Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Husband Has Child Pornography”

I am in a mess! I have been married for six years. In those six years I have endured a man that has a raging pornography addiction. When I say this, I mean he will look at it instead of being intimate with me. The first three months we were married we had sex twice. Fast forward to now and we are still struggling with the addition. He says he’ll stop looking at porn, and that he loves me more than he loves his addiction, but through all the years of promising to stop, he still watches and downloads this stuff. I have been to marriage counseling, tried just ignoring it, and have gone weeks without sex at some points. I’ve tried joining with him and yet he still seems to prefer the porn over me.

It has now come to my attention that he is looking at child porn, and yes it’s real. I’m at a loss on what to do about it. I’ve been searching everywhere on what I should do and I keep seeing the pendulum swing in two extremes of “I should get over it” or “I should just divorce.” Aside from the sexual shortcomings, he’s an amazing person which is why divorce doesn’t seem like an attractive solution. But sex addiction counseling and anti-depression medication he’s on to “help” with his problem is not, in fact, helping him. I needed a completely neutral person to help out with this since I understand the legal implications behind child porn so I can’t ask advice from friends or family. There are other problems with the marriage but this one is what is keeping me held up on what I should do immediately.

The summary of what I am asking directly:

What should I do about the child porn viewing?

Is this marriage worth saving? (I want an actual opinion not that blanket remark of “Only you know if it’s worth saving.”)

Are all men like this and is this what I have to look forward to if I move on? — Lost in Pornucopia

Good God, woman, get yourself to a divorce attorney immediately!! No, this marriage is not worth saving (and I never ever say that lightly). You’ve been dealing with the same problem since you married six years ago and it has only gotten worse. Marriage counseling has not helped. Addiction counseling has not helped. Anti-depression meds have not helped. And now you’ve found child pornography in your husband’s possession (which is a crime, by the way, as I’m sure you realize). If there was ever a time to scream MOA from the rafters this is it. Get out of this situation before you find yourself in hotter water than you already are.

Your husband may be “amazing” in many ways, but he has a sickness that prevents him from being the husband you need him to be. You’ve had six years to decide whether that’s a dealbreaker or not and it seems like you know the answer — you only wish it weren’t so. But, honey, it’s so. It’s so! And, no, not every man has the same sickness as your husband. Not by a long shot. Not even close. No one is perfect, of course. Every man — and woman — will have flaws, but I promise you on my unborn baby’s life, an interest in child porn and an addiction to pornography in general to the point that it supersedes any intimacy with one’s spouse is absolutely, positively not the norm.

Get yourself to a divorce attorney right away. Tell him or her about the child pornography you’ve found in your husband’s possession. You will be advised from someone who knows a lot more than I do about these kinds of things how to proceed. What you’re dealing with here is very serious and you need to make your own protection and preservation a top priority. That includes protecting your reputation and assets, which an attorney can help you with. You are dealing with much, much more than “sexual shortcomings” of your husband, and this is not something you can just “get over.” How in the world would you ever “get over” finding child pornography in your husband’s possession?! Not only would it be psychologically impossible, but it would be morally reprehensible. You owe yourself — and society — the favor of getting out of this marriage and alerting the proper authorities of your husband’s behavior. If you don’t, you are enabling crime against children. And more than existing in a sexually bankrupt marriage for the past six years, I’d think that would be one thing you really couldn’t live with.

*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.

217 comments… add one
  • kerrycontrary August 31, 2011, 3:03 pm

    oh my god LEAVE. Your husband is sick and needs help. More than that, he would probably NEVER get better now that you know he has child porn. and now that you know that, you can be charged with possession as well since you knew and didn’t do anything about that. Think about if it was your child. Please please leave and never look back.

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  • justpeachy August 31, 2011, 3:05 pm

    One word: ultimatum.

    Have an intervention and make it VERY clear that if can’t get himself into a sex addiction rehab facility and stay on track, you WILL leave him.

    But from the description you gave, I’d talk to a divorce attorney first to explore your options because most addicts can’t get clean for the people in their lives, they have to realized it for themselves.

    Be strong honey.

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    • kerrycontrary August 31, 2011, 3:10 pm

      I think the ultimatum is fine if he was addicted to regular porn, but pedofiles NEVER get better. Not only is this guy looking at child porn, he could’ve actually acted on some of this impulses. I wish I knew who this man was so I could report him myself.

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      • Lydia August 31, 2011, 3:36 pm

        I am not condoning the husband’s actions in any way, but I would like to point out that the fact that he is looking at child porn does not necessarily make him a pedophile. It may be that he is getting ‘jaded’ and not achieving the same amount of arousal from regular porn anymore, so he is moving on to more taboo areas to get his thrills. It may be the forbidden aspect that turns him on, not necessarily a sexual attraction to kids.

        Of course, it’s still wrong to look at child porn, because that harms actual children, regardless of the motives for viewing it.

      • amber August 31, 2011, 3:50 pm

        “According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), pedophilia is a paraphilia in which a person has intense and recurrent sexual urges towards and fantasies about prepubescent children and on which feelings they have either acted or which cause distress or interpersonal difficulty.”

        “In popular usage, pedophilia means any sexual interest in children or the act of child sexual abuse, often termed “pedophilic behavior.”

        Child porn is not a taboo area it is illegal. And while he may not be a pedophile now looking at child porn may the first step. What happens when just looking doesn’t do it for anymore either?

      • Lydia August 31, 2011, 4:36 pm

        Considering that, going from the LW’s letter, he generally has more interest in watching than doing, I don’t think him acting upon what he sees is a huge concern. Assuming that the child porn isn’t indicative of a larger problem with sexual attraction to children of course, as opposed to be a problem with porn in general.

        And yes, child porn is illegal (which is not mutually exclusive with being a taboo). I would absolutely urge the LW to report her husband to the proper authorities, because again, regardless of his motives for watching it, watching child porn harms actual children.

      • Skyblossom August 31, 2011, 5:02 pm

        How could you look at child porn without a sexual attraction without getting sick. Children are harmed when child porn is made and he is funding and aiding in this harm. He is actively hurting children by watching this porn. There are real victims who are really being exploited and really harmed.

      • sweetleaf August 31, 2011, 3:56 pm

        LYDIA – I am totally disgusted with your comment. I understand that is your opinion, but I am totally disgusted and angered.

      • Lydia August 31, 2011, 4:12 pm

        Okay. Likewise, I understand that this is your opinion. Could you explain what you find so disgusting about it? I tried my best to explain that I do think the LW’s husband is doing something morally wrong, just that the reasons behind it may not be what we think (which doesn’t make it any less wrong), but apparently I failed at that.

      • 6napkinburger August 31, 2011, 5:00 pm

        you didn’t fail. I totally get it. It is barely even the images themselves, in your supposition, but rather the rush of viewing taboo images that enhanced the experience enough for him to reach gratification. if that is the case, he is most likely not a pediphile or to harm children. doesn’t make pediphilia less serious or wrong, doesn’t make owning child pornography less wrong, but makes his motivation for doing so different than the typical child porn-owner. You were very clear and logical.

      • KBobK August 31, 2011, 5:37 pm

        I know this is nitpicky, but using the phrase “…he is most likely not a pediphile or to harm children.” to justify his actions can be grossly misinterpreted and elude to false hope. I think given the sensitive nature of this topic stating an unknown like that can be very dangerous. You don’t know what is or is not most likely. You may be absolutely right and you may be absolutely wrong. Anyone in this situation should investigate the facts of what is happening and not just push it aside hoping they’re situation falls in the “most likely not” category.

      • Annie1 September 1, 2011, 10:54 am

        Lydia, let me set you and other readers straight on something that most people don’t know about pedophilia. It is not in the list of sexual impulse/predilection that any other sexual urge is, such as watching porn, preferring blondes with big boobs, or liking to dress in drag. It is a psychological illness that is INCURABLE. There is no recommended noninvasive treatment that has proven long-term to have any success in ridding someone of the desire to sexualize a child.
        I have a very personal, very extensive background in this subject and I can tell you that from an abnormal psych perspective, pedophiles cannot be cured. They have tried everything: aversion therapy, behavioral and cognitive therapy, group-home counseling, drugs, etc. IT DOES NOT WORK. The only thing that does work is medical castration, which obviously is banned by the constitution but is the only thing that will reduce a pedophile’s sex drive–by eliminating the majority of testosterone produced–to the point where the urge to have sex with children (or anyone, for that matter) is abated.
        Furthermore, from a purely non-sexual, abnormal psych point of view and a law enforcement one, most criminals and sex offenders start out small and continue upwards with every success they achieve (and by success I mean house they burgled, purse they snatched, jewelry they shoplifted, physical assault they carried out). Someone who starts young, say in adolescence, in petty theft or something similar, usually ups the ante to larger and larger crimes until they get caught. Sex offenders even more so. Pedophiles are particularly pernicious: they might start by hanging around playgrounds, watching kiddie porn, etc. I can guarantee that that isn’t enough after a while and they will start acting on their fantasies. You will never hear about a kiddie porn aficionado who goes through his whole life without ever once trying it out for real. Don’t think I’m making this up. Psychology statistics have proved this theory. I won’t bore readers with specifics, but I have books/articles that I can cite to back up these data.
        I’m not trying to be a jerk know-it-all here. I just know what a real and present danger child sex abuse is, and it starts with someone close to a pedophile who doesn’t have the guts to report the activity for fear of hurt feelings and reprisals. But if someone has kids (and I pray that the LW doesn’t) or even just cares about kids, then that someone owes it to their own kids and all the kids in his or her life to act to protect them, no matter how unpopular that action is. It will piss off the ex. It will piss off the inlaws, the friends, will make social gatherings awkward. And it will drag the LW through the mud. It ain’t pretty, it’s messy, and it’s uncomfortable. But it’s still a million times better than the horrors that the children in her husband’s videos now have to live with for the rest of their lives and that can be stopped.

      • LOVE MY PETS LADY September 2, 2011, 9:27 pm


      • amber April 21, 2012, 2:14 am

        So i also know someone interested in child porn. How do I report it and do I have to be involved?

      • amber April 21, 2012, 2:19 am

        I meant to reply to annie 1-
        I am also dating someone who is very into porn/ child porn I have reported the sites and they dont get closed down… If i were to report him how do I go about this and do I have to be involved?

      • Annette October 28, 2012, 9:30 am


        Is there a way you can contact me off this forum. If you are willing, I would like your advice for a situation I am dealing with.


      • oldie September 1, 2011, 11:43 am

        I think you got thumbed down for bad logic and wishful thinking. You say he seems more into watching than doing. We don’t know that. All we know is that he is more into watching child pornography than doing it with his wife. This could merely mean that he is not sexually attracted to adult women. There is a very real risk that he will be attempting the doing with children, before long. His wife might be saving one or more childrens’ futures by turning him in to the law. Definitely MOA and call the cops on the way out. No ultimatums, that will simply cause the evidence to be destroyed. Once she MOAs and he is on his own, the odds of child predation increase. She morally cannot take that risk.

    • iseeshiny August 31, 2011, 3:15 pm

      Get away get away get away. Forget about the legal implications, think about the poor kids. Just because he doesn’t molest children himself (that you’re aware of) doesn’t make it any less of a stain on his soul that he enjoys that kind of thing. That’s the kind of crazy you can’t wash off, and should be a deal breaker for everyone. Everyone. There are no extenuating circumstances that could possibly make this okay.

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      • iseeshiny August 31, 2011, 3:18 pm

        Oops. I didn’t mean that to be a reply to your post specifically. Sorry.

