish is if they think it will help them get the bigger ones.

      3. I think they would, and they definitely should.

      4. Actually I don’t think so. In order to find out the identity of a website’s visitor the prosecuting agency has to first have a warrant to monitor the web traffic of the sight and begin saving logs. Then they have to sopena the internet service provider assigned that that grouping of IP addresses. That takes time and money and likely isn’t worth it if the IP only showed up in the traffic logs a handful of times. Now if it uploaded content on the sole visit however, I’d bet they might still be willing to track it down.

      5. of the site* /sigh. Grammar 1 Brad 0

      6. In the very least, a single act like that should put the authorities on alert. I firmly believe that the problem is the demand. I believe that the end user is the one that enables these kind of things the most. Once there is no demand, there will be no need for supply.

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        Oh I agree, I just doubt they do on a first time viewer basis.

      8. Another thing that’s actually not true. For our final paper, we had to consider the case of a 78-year old man who downloaded 1200 files of porn off this website, and 200 images were of child porn (they all came in one “pack”). He is now a registered sex offender and spent four on probation. It’s a pretty slippery slope.

      9. Not meaning to correct just want to educate! NPR actually had a whole segment about how many judges and those in law enforcements want to go after the major players, but it’s extremely difficult task to track them down as they host under various names and often change names/locations. Many times sites like this are run by a network of scummy people, so it’s actually EASIER and cheaper to go after people who download files or videos then the people who make them themselves.

      10. It just depends Mandalee. Not every single case of a person visiting a child porn site once was arrested. It really comes down to the nature of the investigation and the resources of the department. In the cases where the content providers are tech savy enough to know what they’re doing and know how to do things like hide their IP address and far more complicated things I won’t go into here, then the police might not have any other options but to go after the downloaders in the hopes they’ll be able to link back to the providers, and because it adds to the number of busts. Taking down a big child porn ring I’m sure does good things for one’s career.

      11. No, I never said that, I’m just stating that police often do go after the users with a much greater instance than the providers. One of the superior court judges in MA was trying to press the issue to go after more of the big fishes, but it’s not as easy as CSI and SVU makes it look. Taking down a big child porn ring isn’t as easy as it looks, and many time a new venue opens where the content continues. It has been a big debate in law enforcement and the court system for years.

      12. lets_be_honest says:

        Once downloading 1 is quite different than once downloading 1200!

      13. On old streaming service, like Limewire and other options, it’s pretty easy to download a large stream of images/videos. The child images made up about 20% of the images downloaded, and even though he didn’t search for the content, the fact that they were part of the downloaded content was all that mattered.

      14. lets_be_honest says:

        Well all I’d have to say to this 78 y/o man is life sucks. We can’t just allow people to use the excuse of I didn’t mean to, I didn’t look at it, etc. I imagine every single pedophile out there would use that then.

      15. ReginaRey says:

        Just want to point out that, even though it’s awful that people can be wrongly convicted, him being 78-years-old is irrelevant. There are plenty of elderly pedophiles out ther.

      16. ReginaRey says:


      17. Oh I agree, it was just the only detail I remembered about him without my paper in front of me. I wasn’t saying it like oh this poor grandfather. It was just the case that many of our law enforcement dollars are used to go against the downloaders, maybe even accidential, then the suppliers. I think both should be prosecuted and dealt with, but if you focus mainly on the downloaders, like LW’s husband, you’re not really stopping the large problem which is the ease of access to disgusting materials that harm children.

      18. ReginaRey says:

        I have to agree with Brad, though, that if they’re mainly focusing on the downloaders of this material, it would seem that they have trouble finding and catching the uploaders. While I obviously believe that the people creating and uploading this material should be the first priority, I imagine they must cover their tracks better, and be more difficult to hunt down?

      19. If you eliminate the demand, the supply will dry up on its own.

      20. Yes, they definitely are. It’s just a sad system that even with people like the LW’s husband in jail, the problem isn’t really solved. I didn’t mean to start a conversation with in a conversation because the LW’s concerns are about getting the hell away from this man I hope, but I just wanted to let people know that the access to child porn is pretty easy to stumble upon, which is pretty horrifying. It’d be much better if it was locked away on some part of the internet no one can find easily, but it’s really not.

    4. Good point – but I’d replace “doesn’t realize the severity” with “is living in denial”.

  15. This isn’t a trust issue, it’s a moral one. This man you love is a disgusting human being. He will never change. You say your immediate family knows about this- what do they say? I know if one of my siblings knowingly married a pedophile, there is no way IN HELL I would ever have a relationship with that person. There should be no compromise here. NONE. And step back for a minute- what does this relationship say about you? You married a monster- on purpose. Why? I’d love to hear a follow up.

  16. I had a dream last night that I was downloading porn (adult – figured I’d clarify given the context) on my laptop….and somehow forgot I was connected to my work’s wifi….hahaha….what an anxiety filled night in the haze between dreaming and realizing your dreaming.

    Yep – that’s my contribution to this….but I think Wendy covered it well and most of what should be said has been said in the comments already.

    1. Oh man that would suck so bad! Yeah we had a lady in my office get fired a few months back for looking at porn on her govt computer and for visiting one of those cheating dating websites.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Hunny, why’d you get fired?
        Couldn’t have gone over well…

      2. yeah sometimes tells me she gave an edited reason for getting fired. She hated her boss so I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that’s the one she went with.

      3. something* Man I cannot type this morning. I blame the letter for making my brain hurt…

    2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      In your dream were we cuddling? Just wondering.

      “Cuddling” made me think of “spooning,” which made me think of that Friends episode – no idea which one – but in it Phoebe says something like “Be careful, spooning leads to forking!” … And I didn’t get it. But my parents were there watching too, and they chuckled. And I had to have them explain it to me. And I was 22.

      Anyway, were we cuddling and talking about the future?

      1. HAHAHAH. Oh Addie I just have to say THANK YOU. I was getting really emotional and worked up over all the things I was reading and this just made me crack up. I needed that. Thanks a million.

  17. sarolabelle says:

    This scum bag gross loser does not deserve a woman like you, LW. And you deserve someone 1000 times better than the scum bag gross loser you have now.

    1. I disagree. If she’s knowingly putting up with behavior like that, she most certainly does not deserve someone better.

  18. There is no cure for pedophilia. You can never have children with this man. How could you even think of that? You would be subjecting your own flesh and blood to a pedophile.

    Get out. Now.

    I agree with Wendy, I can’t believe you married this man after the fact. Get yourself help, on your OWN. Get help to get over him and MOA

  19. Letter Writer:
    1. You are a ‘rescuer’. I get that as I am too. Unfortunately, you can’t rescue this situation.
    2. This situation is a lot worse than you think it is. You’ve got boiling frog syndrome and the bizarre has become normal to you.
    3. This one’s important: YOU WANT TO LEAVE! you KNOW the answer already, it’s woven through your letter. (for example, not the only one: “somedays I decide “I can’t do this” and then when I see his face my resolve melts.”
    4. Listen up: The secrecy that you two have going about the whole thing is his biggest weapon. This is what abusers do: they cut you off from the outside world. They isolate you.
    5. Look, his ship is sinking. Sorry, but he’s screwed, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. Time for you to jump into a liferaft and row like hell.

    1. “You’ve got boiling frog syndrome and the bizarre has become normal to you.”

      Yes 1000 times–this is an extremely accurate description, I think.

    2. Moneypenny says:

      Very well said, couldn’t have said it better myself! She needs to get out, now.

  20. It may be that she wasn’t fully aware of what he’d done initially, or hadn’t accepted that he was actually guilty of possessing child pornography. If her husband is lying to other people about all this, it’s not unlikely that he had spun her a story as well.

    1. ..and let’s keep in mind that we don’t know the LW and shouldn’t be trying to indict her for the crimes of her husband. Some of the comments here go too far in characterizing the LW’s identity and state of mind. I don’t see why it’s necessary to attack her.

      1. You know what, that is probably the only time (at least the only thing I can think of right now) where the ‘innocent before proven guilty’ thing would not apply for me.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        She is considering having children with a pedophile!!!!
        Protecting his secret of liking the RAPE OF CHILDREN from friends and the general public.
        On what planet should be NOT be attacking that?!?!

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        I’m seriously bothered by your comment, Leroy. Where have we gone too far in characterizing her state of mind? Seriously, which comment? Do you think she has a good state of mind?

      4. LBH you couldn’t agree w/ all the comments about her because they contradict each other.

        My concern is that some people are accusing her of abetting child molestation, which she hasn’t actually done. They’re also characterizing her as depraved and immoral.

        This isn’t going to help her come to grips with her situation, if anything it will further isolate her from the support that she needs.

      5. iseeshiny says:

        Agreeing to marry someone six months after you find out they’re in possession of child pornography implies possession of child pornography is not a dealbreaker. Implying child pornography is not a dealbreaker is not exactly condoning it, but it isn’t really comdemning it either. Anyone with a working moral compass and a half ounce of self respect would not be asking “should I leave him?” They would be asking “how can I make sure he stays away from children?”

      6. I get what you’re saying, but I don’t think her moral compass is broken– more likely that she’s developed a kind of Stockholm syndrome to the fucked-up situation she’s in, & is unable to see clearly.

      7. iseeshiny says:

        Stockholm Syndrome is the very definition of a broken moral compass.

      8. Keep in mind that she probably didn’t see this stuff, and only has his account to go by.

        Child Pornography is legally defined, in the US, as the pornographic depiction of anyone under 18. Any of us could go view child pornography right now by logging onto sites like Stickam.

        So he could have told her that they’d caught him with naked pictures of teenaged girls for all we know.

      9. iseeshiny says:

        It’s in the realm of possibility, I’m sure. But I can’t help but think she’d have mentioned it if it were the case. And the fact that she was okay enough with his crimes to stay with him does say something about her mental state. Some lady married Ted Bundy after his arrest. It didn’t make her a serial killer, but it did make her seriously fucked up. Now, possession of child pornography is maybe not quite as terrible as the torture and murder of dozens of people, but again, it’s like Evil vs. Really Evil. The fact that Really Evil exists doesn’t make the stuff that’s just Evil any less evil, you know?

      10. Leroy, I agree with you– similiar to what DMR said above, I feel like the LW has just become so immersed in the situation that it’s not properly horrifying to her. She needs a wake-up call, obviously, but not in the form of being attacked & called a horrible person.

      11. ReginaRey says:

        I agree, in that I think she’s very, very likely mentally ill to the point that she doesn’t realize the severity of the situation she’s in. But at this point, I think a rather harsh wake up call from a group of unbiased commenters on the internet is better than NO wake up call…because it seems nothing has worked for her yet.

  21. “Nobody outside our immiediate family knows this happened”

    Well, they should. Unless you live in a magical world where people reproduce by fission suddenly turning into two different adults some of this people who are not immediate family but still close to you (or even some of your neighbors) have kids. And YOU are letting those kids near a pedophile without doing a thing about it. You should at least warn their parents, because if he ever molests any of those children it will be at least partly YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. YOU are endangering these kids by keeping quiet and allowing this man to have a “normal” life.

    What you’re doing, LW, is like living by a playground, noticing your angry pet bear as set himself free and begun to walk towards it, shrugging and going back to watching TV without warning anybody. I hope that the people around you is not as stupid, mean and self-centered as you are and none of the kids in the picture get hurt.

    And I don’t give a fuck about your mental illness. That’s just a petty excuse. There are lots of people with BPD who have the moral fiber not to enable child molesters.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Just reading your first two lines, you are so right.
      I imagine the thought process goes like this-I don’t want to embarrass him, so I’ll just keep it a secret, NBD if he’s around children frequently. He prob won’t do anything.
      I’m getting more angry at the LW the more I think about this. Excellent comment rainbow.

  22. I consider myself somewhat conservative when it comes to marriage, and I find it sad that more people don’t value honoring their commitments. But I’m sorry, if you can’t trust the man not to molest your future children, then you are extremely irresponsible to have children at all. If this were me, i would not have married this man. But LW, just because you realized your mistake late doesn’t mean you should punish yourself by staying with a repeated liar who you don’t trust (and rightly so). His history of supporting you does not make up for his other horrible actions.

    It almost seems like you are seeking permission to leave, and you have it, at least from me. If there’s any situation where I support divorce, this is it. Run.

  23. LW – your husband is a predator. And he chose you as his partner because you have so little self-esteem that he knew he could manipulate you into being his cover. With you around, he can act the role of “normal husband”. He is good at it, too. It started with you being unhappy with your sex life, and has escalated.

    Get counseling to improve your self-esteem. Until you do, predators will keep finding you.

    Good luck.

    1. (That is, of course, AFTER you get out and call the police)

      1. John Rohan says:

        Call the police about what? They were already called two years prior, and he was arrested. Does anyone read the letters? Or do they just see the words “child porn” and start sharpening their pitchforks?

    2. ReginaRey says:

      “He chose you as his partner because you have so little self-esteem that he knew he could manipulate you.” Yes. A very good point to have made. Unless this LW gets some help and perspective, she’s going to end up with a series of manipulators who prey upon her abysmally low self-worth.

  24. Avatar photo Michelle.Lea says:

    I think the thing to realize here is he can’t be fixed. there is no fix for it. YOU cannot fix him. no matter how much you love him, no matter what you do for him, he can’t be fixed.

