Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Would you like to hear the full story?

So here's what I'm thinking. If I'm really going to commit to this blog then I need to tell the story from the beginning. It really has been my plan to do that, but I've been dragging my feet. It is painful to tell this story. And yet it is so relieving to share it with others!

Part of the blessing of a blog is that I can tell the back story while keeping up with the current story. Yes, it means I have to jump around a bit, but that's life. So this will soon become a bouncing, dizzying blog and you will likely find yourself saying, "What - wait - did I miss something?" Hopefully you will wave a flag if I really skip over something key . . . And in the midst of all the story telling, I will likely take breaks to inform or rant or simply contemplate something trivial . . .

Well, readers, what do you think? Are you ready for all the gory details?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Going to Church

I talk to God a lot. I'm attempting to raise my children so that they will have a sense of faith. At the very least, I want them to know (really, down-deep KNOW) that God is ever-present. I want them to have someone to go to when everything seems wrong in the world - like I had at the beginning of last year.

I go to church on a regular basis. I like going to church. It's kinda weird, actually, because I'm not technically Christian. I go to a Christian church and I go through the motions, but if you were to ask me if I have accepted Jesus Christ as my savior (as my pastor has done) I would very openly tell you that I haven't. I say it openly, but with a little hesitation because I know this paints me in a poor light for some. I am suddenly seen as a soul to save or a heathen. But I'm not going to church to make a mockery of the religion. I'm going out of respect. I dress nicely. I listen and contemplate. I participate. And I leave the door open in my heart and mind just in case Jesus comes by for a talk.

The part about dressing nicely may sound unimportant, but to me it has significance. I used to go to church in the same clothes I wore every day. Actually, I may have looked especially casual on Sundays because I believed that God didn't care what my clothes look like, so I might as well be comfy! I still believe that God doesn't care what I wear, but now I care about it.

You see, last year I spent so many stressful mornings preparing myself to look nice in front of a judge that "dressing-up" came to mean something awful to me. The last time I got ready for court my daughter told me I looked beautiful, but I looked in the mirror with only loathing. I reminded myself that I had to look nice out of respect for the judge. I found myself hating that I was using my special clothes for such an ugly occasion. But it's not like you used them for anything else, I thought. Then I was surprised by that thought. I really didn't use those nice clothes for anything else. Why not? What else would I use them for? Church. That's it, from now on I will dress nicely when I go to church. I will enjoy my nice clothes in a place of love and fellowship. 

It still may seem weird to you, but I enjoy it. And it turns out that I have LOTS of nice clothes. I'm surprised by it all and I think the people at church are, too.

But forget about clothes. I enjoy church and God. I think everyone should take more pleasure in both. I would happily give testimony that both of those, along with my loving family, kept me alive last year. I want my kids to have that kind of life raft.

And I want them to read Eat Pray Love. But that's for another post on another day.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Packing Very Personal Items

This past week, I packed more of Jake's things. I did most of it while my mother and children were not around. These were the things that I didn't want anyone else to see: sex toys, books, lube, games, etc. It has been weird having these things in the house since we had kids. I guess it's not totally abnormal to have a few condoms, a vibrator, a book of love massage. But I'm guessing that Jake had more than is normal. Some of the things he bought for me as gifts. I thought that was a typical man-thinking to buy lingerie and handcuffs when I had asked for the DVD of Pride&Prejudice.
As I threw these things in boxes - three moderately large boxes - I felt a little guilty. In an act that was not like me at all, I had asked his TP what to do with all his sex toys (normally, I would be too embarrassed to mention these things). She said to deliver them to his probation officer and he would decide what to do with them. I'm pretty sure a lot of it will be thrown away. My guilt comes from the monetary value that some of these things hold, from the fact that some were gifts to me, and from the embarrassment I will cause Jake when his probation officer goes through them.

And then I remembered that these things represent money that could have been spent on more worthwhile parts of our life. They represent gifts that HE wanted me to want, not actually what I wanted. And they remind me of all the embarrassment he's created for me in this community as he pursued other women right under my nose.

The PO's office is over an hour's drive from where I live, but I was able to hand off the boxes to his assistant who works part of the time in another office closer to me. It was incredibly strange to hand off these boxes full of very personal items to this complete stranger. She packed them in her trunk with a smile and said, "Thank you!"