      • justpeachy August 31, 2011, 3:24 pm

        Look, I completely agree with you, but I was just offering an option. We don’t really know what the LWs stance on divorce is. She may want some sort of potential action to take before making the decision to end it.

        I’m not an expert on porn addiction or pedophilia, so I can’t state as to whether he can or cannot come back from this, but in almost every other letter on DW (and I know that this one is by far the worst we’ve seen), the suggestion is to usually communicate to the other person about your unhappiness and maybe they’ll change. I don’t think he will, but I’m sure psychologists and criminologists could have much better debates about this than I could.

      • savannah August 31, 2011, 3:38 pm

        I actually think that communicate here will hurt the LW from a purely financial standpoint. It’s pretty clear that she needs to get out and think about herself right now.Her husband is engaging in criminal behavior and it could spill more into her life if she stays. Plus he needs professional help, not a good talking to which is not something she can provide.

      • honeybeenicki August 31, 2011, 3:58 pm

        There are some cases where communicating an issue will help. This is not one of them. This is a serious problem. While I am not a fan of divorce, I believe there are definitely instances where it is warranted – abuse (of spouse or children), child pornography, etc. Obviously LW has communicated with him about the flat out porn addiction because he was getting “help,” but when it crosses into child porn that’s when you don’t even stop to put on your running shoes, you just run.

      • MonMon August 31, 2011, 3:32 pm

        I’m no expert either, but my common sense tells me that one has to be pretty deeply messed up in the head (e.g. SICK) to enjoy watching children forced to do sexual acts. Getting to this stage is extremely different than becoming an alcoholic or having a drug addiction. I think the latter two are more realistically fixable, as they are more diseases of the “physical” kind rather than mental.

      • iseeshiny August 31, 2011, 4:16 pm

        Yes, not to mention alcoholism and drug addiction don’t directly require the harm of children. Child pornography most emphatically is not a victimless crime.

    • HBomb August 31, 2011, 3:18 pm

      No! Noultimatum! He has had 6 years to get control of this. Actually, more than 6 years cause I bet he was addicted to porn before they married 6 years ago.

      It’s time to leave.

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      • Tracey August 31, 2011, 4:14 pm

        The only ultimatum that will work in this situation is, “Either you’re leaving this house or I’m leaving, but this marriage is over,” followed by packing and moving.

        He’s got a major mental defect and there are too many legal implications stemming from her husband’s behavior that could destroy the LW’s life. It’s time to leave – be it him or her – time to end the marriage, and do everything possible to protect herself from the damage he’s inflicted on her. She also has to get the best legal and emotional support she can find right now because this is a lot to go through.

      • Tracey August 31, 2011, 5:05 pm

        Plus, if he’s been collecting (and hiding) for this stuff, he’s probably got the art of manipulation, deflection of blame, and deceit down pat. An ultimatum would be turned around and twisted in minutes. No ultimatum necessary, just a foot through a door.

  • Vathena August 31, 2011, 3:07 pm

    AMEN, Wendy (and everyone else who will be commenting on this!) Porn involving consenting adults is one thing, but children are being harmed because of your husband, and you can’t ignore that. Get to an attorney YESTERDAY.

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  • amber August 31, 2011, 3:08 pm

    Are all men like this and is this what I have to look forward to if I move on?

    NO. There is a GIANT difference between watching porn and having an addiction to porn and not only porn but child porn. Addiction to porn is not unlike any other addiction. In order for it to get better the person has to want to get better.

    And you say that otherwise he’s an amazing person but that this isn’t the only problem in the marriage? Definitely time to get out. Get counseling on your own if you feel you need it in order to have a functioning relationship again. But, know that not all men are like this.

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  • Bethany August 31, 2011, 3:10 pm

    LW, you really need to leave- NOW. And you need to go to a lawyer, STAT and get all this documented. If your home is raided and this stuff is on a computer that you share with yoru husband, you may potentially be charged as well. Especially since you knew that it was there and did nothing.

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    • Amanda August 31, 2011, 8:35 pm

      Absolutely true. I can’t believe the LW is even asking about this. DIVORCE HIM IMMEDIATELY. Some things can NEVER be forgiven and child porn is one of them.

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      • Guy Friday September 1, 2011, 1:21 pm

        “If your home is raided and this stuff is on a computer that you share with yoru husband, you may potentially be charged as well. Especially since you knew that it was there and did nothing.”

        I can’t emphasize this enough. I’m involved in the criminal justice system, and I can assure you that in my state, if you knew about it as you have and didn’t do anything, you WOULD be charged as Party to a Crime for Possession of Child Pornography, which is a felony carrying a maximum sentence of 12 1/2 years of prison time and 12 1/2 years of parole PER COUNT. So, if there are 5 pictures, you could be charged with 5 counts. You get the idea. Would you be convicted? Maybe, maybe not, but you certainly wouldn’t be getting probation if you were convicted. The same thing applies in many other states I know of as well.

        I don’t suggest walking away lightly, but you need to do it here, and you need to do it FAST. And while talking to a divorce lawyer is a great idea, I think you should also consult with a criminal defense attorney in your state so that you can be proactive in preventing yourself from committing any crimes, even if that means contacting the police to point out the child porn.

      • Annette October 28, 2012, 9:37 am

        Can you suggest someone to get advice from for a similar situation, but more complicated and less clear, I am facing?

        Thank you,

      • Guy Friday October 28, 2012, 12:10 pm

        As I said, assuming it involves something that is in violation of criminal statutes, go find a criminal defense attorney for a consultation. Contact your state’s Bar association; most of them have lawyer referral services that can put you in touch with a competent attorney.

  • AnitaBath August 31, 2011, 3:12 pm

    Aside from the other HUGE HUGE HUGE problems already touched on, can’t the LW get in trouble (since child porn is a pretty serious offense)? Especially if it’s on a shared family computer? And now you know about it and if you stay with him it’s pretty much doing zero about it?

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    • lexie.b August 31, 2011, 3:16 pm

      I believe that because they are married she has the right to not turn her husband in because that would be the law interfering with the marriage.

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      • honeybeenicki August 31, 2011, 3:26 pm

        A spouse cannot be forced to testify against a spouse, but I’m pretty sure they are still required to turn them in for illegal activity. In this situation, yes if it is a shared computer then she could possibly get in trouble. Think of it on a bigger, scarier version: If your husband commits a murder and you know about it, you can get in trouble as an accomplice for not acting. You still can’t be forced to testify in court, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to do something to alert the authorities if you don’t want to be an accomplice.

      • MonMon August 31, 2011, 3:36 pm

        Thank you; exactly.

      • beans629 August 31, 2011, 5:30 pm

        Seriously, I would be hollering this shit from the rooftops. They wouldn’t even have to ask for me to testify-I would volunteer.

      • theattack August 31, 2011, 8:11 pm

        I just called my lawyer boyfriend to ask about this. No one is required to report anything. You can’t be asked to testify against them in all cases, but sometimes you can be. There are certain grounds to determine if this is the case. At least that’s the way it is in Tennessee.

      • theattack August 31, 2011, 8:21 pm

        Obviously people SHOULD report child sexual abuse. I am certainly not arguing that. Just stating that she is not legally obligated to do so.

        HOWEVER. This situation is so extreme and controversial that I think a huge factor here is being overlooked. This is her husband. It’s a huge decision to file for a divorce; it’s something else completely to have him locked up for years and years. She should not be pressured into being the martyr for society or for someone else’s children during a time that is also incredibly difficult for her personally. I know people are going to completely tear me apart for saying that, but you can’t forget that she is the person with the problem here. Yes, the children are obviously in horrible horrible situations, but before she can even think about helping them, she needs to help herself and get out of this.

        And there may be even more effective ways for her to fight against child pornography than doing something that is so personal to her (reporting her husband). My suggestion to the LW is to take care of herself first. Get an attorney who has extensive experience in both divorce and criminal law, so she knows she will be protected here as well. She very well may need a support group, or even individual therapy (but as someone who works with both therapy and support groups, I suggest the groups first). She needs time to process and heal for herself before she can make a decision about how to handle this knowledge. She will probably decide to report him over time, but she can’t be expected to pick up the phone right away.

        LW, if you do want to have him reported right now, maybe you should consider having someone else do it for you. You’ll still know that you took action but will have the support of whoever actually did the calling.

      • callmehobo August 31, 2011, 11:35 pm

        I’m not saying that she should be on a crusade against child pornography. But the hard truth of the matter is her husband is a pedophile. He is sexually aroused by children.

        Sure, right now, it’s just porn. But I guarantee that one day, just porn is not going to be enough for him. It’s like any other addiction. He will need to up the ante to get the same rush that he wants.

        This man needs to be put away- he is a danger to himself and children. Hopefully, after his time served (since kiddie porn is DEFINITELY ILLEGAL) he will be required to attend counseling and be put on the sex offender list, so he won’t be tempted to act out his urges.

        The more the LW waits to turn him in, the longer he has to work up the nerve to act on his perversion. I agree that this is a hard decision for her- but let’s face it- the right decision is very rarely the easy one.

      • theattack August 31, 2011, 11:46 pm

        Nowhere in my comment did I minimize the wrongness of what he is doing. Viewing or having anything to do with child pornography is despicable, and I definitely agree that he needs to be behind bars. I never said it was just porn and that it wouldn’t escalate to something else. You are putting words in my typewriter.

        I just really don’t like the attitude that’s in most of the comments here. The LW has to take care of herself before she can take care of anybody else. And no one should be condemned if they can’t lock up the person they committed their lives to at the drop of a dime. It’s wrong to pressure her into martyring herself for other people, when she also needs help right now.

        I am saying this even as a social work student who works with both intimate partner abuse and child abuse. The LW is writing in because she is having a problem for which she needs some support. Therefore, the comments should provide some actual help for HER instead of just telling her what her responsibilities are toward other people. The LW deserves to heal some before she does something else incredibly painful.

      • callmehobo September 1, 2011, 12:12 am

        I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to infer that you were trying to excuse the wrongness of his behavior- That was definitely not my intention.

        I know that she will need to heal- she has been completely betrayed by the one person she loves the most. But she has to understand that he is essentially a ticking time bomb. It will not stop at porn. He may end up getting himself incarcerated for a very long time, in what often times is a very humiliating and public affair. If she heads this off when it is hopefully just porn, she may save herself from having to cope with having a husband who has hurt a child.

      • Annie1 September 1, 2011, 11:06 am

        “And there may be even more effective ways for her to fight against child pornography than doing something that is so personal to her (reporting her husband).”
        Can I just ask, theattack, that if _the wife_ of a pedophile shouldn’t worry about her husband’s crimes, then WHO SHOULD? There is NO more effective way for her to fight against child pornography. None. That’s like going to put out the fire in your neighbor’s burning house while your own torches to the ground!
        It’s attitudes like “just take care of yourself first” that are the very ones that perpetuate children being victimized in the first place. The LW didn’t ask for this, she doesn’t want to have to deal with it, and it generally sucks all around, but that’s life. There’s no sugarcoating it. She has a moral and legal obligation to report his criminal sexual activity, no matter how crappy she’s feeling right now. If she fails to do so, then she is an accomplice in the eyes of the law. Personally I could not sleep with myself at night if I knew the person I was married to was doing that and I stayed quiet about it. What happens if he molests a neighbor, her best friend’s child, or god forbid, a family member? If he is not reported, he will.