    I understand that you are probably feeling a lot of guilt in this situation. he has no job, no means to support himself. but you need to leave. yesterday. If he goes to stay with family, you need to TELL them what is going on, and that he is never to be alone with children.

    get as far away from this guy as possible. I know it will be hard, and it always looks different to us looking in on a situation, but it’s time for you to take action for YOU. See a counselor yourself, let them help you. He doesnt have to go if he doesnt want to, but if he’s not willing to go with you, that’s also a huge sign that you’re on your own here. You two are no longer a team. get out. now.

  25. Ah, well that explains today’s horoscope for me: “Today, you will defend someone vile.”

    I realize that it’s easy to spit on people who are caught with child pornography, but I did want to point out a few things:

    First, we have no idea what his level of involvement was. There is a huge range of child pornography, ranging from photos parents would take that are obscene only when seen by strangers to ones I get nauseous even thinking about. The LW’s husband might have only downloaded a few pictures of naked kids doing nothing obscene but which violated local ordinances – recall that there have been numerous “child pornography” charges made against parents developing pictures of their own children in bathtubs. Or maybe the LW’s husband downloaded many hundreds or thousands of hard-core vile images of children being raped. There is a vast difference between those two extremes.

    Second, there is a difference between one-time curiosity and an obsession. One download can get you arrested. So we don’t know if he was clicking around and curiosity got the best of him, or if he was really into it.

    However, since he said he’d seek counseling, I’m guessing he was more than just a casual one-time looker. I’m guessing he has a problem and is sexually attracted to children. So that leads me to my third point: sexual orientation isn’t something we can control. We can control acting upon it, but we cannot control where our urges lie. Just as there is a huge difference between types of child pornography, there is similarly a vast gap between having an urge and acting upon it, and likewise a huge gap between looking at child pornography and raping children.

    So the way I see it, her husband has a sexual orientation which is unacceptable to most of society (myself included) but which, as far as we know, he has not acted upon except to look at pictures.

    I feel sorry for him. I see him as not all that extraordinarily different from anyone who’s orientation or gender identity has fallen outside societal norms. Note that the reaction to what he did is not all that different than the reaction many people would have to looking at gay porn and the implication that the viewer was – gasp! – gay.

    I’m attracted to (adult) women. I have looked at porn. That doesn’t make me a rapist.

    I think it’s wrong to say that the LW’s husband is some despicable freak because he looked at child pornography. Maybe he is. Maybe he paid money and in doing so enabled children to be abused. Maybe he has molested kids. If those things are true, he’s a really bad person. But if all he has done is downloaded some images because he has sexual desires that he cannot satisfy – and very likely would never attempt to satisfy in reality – then I see him as a troubled individual, not someone horrible.

    Straight men aren’t all rapists. Lesbians aren’t going to sexually assault your mother. Someone who has a sexual attraction to children isn’t any more likely to sexually molest your kids than I am to rape some woman.

    In other words, virtually all child rapists/assaulters are pedophiles. But not all pedophiles – not even most – are child rapists/assaulters.

    I have two young children. I’d keep them away from the LW’s husband in the same way I’d keep a beer away from an alcoholic. But I don’t think he is necessarily a horrible person, and the most important thing to remember is that the orientation isn’t his choice, and to say “it’s just wrong” to look at child pornography – while a valid position – ignores the fact that he has sexual urges and no societally condoned way to express them.

    1. For the record, I’m not defending child pornographers. I’d be very happy to see anyone involved in creating child pornography – actual sexual images and video of children – rounded up and shot. Publicly.

      I’m just saying that the orientation itself isn’t a choice, and that someone with those urges who downloads images isn’t necessarily evil, just tempted by something they don’t see as wrong – just clicking around on the Internet.

      To me it’s not unlike the difference between being fascinated by death (witness all the images/video online of dead people and people being killed) versus the actual killing of people. I don’t understand the former, but I don’t confuse it with the latter.

      1. iseeshiny says:

        If people are watching the porn, they are supporting the people making the porn. They are helping ensure that children continue to be hurt. I think we’ve all had momentary thoughts that sometimes embarrass us or make us ashamed later, but that’s not the same as getting off on children being abused and actively seeking out images of it.

        I understand you’re trying to be a voice of moderation here, but the fact that this man downloaded the porn in the first place and watched it knowing it was morally reprehensible does, in fact, make him a horrible person.

      2. Avatar photo Michelle.Lea says:

        I understand what you’re trying to say. This is a hard subject to discuss on any level. And hard for people to stop to think about pedophiles as people, and ranges of behavior.

        I personally believe that no, they don’t really have a choice after a point. Something is wrong inside their brain, something is misfiring. The only mercy for them (and everyone else) is to be put down. I can’t see life being nice for them either, and they’re a danger.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, the only time I’d be slightly understanding or compassionate would be if he castrated himself the first time this happened.

      4. I’m very impressed with the Dear Wendy community for providing thumbs up to a comment that says that someone with a particular sexual orientation (or, arguably, mental illness) needs to be killed regardless of what they’ve actually done.

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        Right, bc that’s way worse than defending kiddie porn like your doing.

        Also, she didn’t say ‘someone with a particular sexual orientation’ but keep spinning. I can’t imagine anyone can take you seriously on here any more.

      6. Yes, killing someone purely for a sexual orientation is way worse than being aroused by images of naked children.

        I’m not “defending kiddie porn.” I’m defending sexual orientations of any sort as long as they don’t cause harm. I’ve agreed – completely – that most viewing of child pornography has resulted in harm being done. However, you can’t seem to disassociate yourself from the rhetoric, and now you’re defending a stance of killing people based on their sexual desires.

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        That is simply not true. Spin, spin. There is a difference between orientation and deviance. A huge one, actually. Wouldn’t expect you to know or acknowledge that.

      8. John Rohan says:

        You complain about “spin, spin, spin”, yet above you characterized _jsw_ as “defending kiddie porn”, even though he/she did nothing of the sort.

        Pot vs. Kettle.

      9. iseeshiny says:

        Really, John? Seriously? JSW was not defending child porn. He was, however, defending pedophiles.

      10. lets_be_honest says:

        You’ve misquoted me. I only said spin twice.

        thx iseeshiny.

      11. I’d argue that killing someone purely for a sexual orientation is NOT way worse than being aroused by, and seeking out on the internet, images of naked children. Seeking out images creates a market for those images, resulting in the abuse of children. And in my opinion, there is a strong argument that the being the victim of sexual abuse as a child is a fate worse than death. As a victim of sexual child abuse, you suffer your entire life, and maybe (likely?) go on to victimize other children, thus perpetuating a horrible cycle of sadness, suffering, and extreme pain. Worse than death, arguably. I’d pick death, myself.

      12. ele4phant says:

        There are numerous terrible things in the world. Killing someone because of their race, or their sexual identity is terrible. Ethnic cleansing is terrible. Swindling innocent people out of their life savings, also terrible. Raping a grown woman is terrible. And abetting the abuse of children by viewing porn? Well that’s terrible too.

        There isn’t some competition or award for “The Most Awful Act against Innocents Possible” that negates everything else to a softer fluffy grey area.

        It doesn’t matter if there is potentially something that could be more or less reprehensible than willingly consuming child pornography. It is morally and legally reprehensible in and of its own right, and should be treated as such.

      13. Look if a pedophile succeeded at keeping his desires to himself, and NEVER acting on them, no one would know he is a pedophile. Problem solved.

      14. They certainly don’t need to be ‘put down’. There are a number of medical options for pedophiles who don’t wish to act upon their desires. The majority of pedophiles are men and they can have hormone therapy or get castrated in order to reduce their sexual desires. I’m not sure about options for women since most of them try to drastically lower testosterone levels. But it certainly can be a lonely life.

      15. I’m completely supportive of hormonal therapies, because those desires cannot be acted upon in a healthy way, ever, except via fantasy, so I would imagine that not having them would be better than having them and never being able to act upon them.

      16. Avatar photo Michelle.Lea says:

        mine is definitely not a popular opinion, and is it right? no, and i can acknowledge that. it’s a very visceral reaction for me. i’m moderating myself pretty well considering what’s going on inside my head.

        there are many different levels to everything. there is no black or white answer. even my own opinions are not black and white, but i honestly dont know how i would translate them in writing.

    2. lets_be_honest says:

      Haven’t finished reading past your first full paragraph. So if you sent your images to a Walgreens to print photos of your son taking his first bath, someone hacks into their system, gets a hold of said cute bathtime pictures and decides he’s turned on and saves them for his spank bank, you find this more acceptable than if it were a video of a violent rape? No. There is no more or less acceptable in any of these situations. They are both as wrong as could be. 110% wrong. If you are curious about child porn and glance once, you are a massive sicko.

      OK, continued reading. I’m disgusted. Do you think that rapes of children would stop happening if everyone just looked at the videos that are already out there?
      This man did have a choice – look at kiddie porn or don’t. He made it. Now he’s a pedophile.

      “Someone who has a sexual attraction to children isn’t any more likely to sexually molest your kids than I am to rape some woman.” I don’t think you are intelligent at all, to be honest with you. And I used to like and sometimes agree with your comments.

      1. “So if you sent your images to a Walgreens to print photos of your son taking his first bath, someone hacks into their system, gets a hold of said cute bathtime pictures and decides he’s turned on and saves them for his spank bank, you find this more acceptable than if it were a video of a violent rape?”

        Of course I do. Are you saying that someone intercepting naked pictures you sent to your boyfriend/husband is the same as someone breaking into your home and raping you? How can you possibly say they’re even remotely the same thing?

        ” Do you think that rapes of children would stop happening if everyone just looked at the videos that are already out there?”

        No, and neither do I think that the raping of children would stop if videos weren’t out there. Children were raped for thousands of years before video recording was developed.

        “This man did have a choice – look at kiddie porn or don’t. He made it. Now he’s a pedophile.”

        No, he was a pedophile before. Probably from birth or after childhood trauma. Looking at pornography didn’t make him one any more than looking at porn makes me a straight man.

        “I don’t think you are intelligent at all, to be honest with you.”

        Thank you.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        First, I didn’t compare it to someone breaking into my house and raping me. It scary that you seem to not have a big problem, but only a little one and plenty of understanding for someone who takes your children’s photos and jerks off to them.

        Last, uh, yes, looking at CHILD PORN MAKES YOU A PEDOPHILE. How is this even up for discussion?!

      3. First, I didn’t compare it to someone breaking into my house and raping me.

        It was the implication of what you said – that stealing a picture from Walgreens is the same as a violent rape. In the former case, no one was harmed – and most importantly, the child was completely unaware and completely unharmed, because in your scenario the picture was taken while being developed. In the latter case, someone was raped. How can you possibly not see the difference?

        Last, uh, yes, looking at CHILD PORN MAKES YOU A PEDOPHILE. How is this even up for discussion?!

        No, not at all. You and I could look at it and not become pedophiles. Pedophiles don’t need to look at it to be pedophiles. How can you possibly say that looking at it makes you one? Perhaps you mean that pedophiles enjoy looking at child pornography. That’s true. But you’ve confused the sequence, especially when you said he became a pedophile once he looked at child pornography.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, I’m not even going to keep going to give you more of a forum to spew your crazy talk.

      5. Too late!

        My crazy talk is spreading. Before you know it, I’ll be advocating mandatory bestiality classes in elementary schools, because clearly I hate kids.

        Or maybe what I actually hate is foaming-at-the-mouth lynch mob mentalities who think that the issue-du-jour is always the worst thing EVAR and that every instance of anything even remotely related to it must always be severely punished – by death, if you agree with a post above.

        The general consensus seems to be that the LW’s husband, by downloading some unknown amount of child pornography of unknown type, is definitely worse than almost any other criminal ever, and they’d like to see him put to death – but not, say, people who swindle other people and nations out of their savings, say.

        I disagree with that.

      6. ele4phant says:

        No one is saying he’s the worst criminal ever. They are saying he did something wrong, very wrong (but not the worst ever, certainly genocide, war crimes, or heck PRODUCING the crap ranks higher), and she should get the heck out of dodge.

      7. I don’t think the majority are calling for his crucifixion, but rather think the LW needs to MOA.

      8. lets_be_honest says:

        Yes, I do think child porn and pedophiles are the worst thing ever.
        Yes, I would say being a pedophile is worse than stealing money.
        Yes, I would prefer all my money be stolen than have any child hurt.

      9. iseeshiny says:

        Agreed! Jeez. Why is this even up for debate?

      10. iseeshiny says:

        I tend to hate foaming-at-the-mouth lynch mob mentalities too. But you know what? There are some lines that shouldn’t be crossed. And pedophilia? Kiddie porn? That’s one of them.

        I’m all for being open-minded. But no, no one has some sort of right to be attracted to children as you seem to be implying. It’s not okay. It’s never okay to view a child as a sexual object. Even if its never acted on it’s still wrong. Even though we can’t put someone in prison for fantasizing about children, that doesn’t mean it’s okay to do! It’s wrong. It’s an illness. It’s bad! This is waaay different from other types of sexual orientation because there is no way to fulfill those fantasies without hurting a kid. Good lord.

      11. Definition of pedophile: “an adult who is sexually attracted to young children.”
        Therefore, if you are attracted to the young children featured in child pornography, you are a pedophile. You did not need to have already physically assaulted a child to become a pedophile.

        Definition of pedophilia: “Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger).
        The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.”

        Pedophilia is NOT a sexual orientation. It is a diagnosable mental disorder.

        And with “multipe court dates and the possibility of jail time,” this is not a one-time “casual” viewer. It wasn’t accidental. I can pretty much guarantee that.

