Controversial: Ex with improper thoughts...advice? support? thoughts?

Michelle - posted on 12/06/2014 ( 15 moms have responded )

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Hi Everyone. I am divorced now. My reason(s) for leaving my ex was that, among other things, he admitted to having pedophilic thoughts when I was pregnant with our second child. These thoughts were not a one-time thing, and I told him that I wasn't qualified in this area to help him and that he should get some professional help. On top of that, he accused me of having an affair and carrying someone else's child. Because I was having a high-risk pregnancy, I chose to put the health of the baby first and put on hold any decisions with my relationship with my then-husband. After the baby was born, I decided to file for divorce. As he was living on the other side of the state, it wasn't too much of an issue that he would come and see the kids that often, plus he had agreed to supervised visits. Earlier this year, he called to tell me that he was moving back to the area. He wanted to see the children every weekend. In addition, he said he went to the courthouse and found that the paper he had signed consenting to supervised visits wasn't in the court order, so he was no longer consenting to them. He cornered me and said if I wanted to take him back so we could be a family again, he would be open to it. This man was controlling and emotionally abusive during our relationship. I was blind to it during our relationship ("love is blind" applied here), but it finally became more and more evident to me when he continued to try to manipulate and control me even though we are no longer together.

Because he is not a convicted criminal and there is no evidence of him doing anything wrong, I cannot restrict his access to the children. He admitted to the judge, in court, that his pedophilic thoughts have not stopped and that he has had these thoughts of our children. However, he said he did not act on these thoughts or entertain them. The judge granted him time almost every weekend, both days, with the kids. The visits are to be in public and he does not get overnights (yet) until he sees a specialized psychiatrist, but he won't order him to do so. It would be paid 50-50 between us.

My ex is a member of the church community. He says he is very religious now and prays every day. He tries to be an active member of the church services. He questions my morality, saying I did this to our family.

I am not perfect by any means, but I try to be a good Christian person. When I hear the sermons at church about forgiveness and loving thy neighbor, etc..., I wonder if God is trying to tell me that I am doing the wrong thing.

I fight for my children because they are too young to protect themselves. I don't want them (or any other children) to be the guinea pigs if he decides he cannot control his thoughts, or his thoughts turn into actions.

Part of me feels like I should have stayed with my ex, mainly because if he is to have alone time with them, then at least I would've been around to "protect" the children if necessary.

This is just part of a very long story, and I've tried to shorten it as much as I could. Thank you for any insight you could share.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/09/2014

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Your attorney needs to request supervised access, and also request that your ex be evaluated and in treatment (if necessary). The supervision can be a 3rd party supervision, but those children should NEVER be alone with him.

If he truly is now religious, he will understand the need to get professional help, and if he truly does want the family to be a family, he will do so, regardless of whether or not you and he reconcile.

Forgiveness is just that. You forgive the actions, but never forget them. However, he needs to ask forgiveness from God for his impure thoughts, and ask God to help him remove those thoughts and actions from his life, with the help of the professionals.

Raye - posted on 12/09/2014

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I think you did right by divorcing him. And you are right to worry about the safety of your children. Most people would be embarrassed by and try to keep hidden their deviant pedophilic thoughts. My hope is, since he is willing to admit these thoughts, that he would not act on them. All you can do as far as his visitation, is comply with the courts. I would keep the kids in counseling and have the counselor let you know if they pick up on any signs of abuse. Do not get back with him. You would not be able to sleep, thinking that he could sneak in their rooms. You'd be a wreck, and would not be able to be a good parent that your children need. Tell them that no-one has the right to touch them inappropriately and to let you know if it ever happened. Don't say that HE may be the one to do it. You don't want to instill fear in your kids unnecessarily, cause he may never do anything. But make sure they know it's okay to talk to you about anything.