      • theattack September 1, 2011, 1:07 pm

        Your statement that there is no more effective ways to fight against child pornography is a bit narrow minded. You don’t think there are people who take part in ending child pornography by doing things other than reporting people? There are social workers who work with the victims of child sexual abuse; coalitions formed against child sexual abuse (under which child pornography would fall); there are seminars that show symptoms of children who are being abused in this way; there are opportunities to help in individual advocacy, agencies that represent children, law enforcement that seeks to find the sources of these things (which is where reporting her husband could come in). There are opportunities to train teachers and distribute information. There are opportunities with people who are Web-savvy to crack down on internet child pornography. There are opportunities in businesses (for example dvd distributors) who would have the opportunity to stop the distribution of child pornography. These are just things I thought of in about a minute and a half. If I actually thought long and hard about it, I could come up with a very long list. There are DEFINITELY other ways to help that do not involve further harming herself right now.

        As an almost social worker, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that unless you take care of yourself mentally, you are unable to truly help anyone else. It’s in text book after text book. There is a plethora of research done on it. You cannot dispute that it’s important for her to take care of herself before helping other people. By the way, I assume that since you have an attitude that it’s wrong to take care of yourself first, you donate all of your groceries to homeless shelters and distribution warehouses like Second Harvest Food Bank before you feed yourself. I commend you for being so altruistic, but unfortunately not everyone has the ability to be as strong and selfless as you.

        If someone does something to help, that’s good enough. They don’t have to completely tear themselves apart and harm themselves in doing it. Taking one step to help in any way is more than most anyone does, so I seriously doubt most commenters here have room to criticize the LW.

        There’s a lawyer on here who’s already said it, and I’ve already said it too, that she does not have a legal obligation to report. Moral, probably. Legal, no. She’s not an accomplice.

      • Annie1 September 1, 2011, 1:37 pm

        Of _course_ there are ways for every person to get involved for the betterment of the community, whether it’s standing up against child abuse, ending hunger, advocating for the elderly, etc. But when the fish lands at your feet, it seems logical that the best thing you can do is to take care of that smelly fish. Don’t ignore the smelly fish because it’s too, well, smelly, to deal with right now and instead run off to help someone else with their smelly fish. Sorry for the cheesy analogy, but why would you want to get involved peripherally when fate has put the problem at your very doorstep?

        Sometimes you gotta sacrifice a little of yourself. No, I don’t donate all my food to the food pantry first. But yes, I do go without lots of things so that my own kids have a safe, healthy life. I start at home, with the kids I do have. I was abused as a kid. So what did I do, once I came to terms with the abuse? I let those affected know who the perpetrator was because I didn’t want anyone close to him suffer the way I suffered. Perhaps you know more about this than I, but I would bet money that there are many studies that show that the act of standing up/reporting abuse when it happens to a patient is healthy. Isn’t that a form of disclosure, which psychologists recommend as a way to get over the past?
        And let me ask you this: Is LW going to be _any less_ torn up over what’s happening to her if she gets involved with stopping the potential for abuse that her husband is likely to cause? If she doesn’t get involved, she lives the rest of her life with that niggling feeling, if not full-out guilt, that she could have done more to prevent some poor kid from being molested. She has the power to stop it, and I respectfully posit that she should not be too worried about herself at that moment to act. The act of reporting someone to the authorities (again, disclosure) is a shock to the system, and it’s painful, but it’s been shown to be a significant healing force to victims. Suppressed guilt at not acting (whether it’s reporting a crime or simply admitting to something) is also painful, and it’s much more difficult, if not impossible, to remediate.
        I still argue that you cannot possibly help your brother remove the splinter from his eye when you have a plank in your own. That’s a much better literary analogy than my less-than-stellar smelly fish one.

      • theattack September 1, 2011, 1:58 pm

        “I was abused as a kid. So what did I do, once I came to terms with the abuse? I let those affected know who the perpetrator was because I didn’t want anyone close to him suffer the way I suffered.”

        Key phrase here: “…once I came to terms with the abuse…”

        The LW needs a chance to come to terms with things herself just like you did. I work with domestic violence, and what helps each person is different. For some people, reporting might feel liberating. It might be harmful for others. Each person and each situation is unique, which is why I am urging the LW to seek group therapy (perhaps for divorcing people, or victims of domestic violence, since her situation might fit in better there). She needs to work through things a little bit before she can realize how reporting or not reporting will affect her personally.

        And no, reporting to the police is not really the same as psychological disclosure. Disclosure is more about sharing with a therapist or a best friend and being able to talk about the situation, like when people need to vent. Reporting to the police is an action _against_ a person. The police don’t want to hear your story and help you. They just want to get the information so they can make the proper arrest.

        I would also like to say that sacrificing for your own kids is quite different from sacrificing for strangers. Your kids are your own, and you probably feel a strong connection with them that you don’t feel with other children. It’s much easier to sacrifice yourself for your own family than for other people. But regardless, you acknowledged that you start at home. That is what I’m saying the LW needs to do.

        I don’t buy your second to last paragraph. Because again, it’s different for everyone. You can’t make a blanket statement that one psychological thing is worse than another.

      • Annie1 September 1, 2011, 2:16 pm

        I’m only going on a study I read a while back that showed that in a survey, the majority of patients who disclosed their problem, in whatever form that took, made significantly more progress in healing than those who did nothing and either actively hid their problem or lived with it quietly. It wasn’t a blanket statement, I was going by data I remembered reading.

      • twiglet October 29, 2011, 5:24 am

        everybody will go without to give to their own children. that’s not altruistic, that’s being a parent. Going without to help needy children who are NOT yours would be altruistic. Similarly, people who drive known criminals away from their own neighbourhoods, leading to said criminals going underground, where they can not be monitored,is not right-minded either. Sure it protects your own, and couldn’t care less about other people. Not saying that anyone has a duty to be altruistic, or that there is anything intrinsically wrong with looking after your own first, but I don’t think it puts anyone in a position to call out the LW for not acting altruistically until she has saved herself from this hideous situation and is in a position to start thinking about the wider implications.

      • Sue Jones September 1, 2011, 12:10 am

        There was a teacher who was seducing teen students . He got LIFE imprisonment. Now the plaintiffs are going after the WIFE of this guy in a civil suit because she apparently knew about some things but did not report her husband. You can be held responsible if you look the other way ESPECIALLY in a situation like this.

      • MonMon August 31, 2011, 3:19 pm

        I believe that if a spouse is doing something COMPLETELY ILLEGAL, then there is no right that allows the other spouse to “protect” the guilty one. I could be wrong, but logically that just doesn’t make any sense to me.

      • Budjer August 31, 2011, 3:24 pm

        According to the law of Barry Zuckerkorn a husband and wife can’t be prosecuted for the same crime!

      • Judi August 31, 2011, 3:42 pm

        I think I read that on the Bob Loblob Law Blog 😉

        But in all seriousness, when there is a market for this shit, that leads to further production, and thus abuse, of child pornography. Even if nothing were to ever happen to you legally, don’t have that on your conscience! You have an ethical obligation to report your husband.

      • Budjer August 31, 2011, 4:16 pm

        Definitely…thats why I asked her if she KNEW how the heck these dirtbags get images of children.

      • lexie.b August 31, 2011, 3:25 pm

      • MonMon August 31, 2011, 3:35 pm

        This privilege would allow the husband to keep the wife from testifying against him *in court*, not from her reporting him to law enforcement which she is LEGALLY OBLIGATED to do in this situation. However, once she has notified the police, after that, she is “off the hook” and cannot be forced to testify and/or can be prevented from doing so by her husband.

      • rob ottapocalypse August 31, 2011, 8:26 pm

        Right now, Wendy is also legally obligated to report on the LW and her husband. I hope Wendy did, or she’s an accomplice.

      • Kate August 31, 2011, 8:28 pm

        I doubt Wendy would be considered an accomplice.

      • JP August 31, 2011, 8:49 pm

        Rob, you are incorrect. Wendy or any of us did not become accomplices simply by learning of this crime.

      • rob ottapocalypse August 31, 2011, 9:27 pm

        Actually, Wendy has the IP address and email of the accomplice in possession of child pornography. She has no attorney-client privilege nor doctor-patient confidentiality agreement. She has posted this on line, so now it is public record that she is aware of possession of child pornography. She knows where there is a Pedophile and is morally/(perhaps legally) obligated to report on these crimes. You guys may not like it, but ignorance is no defense in these matters.

      • SGMcG August 31, 2011, 10:07 pm

        An email address doesn’t automatically include identifying indicators to reveal an LW’s identity. What’s more, the IP address may not be of any help, especially if the LW is writing the email from another location from where she lives and/or bouncing the IP address in question. Wendy could report a potential incident of pedophilic activity in question, but without the actual evidence to point to, what Wendy currently has is hearsay evidence through her letter alone – and that’s not enough to potentially prosecute.

      • JP August 31, 2011, 11:28 pm

        You said she was LEGALLY obligated to report the crime. Wendy is not legally obligated to report this crime. In fact, no one is required to report any crime unless they are mandatory reporters, like teachers or nurses. You acknowledge that this is moral obligation and suggest it is a legal obligation. I am telling you, as a lawyer, it is not.

      • Guy Friday September 1, 2011, 1:28 pm

        Fine. Split hairs and argue that there is no statute mandating the reporting of the IP address. However, Rob IS right insofar as there is a risk that Wendy could be charged as a party to the crime of Possession of Child Pornography, given that she is technically under most states’ definitions of “aiding and abetting” assisting in the husband continuing to commit this crime by not providing the information she has to local law enforcement. I’m not suggesting that any District Attorney’s office would ever DO it, but there’s a difference between what CAN be done and what WILL be done.

        Also, under the Code of Professional Responsibility in the state I practice, I’m fairly certain if this LW came to you with this information, you would be ethically obligated to report it as well, given that she is DEFINITELY committing a crime, and it’s unethical to keep confidentiality if you are aware that your client will commit a crime. So suggesting here that no non-mandatory reporter is required by any guiding statutes to report this is factually disingenuous.

      • JP August 31, 2011, 8:57 pm


        She is not legally obligated to report it.

        Of course, it depends on the state, but the husband would only prevent her from testifying regarding any communication between them. She could testify if she wanted to about anything she witnessed or where she found the child porn, etc.

      • MonMon September 2, 2011, 1:30 am

      • JP August 31, 2011, 8:52 pm


        This is irrelevant because she would never need to testify as the child porn speaks for itself. And spousal privilege does not apply to her tips to the police.

      • Guy Friday September 1, 2011, 1:32 pm

        People have already covered some of the exceptions for this, but — not for nothing — if I were the charging DA here and they had kids and had pictures of them on the computer, I’d add a second count arguing that one of those pictures was in some way a form of child porn. Would it go anywhere? Not a chance. But by arguing that it involved one of their children, the spousal privilege goes right out the window, and she’s free to testify about anything and everything.

      • MarkD January 23, 2012, 4:33 pm

        So if you were the DA you would file a charge which you had no reason to believe is true?

        I’m not defending the guy, nor advocating child porn. It’s a felony for a reason, but that doesn’t justify perjury on the part of a public official.

      • Renee August 31, 2011, 5:02 pm

        As a general rule conversations of a past crime are protected, not the observation/compliance in crime.

      • callmehobo August 31, 2011, 5:21 pm

        FUCK THAT SHIT. No.

        There are INNOCENT CHILDREN involved in this. Call the police and get these vile people off the internet.

        No. Every moment she does not turn this man in, someone makes money off a child being sexually assaulted and exploited.

        Seriously? How can you even suggest that she not contact the authorities?

    • lets_be_honest August 31, 2011, 4:16 pm

      can and should!

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    • kf August 31, 2011, 6:24 pm

      If the images are on a shared computer, her problems go far, far beyond her marriage.

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      • Yammy August 31, 2011, 10:44 pm

        Agreed. My first inclination was “call the cops! Call then now!” but Wendy is right. LW needs to speak with a lawyer ASAP to make sure she doesn’t end up facing charges herself.