      12. lets_be_honest says:

        Thank you! Why this had to be said is beyond me, but it apparently did.

      13. I agree with you, but feel it’s fair to point out that homosexuality used to be a diagnosable “disorder” too.

      14. lets_be_honest says:

        Comparing the two, even with just what you said (and I get the point you are trying to make, which I disagree with) is like those people who say If we allow gay marriage, what’s next, people marrying their pets.

        At no point in the future would I ever think pedophilia will be accepted. I guess people used to say the same thing about homosexuality, but still. Its kind of an absurd point, but still can see why you pointed it out.

      15. I don’t think it will, or should be. I just thought it was relevant to point out because she said, “Well this isn’t an orientation, it’s a disorder” and what we now know is an orientation was once thought of as a disorder.

        It’s interesting, no?

        But NO, in no way am I comparing homosexuality to pedophilia. Just to be clear.

      16. lets_be_honest says:

        I knew you weren’t and it was an interesting distinction. 🙂

    3. Wow, your defense is naive at best, and downright dangerous at worst.

      You said: “Just as there is a huge difference between types of child pornography, there is similarly a vast gap between having an urge and acting upon it, and likewise a huge gap between looking at child pornography and raping children.”
      – No, there isn’t. Someone had to rape those children in order for him to look at the images.

      I’m attracted to (adult) women. I have looked at porn. That doesn’t make me a rapist.
      – What does this statement have to do with anything? Did you download images of adult women being raped? If so, you are contributing to their abuse, just like the LW’s husband.

      1. “No, there isn’t. Someone had to rape those children in order for him to look at the images.”

        You seem to think that all child pornography involves the rape of children. I have no idea what the guy looked at, but I’m sure the statutes don’t require rape to call it child pornography.

        “Did you download images of adult women being raped?”

        I don’t know. Anyone who has ever looked at any pornography involving intercourse – which I’m guessing includes literally everyone reading this blog post – might have seen rapes in progress without knowing it. That’s entirely different in scope from child pornography, where sex = rape always. Still, my point is that looking at something isn’t the same thing as doing it.

      2. Maybe they don’t require rape, but they do require exploitation. Just because penetration isn’t depicted doesn’t mean some child wasn’t exploited for that image to happen. It doesn’t have to be rape to abuse. And it doesn’t have to be rape to be totally reprehensible.

      3. Oh, I completely agree with that. I think the overwhelming majority of child pornography likely involves child abuse, and so I think that fostering a demand for it promotes child abuse.

        My point was just that we don’t know what he saw, how much he saw, what his other activities are, and so on, and so to group him. as someone who downloaded some unknown number of photos/videos with unknown severity, to someone who rapes children is just unacceptable.

      4. Avatar photo caitie_didnt says:

        Wait, what the fucking fuck, dude?????

        how is abusing a child NOT RAPE???? CHILDREN CANNOT CONSENT. ANY SEXUAL CONTACT WITH A CHILD IS SEXUAL ABUSE. It doesn’t matter if you define “rape” as “penetration only” which is a bullshit definition in and of itself. There is NO moral ambiguity here and nothing is “better” or “worse” because it’s “only touching” vs. “penetration”. IT IS ALL REPREHENSIBLE. What kind of person are you to even defend otherwise?

        Aaaaaand now I’m going to go bleach my brain, for having read what you’ve written.

      5. You can abuse/exploit a child without touching him or her. I don’t particularly enjoy being specific here, but think along the lines of solo pictures. I think that’s the distinction being made.

      6. What difference does it make if it’s rape or molestation? It wouldn’t have been considered child porn and he wouldn’t have been arrested unless it involved the sexualization of children! And to create it means that some child or children were abused. I don’t see the gray area here.

        And I don’t know what kind of porn you look at, but the kind of I have seen is obviously not rape. And no, the “actresses” did not appear to be totally high and out of it and unable to consent.

        There is a difference between sex among consenting adults and sex that is not between consenting adults. There is a gap between the two. I don’t know where you get the idea that the gray area is so vast. The LW concedes that her husband knew what it was and he even went to counseling after, presumably to try and fix his urges.

    4. There must have been enough of child porn involved for police to get a search warrant, so I don’t think it was a picture of a kid playing with a rubber ducky in a bathtub. And while I agree with the statement that not all pedophiles go out and rape/molest children, the difference in this case is that he had acted on his impulse at least once.
      I understand that nothing is ever simply black and white. But we are talking about child porn here. She is way too dismissive of this. No wonder no one will hire him. This one of the worst sex crimes you can commit.
      And I wouldn’t care about leaving my beer with an alcoholic. That would be HIS responsibility not to drink. My children however are MY responsibility. And there’s no way in hell anyone like him or her for that matter comes near them with my knowledge

      1. In my opinion, the ”proper” course of action in his case should have been: Holy fuck!!! I just had an uncontrollable urge to download some kiddy porn!!! I have to go get myself to therapy right now!!!!

        Not this: download kiddy porn, enjoy it, GET CAUGHT, and only then get to counseling, which was most probably forced on him by the court.

      2. This one of the worst sex crimes you can commit.

        Raping children is one of the worst crimes you can commit.

        To me, viewing images of naked children is not worse than a vast number of other offenses, including rape of any sort, murder, extortion, Ponzi schemes, poisoning animals, and so on.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Wow. Just wow. I’d much rather someone extort me or steal my retirement fund than have someone masterbate to children. I cannot even begin to think anyone would feel otherwise.

      4. Then you and I are very different people.

        Someone masturbating to images of children isn’t harming anyone – and it’s very different than someone participating in, funding, or otherwise promoting child porn. Just masturbating to the thought is harmless.

        Stealing someone’s financial future away from them is completely different in scale.

      5. ReginaRey says:

        But the people who are masturbating to the thought of children are the ones who might ACT on those urges. Yes, there’s nothing harmful, per se, with masturbating to the thought of a child you conjure in your mind, but you wouldn’t be HAVING those thoughts or desire if you didn’t feel some urge to act on them. It’s a slippery slope, and I don’t believe that someone can spend a lifetime just jerking off to the thought of children. Eventually, they’ll participate in the exploitation by watching kiddie porn (which this LW’s husband already did), and eventually even that won’t be enough for them.

      6. “Someone masturbating to images of children isn’t harming anyone”
        How do you figure? If it was your kids, say some took naked pictures of them without your knowledge and the only way you knew was cause they told you after. Then you track down these picture to some guy. Now he goes to jail, great. But what about the 50,000 downloads of your kids on other peoples computers? totally fine with those images being out there? And what if you could see who was downloading them, you guys would be totally ok because hey, these people are not harming your kids at all huh?

      7. Someone masturbating to the images of children is harming someone – the children involved. Are you saying that this is a victimless crime?

      8. landygirl says:

        Let’s cut to the chase…would you let this guy watch your children? If yes then you shouldn’t be a parent. If you’d be okay with compromising photos of your child being spread over the internet then you shouldn’t be a parent. If you’d be okay with this guy yanking his chain to pictures of your child then you shouldn’t be a parent.

        You may think that some of it is harmless but the exploiting of children in any form is NOT harmless. Regardless of the manner in which it’s presented, these are real children, not some concept that only exists on the internet. These are real children whose innocence is being exploitedsto some pedophile can pull his pud.

      9. ele4phant says:

        Masturbating to the thought of a child, aided by a picture OF AN ACTUAL CHILD, is harming someone, THE CHILD. We can assume he downloaded explicit pictures (not someone’s bath pictures pulled off a family’s blog), because he was tracked and arrested for his downloads. There was a child(ren) exploited for that image to be created.

        Masturbating to the thought a child, on thought alone, is a somewhat different matter. I would still urge someone doing so to get help, if only to relieve as best as possible the undoubtly staggering pressure one must face when having an attraction that would be absolutely immoral to pursue.

        But if one uses a picture, AN IMAGE OF A REAL LIVING BREATHING CHILD BEING ABUSED, you can bet someone was hurt for that masturbatory session to be accomplished.

        Good grief.

      10. Ponzi schemes?
        that made the list before viewing child porn? solid.

      11. Very solid.

        Look at the scope of damage done by Ponzi schemes. I’m amazed you can even begin to argue that looking at child pornography is as bad. You’re comparing global recession to images on a computer screen.

      12. Jeeesus… You do know where child pornography comes from?? How can that be even close to a Ponzi scheme????

      13. “images on a computer screen”
        This my friend, is where you don’t get it.

      14. Oh, I but I do get it.

        As I’ve said elsewhere here, I see the creation of the images as wrong, and the sponsoring of those images as wrong, but not the viewing of them. However, the viewing is almost always linked to the sponsoring, which is wrong.

        However, no, I don’t consider the impact of child pornography to necessarily equal that of the impact of Ponzi schemes or the like. It doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s bad. I just think you don’t get the impact of major economic destabilizers if you think that they are definitely not as bad.

      15. Yeah I guess international child trafficking and pornography rings that run from South East Asia-Russia-Europe and down to South America before being able to be downloaded to any american computer (for free! so NBD) is really much less worse than major economic destabilizers. I did lose some money back in 08 and boy, did that really blow-definelty more so than being taking from my parents when I was 7, shipped away, stripped naked and sold to different men every night while someone films it. So true.

      16. ReginaRey says:


      17. If I ever have daughters this is exactly one of the things that will keep me up at night. I’ve read that most sexual trafficing involving the US is an inflow and not and outflow, but that doesn’t really give any comfort. The estimates of how many people throughout the world that are living in sex slavery is such a depressing thought.

      18. This is one of the issues I work on with my job-internationally but I do about the domestic scene some. Internationally yes, the US is a receiving country instead of a sending country. But in recent years it’s also become a transport country between the other americas and eastern europe. Incidentally trafficking and child pornography rings in the US are much more likely to be totally domestic, which means kids from texas and Utah end up in NYC or jersey, and with our terrible and expensive public transportation plus different state regulations and territorial bureaucracy its really easy to never see these kids again.

      19. Yeah it’s just so scary. I know the odds are low but the one thing victims always have in common is they assumed it wasn’t going to happen to them. Makes me want to put in a GPS implant in my kid so I can always find them. Horrible invasion of privacy of course so I wouldn’t actually do it but with all the sickos out there it’s hard not to want to.

      20. lets_be_honest says:

        I have thought about that too. We do it to dogs (yes, I know kids are different than dogs). I’d feel a lot more at ease and I bet you people whose kids have been kidnapped have wished they had gps chips. If it were safe and legal, I can’t say I wouldn’t consider it.

      21. Microchips in animals aren’t GPS locaters. They can just be scanned by a vet or shelter to find the info of the owner. But I can imagine if I were a parent I’d have the same urge to be able to find my kid in a worse case scenario.

      22. lets_be_honest says:

        Oh, thanks for the clarification!

      23. I just don’t want my life to turn into a lifetime movie ya know?

      24. iseeshiny says:

        Wow, rereading this thread now, I don’t know how I missed this earlier.

        This argument you have? How making kiddie porn is wrong, supporting the industry is wrong, but just “enjoying” pictures and videos that already exist isn’t wrong? That’s pure sophistry. An action is still real and can be right or wrong even if no money is exchanging hands. A pedophile pleasuring himself to images of a child being harmed is just as much in the wrong as the person who is producing, distributing, and buying the images and videos.

        There are no shades of gray when it comes to the sexual exploitation of children. It’s worse than stealing money, even on a large scale. It’s stealing innocence. Putting the state of a bank account, or many bank accounts, before the welfare of children is wrong. I’m sure you would rather lose your retirement fund than have your kid raped. Hopefully you would rather lose your retirement fund and the retirement funds of other people than have someone else’s kid raped. We can argue all day over what has more “impact” but hopefully we don’t have to argue about what is worse.

      25. He is CONDONING THE RAPE/ABUSE OF CHILDREN. It is equivalent to him standing in the same room and watching. And if you do that, by law, you are as guilty as the physical perpetrator.

      26. So, if I look at the image of someone being shot and killed – like, say, innumerable images online – it is the same as killing someone.

        No, sorry, that’s not the way it works.

        On the other hand, yes, paying for it or supporting ads on those sites is support, and wrong. Odds are, he in whatever way provided some support, and I agree that is wrong. I’m simply disagreeing that the mere act of looking at the images is wrong.

      27. Like I said, I do not think the police would bust into your house just because you looked at a picture of a kid in a tub. Whatever he did, was serious enough to warrant a search, an arrest and a prosecution.

        I get your point about the mere act of looking at picture not being a crime, but even at a risk to myself, if I ever stumble across anything like that on the net, I will call the police. I would step away from the computer, stop whatever I am doing, and call the cops, because that, in my opinion, is a responsible thing to do. Not continue looking at it until there’s obviously enough of it on my computer to get the cops to my house.

      28. And exactly, if I pay for the images/videos of a person getting killed for the sole purpose of selling those images/videos, I am as guilty as whoever pulling the trigger.

      29. BTW, there’s market for that as well… There was a Nick Cage movie about something like that, 8MM…

      30. They’re called snuff films.

      31. I get your point about the mere act of looking at picture not being a crime…

        Well, it is a crime, but my point was that it shouldn’t be. Pretty much everything that led up to it almost always should be, but that actual act shouldn’t be.

        And that, really, is my entire point.