I find myself simmering in discomfort thinking about the scene in which the PO will open the boxes and start determining the fate of the contents. Time for a comforting cup of tea.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Yesterday, my mother and I went to Walmart. I'm recovering from a respiratory flu, so I got tired before the shopping was done. I took my girls, Elise and Sabrina, to the little arcade area where I could rest while Elise looked at all the big games. Elise found another little girl to play with who looked just a little younger than her. They were pretty cute, looking at all the arcade games and pushing buttons like something would happen without inserting money. The other little girl even asked Elise to hold her teddy bear while she explored a game.

The mother of that girl was sitting a few feet away from me. I would have guessed that she was my age. She was blonde and pretty.

She said, "You're Pruett's wife, right?"

I nodded. I was thrown off by the question. What a weird way to identify a person. I was about to ask how we knew each other when she said, "He was my teacher."

"Oh." That was all I could say. Then she got up and left.

She seemed so genuinely friendly. I couldn't decide if she knew about all the drama. Some people don't, you know? They don't read the paper and they run in different enough circles that they have completely missed everything. It messes with my sense of reality to the point that I've considered carrying the newspaper clipping of his sentencing around to show people like that. I know that sounds somewhat disturbed, which is why I don't do it.

After she left, I continued to sit there, thinking of things I could have said to her, like, "Did he ever hit on you? Did you know he was having inappropriate relations with students? Did he ever ask you to come over while I was out of town?" Or even just simply, "Was he a good teacher?"

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mom's visit

My mom is coming to visit. She doesn't know about this blog. I feel like I can only express my true feelings if the people who I write about never see this. It's a little deceptive, I know. What can I say? My character is on a downhill slide . . . No, it's not true. I'm as straight-laced as the day I was born.

I'm not writing this blog to deceive or hurt anyone. My close friends, God bless them, assume I'm doing it to educate others. That is a beautiful, worthwhile reason. While I take every chance I can get to clarify certain subjects, as seen a few blogs ago, that is not my main drive.

I just want to express myself.

For almost a full year, I had to live my everyday life like nothing was wrong. I didn't know who in the community knew or cared about what was happening in my life, so I put on a good face and acted normal. I figured out the day the first article ran in the local paper about Jake's arrest - the day the phone rang off the hook with people calling to console me - that most people pitied my situation. But that didn't lessen my discomfort when someone in town would stop to take a long look at me. 

I get so tired of just glazing over the situation like nothing has happened. When someone ignorant asks me about Jake, I say things like: "Oh, he's not working as a teacher anymore. He's working full time at his personal business," and other such non-committal, non-detailed statements.

After sentencing, he was in jail for one month solid before he was granted work release (the ability to leave jail during the day in order to work). During that month, I answered the business phone and email and tried to pretend like everything was normal. It killed me. I had to basically lie to clients by saying, "Jake's out of town and doesn't have his cell phone or access to a computer." Sure, it was the truth, but it is lying nonetheless. I HATE deception. But I live by the profits of the business, too, so I did my part to keep it alive.

Recently, I went back to my home town. I dreaded my high school classmates asking me about my husband. I was so sick of lying and avioding the conversation that I was ready to scream, "MY HUSBAND IS A CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER IN JAIL!!!"

Luckily, no one asked about him.

Anyhow, my mother is coming and she is so completely welcome in all aspects of my life, except this. So I will just have to close down these tabs while she's here. As I say this, I recognize the parallel this creates with my husband's own hidden secrets. My computer now sits where his computer once did. I now claim his incredibly large and comfy office chair. And how many times did he hear me walking to the office and close down tabs on his computer that he didn't want me to see?

The parallel is saddening to the point I feel guilty for ever hiding any part of myself from a loved one. And yet, our loved ones are the hardest for us to be true around sometimes.

P.S. If you need another blog to visit, try So I married a sex offender. Or, if you want something more positive and empowering, try Redifine Girly.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Heated and Hurt

Last night, the kids and I went to supper with Jake's parents. On the way home, we were talking about my mother's visit next week and Sabrina's first birthday (my baby). Then his mom, Kay, said, "Don't you have that accountant meeting next week?"

She was talking about the meeting with the accountant for Jake's business.

"I'm not going if he can make it."

"I don't think he is allowed to go," said Kay.

I started to whine, "Well, that''s information that I need to know. Why on earth can't he go?"