  • Tristy August 31, 2011, 3:12 pm

    The fact that he has CHILD PORNOGRAPHY (!!!!!!) is an automatic MOA and supercedes everything that is “amazing” about him. I’m disturbed and appalled that you even stayed with him after finding it. Please leave him!

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  • mcj2011 August 31, 2011, 3:12 pm

    100% agree with Wendy…


    Is this LW serious? Is she actually questioning if she should leave this guy? I”m trying to be sympathetic but i wonder if this letter is fake.

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    • AnitaBath August 31, 2011, 3:15 pm

      I’m hoping it is, especially by the, “I want an actual opinion not that blanket remark of ‘Only you know if it’s worth saving.'”

      Uh, trust me, no one is going to give you THAT remark.

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      • mcj2011 August 31, 2011, 3:18 pm

        and the whole part about him being amazing…no part of amazing includes neglecting your wife and CHILD PORN!!!! OMG!

        I have a hard time believing this one.

      • Tristy August 31, 2011, 3:22 pm

        Yeah…like seriously, I hope the LW and this guy don’t have kids together b/c if they do then…WOW. It would make this letter even more disturbing than it already is.

    • Tracey August 31, 2011, 4:20 pm

      I don’t doubt for a second that this is a serious letter. Finding out your husband’s collecting child porn is not like finding out he’s been having an affair or prefers Porn Hub or strippers to you. It’s a devastating shock, one that can drive you crazy if you aren’t ready to deal with that sort of revelation. I imagine she may be trying to convince herself what she found isn’t real – that it’s all in her imagination, a big misunderstanding, anything expect what’s actually happening. I don’t know what else to compare it to – maybe discovering your husband’s an escaped killer or something. It’s a very debilitizing trauma. Now I hope she takes action and gets out of this marriage before she ends up damaged even more by his actions.

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    • Elle August 31, 2011, 6:12 pm

      In my opinion, the LW has been so disentized (not sure I spelled that right) over the years by his porn addiction, that for her, this is just another one of his problems. LW, I hope I’m wrong, but it seems that you can’t tell the difference between right and wrong anymore.

      I hope other people’s outrage, and mine, will convince you that your husband has crossed the line. Morally, and legally, child porn is wrong on so many levels. I can’t believe you’re considering staying with him.

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  • lexie.b August 31, 2011, 3:14 pm

    I dated an alchohol addict and after we broke up I found this quote on the internet and it’s the truth.

    “When you date an addict, you aren’t dating the person you are dating the addiction.”

    In this case you are married to the addiction.

    You need to leave him though, like Wendy said, it’s been six years and things haven’t changed. Fortunately it looks like you have a good head on your shoulders and I really think you should seek counseling to help you leave him. I promise you that what you are going through now is much worse than being on your own.

    At the same time, I really think that you should report your husband to the police, because it is a crime, and things like this never,ever, end well. If he’s looking at child porn, he has some serious issues. I also promise you that THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO. No matter how much of a perfect wife you are, no matter how much lingerie you buy or even “joining in” on looking at it will cure him. This is something that has to be dealt with by professionals. He needs help, and clearly he has no interest in seeking it on his own so please don’t stick around hoping that he will.

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    • MonMon August 31, 2011, 3:16 pm

      Yes, the police have to be notified, and I imagine, if they are not notified by the LW, and the police find out sooner or later, it may have negative repercussions for her.

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  • Flake August 31, 2011, 3:16 pm

    Holly cr*p… Don’t talk to anyone except your attorney and/or police and leave NOW!

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  • TheOtherMe August 31, 2011, 3:16 pm

    I can’t believe you are actually asking this question. Up until “child Porn” there might have been a hint of ” maybe you can save your marriage” in my response but this is truly troubling to read. GET OUT NOW. How can you even think of going forward with this man, of even considering having children one day, knowing that he sees them in a sexual light ? YOU CAN’T.

    Not only should you get out yesterday, make sure this obsession of his never escalades into actually hurting a child, report him asap.

    No blanket response, no ” Only you know if it’s worth saving.” END IT NOW.

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    • EB August 31, 2011, 5:19 pm

      He is ALREADY hurting and exploiting children merely by having and very likely proliferating this child pornography. Imagine if it was your child, niece, little brother, etc., who men were jacking off to all across the internet? GET THE FUCK OUT LW!

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      • TheOtherMe August 31, 2011, 6:23 pm

        Of course, I agree. I just meant that he was originally “satisfied” with regular porn but once it wasn’t enough, he went to kiddie porn so the next step might actually be to try to physically indulge in his perversions with a child. That’s why he needs to be reported asap.

  • Rachelgab August 31, 2011, 3:20 pm

    I 100% agree with Wendy. It sounds like you had full knowledge of his problem when you married him, which you have to take some responsibility for!!! I understand that things may have gotten worse, grosser, whatever, but you have to also wonder what’s up with YOU that you would marry this man. He is NOT “amazing,” yet somehow you have yourself convinced of that to avoid taking any responsibility. You should definitely move on already…

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  • Amber August 31, 2011, 3:20 pm

    one thing to consider, if the child porn issue is the dealbreaker and not the porn in general – are you sure he intentionally and knowingly downloaded and viewed the child porn? Could he have meant to download regular porn, found out that it was indeed child porn, shut it down and hasn’t looked at it since? Just a thought, especially before alerting the authorities…

    but yeah, it sounds like a MOA situation.

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    • iseeshiny August 31, 2011, 3:49 pm

      Good point. That is something I hadn’t thought of. I guess that could happen, especially because depending on where you download things they might not be clearly labeled. I thought I was downloading and episode of In Living Color off a torrent site one time and…. I wasn’t.

      But I think she’d have made darn sure, right? It’s not like she was sitting down and perusing his collection for kicks… not to mention if any sane person realized he’d downloaded that accidentally he’d probably delete it stat, right?

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      • Lamia August 31, 2011, 4:22 pm

        That would be plausible but wouldn’t he delete it real quick if he downloaded it by accident? I mean its child porn ffs! Not something you just say “oops” and let it sit

    • SGMcG August 31, 2011, 4:19 pm

      Intent doesn’t matter in a crime of strict liability. If he did it, he is guilty, irregardless of culpability. You could download and view child porn on accident and it wouldn’t matter – possession of the child porn is enough. In the mid-80s, when Traci Lords revealed that she was underage when she did the majority of her pornographic films, not only was her immediate back catalog of pornos taken from the stores and destroyed, but she and the movie crews involved with filming and distributing her films were brought up on charges with the FBI.

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    • Kate August 31, 2011, 4:43 pm

      I think kiddie porn is in a pretty specific place…I highly doubt it was by accident.

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      • Amber August 31, 2011, 7:38 pm

        I guess so…can’t really say I know much about it or where to find it…just thought it might be something to consider, since she doesn’t mention where she found it or how much she found.

    • Marie August 31, 2011, 8:04 pm

      Child porn is illegal and not easy to obtain so I don’t think someone can “accidently” download child porn.

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      • Annette October 28, 2012, 10:09 am

        It is very easy to obtain, just google looking for it.

    • vizslalvr August 31, 2011, 10:52 pm

      It’s not easy to download child pornography. Doing so requires intent in 99.999999999% of situations.

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      • Fabelle September 1, 2011, 9:04 am

        That’s not necessarily true– you never know WHAT you’re getting from torrent sites. And due to the shady nature (to say the least…) of child pornography, it can be labeled with euphemisms or other common terminology (“‘Teen!'” “Schoolgirls!” whatever) And if he has a really large collection of porn, he may not have gone through it all yet to notice he had something illegal? Just playing devil’s advocate!

        Of course, I still think she should get out of the marriage. If she confronts him, there’s a huge window of doubt. He could give her all the excuses I made for him above, but would she want to take the chance that he’s possibly lying?

  • LTC039 August 31, 2011, 3:22 pm

    Good Lord! You married a guy with a raging porn addiction? & now he looks at child porn & you’re saying he’s a great guy & want to “get over it”. Are you delusional?!?! First off, marrying someone with any type of addiction is guarranteeing doom at the start. But, that ship sailed, so all you can do is learn from it. This marriage is unsalvagable, & YOU should be completely repulsed by the fact that he looks at child porn! I’m sure you are but DO NOT think that this is ok by any means. Confront him with it & file for divorce, asap!!… I just have no other words honestly.

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  • BecBoo84 August 31, 2011, 3:23 pm

    Honestly, I have to question what type of the person the letter writer even is that she’s actually considering trying to work it out with this scum bag. Your only option is to GTFO and report him to the authorities, stat!

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  • TECH August 31, 2011, 3:25 pm

    Wendy’s advice, is of course, spot on. Addiction to pornography is a serious issue, but child pornography is a completely different ballgame. Just think about the horrible way these children are being abused and how your husband is complicit in that abuse. Go to a divorce attorney to protect your rights and your assets in case law enforcement becomes involved.
    You’ve put so much effort into trying to save your marriage. And I’m sure you love your husband so you want to do everything to save your relationship — but it’s past that point.

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  • bittergaymark August 31, 2011, 3:26 pm

    Run. Seriously. Just run.

    I think I would report it to the proper authorities, too. Yeah, definitely report it. What if he views this on YOUR laptop at some point? Then it becomes a messy case of he said, she said. Sure, odds are, people would believe you, but who wants to go through that? Seriously, I am very much PRO Porn but when it comes to kiddie porn? HELL NO! That is more than a deal breaker. I don’t see how you can even be debating this one. Just get the hell away from this creep. Be grateful this all came out now… Seriously and not when you have kids to worry about. You don’t mention kids… For the love of God, I hope you don’t have kids…

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  • silver_dragon_girl August 31, 2011, 3:26 pm

    Leave. Leave today. I’m dead serious, girl, call a divorce attorney today, and move out. You do not want to be living with, let alone sharing a computer with, someone who gets caught with child porn. And he WILL get caught.

    There is nothing here to save. Nothing. You have never had a good marriage with this man. I wonder what your relationship was like before you were married?

    There are 3 billion other men on the planet, the majority of whom would much rather have sex with you than watch porn. I promise. It’s like cake. Would you rather watch someone make a three-tiered chocolate ganache cake on TV, or make one yourself? Sure it won’t turn out looking that great, but it’ll taste amazing. That’s what porn is like to most people, those who aren’t addicted to it.

    Also, Wendy, are you in any way obligated to report this? I’m actually concerned and curious about the legality here…

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    • caitie_didn't August 31, 2011, 4:42 pm

      That’s a good point, actually, that Wendy may be obligated to report this to somebody. It’s probably a good idea to do some research on that….

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    • theattack August 31, 2011, 8:30 pm

      No. I just made a comment above about this. I actually just called my lawyer bf, and he said no one is required to report anything (in Tennessee at least). Wendy is not obligated, and the LW is not obligated.

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  • PFG-SCR August 31, 2011, 3:27 pm

    The thought of my husband being aroused by child porn would make me so physically ill that I’d never be interested in him sexually again. Actually, I wouldn’t be interested in him in any way anymore.

    I don’t know what the other issues are or even in what ways you think he’s an amazing man, but the child porn alone is too big of an issue to ignore. Take Wendy and all of the commenters’ advice – protect yourself and get yourself out of the marriage.

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  • va-in-ny August 31, 2011, 3:27 pm

    I hope you don’t have children.. or nieces and nephews.. or godchildren.. or neighbors with small children. This man should not be left alone with any children.

    I know that fantasies are simply fantasies and a lot of times can be separated from reality, but this man cannot separate porn from real sex! I believe when children are involved, it goes to an entirely different level.