        I agree with pretty much everything else people are saying. I just disagree that the act of looking itself should be criminal. I still think it’s disgusting, but I don’t want to live in a country where that alone is a reason to criminalize something. I want there to be a proven harm. There absolutely is harm with supporting child pornography, and so I agree that the LW’s husband most likely did do something very wrong and that it’s hard to imagine that he stumbled upon a free cache of child porn. I’m just saying that the act of looking shouldn’t be criminally wrong, in my opinion. How one gets something to look at, though, is very much open to criminalization.

      32. iseeshiny says:

        Again, this is sophistry. Either the person is looking at the images because they paid for them, or they’re adding to someone’s download counter and providing motivation for the supplier to supply more. They’re still supporting the industry.

      33. I find it hard to imagine any site hosting child porn isn’t going to have some sort of revenue generating components. Hosting websites isn’t cheap, especially if they get a lot of traffic.

        I do slightly agree with you in the sense that simply seeing the images isn’t initially wrong. Yes if I saw an image of a nake child somehow, say in the duty of being a police officer, that wouldn’t make me a pedofile.

        But it’s definitely wrong to be arroused by those images—regardless of whether or not someone is receiving money for it or not. Masturbating to the image of a naked child is wrong because it’s an act of condonement for the abuse that the child suffered. Whether or not the abuser is continuting to reap some sort of benefit from past abuse is largely irrelevant to me (and I suspect most of the people on the forum).

      34. lets_be_honest says:

        Masturbating to the image of a naked child is an act of condonement for the abuse that the child suffered

        Thank you.

        The fact that the comments being made by JSW have not been deleted is quite upsetting honestly. I do not think I want to be part of a forum where people are allowed to comment about how they approve of and/or defend child porn.

      35. It’s very upsetting. I’m not comfortable either.

      36. iseeshiny says:

        I’m uncomfortable, and while I disagree completely with everything JSW is saying I do have to point out that nowhere in his comments is there any approval or defense of child porn.

      37. iseeshiny says:

        I’m uncomfortable *too.

      38. But it’s definitely wrong to be arroused by those images—regardless of whether or not someone is receiving money for it or not. Masturbating to the image of a naked child is wrong because it’s an act of condonement for the abuse that the child suffered.

        I strongly disagree. I don’t think that there is anything at all wrong with a sexual desire, merely acting upon it in these cases, and so I don’t see anything wrong with masturbating to any images one finds sexually arousing.

        However – and Iw ant to be very clear that I strongly agree here – I do agree that sponsoring the rape of children is repulsive. And so yes, I strongly agree that visiting sites that derive revenue from those images and use it, directly or indirectly, to create more is wrong.

        I’m just trying to separate the desire from the action. I see nothing wrong with the desire to see naked children – or rather, I don’t thing it’s an intentional act of evil, but instead an urge that is wired in. I see a lot wrong with sexually abusing children. I see a lot wrong with financing the abuse of children.

        So,I can’t judge the guy without knowing the actual details.

        Here at DW, we tend to view things as BLACK or WHITE. I try to find the grey.

      39. My problem with this, is that you keep emphasizing that if no one profits from the image, then it is not that bad. So if someone gave the LW’s husband FREE child porn images, would that make it better???

        To me that one particular area – child porn, once the urge is acted upon in any way, be that masturbating to free pictures, stumbling on it accidentally or intentionally and NOT reporting it or doing anything about it is WRONG.

      40. child porn=pedophilia

      41. I’m frankly shocked that you’re saying that merely thinking about something is a criminal act.

        Yes, I think that the creation of child pornography – in the sense of abusing children, which isn’t the sum total of child pornography – is wrong and vile.

        However, to me, for something to be wrong, the act must create harm. Making child porn is wrong because it harms the children. Paying for child porn is wrong because it sponsors the abuse of children. Viewing child porn – by itself, in isolation from anything else – doesn’t harm anyone. You can consider it sick and disgusting – I do – but you can’t point to any harm from it.

        So yes, if the guy stumbled upon free images, I’d see no harm there, but I’d question the chain that led to that discovery, because almost undoubtedly someone paid.

      42. ele4phant says:

        “I’m frankly shocked that you’re saying that merely thinking about something is a criminal act.”

        Dude, he’s not merely thinking about children in a sexual way, he has been downloading porn that creates a demand for more. How can that not be harmful?

      43. @ele4phant:

        Dude, he’s not merely thinking about children in a sexual way, he has been downloading porn that creates a demand for more. How can that not be harmful?

        If he downloaded from a sponsored site – and he almost undoubtedly did – then yes, he’s helping to sponsor it, which is wrong.

        However, (a) we don’t know that’s the case, although I agree it’s the most likely possibility, and (b) I see the degree of harm even in that case as depending on the amount he downloaded/paid for. Anyone who has ever clicked on a porn site anywhere has in some sense sponsored the rape of women because the porn industry at it’s edges isn’t all that good at ensuring true consent. That doesn’t mean that everyone who has ever clicked on any porn site has a high degree of culpability in the rape of women. Likewise, not everyone who looks at child porn has to any real extent funded it. However, yes, it’s some degree of culpability, no matter how you look at it, and so it’s wrong.

        However, my reply was to this: “once the urge is acted upon in any way, be that masturbating to free pictures“, which is what led to what I said about criminalizing thoughts.

      44. ” Viewing child porn – by itself, in isolation from anything else – doesn’t harm anyone.”

        Excuse me?? There are limited resources for investigating and prosecuting child porn producers and viewers. If you become a viewer, you join the group of people to keep an eye on, and make the investigators and prosecutors’ job harder because there is one more sicko to watch out for. So it doesn’t matter if you don’t pay for the images, by looking at them you are lowering the amount of resources dedicated to stopping production and distribution (amount per involved viewer, that is) and that IS harming children.

      45. ele4phant says:

        This should be above to _jsw_ who responded to me, I’m not sure where it will pop up:

        “However, my reply was to this: “once the urge is acted upon in any way, be that masturbating to free pictures“, which is what led to what I said about criminalizing thoughts.”

        My friend, masturbating to or viewing images of a child being sexually abused, be they free or not, is not a thought or state of being. It is an action, a verb, doing something. Punishing people for viewing child porn is not criminalizing their thoughts, it’s criminalizing their actions.

      46. I never said merely thinking about something or having an impulse to do something illegal is wrong. The clear difference in this case is that he has acted on those impulses. He has downloaded child porn. If he had ”stumbled” upon them by accident, he did not alert the proper authorities. He used the images for his own satisfaction. It doesn’t matter if there was financial transaction involved. Even if he viewed them for free, there is a cost of innocent children’s lives involved. It has absolutely nothing to do with money. Even if there would be no profiting involved in making child porn, even if all those sick bastards were making it available on their own dime, that does not make the act itself any less deplorable.

      47. Even him merely viewing the images, free or not, creates a demand. Demand drives supply. Simple economics.

      48. I appreciate the grey but thats just not how sexual desires work. Please go read Savages posts on this issue.

        In *this* situation “masturbating to any images one finds sexually arousing” = “sponsoring the rape of children” and “visiting sites that derive revenue from those images and use it, directly or indirectly”
        Two things you seem to think are ‘repulsive’ and ‘wrong’.

      49. “I don’t think that there is anything at all wrong with a sexual desire, merely acting upon it in these cases, and so I don’t see anything wrong with masturbating to any images one finds sexually arousing.”

        I get where you’re coming from, I really do, but we’re going to have to agree to disagree here. I think there are some desires that are just inherently wrong. Just because it’s natural (in the sense that no conscious decision to like it was made) doesn’t mean it’s not always wrong. I think a desire for rape is wrong for example. You can’t really argue that it’s OK to have that desire. Now might the desire be natural? Sure. Heck the Kinsey report said as much as 30% of men are arroused by it, so it’s certainly not uncommon. Are there “healthy” (read:nonharmful) ways to have this desire, sure. But that still doesn’t make it OK. You can read erotic fiction that details a character getting raped and there’s no harm there. You can watch fake rape porn and there’s no harm being done because it’s actors. You can get excited during movies where the character gets raped and never become a rapist yourself. You can talk your girlfriend/wife into acting out the fantasy with you. But it will never make the concept or desire of rape OK.

        Certain desire’s are just bad simply on a philosophical level. Pedophilia is one such example.

      50. I’d instead say that these things will never make actual rape ok. If 30% of men are aroused by it, it qualifies as a “normal” desire. But the fact that there aren’t packs of rapists everywhere suggest that the vast majority of those with that desire do contain it.

        Likewise, I completely agree that abusing children is wrong – the basest of crimes – but that the desire to think of children sexually isn’t inherently wrong. It’s not acceptable. It’s rare. It’s about a forbidden act. But I don’t think the actual desire is criminal, whereas I think the act is and should be.

        I don’t really see how it’s philosophically OK to fantasize about raping women but not philosophically OK to fantasize about sex with children. To me, both acts are repugnant. To me, neither fantasy is remotely appealing. But why is one “OK’ and the other wrong?

        Again, I’m talking about the desire, not acting upon it.

      51. Because you could role play rape with a women in a safe environment, but you could never do that with a child.

      52. ele4phant says:

        Okay you know what? If a man fantasizes, in his head alone about children, it’s not harmful to anyone else. If a man finds porn of women that look very young but have been certified, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to be 18, its not harmful to anyone else. If a man reads erotica, about children, its not harmful to anyone else.

        But if he watches porn that in some point in the chain harmed a child, I’m sorry, he is complicit in that harm. No if, ands, or buts.

      53. I think the distinction you are making is sexual desires that can be acted upon by two consenting adults and those sexual desires that no matter the circumstances harm one party. This is why some kinks, rape, sex with animals, sex with unconscious people and sex with children as seen as morally wrong while other kinks like furries, rape fantasies and S&M are generally considered ok.

      54. think the distinction you are making is sexual desires that can be acted upon by two consenting adults and those sexual desires that no matter the circumstances harm one party.

        The desires hurt no one as long as they’re not acted upon. So yes, acting upon pedophilia-driven urges with children is always wrong. Having them isn’t.

        I completely agree about the morality of what is or isn’t right to act upon, but arguably there are a lot of adults who fantasize about schoolgirl outfits and the like, so just as rape can be acted upon “consensually”, so can sexual urges towards children.

        But yes, any actual sexual act with any child is wrong. Always.*

        * Well, except when you get into that grey area where the just-turned-18 boyfriend has sex with his 18-in-2-days girlfriend and gets arrested for statutory rape. Things like that don’t count. I’m talking about adults and much-younger children.

      55. I think you think a lot of men (and some women) are a lot stronger than they actually are.

      56. ele4phant says:

        “Well, except when you get into that grey area where the just-turned-18 boyfriend has sex with his 18-in-2-days girlfriend and gets arrested for statutory rape. Things like that don’t count. I’m talking about adults and much-younger children.”

        First of all, there are Romeo and Juliet laws in most places, so your analogy doesn’t quite work.

        And I think there’s a hell of a difference between post-pubescent minors and pre-pubescent children. Now I know we don’t know *for sure* that he was arrested for pornography that involves children instead of teens, but given how easy it is to make legal teenaged theme porn with girls of legal age, and most of the prosecutions these days focus on porn with younger children, I think its safe to assume they were rather young children in the porn he was caught with.

      57. And 99% of all images we see online of people getting killed are fake. No one was actually hurt in the production of the image, so there’s no real harm there. You can make a philosophical agrument about declining sensitivity in the population, but that’s a separate issue. A real snuff film however is wrong, and anyone knowingly watching one is just as guilty as the murderer.

      58. Thank you, my point exactly…

      59. I’m not sure how you came up with theta 99%, but there are many, many images and videos of people who are actually dead or being actually being killed. War images, movies from war zones, accident scenes, and so on.

        To argue that it’s OK to watch a fake video of someone being killed and not ok to watch a real one doesn’t make sense to me, unless you somehow magically knew one was fake and the other was real. The whole point of most of them is that you don’t truly know they’re fake and so you have to assume they’re real.

        I also disagree that watching is the same as murdering, unless you’re watching in real time and could stop it and/or can identify the murderer and don’t.

        Of course, this is irrelevant to child pornography, unless there’s a bunch of doctored videos that make it seem like something is happening that isn’t. I’m pretty sure that any child pornography videos one might see are almost undoubtedly real. And I agree that watching them condones the activity, especially when one has paid to do so.

        I don’t see the horror in a given sexual proclivity, but I absolutely see the horror in enabling child pornography. And I agree that he most likely did so, to a small or possibly large degree.

        To me, though, those who create and market child pornography are much, much, much worse than those they market it to, because those who watch it are trying to satiate a desire they must know is unacceptable but nevertheless have. Those who create it not only knowingly do evil but also market it to those who have no other means to express their desires.

      60. iseeshiny says:

        Oh, okay. Evil vs. super evil. Thanks for the clarification.

      61. But you understand that there can’t be a market without a demand right? and that if people stopped watching and wanting to watch child porn that it would exist in ever diminishing amounts. Thus by getting pedophiles to not watch child porn you are helping to keep children from being harmed-Which is basically the biggest reason that watching child porn is illegal.

      62. This is not a novel idea either- divestment, which is what this is, is a proven tactic to stop atrocities around the world.

      63. I think you misunderstood the point I was making a little. First my 99% wasn’t meant to be taken litterally as a hard number, just an expression of most. When I said there’s no real harm done in watching a fake death (say a hollywood movie), what I’m saying is that no person was actually abused. That actor was not exploitated against their consent. No person was actually deprived of their life. It’s essentially a visual prop used in the telling of a story. I’m not saying that I think the concept of murder or killing is OK. I’d in fact argue the opposite really. I think the desire to kill is mostly a bad thing. But killing/death is also an apples to oranges comparison. There are times when killing is justified, but there are no times when sexually abusing a child is.