"[His treatment provider] thinks it's insignificant."

"What?! That makes no sense!" I went on to whine about how I had sent him a letter through his TP with all sorts of requests for information for the business and had yet to here back. I was temporarily peeved at his TP, thinking that she didn't respect my need for the info and was filing it under "insignificant".

The next day I called his TP and asked if he was going to the accountant meeting. I was ready to argue with her, but she had never heard anything about it and was going to ask his probation officer for me. I realized that it was his probation that restricted his travel, not his TP. I mentally apologized to the TP.

Then she told me that Jake had given her a response to my letter, but it was 6.5 pages of emotional junk. She hadn't sent it to me for that reason. I agreed with her that I don't want that right now. He will have a chance to share with me later, but for now I'm just trying to sort out all the practical matters. After I got off the phone, I was thankful that she was helping me to avoid Jake's BS.

Later, Big Rev called me about something he was dropping off. I took the opportunity to set him straight about the TP. I tried to explain how she was helping me. He snapped at me, "I don't care what anyone says to you, you need to be talking directly to Jake!"

Now, I'm not a confrontational person, but I can certainly rise to the occasion. My hackles flew up and I tore into Big Rev about everything Jake had done to me and how I truly need a break from it. Then we got disconnected, or he hung up.

I feel so crappy after that conversation. I realized how important Big Rev and Kay's support is to me. If they can't support me - if they take Jake's side - I can't stay here. I'm hanging by a thread.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sex Addicts 101

Let's be clear about a few things. Not all sex addicts become sex offenders. And not all sex offenders are sex addicts. But sex addicts run a high risk of becoming sex offenders.

We all start out as blank slates, sexually speaking. As prepubescent children, we are supposed to learn about healthy body image, body care, boundaries, and gender roles. Actual sex should not be on the agenda of a small child, but finding one's physical place in the world is an essential foundation for a healthy sexuality. They should learn to respect themselves, respect others, and expect respect in return. (A great resource on developing healthy sexuality in children is The Discipline Book by Dr. William Sears)

I don't know the statistic, but I believe that most sex addicts are sexually abused as children, or in some way led astray. This can include molestation or rape by an adult or older child. Other types of exposure can also have an impact, such as witnessing adults engaged in sexual acts, seeing porn, or engaging in sexual acts with other kids. Even more subtle things can start a problem, such as low self-esteem and excessive boredom, if a child turns to masturbation as a comfort or "hobby". All these things affect how a child forms a view of sex and what role it will play in that child's life.

In Out of the Shadows by Dr. Patrick Carnes, he describes the sex addict as constantly seeking that thrill that we all feel with "young love". You know, that tingling excitement that you felt when you held your boyfriend's hand for the first time. Or that intoxicating pleasure that washed over you when your partner first undressed you. Those are the feelings that a sex addict wants to experience over and over. Who wouldn't want to relive those moments? But an addict loses sense of control and boundaries and even reality as they chase those moments. Carnes calls it "courtship gone awry".

Carnes also refers to the "arousal template" that each of us has - the map in our brain that dictates what arouses each one of us. Again, this template is created when we are children. An abusive situation can imprint on that template forever. Recreating those moments as an adult brings back the courtship thrill, even if it is very misled.

The addiction works through cycles. The addict can live a normal life for periods of time, but then something triggers their need to act out sexually - stress, boredom, a flash of cleavage, a computer rebooting, a red balloon - who knows, it is different for everyone. They go through whatever ritual that precedes the act, they act, then they swim through the moat of guilt and despair and promises to never do it again. Then they start the cycle over.

The cycle can hold steady forever, but it is more likely that it will accumulate new sexual acts. After all, the thrill has to be maintained. And that is why sex addicts become sex offenders. They keep trying new things, keep branching out, the lines keep blurring until they are knowingly committing illegal acts. They are so immersed in their own world of sexual need that they risk everything valuable they have for a momentary thrill.

Addicts know they are doing things the wrong way. But they feel a loss of control, so they hide it. And they start to lie. They get really good at telling lies, so good they even start believing them. They create two selves: the one addicted and the outward persona. The outward persona may be righteous, caring, charismatic, moral - the embodiment of everything that the addict thinks is good (that the addict really wants to be). It would deeply hurt an addict's feelings if someone doubted any of those outward characteristics.