    Wendy is right. Child pornography is illegal. And, I honestly don’t think I could rebound after seeing my husband with something like that.

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  • emjay August 31, 2011, 3:28 pm

    Is this letter a fucking joke? Seriously, is this a joke? A woman really wrote in saying her husband is now watching child porn and she doesn’t know what to do, and is not sure if she wants to end her marriage? I can’t believe there are people this naive out there! She better call the cops and then run without looking back!!!!! By staying with him and excepting this behavior she is just promoting a pediphile! And that is a reflection I know I would hate to see in the mirror everyday, let alone sleep next to in the same bed. Bittergaymark please please please blast this naive letter writer a new asshole!

    And again, I seriously hope this letter is a damn joke!

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    • iseeshiny August 31, 2011, 3:38 pm

      Yes! I was hesitant to say that staying with him would actually be supporting child pornography, because I think we’ve all known/loved people who did things we didn’t approve of, but it’s not like he’s been shoplifting. This is an action so morally reprehensible that to stay (and presumably attempt to pursue a sexual relationship) would really be condoning the behavior. I wouldn’t want someone like that to touch me. I don’t understand why she would. It’s gotta be fake…. right?

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    • Carolyn September 1, 2011, 12:35 pm

      Thank you! I think sometimes we’re a little too nice here. Some of these LW’s are so naive or pushovers or bitches that it’s hard to try to see it from their POV. And they need to get ripped a new one haha

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  • Kim August 31, 2011, 3:34 pm

    Here’s a way to make your decision easier: How can you ever have sex with this man again without wondering if he’s picturing you as a child. If that doesn’t creep the hell out of you, I don’t know what will.

    Normal is a man who watches consenting adult porn, but would choose his wife over his porn.

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  • LeahW. August 31, 2011, 3:35 pm

    You need to get a lawyer pronto. You may very well face criminal charges if he gets caught and you didn’t report him. Possessing child pornography is a serious, serious crime! A lawyer will be able to help you get out of the marriage, but more importantly for the sort term you need sound, legal advise about whether you’re breaking any laws by knowing about the child pornography and not reporting him and how to proceed now that you know. The fact that your husband has placed you in a position of needing a lawyer in order to protect yourself from prosecution and possible JAIL TIME should put your situation into some perspective! His behavior is so far from normal it’s appalling! GET OUT!

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    • ReginaRey August 31, 2011, 3:37 pm

      OMG, this: “he fact that your husband has placed you in a position of needing a lawyer in order to protect yourself from prosecution and possible JAIL TIME should put your situation into some perspective! ”

      YES – It’s safe to say that in a healthy relationship, your significant other should never place you in a position where you feel the need to report a lawyer or law enforcement about their criminal activity!

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  • Rei August 31, 2011, 3:37 pm

    Please tattoo this on your arm and look at it constantly.

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    • Fancy Pants August 31, 2011, 7:43 pm

      This, seriously. I’m positive she can find someone else who makes a tasty omelette and appreciates whatever TV show she likes, or whatever dumb thing she thinks is so amazing about him. That might be amazing if he weren’t a child predator.

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  • honeybeenicki August 31, 2011, 3:38 pm

    Any kind of addiction can sometimes irreparably damage a marriage (or any relationship). Pornography addiction can definitely do it quickly because of the intimate nature of the addiction. Child pornography is flat out illegal and should not be tolerated. I second Wendy’s (and many other readers’ advice) to get to a divorce attorney immediately. And by immediately, I mean right this minute. Quit reading these comments and go. The attorney will be able to advise you on how to protect yourself, your assets, and how to proceed with handling the child pornography.

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  • MissDre August 31, 2011, 3:39 pm


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  • GatorGirl August 31, 2011, 3:49 pm

    I think everyone should be a little less harsh towards the LW. There are countless women who are in bad relationships, but still unable/unwilling to leave them. It takes a lot of strength to walk away from a relationship, even if it is a bad one. LW I would agree, get an atorney and head for a divorce. Also, I would suggest getting advice on how to protect yourself when turning your husband in.

    I one million percent agree that child pornography is no joke, and he should be turned into the authorities. Maybe part of his penalty could be a therapy program to fix his impluses, rather than have him just spend a bit in jail and then be a free man. Sitting in a cell is not going fix the problem.

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    • honeybeenicki August 31, 2011, 4:04 pm

      To quote amber from above — “According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), pedophilia is a paraphilia in which a person has intense and recurrent sexual urges towards and fantasies about prepubescent children and on which feelings they have either acted or which cause distress or interpersonal difficulty.”
      “In popular usage, pedophilia means any sexual interest in children or the act of child sexual abuse, often termed “pedophilic behavior.” —-

      That being repeated, there is nothing. I mean NOTHING that can be done in therapy to truly “cure” someone of sexual attraction to children. I studied sex offenders for 7 years and I worked with them in a residential facility for 4 years. Pedophiles can’t be fixed. Period. The urge is and always will be there. There is a difference in the way their brain fires and in their reactions and until there is some super wonder drug, it will be permanent. Sitting in a cell won’t fix his problem, but neither will therapy. Therapy might teach him how to deal with the urges, but what about when the urges get stronger? Did you know that most sex offenders do not reoffend, but almost all sex offenders who target child do? His impulses are never going to be “fixed” if children are what he is attracted to.

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      • kerrycontrary August 31, 2011, 4:20 pm

        THANK YOU for this. What so mainly people fail to realize is that pedofiles can never be fixed. Yes, they can do things like avoid having internet access, don’t live near children, etc…to ensure that they don’t harm any children. But they will never get better.

      • Britannia August 31, 2011, 4:42 pm

        They will never get better because their brain is hardwired that way. They really can’t help that they are what they are, but they sure as hell can learn to control their actions. With therapy (lots and lots and lots and LOTS of therapy, and impeccably rigid self control) they can control their desires and become, at best, positively contributing members of society. But they need LOADS of therapy, and EVEN MORE close monitoring, for basically the rest of their life, because a relapse could mean serious harm to a child.

      • honeybeenicki August 31, 2011, 4:50 pm

        Unfortunately even with decent monitoring (ie GPS monitoring + random checks at home + therapy 3+ times a week), there are times when they still can harm a child. But you are right, with rigorous therapy and constant supervision plus damn good self-control (which they aren’t exactly known for having since there are often frontal lobe and impulse control issues also), there is a chance they can be productive members of society, though not a huge chance. And the therapy offered to people in the system who do not have their own insurance (which often doesn’t cover the cost anyway) is not exactly up to par.

      • GatorGirl August 31, 2011, 4:21 pm

        I wasn’t trying to say the husband could get “cured” of his addiction, only that perhaps treatment could lessen the chance he could re-offend. Even if it only reduced that chance by 1%, that could save a child.

      • caitie_didn't August 31, 2011, 4:51 pm

        Seriously. From what I remember reading, the recidivism rate for child molesters is the highest for any crime, close to 100%. There’s no cure, and no therapy that can make those urges go away. The closest thing there is, is chemical castration and all it does is take the “edge” off sex drive.

        Pedophilia isn’t a mental illness so much as it’s an abnormal sexual orientation. That’s why it’s impossible to cure, and why prison sentences for the people that abuse children need to be much longer than they are.

  • cookiesandcream August 31, 2011, 3:59 pm

    WHAT THE FUCK!!! LW, do you have no turn offs??? How is getting ignored for porn not a huge, giant red flag for you? Look, I’m really sympathetic to the fact that you’re married to this man, but WHAT POSSESSED YOU TO TRY TO BE OKAY WITH CHILD PORN? It’s not like “regular” porn with actors and CONSENTING ADULTS; it’s a whole other breed of porn run by some of the most vile, disgusting criminals. I mean, seriously… how do you think they get the kids in the first place? Did you think that if you loved him enough the problem would go away on its own? Are you just scared of what will happen to you when people find out that he looks at child porn?

    The reason why all of the “help” he’s getting isn’t working is because he’s not interested in changing!!! You have to be at a place in your life where you realize what you’re doing is not working for you anymore and want to change. Clearly, he’s not there at this point in his life because he has no interest in changing or getting help.

    LW, I wish you the very best of luck, and now it’s time to stand tall, be firm and LEAVE ALREADY!!!!

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  • SGMcG August 31, 2011, 4:00 pm

    Actual child pornography? We’re not talking hentai stuff here? But actual kids?!? Now I acknowledge that I can be pretty libretarian when it comes to other peoples sexual mores, but ACTUAL kids, even if they consented….just no. NO NO NO NO NO.

    Do not pass go. Do not even acknowledge his existence anymore. MOA, DTMFA…just ANYTHING that won’t make you potentially liable for his possession of child pornography. Your marital privilege of confidentiality is totally revoked when he committed a crime of strict liability through his possession of child pornography.

    Get a lawyer to protect your ass…and then PLEASE drop his.

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    • Jena August 31, 2011, 4:22 pm

      There is no such thing as legal consent when the kid is underage.

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    • lets_be_honest August 31, 2011, 4:52 pm

      what is hentai?

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      • Budjer August 31, 2011, 4:55 pm

        comic book (manga) porn that I believe originated in Japan.

      • lets_be_honest August 31, 2011, 4:57 pm


  • Budjer August 31, 2011, 3:06 pm

    No, not all guys are like this….the slimiest of slime scum fucking bastards are interested in kiddie porn…gtfo…and you should probably alert the authorities because if they found out you knew you when he gets caught you could be implicated. Do you realize the horridness that goes on to acquire those disgusting images of children?

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    • TheOtherMe August 31, 2011, 3:24 pm

      ….”the slimiest of slime scum fucking bastards are interested in kiddie porn”…

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    • Budjer August 31, 2011, 3:06 pm

      Additionally maybe he doesn’t like having sex with you because he would prefer someone MUCH younger.

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      • mcj2011 August 31, 2011, 3:22 pm

        gross..i hate him

    • kf August 31, 2011, 6:22 pm

      Seriously, “are all men like this?” made me wish the original letter had a purple thumb option.

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  • lets_be_honest August 31, 2011, 4:13 pm

    I didn’t even read the other comments yet. But I have to first ask this: WENDY, aside from personal ethics you may have about “outing” someone who writes into your blog, I implore you to contact authorities about this issue. This is beyond what some advice bloggers or any one of us should be discussing. I can’t even comment further about this disgusting “man” or the LW who could consider doing anything other than calling the police.

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    • BecBoo84 August 31, 2011, 4:36 pm

      I hadn’t even thought of that, but you are absolutely right.

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    • Tracey August 31, 2011, 4:33 pm

      Good point, but she also has to be sure this is true (what if this does turn out to be a very ugly hoax or work of fiction?) and then she has to have the LW’s real name and contact info (she could’ve written under an assumed name/location). The best she – and we – can do right now is urge the LW to contact the authorities.

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      • lets_be_honest August 31, 2011, 4:55 pm

        Tracey, first, thank you for sharing your story above. I hear your point about possible fake names/e-mails. But in this instance, if you are sick enough to write a fake letter like this, well then you deserve the authorities investigating it.

      • Tracey August 31, 2011, 5:07 pm

        Again, good point. This just makes me sick to my stomach….

      • Tracey August 31, 2011, 5:07 pm

        Again, good point. This just makes me sick to my stomach….

    • Wendy August 31, 2011, 4:53 pm

      Like many people who write to me, this LW used an psuedonym and an anonymous email address.

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      • lets_be_honest August 31, 2011, 4:55 pm

        Thanks for your response, Wendy.

  • MonMon August 31, 2011, 3:15 pm

    OH MY GOD. I cannot even begin to fathom HOW you have stayed in this relationship that has obviously only become progressively worse.