      64. there are actually websites that are like youtube that have a lot of actual people dying videos….and some just really bad accidents with no death…but a lot of legit death.

      65. Yeah, and even on regular TV– in the lounge area where I work, a news clip played earlier today of a car charging through a grocery store & clearly hitting a stroller and the person holding it.

        I’m sensitve to images of actual violence like that. I never watch accident videos, because I get chills & tears pricking my eyes, and an overall very negative physical reaction. Probably a similiar reaction that the people on this thread are getting to _jsw_’s comments (figured I’d tie it in, since I’m on here!)

        I do think all _jsw_ is trying to do, though, is find shades of grey where most people believe there are none. There’s a difference between DEFENDING the way a pedophile thinks, and making an honest attempt to ANALYZE it/the laws surrounding it.

      66. “Just as”? Really?

      67. I think the difference between this (looking at an image of someone being killed) is different because the viewing of child pornography is the way it continues to happen. I feel the same way about snuff films. If you are viewing actual snuff films, then yes I believe you are just as culpable.

    5. ele4phant says:

      I disagree.

      Yes, having your brain wired to be sexually attracted to children isn’t something anyone can control, or would choose. And just because someone is wired that way doesn’t immediately mean they are horrible people. I am a big fan of Dan Savage, and he does talk about gold star pedophiles, people who purposely avoid children, avoid getting aroused, and maybe even seek castration. Such individuals have my greatest sympathy, as it must be a struggle and there is no easy fix.

      I do think that watching child porn makes you a bad person though. Watching porn, any porn, creates a demand. In the case of straight, gay, lesbian, kink, whatever, all the actors are grown-up. They understand and consent to what they are engaging in.

      Not so for kiddie porn. While it is MORE reprehensible to produce child porn, it is still reprehensible to create a demand for it.

      1. Exactly…

      2. Replying because I can’t like it enough. THIS.

      3. ReginaRey says:

        Thank you for this response. I feel terribly, terribly bad for people who know that they have tendencies toward pedophilia. No one can control how they’re wired, but we can control how we act upon our tendencies. These men you mentioned are the ones who acted in the right. The LW’s husband is one who acted in the wrong.

    6. The problem is that lesbian adults and the porn that pertains thereto is that they are consenting adults, a vast difference from having an orientation that favors children. And just looking at porn involving children is hurting children because it creates a demand that is supplied by abusing children, so yes just by looking at this porn he is hurting children. You looking at porn of women is not hurting them because the supply consists of consenting adults. I agree that it is an orientation, but unlike being gay, this actively hurts innocents that cannot defend themselves. You may not rape my mother, but she may consent to having sex with you. A man looking at straight porn may have sex with women he finds attractive who can consent to sex. A child can not consent no matter what, so it would be rape. An the demand creates more abuse by creating a need to supply that porn.

    7. You know something? The fact that this guy having the preferences he has (which are frowned on by all, and for a reason), and not doing everything in his power to “get better” (I know that´s not the right term, I just can´t think of what would be) is the fact that makes him worthless scum, in my opinion.
      A few weeks ago Dan Savage answered a letter from a guy that admitted to having pedophilic tendencies, desperate to know what resources existed for him. That letter made me really sad, the guy knew what he felt was wrong, and was seeking help.

      This letter just made me pissed off. Sure, we don´t know what kind of images the creep downloaded.No matter what images they were, he obviously didn´t download them innocently. And I can tell you, if I knew some guy had pics of my daughters on his computer to use as wanking material I would probably castrate him with my bare hands (if I could get the guy away from my husband first). And LW is defending him (at least by covering for him), and considering giving him more victims ????

    8. You argument really breaks down when you compare adult porn with child porn. As a society we accept adult porn as ok and even healthy to look at because our underlying assumption is that the people in the pictures, videos etc. are there because they want to be. This assumption itself can be dangerous if it is never questioned but overall a large part of society has decided there are enough controls in place where watching adult porn is not seen as harmful to those in the porn. NONE of those assumptions can be made with child porn as so while its commendable that LW’s husband has not hurt a child due to his sexual kinks (not orientation, thats gender or sex specific) he in fact acted upon this kink by viewing child porn- and to that end he is enabling the child porn industry and is participating in the harm of children indirectly. The scope of his viewing does not matter here, despite your protests, because these actions however small or large simply identify his kink, which is that he gets off on children. Its a kink that is not accepted by society not because of some taboo reason like being gay for instance but because there is no way to act on this kink without hurting another person, in this case a child who cannot and will never be able to consent to any sexual or pseudo sexual acts, and is thus not comparable to being gay at all.

      Alos the vast majority of pedophiles do see their attraction to children as wrong- those would be the pedophiles not viewing child pornography and also those electing for castration or hormone therapy. Viewing child porn is seen as a step closer to acting upon their desires and that is why you can go to jail for a small amount of pictures or time spend on child porn sites.

      1. ReginaRey says:

        “Its a kink that is not accepted by society not because of some taboo reason like being gay for instance but because there is no way to act on this kink without hurting another person.” — Thank you.

    9. I see what you’re saying. I do. I don’t agree with all of it. But your point is moot anyway, because the LW said, “He may have not physically done anything but he looked, and to me that’s just as bad.” SHE doesn’t see the line between looking and doing. To HER, what he did was just as bad as if he had actually molested a child.

      Why she married him knowing that is beyond me. I imagine it is incredibly difficult to learn that the man you fell in love with is not who you believed he was. I imagine there’s a lot of denial going on. But I think he knows it’s time to MOA, and fast. Hopefully these comments will be the kick in the ass she needs to get her shit together and get on with her life.

    10. ReginaRey says:

      “But if all he has done is downloaded some images because he has sexual desires that he cannot satisfy – and very likely would never attempt to satisfy in reality” — JSW, while your assumption that he “probably isn’t likely to rape a child” is no more inaccurate than my assumption that “it is likely that one day child porn will not continue to satisfy him and he will ultimately very likely rape a child…” which one is safer, on the whole, for society to assume? We’re attempting to protect innocents, here. I think jumping to conclusions is necessary, given the sensitive nature of the young people needing to be protected.

      “Someone who has a sexual attraction to children isn’t any more likely to sexually molest your kids than I am to rape some woman.” Yes, they are. Children can’t consent. You can fulfill your sexual urges with women because women can consent to have sex with you. Children can’t do that. So if an adult with a sexual attraction to children wants to act on their sexual urge, the ONLY choice they have is to violate a child.

      And quite honestly, I can’t believe that we’re having this argument. I can’t believe that I’m here, watching someone defend a person’s right to be sexually attracted to children. To disparage the gay community by even COMPARING the two things. To some people, I’m sure homosexuality isn’t considered “natural.” And that’s unfortunate. But I take no issue whatsoever in saying that pedophilia IS NOT NATURAL. Biologically, adults should not be attracted to children who can’t even reproduce. Biologically, it would serve absolutely NO purpose. I refuse to accept, or even listen to someone partially defend, the “naturalness” of someone being attracted to children. Not when so many children are violated and exploited.

      1. “And quite honestly, I can’t believe that we’re having this argument. I can’t believe that I’m here, watching someone defend a person’s right to be sexually attracted to children. To disparage the gay community by even COMPARING the two things.”

        Yes. This. On both counts.

    11. TaraMonster says:

      _jsw_ I generally really appreciate your insight, but I might have to dip off DW for the rest of the day after reading this.

      I actually have a lot of sympathy for my abuser, whom I’m positive was also abused. But you’re doing mental gymnastics in this comment. It’s a slippery slope between kiddie porn and child abuse. LW’s husband did not seek counsel willingly, which tells me all I need to know about him. LW needs to leave, and her husband needs constant counseling for the rest of his life to keep himself from becoming an abuser. The statistics for pedophiles not acting on their urges are not good. I just don’t see your point.

      1. TaraMonster, I have a great deal of sympathy for your situation, I am very sorry it happened to you, and I in no way condone what was done to you, regardless of whether or not your abuser was also abused (and most were). It’s a terrible cycle.

        I also agree that the LW’s husband should have sought counseling.

        I also agree that the LW should leave, since a proclivity for children isn’t conducive to a marriage.

        I also agree about the slippery slope, but not because I think child pornography leads one to become an abuser of children, more because I think it’s an indicator.

        However, I disagree that he necessarily is destined to abuse children simply because he downloaded child pornography. I don’t think that viewing something somehow makes you more likely to do it. I don’t think there is inherently ever anything wrong with sexual orientation or interests, just with – in this case – actively seeking out real-world encounters of that sort.

      2. Downloading the child pornagraphy is, in itself, abuse of children because children had to be abused to create it.

      3. He doesn’t get it.

      4. ele4phant says:

        Was he “destined” to physically abuse a child himself? Maybe. Maybe not, maybe he himself would never have laid a finger on a child.

        But his actions still contributed to the harm of children (I say multiple because he in all likely had multiple images/videos) in a less direct way. And thats…well, its wrong. It just is.

        You keep distinguishing between orientations and actions. Well guess what? Viewing porn is an action. Albeit quite passive, but “watch” is a verb, not a state of being. Its not his fault he is wired to find children attractive, it is his fault he decided to act on it in some capacity.

    12. ReginaRey says:

      I want to re-emphasize here the HUGE difference that really matters in this argument.

      No, it’s not “wrong,” per se, that this man has sexual urges toward children. It’s unfortunate, it’s sad, and it’s likely something he couldn’t control. His urges and fantasies aren’t harming anyone.

      But this man had a choice. Like the “gold star pedophiles” mentioned above, he had a choice to between saying, “Oh shit. I am sexually aroused by children. This isn’t good. I need help. Let me go seek it out immediately,” and what he actually went and did, which was to actively participate in the exploitation of children by viewing non-consenual images or videos of children being abused, in some way.

      He had a choice, and he chose wrong. THAT is what makes him reprehensible. THAT is where you draw the line between “horrible” and “not horrible.”

      And lastly, I don’t buy the whole “kiddie porn exists on a spectrum,” argument. Sure, maybe he only looked at one *teensy little kiddie porn picture.* But like I said, the urge was there, and he acted on it. The potential for him to become someone who really does physically hurt children is high, and he doesn’t deserve any leniency after making the incredibly bad choice to download child pornography.

    13. iseeshiny says:

      Plus, the whole “beer away from an alcoholic” analogy is really really terrible. I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way but it kind of equates your child to a refreshing addictive beverage and the alcoholic as the one you’re trying to protect. How about you’d keep your two young children away from the LW’s husband the same way you’d keep your two young children away from a pedophile?

    14. AndreaMarie says:

      Its not a sexual orientation. Its a sexual deviance. Like with bestiality and necrophilia.

      1. ReginaRey says:

        Thank you. No one has yet made that point, I think, and it’s an extremely relevant one to have made.

        Though, naturally, some will argue that “deviance” is all relative; there are many cultures (both present and historically) that condone child-adult sexual relationships.

        But I think it’s a moot point, really, considering that we live in THIS society, where being sexually attracted to a child is considered a sexual deviance. And frankly, it’s defined as a sexual deviance for good reason — because the vast majority of people with sexual inclinations toward children WILL, in their lifetime, do more than fantasize. And when their fantasies become reality, they automatically hurt, exploit, and victimize a child.

      2. I quoted part of an easier-to-read version of the DSM up above and pointed out that this is a diagnosable mental disorder, not sexual orientation. You are right – two very very different things.

      3. Considering the DSM’s rather dismal history of defining anything society doesn’t approve of as a disorder, I’m not convinced it should carry all that much weight.

      4. ReginaRey says:

        Maybe so, but in this instance, I don’t think it’s wrong to characterize it as a disorder, when by and large it results in the victimization and exploitation of children.

    15. I feel sorry for him too, but I don’t think that is mutually exclusive from thinking he is a horrible person. I feel sorry for many types of criminals and deviants, especially those that seem like they cannot control themselvs. Even the ones guilty of the most evil acts. What a sad existence. But I also think some of them are horrible and need to be put down like rabid animals in the best interest of society. If you don’t think a pedophile is a horrible person, then I can’t imagine who you think IS a horrible person and thus your idea of who is actually horrible loses credibility, in my eyes.

    16. What the hell is going on here? I get you like to be the voice of dissent but you have got to be fucking kidding me. You seem to be oblivious as to where the child porn comes from. There was an actual child propped before a real camera by someone intent on abusing them/raping them/damaging them. If you view it, download it, or in any way provide the demand for that image then YOU are colluding with whoever assaulted that child to abuse the child. It is shocking that you seem unable to comprehend something so basic. I wonder what the mother of children thinks of your take on child porn.

      1. I agree. If someone I know was busted by the cops for child porn, I would not care about any extenuating circumstances. I wouldn’t care if it was by accident, if it was free, if there weren’t any physical abuse… The fact that someone has it on their computer in quantities that warrant a search, arrest and prosecution is enough. I stumble on child porn by accident – I call the cops. Someone gives me free images/videos of child porn – I call the cops… The kid is not being actually penetrated (I almost threw up as I typed this) – I definitely call the cops. I simply cannot for the life of me think of a reason where that kind of action would make me wonder what the reason behind it is.