Wanda - posted on 12/07/2014

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Wow you have a lot on ur plate. First off forgiveness is u letting go of the issues, not letting him do it again. Forgiveness is for ones self to be able to live our lives to its fullest with clarity. Not to dismiss his actions, but rather giving yourself permission to let go of the past hate, and proceed with better understanding. You must still be cautious and take the right actions. Does that make sense?
I have a niece (9) who was sexually molested by an older (52), and I will tell you that no amount of talking would ever even give me a glimpse into the mind frame of a pedophile. To openly tell you that he has these thoughts scares me because it's almost as if you are being warned. And I know someone might comment and say that I'm not being fair, but until u have been in these situations you can not come close to understanding it. I would never risk my children around him! And if he loves those kids, and wants to be part of their lives then supervised visits he would accept..for their own safety. No he hasn't done anything yet...keep it that way.
I'll be honest in saying I have no idea how u can even put the thought of taking him back into your head? And I'm not condoning u for it, I just can not understand that in any form. Love is out there. U deserve more. dont settle for less. Be strong for your children. Do everything you can for them. Protect them. You only get one chance..
And for anyone who doesn't like my input that is ok..because this forum is about listening to different viewpoints and taking what you want from them.
Best wishes to u and your family.

Jodi - posted on 12/06/2014

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No that's ok, I'm getting mixed with the messages. I just read back through it all. I want to assure you that you did the right thing leaving your ex. And you are doing the right thing by your children. I can understand your concerns, and can see how they would be very upsetting for you. Continue to be strong, and stay in tune with your kids and how they are emotionally. They will need your support and love too. Take care.

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Michelle - posted on 12/18/2014

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My attorney has tried to get supervised visits. A family member or I used to do the supervision but because he doesn't have any convictions, the judge decided to give him unsupervised visits but they have to be in a public setting.

I guess they are going on the honor system that he will stay in public, although my 4 y.o. has said to me a couple of times he "saw daddy's house today!" When the lawyers confronted him with that information, ex said he was just parked outside the house, but didn't take the kids inside.

I'm trying to find the balance because it is out of my hands since the judge has ordered it, but at the same time, he has not been cleared by specialized therapist he has been ordered to go see. He insists he is fine and does not need to see anyone for anything.

Thank you for your encouragement.

Michelle - posted on 12/07/2014

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Thank you, Jodie, for your insight and encouraging words. I am doing what I can. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. =)

Michelle - posted on 12/07/2014

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Thank you, Wanda, for your insight and explaining to me the forgiveness part. Believe me, it's not that I would want to be with him anymore that I would take him back. It came into my head because that I felt that would be the only way I could continue to protect my children until they could "protect themselves" if the court system wouldn't continue with the "visits in public only." Thank you for your supportive words.

I know exactly what you mean. Personally, knowing what I know, there are things I wouldn't want if I could help it. At the same time, the legal system is there and it won't allow for me to just do what I want, as he has rights as a father.

Not only that, I'm a mandated reporter, too, so if he ever comes near where I work, I wouldn't know what I am supposed to do because although he hasn't done anything "yet" (that people are aware of), am I supposed to just stand around and wait until he actually does something to report him (I'm pretty sure the legal answer is "yes")? And then how do I explain that he had "warned" me of his thoughts already?

I understand this is a very controversial issue. I try to see the other side but it is difficult. I hear on the news the Sandusky issue (during the pregnancy) where the wife supposedly knew about the coach's actions yet stayed with him all these years. I don't want to be like that, either. I don't want the children to come back to me and tell me that something happened, and hate me for not protecting them earlier.

Michelle - posted on 12/06/2014

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I think we have some level of miscommunication here.

I am not suggesting pushing anything. The title of my post was asking for advice, support and thoughts on the situation. I was only responding to your response to clarify things. I apologize if this conversation veered off in a different direction and led you to believe I was trying to do something more than what the judge is doing.

Jodi - posted on 12/06/2014

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Allow me to put it to you another way. Would you permanently remove a child from a mother with PPD because she had either murderous thoughts toward her child or suicidal thoughts toward herself?

I'll be honest, I thought the court system already knew he had these thoughts. After all, you said "He admitted to the judge, in court, that his pedophilic thoughts have not stopped and that he has had these thoughts of our children." and the judge still allows him access to his children,. How much more are you suggesting to push it? What other authorities are you suggesting you tell and get involved? If the judge felt other authorities should be involved, I'm pretty sure he is mandated to report it.

Michelle - posted on 12/06/2014

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Thanks, Jodi. I feel maybe I should give a little more information:

Sorry, my original post kept getting lost when I was trying to post, so some things I had there before did not make it in when I was trying to remember what I had typed. So maybe this will clear up some things.

Before our divorce, the father had left us for a few years already to move back to his parents' home on the other side of the state. Each time he moved back to "stay" with us, he would leave us within the week because he couldn't handle it.