    Porn can be understood.
    Porn addiction can be worked with and possibly “fixed” with commitment and support.
    Looking at child porn is NEVER “normal”, is a serious crime, and I cannot understand how you are even considering whether divorce is a viable option. It is your ONLY option! An “amazing” person does not watch children being forced to perform sexual acts!

    Other than lawyer-up and get yourself out of there fast, I have no further advice. Just read and re-read what Wendy said, and please, please act fast.

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  • crazymary August 31, 2011, 4:15 pm

    Get. The. F*ck. Out. Now.

    That is all.

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  • Jena August 31, 2011, 4:21 pm

    Call the police. Now.

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  • cmarie August 31, 2011, 4:30 pm

    Get out and get out now. Don’t touch that computer and don’t try to pretend it isn’t there. I can no comprehend how you could possibly try to “move past” finding child porn on his computer. That is so many kinds of wrong I can’t even begin to explain it. He’s sick, disgusting, perverted but you, you’re actually trying to right his wrong wrong wrong behavior. Instead of making a beeline to the authorities, you’re asking whether you should just get over it, whether you’re marriage is salvageable, are all men like him. The answer is no, no, and no. No you shouldn’t just get over it, you should turn him in, he’s looking at CHILD PORN. Let’s say that again, child porn; porn with children being forced into adult sexual acts. Children LW, children. No, your marriage is not salvageable. You should have divorced him years ago when he couldn’t tear himself away from the porn to pay attention to his real wife. And no, not all men are like this. Real men are sickened at the thought of child porn, real men prefer real women over porn and most certainly over children. Get out, find a good lawyers, and turn him in.
    One last word of advice: if you don’t turn him in, you could end up on trial as an accessory.

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  • ReginaRey August 31, 2011, 3:32 pm


    It seems like you don’t quite equate his addiction with other forms of addiction. Would you “forget about it” if your husband was making meth in your house? Or snorting cocaine every day? Or smoking crack in your basement every night? Or drinking himself into an oblivion? Because his addiction to pornography is absolutely, 100% EQUAL to any drug or alcohol addiction. It completely prevents him, and YOU, from living a normal, healthy life. You’ve stayed with him while he went through MULTIPLE avenues to try to get himself clean, and he has failed for six years. This is NOT going to change, any more than a meth addict can just try super hard to stop. Cold turkey isn’t an option for him, and neither is staying in this marriage an option for you!

    Get an attorney, and get a legal separation. ABSOLUTELY tell your attorney about the child pornography. It’s just as wrong and illegal and worth sharing with an attorney as a meth lab in your house.

    Your husband is mentally ill. He needs YEARS, I imagine, of intensive one-on-one therapy to even have a chance of overcoming this addiction. It’s clear that as long as he’s sufficiently distracted with a relationship and other life issues, he’ll never be able to get clean. Do yourself and him a favor and leave him. I don’t normal say that women “deserve” more than this, because a lot of what they “deserve” is in their own actions and behavior, but honey you DEFINITELY deserve better than this.

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  • daisygarfield August 31, 2011, 4:43 pm

    There’s a few things that could cause an addiction to porn exposure to pornographic images at a young age, deep seated insecurity and/or fear of rejection in relationships, or past trauma such as physical and/or sexual abuse. In addition to these causes, porn addiction feeds on itself, and is progressive in nature. A person becomes desensitized to the images that are being seen, and constantly needs more new images. In addition, once exposed to the more graphic depictions of sexual activity, simple nudity is no longer as exciting. In some cases, this progression into harder pornography can lead to illegal activities such as violent porn or child pornography.
    Now thats just porn, regular consentual adult porn.
    Several studies have confirmed that pedophiles are very likely to have been victims of violence and sex abuse as children, in a victim-to-perpetrator cycle.

    LW, your husband is sick, you need to get out of this marriage, its unhealthy and what he’s doing is ILLEGAL. He needs help too although as far as i know there is no cure for this.

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  • Skyblossom August 31, 2011, 4:57 pm

    First, take your computer straight to the police and tell them what to look for then head for a lawyer. If you don’t turn him in and know about this you could also be held accountable. By looking at child pornography he is promoting the harming of children and if you allow him to continue you are aiding him in that harm.

    Second, you can never have children with him because he would very likely molest his own children.

    Third, if he is attracted to children he is not capable of having an adult relationship with you which is probably a major reason you’ve had so much of a sexual problem in your relationship.

    RUN away from this relationship. Most men are not like this and you can set your standards way higher than this scum.

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    • Tracey August 31, 2011, 5:08 pm

      I’d inverse that first tip – lawyer first, then police. She could be implicated for something she didn’t do.

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  • savannah August 31, 2011, 4:57 pm

    Agreed with Wendy on all counts and I just wanted to add this perspective: There are plenty of men (and some women, though it’s more unusual) who struggle with Pedophilia throughout their lives and are successful at never letting their desires harm those they are attracted to. When they do reach out to child pornography as an outlet it is because they are no longer under control of their desires and are in immediate need of serious professional help because a. they are already acting upon these desires to the danger and harm of those they are fixated on and b. once an action like this is taken it is easy to escalate to personal acts of pedophilia since the guilt of listening to their wants is more easily overcome since they are already in the process of harming the object of their sexual attraction. Having pedophilia is also not curable since it operates just like any other sexual fetish but obviously because of the great harm that could be inflicted it should never be acted upon. Many men who recognize this within themselves are heavily burdened by this realization and have in the past chosen to undergo a form of castration which leaves them without sexual desires or the ability to act upon them. In this case the LW’s husband must get help because he is already on the path to harming children personally and by using child porn he is endangering the LW.

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    • Tracey August 31, 2011, 5:11 pm

      Another point of guilt and shame – both on his and her part. He may not want to have these urges, but does and has no other way to act on them. She may feel like she should be able to cure him – through love, turning a blind eye, pretending it’s not happening, whatever – and is frozen because she can’t. This is where the really good therapist/support group comes in. When she ends this marriage (and you should LW), she should urge him to go to counseling, and definitely find herself a damn good one. There are a ton of emotional side effects from this, something she cannot afford to go through alone.

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  • Tracey August 31, 2011, 3:59 pm

    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.

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    • honeybeenicki August 31, 2011, 4:07 pm

      I wish I could move your response to the top so LW sees yours right away. Thank you. I would advise for #7 that it might be wise to give some kind of warning to the parents of any kids in his family if at all possible.

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      • Tracey August 31, 2011, 4:28 pm

        The problem I discovered with telling anyone was that they either didn’t believe me or were so repulsed that there was a period where – even after I threw him out and had filed for divorce – people distanced themselves from me. Like I was into it, too. Fortunately, there aren’t many kids in my family, nor were there in his, but I did lose some really close friends. I later heard he’d remarried and had a kid, but by then I didn’t know how to get in touch with anyone with whom he associated – or if it was even true he’d remarried. After the incident with the character reference (can you believe that s*@# on his part?), I did find out he’d moved out of state…and was on the sex offender registry in both my home state and his new home state for possession of child porn, and is currently on probation after serving a jail sentence.

      • honeybeenicki August 31, 2011, 4:34 pm

        I could see where that could be an issue. I think its a problem many people run into in situations like this or even different from this.

        Keep dealing with this in a way that makes you a healthier, happier person! I just hope your story can have an impact on LW or anyone else who sees it who might be in a similar situation.

    • MissDre August 31, 2011, 4:10 pm

      I think Wendy should email this one directly to the LW to make sure she sees it.

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      • Tracey August 31, 2011, 4:30 pm

        Thank you. I’d be happy to talk to her if she wants to reach out and Wendy thinks it’s appropriate. She’s got a long road ahead of her.

      • Annette October 28, 2012, 10:30 am


        If you are willing, I would like to talk to you about a similar, but more complicated, situation I am facing. What to do is not that clear to me.


      • Wendy August 31, 2011, 4:51 pm

        I will.

      • oldie September 1, 2011, 12:07 pm

        No, absolutely not. If she has any sense at all, LW did not use her own or a family computer. If Wendy sends a response back to her, the pedophile could find it and take actions, including violent ones against LW, to try to hide evidence and avoid the serious legal problem he is in.

    • maddie August 31, 2011, 4:29 pm

      you are incredible. we’ve all been through situations that no one should ever have to go through, but being able to offer advice or see others through similar scenarios can give meaning or reason to the madness. your post just makes me want to thank god for the internet, this site and people like you.

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      • Tracey August 31, 2011, 4:37 pm

        Thank you. I just hope this helps her and gives her some hope.

      • Annie1 September 1, 2011, 12:38 pm

        Bless you, Tracey. You sound like a smart, tough woman, and I wish you all the happiness in the world! Thanks for sharing such hard-earned wisdom.

    • Budjer August 31, 2011, 4:32 pm

      Best advice on the letter.

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  • Elle August 31, 2011, 4:16 pm

    If you stay, you will be the wife of a convicted pedophile. It’s not of question of IF he will get caught, it’s a question of WHEN. Move out now, and deal with the rest later.

    I don’t think your husband wants to change. He’s had therapy in the past 6 years, and instead of getting better, his addiction escalated. Don’t blame yourself for not being helpful or understanding or supportive enough. He’s had 6 years full of chances to change, but he doesn’t want to. And as long as you stay with him, he won’t have any incentive to change.

    If you want to put things in perspective, you leaving him will not destroy his life. His getting caught with child porn will ruin his life. And if you stay with him, your life will be ruined too. Do what’s best for YOU now! He obviously doesn’t have your best interest at heart.

    Wish you all the best, LW.

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  • beans629 August 31, 2011, 5:24 pm

    I haven’t read the other comments so I’m not sure this has been voiced but I gotta say WTF??

    Seriously, LW how could you even think that this relationship could be fixable once he crossed the line to kiddie porn? Regular porn maybe but kids. Yikes, Holy Smokes!!! 🙁 Even if in some distant universe this was fixable would you ever even want him to be around kids that you might have together or younger relatives??

    I say don’t even confront but RUN to the nearest police station and turn his ass in NOW. Then get a lawyer to untangle you from anything remotely related to him. Next, go get yourself some therapy because you really really have low self esteem for this shit to be OK in your head.

    Seriously, you have to have low/no self esteem to think that this relationship was even remotely normal or fixable.

    Holy shit///end rant. Now I gotta go scrub myself and have a really BIG drink to get this shit out of my head. 🙁

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    • Budjer August 31, 2011, 5:25 pm

      nope. definitely not said even once above 🙂

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  • Quakergirl August 31, 2011, 5:30 pm

    Wendy said it all, LW. GET OUT. This is an extremely clear situation: your marriage has multiple long-standing issues, including the fact that your husband has a major addiction that prevents him from actually being your husband, he doesn’t seem to be willing/able to improve his addiction, and is a felon. And one of the more despicable types of felons at that. Even if he never has and never will act on those impulses, how does the fact that he is looking at child porn not give you a major case of the creeps? Could you ever really “get over” that? I really don’t think you could. How could you ever look at him the same way again? How could you live with the fact that you’re allowing him to participate in the exploitation of children without saying anything about it?

    For the sake of your own sanity and safety, go to a divorce attorney tomorrow and tell him or her exactly what’s going on. You could easily be implicated in this situation if you share a computer and because you knew about the child porn, so make sure you protect yourself immediately. This isn’t a situation to be taken lightly.

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  • EB August 31, 2011, 5:49 pm

    “I’ve been searching everywhere on what I should do and I keep seeing the pendulum swing in two extremes of “I should get over it” or “I should just divorce.””