Here are two beliefs that the addict has about their true selves:

1) I am unworthy of love.

2) My greatest need is sex.

For an addict to heal and live a healthy life, he needs to change those beliefs. He needs to believe in his own value and see that others can love him. He needs to learn to trust and depend on others. He needs to face reality (possibly the hardest part). He needs to take accountability for his actions and learn to derail that old addiction cycle. He needs recognize the victims he's created. He needs God - yes, I really did say that. He needs a power greater than the addiction.

Oh, and he needs community.

It's not really about sex, you see. It's about a warped sense of reality. And it's about a victim who never healed. And it is about awareness and attitude in everyone around the addict. It is big and complicated. And I have barely even touched on the subject.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I've mostly mastered my depression. I pack away the ideas and memories that trigger it, just like I did with Jake's clothes. I set them in a dark corner to be dealt with later, when I am feeling stronger and healthier.

But you can't control every situation.

My pastor asked me how things went in therapy with Big Rev. I am good friends with the pastor and his wife, which is sorta strange because they know that I haven't embraced Jesus as my savior. But they also know I couldn't have survived this last year without a renewed faith in a higher power. I have a spirituality that I don't honestly understand, but it is a lifeline.

So he asked me how things went. I told him it was fine. Big Rev understands more of the situation than I thought he did.

"Good," said Pastor, "because when I spoke with Jake he was still sticking to his lies." I didn't see that coming. I didn't know Pastor ever talked to Jake. Jake had never gone to church, after all. He surprised me and triggered that depression. It especially hurt because he mentioned the lies. I don't know exactly what lies Jake is telling Pastor, but it doesn't really matter. He lies.

It hasn't even been a month since I realized that Jake lies all of the time. I'm not sure if the lies are truly malicious or just part of a deeply seated delusion. Which would be better?

I've had two cups of stress-relief tea today plus five sugar cookies and an episode of Glee. I can't shake the depression.

I bet you can guess what I always find myself saying in these sad moments: "This is not the life I chose." Unfortunately, that doesn't fix anything.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I'm taking time to pack some of Jake's things away. He won't be needing his button-up shirts, ties, and slacks any time soon.

I don't need them hanging around our house either. I can't believe it took me almost a year to do this. Jake has four times more clothes than I have - no joke. Mostly, he just doesn't know how to get rid of anything. His closet spans the longest wall of our bedroom and is overflowing. My closet is a little, 4-foot-wide, stand-alone thing that we got when we realized that he couldn't possibly make any more room in his closet for my things. Yes, I know, that was a sign that something was wrong, but it seemed more of a hoarding problem than a marital one. I figured we'd work on it over time . . .

Time's up! His stuff is going into storage and I'm FINALLY moving into the main closet.

I was a little worried that the change would bother my three-year-old, Elise. About a week ago, we were sitting on the bed looking at the closet. I said to her, "I'm thinking about taking Daddy's clothes out of the closet and packing them away for a while. Should we do that?"

To my surprise, she nodded agreeably. Then she asked, "Mommy, what's a closet?"

I think I'll be bringing up "the wound" again and again in this blog. It sounds rather cliche, but it's really a good metaphor. I'm wounded by my husband. The wound is worse because I love him. But now I want to protect myself and give myself time to heal. Putting away his clothes is part of that. They remind me every morning and every night of the husband who is not here; the husband who will never wear a tie and shirt to go teach again; the husband who never made room for me in his closet; the husband who wore that white tux (still in the closet) at a wedding that didn't seem to mean as much to him as it did to me. It rubs the wound raw to have those reminders. I'm ready to put them out of sight.

The codependent part of me insists on sorting and labeling all the boxes, just in case he needs them someday. Really, I should just burn them all - wouldn't that feel good? But that's not my style. Sigh.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I'm Not Ready

The joint therapy session went well. Big Rev and I clarified a few things, set some communication boundaries, etc.

My biggest concern before going to the therapist was that Big Rev kept trying to "help" Jake and I with our marriage issues (i.e. the issue that he was unfaithful). When he tried to help by explaining or arguing something with me, it was misguided and always left me feeling more wounded. I think he understands now. I don't think it will happen any more.

I had an unexpected realization. I was explaining to Big Rev for the umpteenth time that I didn't want to communicate with Jake at all until he completes his sexual history polygraph when he said, "He's finished it."