    17. one of the kids says:

      i post here and read this website everyday. im under a different name because i have never spoken about this in real life, and i will never on the internet either.

      jsw, you will never -NEVER- understand what being sexually abused as a child does to a person. any kind of condoning this act, be it the thoughts, images, or acts, makes my skin crawl and makes me want to puke. i hope that you understand on some level what you are saying. as someone who has gone through this- living with the confusion because your too young to know whats going on, living with the intense, day in and day out fear of the person, of trying to tell people and not being believed by your own family, of understanding after some time it could turn to rape at any point…. i just wish that you could live with that, with what i lived with, for a short time. you would not be saying these things. i would bet any amount of money, if you knew at all what it felt like, you would not have defended your disgusting theory of how sick, disturbed, sex-with-children thoughts by the disgusting people who have them dont hurt anyone.

      people who have these thoughts should be EXECUTED. period.

  26. AndreaMarie says:

    LW, your bi-polar disorder is NOT in check right now. You need to start seeing a therapist immediatley!! Your decision making skills and ability to see a clear reality is not straight.

    Your husband is a disgusting animal. He is sick! SICK! And should have a meeting weekly with a psychiatrist for the rest of his life. What is wrong with you LW?!!

    Even if you can get passed the fact that your husband beats off to pictures of young boys or the fantasy in his mind of a 6 year old girl licking his dick (i can’t!!!!) and want to somehow make it not so bad in your mind because he didn’t actually physically harm the children in the images, think of the people who did harm them!!! Because of atrocities like your husband who are willing to pay money, there are people willing to ruin an innocent child by violating them and taking pictures.

  27. TaraMonster says:

    I’m going to talk about something right now that is very difficult for me in hopes that you understand the severity of the situation.

    I was molested when I was four years old. My mother was able to completely remove me from my abuser. At about the same time her mental health took a nosedive (off a cliff). She is a bipolar schizophrenic, and this made what I was going through impossible for her to deal with. In fact, it made it much much worse in many ways.

    My abuser was not a family member, and no one could have anticipated it. YOU do not have such an excuse. Just by ever having sex with this man (even safe sex) you are creating a situation where a child could one day be exposed to a pedophile. And if you do have children with him, WHEN (not IF, but WHEN) he abuses them, you are fully responsible for that, bipolar or not. You hear me? You’re an abuser too if you let this shit go down. What will you tell those children? Sorry I knowingly had you with a pedophile? Sorry I can’t help you process that trauma because I’m experiencing a downward swing in my mood disorder?

    I have no idea the severity and range of your bipolar disorder, but it is NO excuse to stay with this man and risk having children with him. You have a responsibility to leave this man and to stop protecting him from his actions. LEAVE. LEAVE NOW.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Thank you Tara.

      1. Well put, and thank you for sharing your story, Tara. Stay strong.

  28. (I posted this before in regards to a similar letter…the advice still applies. LW, you have to get out. Now. Before his issues pull you into an inescapable predicament. Get yourself a good lawyer, an even better therapist, and get out. I can’t stress this enough.)

    This letter almost brought me to tears because I’ve been where the LW is right now. I discovered a stash of child porn my husband had collected on our computer – this was back in the days of AOL and Prodigy as ISPs – and it sent me into a year’s long tailspin. It was the most gut wrenching thing I’ve ever been through. Here’s what I learned from that experience:

    1. This marriage is over. He has to leave. NOW. Contact a lawyer (the best you can afford – this is not a time to bargain shop), go to a legal aid clinic, do what you have to do, but take immediate steps to end this marriage and get him out of the house. When you ask him to leave – no tell him you want him to leave and that you want a divorce – tell him why. Don’t get dramatic or go to the computer to pull up any information. If he won’t leave the house, you leave. If he tries to take the computer with him, let him. If he leaves it behind, unplug it, put it away, and do not use it again. When he leaves the premises, change the locks so he no longer has access to your home.

    2. When you contact that lawyer, ask him/her for counsel on notifying the authorities. He’s committed a crime, and you need to protect yourself from any legal ramifications his actions may have on you and your family. If he’s left the computer behind, the lawyer will guide you through the legal steps you need to dispose of it. If he takes it with him, that’s one less thing for you to worry about, but the lawyer will guide you through what you need to do to report him to the authorities. And you must report him.

    3. DO NOT LOG ONTO OR USE THE COMPUTER HE HAS THIS INFO STORED ON AGAIN. I can’t emphasize this enough. Also, do not throw the computer out, try to delete any files or tamper with it in any way. Again, you need to protect yourself from any legal ramifications and using that computer after discovering what he’s doing could put you at risk. Change the passwords to your personal accounts (your e-mail, your social networking sites, your banking info, etc.) and only yours on an outside machine, to prevent him from logging on anywhere in your name. DO NOT TRY TO CHANGE ANY OF HIS LOGIN/PASSWORD INFORMATION. This could get you in trouble.

    4. You don’t say if you have children or if children come to your house (nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, etc.), but if you do, stop all visits until after he has left the premises and no longer has access to your home. You have to do what you can to protect any children to whom he may have access.

    5. Go to a counselor, and be honest about why you are there. This is a crime committed against numerous people, including you. This is not your fault, nor is it a reflection on you, your sexuality, your attractiveness, your self worth. He’s the one with the mental health issues. He’s the one who’s committed the crime. You need to figure out how to trust others again, how to stop doubting and blaming yourself, you need to learn how to heal. Contact RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) and ask for support groups in your area. If you see a counselor and s/he tries to blame you for what happened, makes you feel uncomfortable, or doubts your story, go to another one. Find a counselor and support group you can trust to help you through this.

    6. Don’t feel like you have to tell everyone why you’re splitting up. Tell trusted friends and family, but don’t broadcast what happened until you’re ready to share. I say this because I lost some good friends and went through a rocky period with my family because the situation was too much for some of them to handle. Hell, it was too much for me to handle at times. As they process what happened, they may shift blame, doubt your story (not because they think you’re lying, but because it’s such an overwhelming and repulsive thing to comprehend), or simply withdraw because of shock. My family’s minister (at the church he and his family had attended almost all their lives), for example, told me that I had to be lying or there had to be a “good explanation” for what he was collecting and that I needed to stand by my husband “no matter what.” I quickly left that church and never looked back.

    7. If you do decide to tell people what happened, do it to help yourself heal, not to get revenge on him. This is especially true when it comes to telling his family, should you decide to go there.

    8. Know that you will possibly still have feelings for him despite what’s happened. Know that it’s okay to do so. You can love someone without loving their actions, having them in your life, leaving when the marriage has become irreparably damaged. You will also feel angry, sad, depressed, euphoric (once this is behind you), numb, and very confused. That is natural. Don’t fight any feeling you have. Journal your thoughts. Find a healthy way to work off the stress and anxiety (exercise, time with family, volunteering, etc.), and avoid the temptation to self medicate in an unhealthy or damaging manner. That will only make things worse.

    My marriage ended 16 years ago, and I’m still dealing with the effects of my ex-husband’s actions and the impact it had on me. I’m also dealing with a recent attempt to get back in touch – he actually had the nerve to use my mother as a character reference on a job search! That one call opened a lot of old wounds, but I’m working through it.

    Know this: You will get through this. You will get better. What he’s done is no reflection on you, and you should not shoulder the guilt, anger, shame, and disappointment you feel alone. You need to end this marriage, and you need to move on as soon as possible. Hugs to you, and stay strong. Please contact a good lawyer, a good counselor, and be well.

    1. That is a powerful message.

    2. TaraMonster says:

      Thank you for sharing your story. It’s so important for LW to hear this. This is excellent advice.

      1. I hope it helps her out. No one should have to go through this. Hugs to you, LW, and know that all will be well.

    3. Good job hitting the moral, emotional, and legal issues involved here. And I’m sorry for what you went through.

    4. John Rohan says:

      Get rid of his computer an notify the authorities? What on Earth for?

      The authorities already know. The man was already arrested and prosecuted for the crime. That’s not the issue here. It doesn’t even say he has another computer now.

      1. To be fair, she said this was copy/pasted from her reply to the previous LW who had found the incriminating evidence herself.

  29. Avatar photo caitie_didnt says:

    Jesus rollerblading christ…..

    The answer is NO, LW. No to everything.

    No, you should not stay with your husband. No, you should not try counselling with him. No, your husband will not “get over this” or “get better”. No, this is not normal. No, it is not okay. No, your husband is not “just looking” because by viewing those images he is actively participating in the sexual abuse of CHILDREN. Also, no- they weren’t just “pictures of children with no clothes on”. No, you should not have children with him. No, it is not okay that you’re keeping this a secret from your families and putting innocent children at risk. No, your mental illness is not an excuse. No, you shouldn’t have gotten married to him in the first place. No, your husband doesn’t love you. No, no no no no.

    The only thing you should be answering “yes” to is: Is my husband a pedophile?

  30. Let’s think this through… Suppose you stay with him. What will the rest of your life look like?

    Your husband is unemployable. So you will always have to be the one who financially supports the household. Any children you have, you will always wonder if he is sexually fantasizing about them if not outright abusing them. You will not be able to leave any child alone in the care of their father even for a single minute – ever. This means you can’t use the bathroom or take a shower by yourself. He cannot change their diapers or give them baths or meaningfully participate with their care in any way. It will be ALL on you. And how will you even sleep knowing he could be up when you aren’t?

    So you will be working, proving the sole income for your family (you’ll still have to pay for daycare even though dad is home) and you will have to be on constant vigil when you are home. There will be no breaks for you. No girls’ nights out, no quick runs to the grocery store, no sick days. Add to that the fact that you have a potentially dibilitating mental illness. It may or may not be under control at the moment, but you know very well that it goes in cycles. Medication may need to be adjusted at times and things like pregnancy can cause changes which trigger it. Not to mention how the utter lack of rest or peace of mind can wreak havoc on anyone, much less someone who is mentally fragile.

    Can you really commit to a lifetime of being on guard ALL the time? Frankly, it sounds like a hellish way to live. Like a prison for yourself and children who will always wonder why they can’t be out of their mom’s sight and why can’t they just stay with dad while you run errands. And we haven’t even gotten into the idea of your kids wanting to have friends over or birthday parties…. you can only keep so many kids in your sight at a time. What if the unthinkable does happen? Can you say without a doubt that you will be capable of putting your own issues aside in order to put the child’s trauma first? And how will explain to that child that you knowingly brought them into this world, into a home with a pedophile?

    If you want to live the rest of your life with a man who you know sexualizes children, well, I guess that’s your choice but go get your tubes tied right now and insist he get a vasectomy as well. It would be wrong in every way to allow him to father a child.

    1. Beautifully put, Redessa. I wouldn’t even float the option of sterilization with this man for two reasons: 1) There is a slim possibility that they could still conceive, even if both them have the procedures, and 2) This does not address his attraction to children. Any child around them is at risk – relatives, neighbors, co-worker’s children, strangers on the street. To protect herself on all fronts (legal, mental health, financial, etc.), she has to end this marriage. Now.

    2. painted_lady says:

      Also, given that this guy has managed to push all of the consequences of his actions into the category of things SHE is doing to HIM – HER trust issues, lying to everyone in their families about not just his legal troubles but the fact that he’s working – what do you think the odds are that he’s going to be completely sympathetic and accepting of the restrictions she puts on his time with the kids? This guy has no capacity for empathy and concept of personal responsibility, so I doubt the first time he picks up on the fact that she takes the baby in the bathroom with her EVERY TIME is going to be received with maturity and grace.

  31. iseeshiny says:

    What the fuck, LW? Leave him. Why are you even asking? Did you honestly think anyone on this site would urge you to stay with him? And if you’d even consider having children with this man I’d advise you to never have them at all. I know that sounds harsh, and it is, and I’m probably going to regret being so mean, but you clearly are unable to make basic safety decisions for your hypothetical children, so I really, truly fear for the safety of any real ones you might have.

  32. LW, it is obvious you are hurting right now because of how much you love your husband. You made promises to one another, in spite of the fact that you knew he had this horrible secret, is facing legal ramifications because of his crime and now, based on those exchanged promises, expects you to keep up the facade with the rest of your family. His attraction to children and his downloading of child pornography is something that you tolerate out of love.

    Except LW, this is not something that should be tolerated. Wendy likes to label some personality quirks/actions as red flags – they are signs that the relationship needs to proceed with caution should you wish to pursue it. In my opinion, there are some personality quirks/actions that are so fraking intolerable that they should not be even bothered with. I call these “the unforbearable” – as soon as the action is demonstrated, one should MOA with no questions asked. Do not tolerate. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

    For example: Witnessing your husband murder someone? That’s unforberable. Don’t even bother trying to talk it out – just go to the police and get your ass into witness protection.

    Now, what may be unforbearable for some may be considered a red flag for others. I do not know what you consider tolerable or not. I am of the personal opinion that child pornography should be an unforbearable act only because it is a crime of strict liability under most jurisdictions. It doesn’t matter WHY you have possession it, possession of the child porn is a crime – PERIOD. If the law of the land deems such an act unforbearable, why don’t you try and ascribe to the same standards for the personal relationships you wish to pursue?

    Please LW, just let him go already.

    1. LW should understand that she is unlikely to receive love from her husband. He likes children. The older she gets the more she will become totally undesirable to him. If she has children with her, he will turn his desires completely from LW and to their kids. That’s who he is. He is a pedophile, because he really does not find adult women sexually appealing. You are his beard, allowing him to pass as normal. That is your value to him.