I tried many times to work with the father to co-parent. When I brought a third party (other family members) to the visits, he would be "better-behaved." However, family wasn't always available as they have their lives and families as well, and I would take the children on my own. EVERY single time that happened and sometimes when other family members were there, he would bring up our relationship and try to reconcile. He has called my family members on multiple occasions to try to get them to help him get back together with me. My family members have gotten to the point where they believe he is using the kids partly as an excuse to see and interact with me, which is why it has gotten to this point.

(p.s. But maybe this will clarify something: even now, he cannot seem to make up his mind what he "really" wants. He only "wants" me to get back together with him because I'm don't right now. My "feeling" is that even if I were to entertain the idea of getting back together with him, we would be back to square one where he couldn't handle it.)

Thank you for clarifying your stance. I am not complaining about what the judge has ordered. I fully respect his decision and understand it. I also agree with the judge's decision to have him see a professional before getting any alone time.

To respond to your other point: no, I wasn't expecting him to be thrown in jail or for him not to have access to his kids. I am not assuming he will act on his thoughts. I am, however, taking precautions since there is a "higher" risk due to his admissions. Even without the court order, I had been taking the children to see him every weekend. We had agreed to supervised visits, so that's what I did. Our older child still remembers his father constantly leaving us and has insecurity issues.

To explain, when I said "fight for my children," I meant telling the authorities and getting the court system involved, not literally argue and fight with my ex himself.

I have taken the children and myself to counseling. Even the therapist and the judge have agreed that I should not interact with the ex unnecessarily as doing so just gives him hope that we will reconcile. I interact with him now only through email to tell him of the children's well-being.

Jodi - posted on 12/06/2014

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Absolutely not, you should not have stayed with him at all. Staying with him will still not prevent the situation in the long term and will, in fact, expose the children to an extremely unhappy marriage. That in itself can damage them.

I am not suggesting we shouldn't TELL authorities about thoughts of shoplifting or murder, but the authorities don't throw people in jail purely based on thoughts that are reported to them. Same thing here. The judge has based his decision on the fact that none of these thoughts have been acted out. You can't through a person in jail for thoughts like your ex has, so you can't remove their kids from their either, because he has done nothing illegal. You are assuming he will act on those thoughts, and not everyone does.

To go back to your ex, you damage your children. To keep fighting, you damage your children. I think you need to stop judging him and try to develop a decent co-parenting relationship with him (which is NOT what you have now) so that you can both be honest and open with each other about the welfare of your children. Get some counselling together to work on a co-parenting relationship instead of being at odds with each other.

Michelle - posted on 12/06/2014

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Thanks, Jodi. I'm not being combative. I've actually had your thoughts, which is why I'm in this quandary. So please bear with me...

Is it your opinion that I should have stayed with him, then...?

I do comply with the court orders.

You're right in that I am judging him before he acts on those thoughts, and I may be wrong for doing so. However, if I just sat back doing nothing and waited until something actually happened, wouldn't it also be on me because he told me of these thoughts ahead of time and I just decided to "ride it out," therefore putting the children at risk?

Using your examples about murder or shoplifting: if the people in the world actually told someone about it, and the someone didn't do anything but those people actually followed through, then that someone would get in trouble for not reporting it (or doing something about it), no?

To clarify, I'm not saying he shouldn't have time with his kids, considering the circumstances. I'm just saying to minimize his alone time with them until they are able to fend for themselves. Neither of them are school-age yet.

Jodi - posted on 12/06/2014

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Your ex has not acted on his thoughts, so there is very little you can do. Chances are he may NOT act on his thoughts, ever. You said he is still a member of the church and he prays every day. There is no real evidence that your children are in any danger. Therefore, if the courts allow him to see his children, then you need to take a step back.

The way I see it, while I don't agree with these kind of thoughts that he is having, and it is concerning for him, you are essentially judging him before acting on them. There are people in this world who have thoughts of shoplifting because they can't afford something, but they don't act on it - we don't throw them in jail for those thoughts. I'm sure there are people who have had murderous thoughts too, but again, is it really our right to judge that person and punish them just for the thoughts?

As a good Christian woman, you would know it isn't your place to judge your ex for something he hasn't actually acted on.

And legally, you must follow your court orders.

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