I almost fell off my seat. There was a panic rising inside of me. I suddenly realized that I AM NOT READY. I asked, "He's passed the polygraph?"

Then Big Rev explained that Jake has finished the paperwork and they've created the questions for the polygrapher to ask him, but he can't actually take the polygraph until March, at the earliest, due to scheduling problems. I actually breathed a sigh of relief!

I restricted Jake's communication with me right before Christmas because I had just learned about his infidelity. I had spent a year of my life advocating for him in court, believing in my mind that his crime was an isolated incident; that he was essentially a good, trustworthy person. Then I found out that he had spent the majority of our marriage looking for sex from other people. I was suddenly one of his victims. I realized that if I let things keep going the way they were, I would just suffer constantly from truth that was slowly seeping out of him. I needed a break, so I cut ties.

Just a week ago, I sent Jake a letter using my therapist and his TP as the messagers. This was part of the message:

"I am so deeply offended by your infidelity and so worried about your true character that I don't want to talk directly to you right now about anything. I am not doing this to hurt you, but to protect my own sanity and the healthy development of our kids. I will reconsider talking with you if you can pass your sexual history polygraph. Please work hard on it and be honest.
I will expect you to share your sexual history with me in full. I am certain that it will offend and hurt me all over again. You may have to wait even longer for me to process the information and emotions before I will start a talking with you again. But it is very important for me to know the truth.
Please work hard. I will wait for a while, but not forever."

He is doing what I asked by completing his sexual history. He is being proactive and I'm glad. But I'm also glad that he can't complete the polygraph for a while, too. I need more time to process and heal. I'm not ready to start the pain all over again.

Being on my own feels good right now, too. I haven't made decisions without Jake's input for so long. I'm enjoying the independence. I like doing things my way and I think I deserve it. It feels like the fog is clearing in my head and I can stand a little straighter. My life is terribly complicated, and yet everything seem simpler as long as he isn't a factor.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hold Your Head Up

So I have a few minutes before I head out to see my therapist and I'm contemplating myself, which is what you do before you go tell a therapist all about your life.

Something Big Rev said about my mother-in-law has me thinking. He thinks she refuses to go to church because she feels like other people are looking down their noses at her. I don't think they are, but that is a perfectly natural way to feel, right?

Another wife of a sex offender has mentioned in her blog that she feels discriminated against because of her husband's past crimes (for which he's completed his sentence for). A scary, yet believable idea.

I worry about the future. If I allow Jake back into our lives in any form, that will be hard for other people to understand. I worry that other kids will someday tell my daughters that their daddy is a pervert. What will I do when the local newspaper prints his mug shot on the front page once a year?

Well, I've learned to set aside some of those concerns. I drink lots of Yogi Stress Relief tea. I practice compartmentalizing all my anxieties. It's been a tough road, but I've learned a lot of good things about myself.
 I can hold my head high because I know I'm a good person who speaks honestly and attempts to make the world a better place.

I believe others see your true character despite the situations, if you let them. They'll never see it if you hide away. So I hope all the other people who are caught in this type of situation will assess themselves honestly and then step out into the public view and trust that others will see their true nature. Don't be paranoid, just be you.

And maybe lean on someone, like a therapist, until you feel confidant again.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Big Rev

My father-in-law is a good man. He is a former reverend, so let's just call him Big Rev.

This whole business with Jake has hurt him so badly. I think he spent the first three months after Jake's arrest just trying not to cry every second of every day. Then he learned that a farm hand had molested almost all of his children, including Jake, and it started the suffering all over again. Big Rev is the one who hired that farm hand. He wishes every day that he could go back and change that.

He paid for Jake to have one of the best lawyers in our state to defend him. I think the lawyer was worth her cost, but I don't know how Big Rev afforded it. He paid for most of my lawyer's costs, too (she helped me handle Social Services who pestered me throughout 2011). He has offered to pay for many other things - sometimes I let him and sometimes I don't.

I feel like he's trying to use money to make up for all of Jake's wrongdoings. I've tried to explain to him that he isn't the one who needs to pay penance and that money will not solve our problems (at least, not the important ones).

He says, "I know, but I just want to help."

It's hard to see a fatherly figure feeling so much pain, so I try to be gentle with him. But lately he's been driving me crazy. Since I've restricted Jake from communicating with me, Big Rev seems to think that he has to advocate for Jake in my presence. I've tried to explain to him where I stand. I try to be firm and yet not take my anger out on Big Rev.