      What is the deal with looking at his face and losing your intention of leaving? Is he the world’s most perfect face or does he get all sad and pouty and hurt and lost, so that you can’t stand to kick this poor, sick puppy to the sidewalk? I’m thinking the latter. It’s the same technique that he’ll use to lure innocent children into his van or bed. He has had to be a relatively smooth talker and woe-is-me-put-upon to pass in society and get what he wants. Guys like him are adept at gaining parents’ trust as teachers, coaches, scout leaders, Sunday school teachers, anything that puts them in proximity to young children. The parents rarely suspect until it is too late. These guys are narcissists and practiced liars. They can go into court and tell the judge with a straight face how they are the victim who was lured into contact by a super-flirty, sexually aggressive eight year old.

      He’s turned that approach on you, getting you to stay with him out of pity and a sense of commitment, despite your saying you can’t bear to be touched by the perv. Is that a marriage? You look at the face that harms innocent children and you can’t leave it? Really?

  33. There are so many problems with this, but I think it’s clear that the LW needs a lot of help. You got married to a guy AFTER you found out about the child porn. Do you really think you’re that unlovable to get married to someone who possesses child porn?? I think the LW knows that it would be horrible to stay, but she is unable to leave because of her own self-worth or lack thereof. You need to start respecting yourself by not tolerating this behavior any more. To me, a marriage is a commitment for life. You married this guy, which in my book, says that you will continue to tolerate this behavior. But you need to leave him NOW.

    “We talked briefly about counseling, but he doesn’t seem to think we need it, since I’m the one having trust issues.”

    Really? It seems to me that he has planted the idea that you have trust issues to fork over the blame and diffuse what the real situation is. He is a pedofile. He is not okay, and likely will never, ever get better. Sure, it’s not his fault that he is this way. But, he should be able to control his urges. Clearly, he can’t.

    Please, LW, get some self respect.

  34. There is one other thing I can add that I could not add to advice given before. I’m a big fan of Dan Savage of Savage Love. In one of his podcasts, he took a call from a person who wanted help getting past his pedophilia, but was afraid to get help. Dan noted that in many states, if a pedophile sought counseling, that counselor was mandated by law to report the person to the authorities – even if that person had never acted on his/her impulses in any way, shape, or form.

    This guy is probably pushing back on going to counseling because he’s got child porn in his possession, but if he didn’t, he’d probably be pushing back because of these laws that are on the books. Unfortunately, this also means that she’s at greater legal risk (depending on where she lives) because this could turn into a “he said/she said” kind of case over who actually has these materials and because she married him knowing he had these materials.

    Our LW needs a lot of help…legal advice and mental health care. Please get some help, LW. Find a damn good lawyer and an even better therapist. You are going to need it. If your husband loved you, he never would have put you in such a precarious position.

    It’s up to you to love yourself and get yourself some protection so you can get out.

    Please. You deserve to get yourself into a better, safer, saner position in life. Believe that.

    1. I would think if the police got involved two years ago, that the LW is not going to be mistaken for the criminal in this case. However, I just don’t understand how she went through with the marriage after the cops raided her house for child pornography. It wasn’t like she found the files and he could somehow skirt around the issue. His activity alerted police, before the wedding!!!

      I think a therapist is a huge thing. It seems like from the tone of the letter, the LW is living in a vaccuum of denial, trying to muster a future with someone who is there is no future with. If after two years, she hasn’t reached a point of maintaining some sense of reality in this situation, medical care is definitely needed to get through this.

      1. I worry that, because of the past raid and her marrying him anyway, an aggressive prosecutor could say that she was negligent toward (and therefore just as his criminal activity) at best, been complicit in his activity at worst, and bring charges against her.

        Her denial and staying with him all this time says to me she needs a lot of help, especially given her past mental health issues. I also think he’s exploited her mental state to his advantage, believing a wife cannot testify against her husband in criminal matters.

      2. That’s very true, I hadn’t considered that. At the very least, it seems she’s condoning the activities by marrying him. Her mental state seems to very disturbed at the moment, so I hope she gets the help she needs to get out of it. On the outside, it seems like she’s crazy for staying, but I think she’s so muddled in the situation, she has completely lost her grip of what’s right and wrong.

      3. Guy Friday says:

        Not only can they, but most will. It’s the same logic as “pot’s found in a car with 3 passengers; charge them all with possession!” It’s constructive possession; she was aware that it was there as of the raid, and if she’s ever used that computer herself, it’s been under her control at some point. Hence, possession of child porn.

        In general, I think that JSW’s comments were more reasonable than a lot of people are giving them credit for — hey, no one’s ever lost a popularity contest by screaming “EW! PEDOPHILES!” — but I’d be insane to subject myself to that vitriol by sticking my nose into THAT hornet’s nest. Two things to keep in mind, though, for the record:

        1.) Possession of child porn is a strict liability offense, meaning that it’s not technically a defense that you immediately deleted it or reported the source to law enforcement or anything like that. If you opened the file — and in some cases if it even got on your computer, intentionally or not — you’ve committed the crime. So while I’m in no way defending this guy, keep in mind that not all child porn cases are created equal.

        2.) In many states, child pornography laws are written so broadly as to encompass a lot of things that, while technically criminal, I highly doubt any reasonable person would consider worth charging someone with a felony for. Off the top of my head, the first example I can think of is the circulating image I often see of a little cartoon kid (Calvin, from Calvin and Hobbes?) peeing on the logo of a rival sports team; around here, it’s the Cubs, though I’ve seen in much more frequently circulated peeing on the Yankees logo. It’s very clearly a cartoon, and it’s shown from behind, so you can’t see genitals or anything. However, the cartoon kid’s butt is facing the viewer, and in Wisconsin under the law, it’s child porn because it’s a depiction of a child and a “private area” is shown. I’m not saying you have to like the cartoon, but surely we can agree you shouldn’t be charged with a felony for it?

        (And that’s even setting aside the federal government’s attempts to regulate child pornography. If you want to see a great example of law run amok, go read Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, where the US Supreme Court strikes down the Child Porn Prevention Act, which made it a federal crime to, for example, own a copy of Romeo & Juliet, or watch a performance of the Vagina Monologues)

  35. I’d like to make a small comment that might not be popular, but I feel needs to be said. If it’s already been discussed, I apologize; I didn’t read through all the comments.

    Just because your husband has child pornography does not make him a pedophile. While it is just as likely that he has these feelings towards children, there is another explanation. People who have an addiction to pornography (and I mean an addiction, not just looking at it on a daily basis for a little bit) sometimes find the need to find things that are more and more taboo. This does not mean they have a sexual attraction to what is featured in the porn, per se, but to how taboo it is.

    Even if he is a pedophile, I feel… not quite sympathetic, but sorry for him. It’s a terrible affliction that really has no proper outlet. It’s gotten to the point that even illustrations of child sex, or movies featuring a youthful-looking 18+ year old playing the part of a child (outlets that some pedophiles find helpful in curbing their desires, and do not require anyone getting hurt) are at least frowned upon, if not illegal. It was inappropriate that he downloaded child porn, though, and that should be frowned upon, as all child porn with an actual child has a victim.

    Another point I feel I should make that might not be popular is this: pedophiles can have children and not see them as sexual objects. Raising a child gives you a different perspective on that child. However, if the kid brings someone over to play? That could be an issue.

    But don’t get me wrong; if he is refusing to go to counseling with you, this relationship should not go on. If he is, indeed, a pedophile, and you cannot get around that, you need to move on, even if you love him. It will only hurt you more if you wait.

    1. iseeshiny says:

      Thumbs down. I vehemently disagree. No. No. No. It was not “inappropriate that he downloaded child porn” it is illegal and morally reprehensible, and it should not be “frowned upon” it should be prosecuted.

      The fact that pedophiles “can have children and not see them as sexual objects” – I don’t even know what to say to that. Would you have a child with a known pedophile banking on the chance that he won’t try to molest them? Then I think you’d unfit to be a parent. Am I making this personal? Maybe, and for that I’m sorry. But not very sorry.

      1. ele4phant says:

        “The fact that pedophiles “can have children and not see them as sexual objects” – I don’t even know what to say to that. Would you have a child with a known pedophile banking on the chance that he won’t try to molest them?”

        Agreed. When it comes to the safety of children, particularly YOUR children, you should always use a precautionary principle. That means keeping them away from a known pedophile, even if that pedophile is their parent.

        And while I can’t blame people for being born with a predisposition or sexual attraction to children, I can blame them for acting on that attraction in any capacity. I’m sorry, I’m sure living with such an attraction is probably one of the most difficult things possible, BUT the ramifications of acting on it are so great that I have NO sympathy when people do act on it, even in an indirect fashion such as consuming child pornography.

      2. I most certainly agree with your last paragraph. The moment this man downloaded child porn, he lost my sympathy. Now, I feel sorry for what he had to go through before, and the fact that he had some sort of struggle, but I do feel that he should be penalized fully for possessing child porn.

      3. ReginaRey says:

        And honestly, it’s not very comforting to say “Oh, well maybe he won’t molest OUR children, just other people’s children who hang out with OUR children!” I mean, I get what Emma is trying to say, but it’s probably not all that responsible to plant false seeds of hope in this LW’s mind about the potential to have kids with him…or do anything besides GTFO of this relationship.

      4. My intention was not to plant false hope, just to inform. I, like pretty much everyone else here, think that she should leave this man. I think it’s perfectly understandable to leave a pedophile if you plan to have children, and the right thing to do, for yourself and your future children.

      5. I wouldn’t have a child with a pedophile, no. But I don’t want children either way, so I suppose that’s for the best.

        I’m sorry if ‘inappropriate’ was not a strong enough word for you. I did not want to fuel my comment with the emotions that ‘morally reprehensible’ brings about.

      6. iseeshiny says:

        I’m sorry you don’t find possession of child pornography morally reprehensible.

    2. You have a point about him possibly collecting this material for the shock value because of a true porn addiction rather than a true attraction to children, but she can’t take the time or invest the energy to unpack that for her or for him – especially given the fact that he wants no part of going through therapy. The underlying source of his need for child porn is not her concern, or responsibility. The issue at hand here is that he’s had it before, has it now, and is making her feel like she needs to stay. The issue is that she’s in real trouble, in terms of her health and in terms of criminal liability. She has to go without worrying about what his issue are, and she has to report him to protect anyone else he may be putting at risk.

      1. I agree; I think the bigger issue here is that he is trying to manipulate her, and make her stay in a relationship that is not healthy for either of them. He needs to get help, either for pedophilia or porn addiction, and deal with his legal issues. She needs to move on and find someone she can create a stable relationship with, and perhaps a family.

        As I can see my comment was not popular, I feel I should reinforce that I do NOT think the letter writer should stay with this man, for a number of reasons, not the least of which would be her future children. I just felt the need to play devil’s advocate for a moment. But I suppose I should expect that saying anything besides “Run away for the pedophile, he’ll rape your children!” would cause a large majority of you to jump down my throat.

        To the letter writer, just to clear up any confusion you might have about my comment: I was just making statements on pedophilia and the possession of child pornography in general. I do NOT think you should stay with this man. He is manipulating you into staying with him, and he does pose some threat to children you might have with him, as well as their friends.

      2. Extremely unlikely. Perhaps if he were an old, thirty-year married guy who couldn’t get it up any more, even with Viagra, he would use porn in that way. This is a guy who was doing so in the first six months of marriage. Likely fairly long before he got busted. That says he was doing the child porn, because that’s what he likes and that’s what turns him on. Very posssibly he can’t get it up for sex with an adult woman, without first immersing himself in a little kiddie porn. Likely for a six month married couple, they don’t have a very robust sex life. Likely he tells her the problem is she doesn’t try hard enough in bed. It would be interesting to know his age and age of the LW. I’m guessing he’s older by more than a little.

    3. Your first point is interesting, but it doesn’t really change the LW’s situation. She’s married to a man she can’t trust, can’t have children with, and who will be a convicted felon and won’t be able to get a job. If she stays with him, her life will be hell. She should leave immediately and not look back. All the moral outrage and attempts at subtly parsed arguments are just icing on the shit cake that is the LW’s marriage.

    4. But has it ever been established that porn addiction can actually lead to an interest in child pornography? – I mean through formal studies.

      Because I don’t see how this could happen. Desensitization may motivate a desire to find more extreme sources of arousal, but why would that lead someone to fixate on children? They’re the opposite of erotic. For me, children are in the same sexual category as kittens and garden gnomes. I just don’t see the connection.

      1. Remember that there is a difference between those attracted to 16-17 year olds and those attracted to pre-pubesent children. There is a moral and social distinction between those two, esp. in the cases of teens portraying themselves as older/willful ignorance on part of the adult but that distinction is not written into child pornography laws and one could get prosecuted for looking at 16 year olds to the same extent as looking at 7 year olds. By definition the guy looking at 16 year olds is just a creep and the guy looking at 7 year olds is a pedophile. The guy looking at teens would most likely feel the same way about children as you do, but could be booked for child pornography possession.