    Dear LW,
    Stop being so FUCKING selfish; this is not an issue just between you and your husband. There is an innocent third party involved, a CHILD(or probably multiple children) whose sexual exploitation your husband is participating in. I’m sorry about your lackluster sex life, your crumbling marriage, etc. but in the the grand scheme of things I am much sorrier for the children your husband is exploiting. So do what you need to protect yourself legally and then report this son of a bitch because even if you don’t have a legal obligation to do so I believe you sure as hell have a moral one.

    I write this as someone who has had a close family member participate and be arrested for similar acts ( which was shocking and yes publicly humiliating) but no matter how much I loved this person I WOULD NOT HESITATE FOR A HEARTBEAT to report them if I had evidence they were at it again.

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    • callmehobo August 31, 2011, 6:14 pm


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  • Sue Jones August 31, 2011, 6:03 pm

    Divorce! He can get thrown in jail for even having child porn on his computer. Get out now!!!!!

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  • AKchic August 31, 2011, 6:24 pm

    While your husband is not personally hurting anyone, let me be very, very clear with you: someone DID abuse those girls in order for him to have those videos in which he derives pleasure from.
    The very acts captured on those videos are illegal.
    The act of recording those acts are illegal.
    The act of distributing those recorded acts are illegal.
    The act of purchasing, possessing and/or viewing those recorded acts are illegal.

    While you believe that he would not do the same acts that he watched, we have to consider the evolution of a sex offender, and the things that you have brought to the table. As of right now, no, I don’t think he would abuse a child. Of course, take away his porn, take away his easy stream of sex (a willing wife), and that could change. I will not get into the whole rigamarole. Let me just say this: I got into the field I did for a reason.

    Therapy/counseling has not worked. He now has illegal materials. It is time to step things up. Only you can decide whether or not you want to stay married to him, and I am not going to tell you one way or the other what you should decide. That is a personal matter for you, and you alone. I will say that I personally feel that you should be contacting the authorities in regards to the child pornography. They may be able to search your husband’s computer and accounts to be able to track things well enough to make some significant arrests. Maybe even help a few girls out of a very disgusting situation.

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  • Landygirl August 31, 2011, 6:51 pm

    I certainly hope that this is a joke because anyone that would consider staying with such a man has some extremely serious issues. It blows my mind that she would even try to defend him and his vile behavior.

    If this letter is real, please never have children.

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    • AKchic August 31, 2011, 7:37 pm

      I share your thoughts. The fact that the LW was more concerned about reassuring US and Wendy that her husband really was a good person, despite the fact that he possessed child pornography and was more concerned over whether or not she should stay with him than agonizing (even for a second!) whether or not those kids were okay is just heartbreaking.

      I can understand denial playing a part in it, but honestly – the kids is something I would really think about (and DO think about). The authorities is where she needs to be going. Then she can decide for herself whether or not she can handle being the wife of a convicted kiddie porn owner, handle the investigations, the trial, the financial aspect of it all, the jail/probation/parole, the restrictions, etc. He may be monitored for life depending on how much kiddie porn he owns. He will always be on a registry (depending on the state). It may limit where they live as well.

      I personally feel she would be better off divorced, but that is her call to make.

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      • rob ottapocalypse August 31, 2011, 8:30 pm

        What if she’s in denial because she has kids with him and knows he’s done this to her kids as well? I’m just saying, there may be more reasons for her over rationalization.

      • Marie August 31, 2011, 8:47 pm

        Holy hell.I hope she doesn’t have children.What an awful environment for them.

    • a August 31, 2011, 8:16 pm

      Sadly it isn’t completely surprising that she would consider staying with him. I’ve heard stories from friends and family members where wives wouldn’t leave their husbands even after their children were molested. I’m not sure what goes through their minds, but anyone who would knowingly let children remain in an abusive situation are horrible human beings.

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  • Jubietta August 31, 2011, 7:52 pm

    LW- I’m so sorry this happened to you. Your letter shows you to be intelligent and loyal, loving and dedicated, scared and hopeful, such wonderfully human qualities. Be safe, be careful, and keep using your wits.

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    • rob ottapocalypse August 31, 2011, 8:31 pm

      How is she intelligent? Seriously??

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      • Marie August 31, 2011, 8:46 pm

        I was wondering the same thing.No intelligent woman would think this guy is an “amazing person”.

        And yeah,she’s loyal…she’s so loyal that she’s considering staying with a man who gets off on children.

      • theattack August 31, 2011, 9:23 pm

        Seriously, there’s nothing wrong with offering encouragement to someone who’s experiencing what’s likely the most difficult time in their life. People are being way too harsh on her for not jumping to the conclusion herself, but what she needs right now is support for herself and for the decision to do the right thing.

      • ele4phant August 31, 2011, 10:32 pm

        Its so obvious to all of us outside her marriage how messed up the situation is. But she’s been with this guy, loving him, and struggling to keep her marriage alive for years. She doesn’t have clarity on the situation, yes, but she’s not an idiot.

        Imagine how hard it must be to discover something so horrific about someone you’ve loved, someone you made a decision to spend your life with. How could you not initially be in shock and denial?

        She needs to leave, immediately, but don’t be so harsh. She is going through something unimaginable, so it makes sense that she isn’t clearheaded right now.

  • Marie August 31, 2011, 8:02 pm

    Get the hell out of this marriage,but be sure to alert the proper authorities.Your husband is a good person?!Really?!

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  • beans629 August 31, 2011, 8:48 pm

    I have to ask…LW, how long have you known that your husband has been in possession of child pornography? It has to be a while because you took the time to write to an advice columnist. Because I think MOST people, would have at LEAST called a trusted friend, relative, or a parent to get their advice on what to do. You didn’t-you wrote to an online advice columnist who gets tons of email in her inbox everyday. EVERY DAY. *furrowed brow*. Just seems really odd.

    Seriously, writing into an advice columnist would have been my LAST resort just because there’s no guarantee that Wendy would have answered or posted this email. *scratching my head*. Still really odd.

    What in the hell would you have done if Wendy hadn’t posted your letter? Went on hoping that you would have gotten some grand sign from the marriage Gods to leave him? *banging head on desk*

    I’m not trying to bash you because you are in a really tough situation but I kinda think you’ve known for some time that he has had child porn in his possession.

    Really, your first reaction to him having this porn was, ‘should I leave him because he’s such an amazing guy?!?!’. I would have thought your self preservation instincts would have kicked in and you would have either put his ass out or got out of there.
    *totally confused look*

    The more questions I ask the more I am confusing myself with the complexity of this situation which leads me to believe there’s SO much more to this story than we are being led to believe.

    *SMH* I just don’t know.

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    • Marie August 31, 2011, 9:11 pm

      I’d like to know what is so amazing about a guy who is turned on by children.

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  • katie August 31, 2011, 9:14 pm

    Lw, seriously, you’ve gotta be freakin’ kidding me……

    child porn? and you still use the words “amazing” to describe him?

    my god, if you are that dumb/jaded/whatever, you deserve the legal ramifications that will come with staying married to this guy.

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    • katie August 31, 2011, 9:16 pm

      also– where the hell did you find advice about finding a partners child porn stash that DIDNT involve getting out and says to just “get over it”??????

      … you were probably on pedophile websites, im just sayin.

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  • Kate September 1, 2011, 7:32 am

    Definitely MOA. But also go about this very carefully. If the child porn is on a shared computer, you need to make sure you’re not blamed for it. I don’t really know how this would work out in court, just a thought.

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  • Elle September 1, 2011, 8:33 am

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    • Annette October 28, 2012, 11:10 am

      This is a wonderful story, very moving and very good. The world needs this.

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      • JK October 28, 2012, 11:17 am

        @annette I just wanted to point out that this is a really old letter, so it´s unlikely many people will see your posts. If you need advice, you might try writing in to Wendy directly, or in the forums. FWIW, if your husband is in possession of child pornography, I´m pretty sure the advice from everyone will be call the cops.

  • brend September 1, 2011, 8:49 am

    Wendy you idiot quit posting this fake crap.

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    • TheOtherMe September 1, 2011, 8:51 am


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    • Wendy September 1, 2011, 8:56 am

      There’s no need for name-calling, jerk-off.

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    • KBobK September 1, 2011, 10:07 am


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  • Fabelle September 1, 2011, 9:18 am

    I don’t even think this letter is fake. It’s appalling to all of us, but the LW is probably in shock. She was aware her husband had a porn addiction, and to now find child porn lumped in with all that–I can actually see how her line of thinking ended up at “Are all men like this??” He’s probably just like all the other “normal”-seeming guys out there, so she can’t help but wonder if alll those guys are hiding something this shameful as well.

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  • Blondie September 1, 2011, 9:59 am

    I would get out now. I had a housemate who struggled with this addiction as well. We didn’t know it until one morning the FBI raided our house. There is nothing scarier than waking up to a gun in your face, screaming at you to get out of bed and answer their questions. My housemate was arrested and is being tried. This was over three years ago, and all of us have had to lawyer up, testify, and had our names published in connection to this- and this was a shared internet portal- not a marriage. The law does look for things like this, and I would hate for LW to have to go through what we did (only I would assume it would be much much worse for her.)

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  • meaghan September 1, 2011, 11:10 am

    Imagine its your child in that video being raped (yes it IS rape no matter how it looks in the pornography) for the pleasure of sick individuals across the world. If that thought doesn’t make you want to report your husband to the police and divorce him then you are just as sick. You are enabling a despicable man to exploit children who probably have been taking by their parents who never go a day without begging whoever they believe in to get their baby home. How long until your husband wants some of that action in real life? This isn’t like normal porn where it just fulfills a fantasy. You’ve seen for yourself how his need for porn has driven him to sick and sicker places to gemore excitement. Will it be women getting violently raped? Take a look at your husband and tell me you couldn’t see him attacking someone. he is a ticking time bomb, and you’re going to be caught in the blast unless your get out of there and have him put in prison.

    Maybe you don’t realize this, but you yourself have committed a felony by watching those. things. Its a matter of time before your husband AND you are caught and put in PRISON. for AT LEAST a YEAR.

    So far you have shown your husband and us that you are a weak and broken woman. Whether he made you that way or you have always been a willful servant doesn’t matter. You are responsible for your own actions just as he is.

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    • JustSayin September 1, 2011, 12:06 pm

      I didn’t see this point before I posted mine below. You said it better than I was able to!

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  • JustSayin September 1, 2011, 11:58 am

    I’m not even sure with all the comments that anyone will make it to this one, but nonetheless…

    Here are a couple of things that haven’t been touched on yet. One thing that pops out to me is that his porn addiction is ESCALATING. For example people who are drug addicts, maybe they started with pot, get bored then step up to Ecstasy. When that “high” wasn’t enough, they go to cocaine. Oops, cocaine isn’t enough so lets get into meth in a combination with prescription medication. My point is, how far is the man going to escalate? Child pornography is not a “fetish.” It’s a sickness. When the photos/videos aren’t enough, then what? It is very possible he will act on those urges on an actual CHILD. Of course, it is also very possible that he would not act on this addiction with an actual child. You just never know, even if it was .001% chance he would abuse a child would that be worth the risk and guilt?

    Another thing is when someone said that it could be possible to have accidentally downloaded it. First of all, if I accidentally downloaded something like that, I would delete that crap immediately!! The thing that does not sit well with me is that child pornography is NOT easily accessible. A lot of pedophiles have a “network” of such where they share the porn amongst each other. LW’s husband may not be a huge risk himself to children, but it’s more likely than not he had to have gotten that porn from someone, who had to get it from someone else. He needs to be reported to the authorities. Him being reported alone could help to find OTHER men who prey on children and abuse them. Perhaps even the sicko’s who create this smut. You could SAVE a child (or children!) from abuse. Call an attorney, and call the police.