There were two instances in which I snapped at him. First, Big Rev told me that he spent half of a day helping Jake "reseach" (whatever that means) to prove that he didn't sleep with a certain woman while we were married. The insanity of it just blew my mind. First, I know that there have been many women, so why does this particular woman matter. The second thing is that it is completely unhealthy and unfair to be dragging Big Rev into the middle of this. The third thing is that participating in that "research" is just enabling my husband's delusions. I chided Big Rev for encouraging such nonsense.

The second time, Big Rev warned me not to give the authorities certain information. Again - insanity. My reaction started with, "What authority would be asking me for that?" It was stuff that I believe they already know anyhow. Then my reaction moved to, "Why should I be protecting the man who has ruined my life?" It was a bad moment. My temper flared up and I lashed out. Big Rev hung his head shamefully while I gave him such a glare and shook my head. Then I walked out, leaving my poor mother-in-law looking a little pained. Even as I left, I could hear Big Rev saying, "He could go to prison for a long time . . ."

I don't want Jake to go to prison, but I'm determined not to let my moral character get dragged down by this. Truly, if the local police were to ask me for my knowledge on certain topics, I would probably ask to speak to my lawyer first. I don't want to feed the fire. Luckily, I don't think there is a fire to feed. I'll explain more about this another time.

To wrap up this long story, I convinced my father-in-law to come with me to see my therapist. I told him that I want to get us on the same page. And I do. I also want to set some boundaries so that he stops aggravating my open wounds.

My mother asked, "Is your therapist going to act as a mediator?"

I said, "Let's hope we don't need a mediator, but just in case . . ."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Balance

It is hard for me to reconcile the Jake I love with the one who did all those things. A list of crimes and character flaws is deceptive. There is a good man, a valuable man attached to that man in the mug-shot.

Jake puts on this front in public. He jokes and seems infinitely confidant. But then, in a quiet moment with me, he's emotional, sensitive, full of indecision and doubt. Soft-hearted. It was easy to be emotionally intimate with him. We shared so much of our inner workings with each other that I couldn't imagine he was hiding anything from me.

I had my complaints about him as a spouse, but very normal ones. He forgot important dates and gave tasteless gifts, like a typical man does. But then he'd do subtle things in our everyday life that made me thankful I had someone who knew me so well. He'd record a show I liked, or email me a news story he knew I'd be interested in, or cook something I liked even though he didn't like it.

He knew my talents and encouraged me in them. He was proud of me and would brag about me because he knew I never would.

He gave me the opportunity to stay home with my daughters - possibly the most valuable experience of my life to date.

He wasn't a bad father. He loves both his girls very much. He just wasn't always there when you needed him. Even when he was there, his mind was elsewhere.

Life was getting confusing in the year before he was arrested. He had a lot on his plate, so it seemed to make sense that he was stressed out and distant. He did a lot of traveling. He confessed to me once that he went to a massage parlor (the kind with happy endings). I forgave him, it didn't seem that serious. It became a kind of joke. But then he told me about another one and then a trip to a bath house. I was dazed and unsure what was happening. I tried to talk to him about how this affected our marriage, but he seemed to just not get what I was saying. I kept thinking that things would improve after we had the baby, after he settled into his new job, after we payed down some of our debt . . . Then we wouldn't be so stressed. Then we'd have the time to figure our marriage out.

We never made it there. And now I see that we never would have. He was a sex addict. I just couldn't see it at the time. Some days I'm thankful he was arrested because I was just seeing the tip of the iceberg. I'm glad things didn't spin more out of control.

And some days I wish I could go back and fix things so we wouldn't be here. What would I have done? Would I have gotten mad at him about the massage parlor? Would I have made him get counseling? Would I have refused to marry him and miss having our precious children? That wouldn't really stop the problem. I would have to go back further. I would have to go all the way back to when Jake was three-years-old and stop the man who raped him. That's where all this started. But then I'd need to stop whoever victimized that man as a child and back and back and back. There is no end to it.