  36. LW, you say that your husband only looked at the porn but has restrained himself. However, looking at child pornography is not a victimless crime. Every person like your husband who downloads that pornography creates the demand for more children to be raped. Once those videos are out, it is impossible to completely erase them from the internet. I can’t tell you how many victim’s letters I have read from the children in those videos who can no longer leave their home, because they live in perpetual fear of someone recognizing them and knowing of their darkest moments. When these guys show up in court – it is rarely the last time time and often isn’t the first. I saw a wife hear for the first time ever at her husband’s sentencing for downloading child pornography that he had previously raped a 12 year old girl when he was in his 20s, but escaped incarceration when her family refused to go through with pressing charges. This is not a marriage worth saving – your husband’s desires are real to him, they will not go away, and you deserve better.

  37. bittergaymark says:

    Sad to say I can’t have much sympathy for this dreary letter.
    I mean she willingly, knowingly married into this mess…

    1. ele4phant says:

      Sometimes I think you’re a bit harsh on women and their f-ups, but I agree with you %100. Even if she was shocked initially (and honestly, if I found out today my BF had kiddie born I would be in disbelief at first), but she had six months, SIX MONTHS, to come to terms with it.

      And she married him anyways.

  38. painted_lady says:

    A couple of very loosely-related thoughts I wanted to throw into the mix.

    – You say you think pictures of kids are as bad as molesting them. I agree on the principle that these images are of people who cannot consent, and they’re real images, and someone had to be exploited for them to exist, and just because your husband doesn’t do the dirty work, per se, doesn’t mean it wasn’t done and he wasn’t complicit in this. Put another way, if someone you knew – your sister, your best friend, your mom – were in these pictures, obviously being taken either without her knowledge (hidden camera) or without consent (forcible rape or intoxication beyond consent), what would your reaction have been? Would you have married him anyway, knowing he jerked off to a picture of someone you love being violated? What if the kids were ones you knew? Nieces, nephews, neighborhood kids? You seem to think this is “bad” on some abstract plane, but without any real acknowledgment that these images are of real children who were really violated to create his personal spank bank. It’s the same as having pictures of an actual rape, because children can’t consent. How do you not understand this?

    – Secondly, your husband seems to not understand the concept of consequences for actions. Your trust issues aren’t there because you’re mean and punishing him – your trust issues exist because he made some pretty horrific decisions. He created them. Asking another person to create a whole fake story like this is wrong. He doesn’t want people to think badly of him. But he did something bad. It would be one thing for him to ask you not to bring it up if he got laid off – that’s something that happens *to* someone. But this is because of something he *did.* He has no job because he committed a crime. He’s lucky he wasn’t on the 5:00 news – although he wouldn’t be asking you to cover for him. Again, he did this. He knew it was illegal (though wrong doesn’t really seem to register for him) and yet he is punishing you. This is so beyond okay. And you seem to have drunk the Kool-Aid.

    – Just because he stood by you while you dealt with a mental illness YOU DID NOT DECIDE TO HAVE (unlike him, who decided to download these images) doesn’t give him a get-out-of-jail-free card for the rest of your lives. And it also doesn’t mean that because you’re ill that he’s the only man who will deal with you nor that you don’t have the right to seek better, more whole, more sane partners.

  39. Coincidentally, today at work we received a report of a TWO-YEAR-OLD girl who tested positive for gonorrhea. And wouldn’t ya know it, the mom and her boyfriend tested positive too.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Jesus. What do you do for a living?
      Also, maybe I’m really dumb, but is there any way other than sexual to transmit it?

      1. I’m a disease intervention specialist for the health department. And, no. We all tried to think of other ways she could have been infected. It wasn’t from birth because she’s too old. And it’s a vaginal infection, not an ocular one. Oh, AND the mama’s boyfriend is positive? Yeah.

        We’re all feeling sick around here.

        I need a cigarette. :/

      2. iseeshiny says:

        Please tell me that there’s something that can be done to take the kid out of danger.

      3. Oh it’s been reported. We haven’t found out yet if the parents are in custody.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Good luck, I couldn’t deal with that! Poor girl.

      5. bittergaymark says:

        Could it somehow be like transmitted on one’s hands like when he changed the diapers? I have no idea if that is even possible… But, yeah. Yikes…

      6. this is hilarious. The one super out gay guy on here suggesting that sti’s get transmitted through hands.

      7. bittergaymark says:

        Eh, I’m just grasping at straws here as I so don’t want this icky story to be true…

        But he probably is guilty. So great. Another fucked up boyfriend. Another reason women with kids should maybe NOT date for a while… The amount of sexual abusers brought into the home as boyfriends is staggering…

      8. bittergaymark says:

        Moreover, to clarify, I was not talking hand to hand contact. I was talking hand to genital contact which one could innocently have while changing diapers.

      9. It’s remotely possible. I mean, you can spread stuff from your own junk to your eyes, right?

      10. lets_be_honest says:

        Its a very scary thing. I know so many girls with kids that, imo, don’t properly vet their SOs just because they are oh so in love. Very, very frightening.

        I think any single mother needs to have a very heightened vetting process (can’t think of a more appropriate word) when bringing a man into her home. I have to imagine single moms are ideal to men like that, for the most obvious reasons.

      11. We ALL tried to think of any possible way it could have been transmitted in an ‘innocent’ fashion…

      12. ReginaRey says:

        This makes me SO angry. Like, exploding into the Incredible Hulk, angry.

        I know the deal, I do. I know that this woman was likely abused as a child. And that she grew up with a warped mentality, and she landed herself with some douchebag pedophile, just like whoever abused her, because it’s the nature of the sick, sick cycle.

        But ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?! It’s one thing to have a child abused in a situation you had no control over. But this? THIS is a mother’s duty to prevent…and she failed, terrible. I can only PRAY that this little girl gets removed from this entire situation, and is raised by people who can protect her.

    2. Avatar photo caitie_didnt says:

      Again, Jesus rollerblading Christ….

      I’m glad that there are people out there like you, and who work in the field that you work in. At least someone is looking out for that poor little girl.

  40. ele4phant says:

    I got so caught up in jsw’s posts I forgot to even respond to the initial letter. Go. Go now. You *should* have gone before you got married, but you didn’t. But go now. Don’t have children, don’t try to make it work. Leave him.

    Not only has this man done an awful, awful thing, he seems fairly unrepentant, unwilling to seek treatment (although at this point and time there is no treatment that could “cure” him, but it could at least address his immoral behaviors and figure out strategies to manage things), and he’s been twisting things back onto you.

    Had he sat you down six months before your wedding and told you he had these attractions, but had not, and never intended to act on, well we might be having a different conversation.

    Instead, he manipulated you, and consumed child pornography until the FBI caught him. Case closed.


  41. This letter and the comments made me sick to my stomach. There are very few things I regret in life, reading this was one of them. It’s like a train wreck and I couldn’t look away, but seriously. Just yuck.

  42. Wendy (not Wendy) says:

    I was married to someone for several who I found out had begun sexually abusing a child. I started divorce proceedings the moment I found out about it. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have doubts at times. Sometimes people are incredulous about that–how could I have doubts?–but everything was so crazy that I doubted everything, everything. I felt had showed such poor judgment in marrying someone who turned out to be THIS–how could I trust my judgment on anything else? And it was very easy, natural, for my brain to try to compartmentalize everything I knew about the person I’d married and try to keep it separate from the child abuser. That kind of defense mechanism is how we survive. My brain was trying to keep me from collapsing, even though what it was telling me wasn’t actually in my best interests long-term. I was lucky in my resources: mental health and supportive friends and family. No one who knew the situation ever voiced a moment of doubt. I leaned on that more than I can say.

    It was only after I had been gone a few weeks or months that I really started to understand what had happened and how vile my ex was. I knew it on some level right away, but I could not understand it while I was in the middle of it. And I spent–oh, less than an hour of time in my ex’s presence from the moment I found out. I can’t imagine how hard it would be if you were still living with the person, trying to make things work.

    1. theattack says:

      Your comment is so insightful and self-reflective. I love hearing when a person pulls through something so unbelievably difficult and tragic, and they come out the other side with such a clear understanding of it all. I just wanted to commend you for your strength, your perseverance, and your reflection.

    2. Thank you for sharing your experience Wendy! It’s very understandable how a person can and would want to compartmentalize something like this. Who really wants to believe that someone they love could do something like this? Your story was so inspiring. You are such a strong person and offered a perspective the LW desperately needs to listen to.

    3. IT is so important for the LW to read this. Thanks for sharing

    4. I know this isn’t remotely the same, but I went through the same type of denial when I was with an abusive partner. I completely understand how it happens. I, like you, didn’t realize the full gravity of the situation until it was all done and over and I’d had a few months to reflect.

  43. AnotherWendy says:

    Go to counseling LW. Don’t hesitate, don’t stall, don’t make excuses, just make an appt and go. Read your letter to the counselor when you get there. The counselor will take it from there. You need out of this marriage but it sounds like leaving, for whatever reason, is not going to be something you can easily do. But you know you need to, from your letter that is very clear. The counselor will help you. Go, go, go and make an appt. right now, and you will find out leaving him will be fine, starting over alone will be fine (scary, yes but fine too), and it will really be all ok for you. Staying will not be ok for you.

  44. I have not read anyone else’s comments yet. I have just checked this post out, and I’ve been busy at work, and right now, I’d like to smack you.

    I have worked with pedophiles. I still work with them on occasion as they come through my line of work. They don’t “get better”, they only manage their symptoms/addictions. And because “sex is natural”, they usually slip up and re-offend.

    He doesn’t want people to know what he did. Gee, I wonder why. He has you actively lying to people. Your friends and family. You are protecting a sex offender. Someone who would otherwise trust you with THEIR CHILDREN. Pictures are a gateway. What happens when those pictures aren’t enough? Because, let me tell you, those pictures won’t be enough after a while.

    Get your ass to a counselor for yourself. Find out why the hell you have such low self-esteem and such low self-worth that you are willing to stay with a child predator rather than move on and find a real man. Do not consider having children with this piece of shit. You will only be condemning them.

    1. ele4phant says:

      Just out of curiosity, I’m not sure that the connection between watching porn leading to abuse is crystal clear. Undoubtedly, those capable of abuse will start with porn, and those who abuse once will likely abuse again. But maybe watching is far as some men will ever go.

      In the end, it doesn’t really matter, watching child porn is wrong in and of itself.

      I try to consider what I would do if I were in these men’s (and a few women’s) shoes. If for some reason it was morally reprehensible and exploitative to have sex with adult men and I knew it wasn’t something I was ever supposed to engage in, I don’t think watching straight porn would be a sufficient outlet. Not because I would doubt in my ability to restrain myself from assaulting unconsenting and innocent men, but it just seems tortuous to do to one self. I think I’d make effort to quash any sexuality I had.

  45. Hey! Longtime lurker, I think I’ve posted 2xs or something.

    Btw, Addie Pray, if you move to Boston, let’s be bffs, ok? I’m a criminal defense atty in Providence.

    As an atty who just recenty picked up a guy w kiddie porn charges (my 1st), I am amazed by the extreme devices the St Police went to, esp in identifying the IP addr. While I am young-ish (31), the complicated-ness of my client’s case suprises me. You cannot just “stumble upon” kiddie porn in this day and age. LW’s husband needs to own up to it and go to counseling, AT THE VERY LEAST.

    1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      Deal! I can’t sleep. I was having this terrible dream. In my dream I was dreaming about hooking up with this married guy who flirts with me at work. I woke up in that dream because I heard static coming from my dad’s room. (In my dream, apparently, I lived with my dad.) I went in to see why there was static blasting in his room and found him half paralyzed on the floor. He was pissed it took me so long to hear the static. He then had detailed instructions for me – he needed me to get his kit from his bathroom that hat his medicine and needles – but I kept fumbling because I was so scared and nervous he was going to die and I felt so guilty about the fact that while he laid there I was sleeping and dreaming about hooking up with a married man.

      What does *that* mean?

      It’s 4:43 am now and there’s no way I’m going back to sleep. I am so wide awake. This sucks.

    2. The letter says he did go to counseling for the kiddie porn, but refused to go to counseling for his marriage. Probably his lawyer told him to get his ass to the counselor, because it would make him appear more sympathetic and redeemable when he has his day in court. In the case of pedophiles, counseling not likely to help. As a society, we seem to have an inflated sense of how often rehab and counseling succeed. At least those of us on the left do. For those on the right, it’s finding God.

  46. Avatar photo barleystonks says:

    Ok, I’m going to come down with sympathy on the lw’s side, having been in a different yet nearly as horrible (I think) situation. Odds are, he’s laid the groundwork for his defense. He’s stood by for her bipolar (so did my ex). He’s shown that he’s always there for her in all the rest (so did my ex) He’s probably protected her from some things (so did my ex). I’m assuming she’s had as rough a time as I did with bipolar, and that probably lost her some friends who couldn’t handle it, and so of course, he did. So when the husband has his “little problem”, she has been manipulated on many counts, not the least of which that if she reaches out to friends she’s going to be fearing which ones is she going to loose this time just because of the drama it’s going to cause.

    What the lw needs to understand, more than the childporn, is that this is ABUSE. And it’s not going to get better on his side, and the only way to break this cycle is to get out of it. Try and lean on the counselor most, if she can, and hopefully that will take some of the burden off of her friends, if she’s scared of loosing them by doing this. But yes, I’m going to echo the above: Counselor, STAT!

    I do understand why this is harder for the woman caught in the middle than it seems to the commenters, and anyone who has been caught in an abuse cycle should agree: it just isn’t that simple until suddenly it is. I hope this post and these comments will be the bit that jolts her out of orbit.

  47. You decided to stay with him after learning he watches child pornography? WTF?! How can you possibly be ok with that?????



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