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  • Honeybee September 1, 2011, 12:20 pm

    Oh, honey. My ex-husband of 17 years was arrested for child porn in the same building as the company where we both worked (although we worked in different departments), spent time in jail and is 10 years probation, and is now a registered sex offender.

    Our home computer, which we shared, was confiscated, our home searched by the police randomly on a weekend when my parents, who live out of state, were visiting.

    I had no idea of what he was up to, but he ended up getting caught in a sting involving the police. The only reason I wasn’t arrested as well (it was on shared property remember) is because they knew due to his conversations during the sting that I was completely and utterly innocent and didn’t have a clue what he was up to.

    So, please get to a lawyer NOW. This is a federal crime, and he will get caught and go to jail and be a registered sex offender. Maybe not today, but it will happen – and for all you know the cops are monitoring every bit of communication that goes into and out of your home IP address.

    You must turn him in if you don’t want to get arrested for aiding and abetting a criminal as you know what he is up to and aren’t stopping it.

    He is participating in a crime against children for heaven’s sake, and you should be morally offended by that if nothing else.

    Your husband is putting you in danger and let me tell you, until you divorce him, once he is caught it will be a living hell. While having my ex get arrested at work meant a public and professional humiliation for me, even if he is arrested at your house the entire neighborhood will know, your address and if you share a car with him, your license plate number (until you kick him out), will be listed on national sex offender databases, and available to any and all who care to search those.

    Please, please, please, save yourself NOW, do the only right thing and turn him in to the police after you talk to a lawyer.

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    • Tracey September 7, 2011, 2:24 pm

      Honeybee, I’m so sorry you went through this, and I hope the LW sees your advice. I know the pain you went through (my comment to LW is further up in the thread), and hope she can avoid as much of that pain as possible. Hugs to you.

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    • Tracey September 7, 2011, 2:24 pm

      Honeybee, I’m so sorry you went through this, and I hope the LW sees your advice. I know the pain you went through (my comment to LW is further up in the thread), and hope she can avoid as much of that pain as possible. Hugs to you.

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  • HBomb September 1, 2011, 1:13 pm

    “he loves me more than he loves his addiction”

    No, he doesn’t love you more than he loves his addiction. I found that out the hard way. Porn, along with other addictions, are exactly that: addictions.

    He needs help, and you aren’t going to be the one to help him. Be strong, pack up your things, and do the right thing here.

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  • Bossy Italian Wife September 1, 2011, 1:47 pm

    I applaud your ability to see your husband as a person who truly believe is good, and desirable, even through this discovery… but that being said, you have to–HAVE TO–leave. This is unhealthy and now it has entered the realm of illegal. And involving children, no less! What in the world type of future could you possibly have with a man who is viewing children as sexual object?! MOA!

    It’s probably only a matter of time before your husband gets in serious trouble with the law over this, and if I were you, I wouldn’t’ want to be anywhere near him when that happens. You have really put in a lot of effort to make your marriage work… now stop trying and concentrate on yourself.

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  • Heather September 1, 2011, 4:54 pm

    It’s ok guys, other than his raging and prolonged addiction and support for an abhorrent market which destroys the lives of innocent children FOREVER, he’s a really great guy.

    Nothing to say that hasn’t been said. GTFO. No question, no stipulations, no “but maybe”. NO.

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  • Temperance September 1, 2011, 10:12 pm

    Sweetie, most men are NOT like this. While most men view pornography, it is not a substitute for intimacy, and no children are involved.

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  • OhLawdy September 5, 2011, 9:17 pm

    My heart broke when I read this question. I’m sure this person is having a really hard time deciding what to do because on some level she is an enabler, which is present in every addict relationship. Yes, even the ones in recovery. This is why AlAnon exists. Without proper support (doesn’t seem she has much) she is not able to make the choice on her own, so don’t browbeat her for not leaving ASAP. She has to come to this on her own.

    TO THE ASKER: As someone that was sexually abused as a child, I plead to you to consider the effects of his behaviour in a larger sense. Ok, so he didn’t make the films. But he is viewing them. He is emotionally ill himself and was likely abused as a child, which would explain the sex deficiencies to begin with and they totally make sense to me. But he’s where he’s at right now and you get to make your choices on that, today. Where he is TODAY. And today, he is doing something that collectively, harms children, himself, you and your marriage. This is not a deal where he is looking at fantasy that involves adults choosing to do an act that is role playing. This is real, bona-fide abuse.

    I have been through absolute torment trying to recover from the effects of abuse and I try to support actions that do not harm children in general. Not all can be protected at all times, but you can make a very clear stand by choosing not to enable the behaviours of your husband by saying, “No thanks. I choose me and the safety of children on the whole”. I wish you light and love.

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  • wench July 6, 2012, 9:51 pm

    hello… i am in the same situation as you… but i problem isnt just that i found out… the cops are now involved… my husband is facing a possible 7 years in jail for what he has done… the really sad things is i also have 2 kids with the man… i know its hard to think of your marriage as being over, but your own sake it may be better to cut your losses and move on with life… you never know you may be able to find some one who is everything he was to you… minus the porn

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  • Lorena October 15, 2012, 4:26 am

    I was in an almost identical situation! My marriage lasted 6 1/2 years. He was addicted to adult porn for years and because of it we barely had any intimacy. I tried my best to make it work but all he cared about was to fulfill his addiction. Towards the end of the marriage, one day I found child pornography on his computer and I was never the same, that was the end for me. I knew what I had to do. He denied he had anything to do with it, he said that somehow the pictures were downloaded by mistakes, but I knew in my heart I couldn’t live with a man who I can’t trust.

    I was sick, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t function finally realizing who I was married to…At that time 3 of my nieces were teenagers and 1 was a preteen and he wold enjoy playing with them more than what I would think it was normal. Also, for the sake of my nieces I had to end this, I was scared for them! I did not report him to the authorities because after I had confronted him, he had deleted all the pictures and videos, so the evidence was gone, but I made this incident/crime public among everyone we knew, friends and family, at least they know. It’s been over 4 years since the divorce took place, and not only do I think it was the right decision, but I regret confronting him first, I deeply regret not notifying the authorities first. I live with a guilt that he will go unpunished, that I could have done something more to stop him from acting out in the future.

    It’s funny, everyone who knew my ex-husband, thought highly of him, not only he was nice to people, but he was charming and good looking, except after few years I didn’t see any of his qualities anymore, I saw how he really was, the true addict, who was able to convince anyone of anything and to get away with anything. It’s scary how we get involved with “sick” people just because they look and act “amazing” when in fact they are damaged beyond repair and they should be locked up. My other mistake was to listen to family members and not go with what my heart was telling me. The family members found this hard to believe so they tried to convince me not to make the situation worse by involving the police. I usually stand up for what I believe in, I fight for justice but in this situation I failed, just getting divorced wasn’t enough. We didn’t have any kids and I am grateful to God that I don’t have his child but he got remarried and have a daughter! I fear for that child when she grows up! There are a lot of sick people out there! The sad truth is that we find out too late, after we’re married to one of them! Because of what I have been through with him, I am terrified of relationships, I don’t trust anyone anymore.

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  • sara September 28, 2013, 11:16 am

    This woman is just as sick as her husband.She should be charged with possession as well.She failed to report her husband viewing/downloading sexual exploitation of minors.
    She just says “caught him viewing child porn” in passing as if it’s the most normal thing in the world.Just one more fetish.No,it’s a crime moron.It isn’t up for debate whether to report it or not.
    She didn’t even seem to be considering reporting it.She was just debating over whether she should divorce him or not-and leave him to his child porn I guess.

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  • Dan November 1, 2013, 6:28 pm

    The maker’s of child porn that are caught should be sentenced to death, and made public so others won’t follow.
    pornography should be completely banned from the internet or there should be a major tax… those free sites should be fined as well..Starting at 150,000$ for a first offence.
    Pornography is dangerous its like a drug to some people. They lose sense of reality.
    Its unnatural to look at any kind of pornography.

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  • Peter September 8, 2018, 2:46 am

    Wow. I want to begin with the statement that child exploitation material is completely wrong. Abuse of children should never be tolerated. Full stop.
    I can also say, as someone who has known and worked professionally with several individuals that have struggled with pornography addiction and consumption of child abuse material that viewing this material and acting to harm children directly are two very separate items.
    Pornography addiction effects the dopamine levels in ones brain to the same level as cocaine and other drugs. It is not unreasonable to think that one who would generally consume regular pornographic material enough would soon enough seek more taboo topics, of one, child exploitation material, in the same fashion a drug addict would seek larger doses.
    What your husband, and yourself, are dealing with is addiction, not necessarily pedophilia as we have historically known it. This could very well be a side issue of our ‘information age’. In the past, people would need a tendency to seek gratification from sexualization of children first and foremost before ‘behaving’ to this end. However, these days, clicking on a ‘teen porn’ image hosted on a porn web page is enough to re-route someone to a shocking image that can spike their dopamine and Adrenalin levels to the point of addiction.
    I would recommend speaking directly with your husband and letting him know that you have found the material.
    Speak with him with an open mind and listen to him, he will be (shocked) but grateful that he has been found and that he no longer needs to hide this shame, but does need to face his shortcomings.
    I would then discuss with him your willingness to head to the police with this information.
    Communicate with each other and see where it goes.
    Do not leave this topic until you have full control and transparency of his online/virtual life as much as practical.
    If he does not hand this over to you, go to the police as he does not want to change.
    He will also need to attend rehabilitation for this. Sex addicts anonymous is not necessarily the best place for him but it will be a start, it really depends on his sponsor.
    If he is seeking help and changing his behavior then you can judge where to from there.
    The legal system acknowledges this issue and its ramifications on an otherwise non threatening citizen’s life.
    Being caught could be the best thing that has happened to him and you being there to support him through this will make you an amazing partner and him a very lucky individual.
    If he re offends….its the legal system route

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    • Skyblossom September 8, 2018, 1:56 pm

      Children are harmed in the making of child porn so he is financially supporting the very real harm of children. By purchasing child porn he helps create the demand for child porn which causes more children to be harmed. There is no innocent, non harmful way to use child porn. Every use of child porn harms a child.

      The original post is years old but if anyone reads it looking for an answer to a current problem they should report the porn immediately to the police. They shouldn’t confront the person viewing the porn. The user of child porn will almost certainly destroy the evidence and there is the risk that they will physically harm the person who caught them. Second, there is the liability of knowing about the porn and doing nothing. I wouldn’t not in any way want to be associated with accepting the use of child porn. This is a run while you can situation. Get out and get the police.

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  • ron September 8, 2018, 8:31 am

    Peter —
    No. She has suffered 6 long years with this man. It is not her job to fix him. He could even become violent when cornered with the evidence of his crime – a crime which generates scorn and loathing by society. At best, he’ll destroy the evidence and be far more careful in concealing his habit. Yes, of course sexually assaulting children and watching child porn are different, however the same person can practice both. Contact a divorce attorney and the police. That is the best and safest route. Neither you nor she can no how dangerous her husband is — to young children, to her, to others. Yes, he’s pathetic and possibly worthy of pity, but that shouldn’t be LW’s problem. This guy’s behavior has torn apart her life. I don’t think she owes him second chances or her help in overcoming his child porn interest. Children are harmed to make that stuff, it isn’t a victim-less crime. If you work with such men, you’ll get your chance to help him once he’s in the legal system. Otherwise, it’s like the predator priests — second chance, move, perhaps marry a single mom with a young child he fancies. If LW gives him a second chance, she is then partially responsible for the subsequent bad things he will do. She shouldn’t put herself in that position.

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