But I hope you have seen the other side of the coin.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

All About Him

The following things I have learned directly from my husband, Jake, through my experiences as his wife, through my own personal research (i.e. snooping), or in open court. I will not put anything here that has been told to me by Jake's treatment provider or lawyer.
  • He is a sex addict. His main addiction is porn.
  • He has visited prostitutes, massage parlors, and bath houses during our marriage.
  • He used online social networks to seek out affairs and had sex online with at least two women during our marriage, but likely more than that
  • He had an inappropriate relationship with a student before we were married, but I don't know the nature of it or what lines were crossed. No charges have been brought on this, but the authorities know and, since Colorado has no statute of limitations on sex crimes, he will have that hanging over his head forever.
  • The act that caused him to be arrested was the inappropriate touching of a student's breast and torso on the outside of her clothing. This followed a month-long flirtation between the two of them. 
  • After being arrested, a search of his computers uncovered child pornography.
Now that I have written that down, I have come up with yet another reason why other blogging wives aren't describing their husband's crimes: It is painful.

And I now feel like I am selling him out to a world of strangers who will condemn him all over again. That is not my agenda, so tomorrow I will give you a balancing perspective from the part of me that loves him, that sees value in his character, that still has a lingering hope that he can reform.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Lot of Maybes

I was looking through blogs by other women who are married to sex offenders. One common thing I noticed was that they avoid describing what their husband's crimes were. There is likely a reason for that.

Maybe they don't feel like it's relevant to their blog. That's a reason I can understand. Some days I feel like people look at me and their first thought is of what my husband did. I don't want to be defined by my husband's problems. On the other hand, I ended up on these women's blogs because they have chosen to focus on that part of their life . . . and yet they aren't talking about it.

Maybe it is uncomfortable. Duh. Sex is an uncomfortable topic. Thus, illegal sexual acts are REALLY not fun to talk about.

Maybe they don't want to scare or disgust the reader. If the reader is of a healthy sexual mind then they should have a bad reaction to reading about sex crimes. Our husbands did something really wrong in a category of "wrong" that is repulsive and possibly even scary..

Maybe they're still in denial about it. I hate to use the "d" word. That word has been used to describe me this past year, but I would argue that I was ignorant. Or, when I had damning evidence in front of me, I was trying to stay open-minded. Or, when the evidence was so horrendous that it rocked me to the core, I was coping. I think a lot of women "cope" by only facing a little at a time. Processing too much would overload us. I think true cases of denial are few and far between, so I'm not going to pin that label on my fellow bloggers. But even if I don't think they are in denial, that won't stop their readers from thinking it.

But back to where I started . . . I think women who are blogging because their husbands are sex offenders should share what those offenses were. If we are going to talk about it then let's TALK ABOUT IT. Let's talk about who these men are that we love/d and share/d a life with. Let's talk about whether we think they can or will or have recovered from whatever delusion they were in at the time of the offense/s.

In the spirit of this message, I plan to give you more detail soon about my husband's character. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Strong Boundaries

Today I got a sort of pep talk from Jake's treatment provider about keeping strong boundaries. It left me less than peppy, but I think it was appropriate.

Before I tell more, let me explain the TP's role (please pardon the abbreviation that also stands for toilet paper). Jake is in treatment as part of his probation. It has a special name that I can't remember off the top of my head - something like Sex Offender Specific . . . oh, I'll look it up later. It is a little like therapy, but maybe more akin to boot camp for the sexually disturbed brain. His TP oversees his therapy. She meets with him one-on-one to discuss his particular issues and to guide him through the rigorous requirements of the treatment, including weekly disclosures of his sexual life (this includes his actions, thoughts, and fantasies), monthly polygraphs to ensure that he is not breaking probation, and preparation for a one-time sexual history disclosure and polygraph. The sex history polygraph is a HUGE hurdle because it contains everything sexual a person has ever done, legal and illegal, and he will never gain any privileges, like visitation, until he passes it. I am also setting that as the first goal he needs to reach before I will consider communicating with him again. The TP also leads a weekly group session of sexual offenders so they can learn from each other and hold each other accountable. (This is a brief explanation of sex offender treatment, but if you have any questions I would be happy to find the answer. I'm not an expert, but I know where to find them . . . unfortunately.)

So, back to the pep talk. I called the TP to ask her how to handle our financial communications. I started off thinking that maybe it wouldn't be so bad to pass notes through his parents, as long as we keep them about the finances. She discouraged me from using his parents. Her concern was that I would be sending him mixed messages. She went into more detail regarding his specific state of mind at their last meeting, which I won't discuss here because I'm sure that would break privileged communication (she has a release to discuss it with me, but I don't have a release to blog about it, ha ha). In short, she convinced me that if I want him to respect my wishes then I need to make them very clear.

