As you’ve been traveling along on this journey with me, you know this path has not been an easy one. It took years and years for the truth about the double life my husband was living to come to light. And, when the truth was finally disclosed to me, there are no words to adequately explain the emotional trauma that followed.
I used to read about wives who had husbands living a double life and I thought, “No way. It’s impossible. You’d have to be a really naive wife not to see some kind of clues about his other life.” Little did I know as I watched these shows on TV with my husband that he was living a life that was totally foreign to me! I was one of those wives who simply didn’t see it. That’s just how crafty these offenders are. They have every step plotted and planned out to the bitter end.
When one of John’s victims told me through an email that she had been molested by him, I believe I went into an immediate state of shock. I could feel my insides shaking in a very real way. Tremors. I was having internal tremors. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I remember gasping and running down the hallway to my bedroom where I threw myself across the bed choking, trying to get enough air in my lungs to let out another howl of pain.
“No! Dear God, no! No. Not this! This is what he’s been doing?”
By the time I found out that John was molesting children, John and I had separated. He had gotten into a lot of financial trouble with the law several years back. Every penny that we had saved was taken by the FBI leaving us with nothing. I remember that day like it was yesterday. Jimmy was leaving for Harding University the next day so I went to the bank to withdraw his college down payment for the semester. When I tried to withdraw the money from our joint savings account, I was called to the President’s office. He explained that the FBI had come in the day before with papers to seize everything of John’s in an attempt to reclaim money that was under Federal investigation.
My head was spinning. I didn’t understand. What did this mean? FBI? Seized money? Federal investigation? This began a six year journey that was a living hell. ****When I write my book, I will include information about this six-year-long investigation. We were left penniless, John’s insurance license was taken away for life, and he was found guilty of fraud resulting in bilking elderly people of almost $5 million. A $1.2 million lien was put on our home “in John’s name” only, leaving us powerless to sell our home.
This was the beginning of the end of our marriage. By the end of six years of living this daily nightmare I came close to having a nervous breakdown. My trust in John was shattered. I didn’t know what to believe any more. We were financially broke. We borrowed thousands of dollars against our home to pay attorney’s fees and to keep food on the table.
This was my first “eye opener” into the world of someone living another life. John was a thief. He lied to people. He falsified information. And, he did this with a group of known insurance frauds. The stress this put on me and our children is impossible to fully explain. John, on the other hand, remained calm. And, he continued to lie through the entire investigation and trial. Never once did I hear him say “I’m so sorry for putting you and the kids through this nightmare.” Never! He never expressed his sorrow to me!
I didn’t know this man. I needed to get away from him. We separated, but he was not a happy camper about that. He was furious with me. He said he’d never agree to a divorce and he promised he’d tell everyone this was all about me.
I thought I was broken at this point in my life. I wasn’t, though. Little did I know what was just a few years in the future. I found out what broken meant when I learned that the man I shared the majority of my years on earth with, the man I shared my soul with, had lied, had cheated, had gotten heavily involved with porn, and he had been committing heinous acts against children all of the years we were married.
Where was our church family throughout the criminal investigation of John during those six years? Where was our church family when we separated? John had his church family holding “him” close to their hearts. He was forgiven, excused, supported, and adored. That’s just how manipulative he was! He had our church family in his pocket. As for me? When we separated, I never heard from members of our church — the very group we worshiped and worked with for 30 plus years chose to stand by John and literally turned away from me. ****Note: I do not hold this against the church because I now understand how misguided they were. They were also being deceived by John, the master deceiver!
I remember the day John gave me the news he was moving out. Members of the church came to help him. They stripped our home of everything, including the dining room table and our bed. I’m weeping as I’m writing this.
John handed me a checklist of everything he had taken and with a very cold heart said: “The house is yours. Do with it what you want. If you can’t make the mortgage payments, live in a tent.” And, with that he was out the door. This is the side of John others never saw. Instead they saw a kindhearted, meek and gentle person who said he was crushed when his wife no longer stood by his side.
I have never felt so alone or so broken in all of my life. I didn’t understand the world in which I was living. For months I didn’t want to live. I honestly don’t know how I got up every morning and went to work. Thank God I had two daughters living at home with me, or I’m fairly certain I would not be here.
I felt deserted by God, by my family, and by my church friends.
But, unknown to me, this was all in preparation for what was to come down the road when John was arrested for molesting children.
I have thanked God a million times over for giving me the previous pain and trials so that I had already done a lot of hard grief work. I became a stronger person as a result. I had to! I had two daughters who needed me at the time, and I will forever be grateful for the way God laid out His plan for my life.
Because this is so hard for me to write about, I’m going to stop here and pick up next week where I left off. I hope I haven’t confused you by backtracking in time, but I felt it was necessary to explain why John and I had already separated.
Criminals of this nature are dangerous. They are calculating. They are evil. Their hearts plan and plot sinful actions. These are not mistakes, or momentary “falling into sin” actions. Every move was well thought out. Every child that John molested was done so with masterful planning. I will disclose more about this in future blog posts.
And, these calculating plans are not just descriptive of John. This is true for all those who are molesting children. They’ve thought out their actions well before they molest.
If you are a victim of abuse, I want you to know how much my heart is with you. I’ve experienced mental abuse, but not the physical abuse. You are the real survivors! I want you to know that I’m in your court. Jimmy is in your court. We’re here to work hard to give you a voice and to do all we can to prevent these horrible actions from hurting more children. You have no idea how much that is our prayer!
I pray that as I share my experiences and revelations into the dark world of living with a pedophile that you will have your eyes opened and that you will become empowered to be a voice, too!
Be sure to follow the podcast that Jimmy and I are doing each week, SOOSA, Speaking Out on Sex Abuse. Education is powerful. Let’s do this! Let’s prevent these pedophiles from harming our innocent children!
Until next time……..