This trial in life will definitely show you who your true friends are. If you’re like me, there’s a good chance that you’ve already felt the reproach of your community. You’ve probably already felt the rift and the sting of opinions in your biological family. You might be feeling the pressure from your spouse’s family as well. Trust me, it comes at all angles. Truth be told, everyone is grappling with how to handle this.
Your Friends Have Kids
Just try and put yourself in shoes of your friends for a moment. Every time they came over with their kids to play at your house and your husband was present, to them it was an opportunity for violation. Even if your husband was no where in the vicinity, just the thought of him doing what he was doing is enough to trigger maternal protective instincts. If I were in there shoes I may very well have assumed he’d been watching child pornography the majority of his life and by default must be a hands on offender.
They Assumed You Knew
This really doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but your friends may genuinely have assumed your knew. Everyone lies, and everyone has secrets. Why anyone would assume that your husband’s monstrosity of a secret was something that you must have known about is way beyond me. Believe you me, I was just as shocked when the police told me what was going on as everyone that saw it on the evening news the following day. In my case, I assumed my husband was up late at night reading God’s word and putting together sermons, unfortunately it was so much more.
Men that are addicted to pornography have rewired there brains to lie in order to protect their addiction and their egos. For two years I was actively lied to by my spouse without even knowing it. Plain and simple, I trusted him. After all, it wasn’t like the fact that he might be a pedophile is asked in premarital counseling (although I am beginning to think that pyschosexual assessments should definitely be a part of it.)
He Violated Public Trust
In my case, my husband was a church planter, a pastor. Sure our church was only 10 strong, 20 strong on a good day, but the title alone was enough. Who cares that he had a 60 hour a week full time job. Rightfully so! The man stood behind a pulpit and preached God’s word every Sunday and led bible study every Wednesday. Whether he was trying to judge it in himself or not (that is his story to tell) what people saw when this was exposed is “hypocrite” not “struggling man.”
James 3:1 states: Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. I am seeing this come full circle now. The news filmed on location at both our home and at our church.
It didn’t just hurt me, it didn’t just hurt our family, but our church family was a really tight knit group, and they suffered the collateral damage. Imagine being asked every time you try and share your faith “isn’t your pastor a pedophile?” Honestly it’s part of the reason I see a counselor. There is not a day that I don’t think about how what he did affected that entire town. It was so bad they had to shut down the church.
Guilty By Association
Think about it, as his spouse you are already guilty by association. Whether this happened in a small town or a huge city, the chances are you are walking around with a scarlet letter on your chest carrying the guilt of your husband. I don’t want to seem shallow, but the mob tends to migrate towards the lowest common denominator. Being seen with you in the aftermath is kind of shifty. It brings a reproach to the name of your friends as well. Perhaps you are ready to deal with the discomfort of choosing to keep your family in tact, but your friends don’t have to. In some situations they don’t want to and that’s okay. It really is okay.
The rejection of your friends will really burn you, but at the same time, let that become your torch. As your days get darker, let the brightness of hope, life and love shine boldly in your life. Don’t let anything extinguish it or put it out. When this is all said and done, your friends go home to their own families, they have their own problems and own trials. They have their own skeletons in the closets to deal with. Try not to judge them too harshly. Don’t waste to much energy trying to hold on to those relationships that are only going to tear your apart or cause turmoil in your life. Cut your losses and smile. At the end of the book of Job his possessions, and family are multiplied. What you are experiencing now is just a season. You will overcome it.