"Keep a strong boundary," she said. I think she's right. God, I just wish I didn't have to be the strong one.

So, for now, I will pass my notes to my therapist, who will pass it to the TP, get Jake's answers, then pass it back. Tedious, tedious, tedious. But it will send a clear message.

Road Blocks

Yesterday, I found myself getting very frustrated.

Two and a half weeks ago, I requested a "no contact" order put on my husband through his treatment provider and probation officer. It is fairly serious. They will check his phone records every month to make sure that he isn't calling. I believe he could lose his probation and work release privileges if he breaks it. (By the way, this was a really hard thing for me to do.)

It hasn't been very long since I cut contact with him and I'm starting to run into problems. He is not the problem, I am the problem. I manage all our finances and also do the bookkeeping for his personal business. The business books are a major hurdle right now because I have to finish them for the tax accountant. I have never done this without Jake's input before.

I started using Jake's parents as a go-between to get information (he lives with them). His father can't give information without adding other non-essential tidbits, like "Jake started crying today when he talked about you. He really loves you." That made me mad, but also sad. I managed to buck up and tell his father a few of my angry emotions to balance it out a little. Maybe I shouldn't do that. His father doesn't deserve to be in the middle of our marital struggles.

Jake's mother is a different beast. She doesn't like to talk emotions. I think that is why I've been calling her so much. She is safe to talk to. She can give me info without yanking my emotions around.

Last night I called her with a question. As I was on the phone, asking her the question, I realized I didn't need to ask her anything really. I just wanted the company. So why didn't I call my parents? Or a friend? I think I called her because it is almost like calling Jake.

From the time he was arrested he wasn't allowed to live in the same house as the kids, by court order. We used to talk every day on the phone. We were really good friends, first and foremost. I really miss that. Realizing what I was doing when I called his mom, I started to think that I should just be calling him. But then all the pain flashed back again. All the betrayal. All the lies. I can't have a friendship with someone who has done that to me.

I'm frustrated and torn. I hate that I am the one who created this road block, but the alternative could be deep emotional trauma. Not that everything he says to me is hurtful, but it runs the risk of being so.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Beginning and The Present

I didn't know my husband was a sex addict with temptations toward the illegal until this past February 2011. I gave birth to our second daughter and three weeks later my husband was arrested.

He was a teacher at a local high school. He touched the breast of a 17-year-old student on the outside of her clothing on Valentine's Day (of all the days in the year!). That was the end of everything normal for our family.

2011 was a long year for us. We went through the legal roller coaster until Jake, my husband, was sentenced at the end of November to one year jail with work-release followed by ten years of probation. I thought we had hit bottom with the sentencing and everything would get better from there. But I continued to learn more things about Jake, like another student that he had been with before he met me and a long string of betrayals during our marriage.

Now, I'm effectively a single mom with a 3-year-old and an 11-month-old to raise. Like I mentioned last night - or, rather, this morning - I still love my husband. It goes against all reason, I know, especially since his serial cheating has me questioning if he ever loved me.

I made a choice to restrict him from contacting me temporarily. It wasn't a choice of vengeance, but of protection of my own sanity. As I explained to his parents, for whom I also love dearly, every time I talk to him he's either telling a lie or explaining one. I'm tired of it.

There is so much to explain, but I can't do it all at once. Bear with me.

Not quite 4am

This is my up-in-the-middle-of-the-night indecisive insomniac post. Should I start a blog about my pathetic existence? Well, I am an aspiring writer, so it would be a really good exercise. And it may help me let off some of the anger and anxiety that's built up over the last year.

On the other hand, I don't have time for this. That's why I'm doing it in the middle of the night! I really, truly need my sleep.

Hm. I guess I can start lightly and build, right? It's not like anyone is reading this right now anyhow . . .

So, here's something I've only shared with my family and the closest of my friends: my husband is a sex offender serving his jail sentence with work release. He is also a cheating bastard. But I love him. And that is why I'm hanging around with our two children and no job.

Oh man, that sounds so pathetic I may lapse into a new bout of depression.

Well, the babies are calling!