Married to a Pedophile: “He Pried Me Open Thousands of Times”

If you’re visiting this blog chances are you are interested in something to do with child abuse — the definition, how to get help, how to report if abuse is going on, and how to find healing.  You are probably here, too, because you’ve begun reading my story of what it was like to live with a man for almost 40 years as he carried out horrible acts of crimes against children as he lived a double life.  Preacher, husband, beloved father by day — child molester to some of the most horrendous crimes of child abuse by night!

I don’t know if it’s the changing of the seasons, or knowing the impending “biggie holidays” are just around the corner, but there has been a wave of thoughts hitting me day and night for the past few weeks — nagging thoughts always ending with the question, “Is prison the right place for pedophiles?”

My unwavering answer is “YES”!      Already I know I’m going to get emails about forgiveness, God’s mercy, and how I must be willing to forgive if I want to enjoy healing.  Let me preface this post by saying that this is not about forgiveness.  This is about the hard, difficult to understand facts about pedophiles.

Like it or not, I have yet to find data to confirm that there are reformed pedophiles living among us.  Oh, there might be a few here or there, but……what I’m reading and hearing is just the opposite.  Pedophiles will always molest when given the opportunity of being around children!  And, that is why I will continue to be thankful for laws that keep pedophiles in prison away from young children.

Today I was researching materials on how I can further my education to become a better community leader in the fight against child sexual abuse.  In my research, I came across a video that is probably the single most powerful video I’ve seen yet containing testimonials from adults who were abused as children.  They tell their stories with facts, poise, and confidence.  They are in the process of healing, but they are raw in their definition of what the pain of child abuse was like and how difficult it is to live each day with the trauma left from this abuse.

Twenty minutes.   That’s all I’m asking.  Please watch this video that is twenty-two minutes long.  Listen to former Miss America, Marilyn Van Derbur, tell her story of the thirteen years she endured of her father “prying her open.”  She refuses to use the word “abuse” because she says it is too diluted.  Too much of the real meaning of child sexual abuse is lost in using words that do not present true visuals.

*NOTE:  If you are in a fragile state due to the trauma of child abuse, please use extreme caution when watching the video because it may cause triggers to occur that you’re not expecting. 

It is NOT okay to sexually use or abuse children — ever!  It is time to begin doing more to educate others about how to prevent child sexual abuse!  It is never too late to speak out about your abuse.  Why?  Because there is healing and empowerment as you let go of the feelings of victim and cling ever so tightly to the word “survivor.”

Who is the molester?  I’ll say it again and again.  The molester is the person you love and trust.  The molester is your beloved husband (as was true in my life).  The molester is your minister, your child care worker, your cousin, your uncle, your father, your stepfather, your mother.

The molester can be anyone and 90% of the child victims know their abuser! 

I lived most of my adult life with a man who molested children that entire time.  He has never denied that.  In fact, he has written letters from prison explaining with explicit details about how he got away with it.  He does not cower in shame and remorse over his actions.  He has not even begun to understand the amount of pain his actions have caused countless others.  Instead, he uses his mind to work on ways to wear people down by saying, “You don’t understand God.  You have no concept of forgiveness.”

I will say to that, “You have no concept of taking responsibility for your actions.”  We tend to forget that the pedophile has choices; the young, innocent child does not!

Listen carefully to what the former Miss America says about her father at the very end of the video and you will understand more about why I believe prison is a 100% necessity for pedophiles.  Read Ana Salter’s book and you will understand so much about the mind of a pedophile and how it works.

I will continue to share my story with you, and every now and then I will add an additional post such as this to give you some additional resources and reasons why we need to continue to work hard — every day — to protect our children!

Please continue to share this blog.  That is the only way others are going to know about the information given here.

For those who need to reach me, my email address is: .  I am available to come speak to your group, and I will be working very hard in the next few months to get some additional helpful resources made available to you.

If you would like to make a guest blog post (and you can do so anonymously) please email me at the above email address for the guidelines.

Thank you so much for your help with the job at hand — protecting our innocent children!

Together We Can Do It



28 thoughts on “Married to a Pedophile: “He Pried Me Open Thousands of Times”

  1. I’m on page 223 of Marilyn’s book. She just described the going-to-sleep ritual during the 6 years of deepest paralysis and mental break down. He had to be with her every single night or she couldn’t sleep. He had to stay in the room and lock, re-lock, all vaults, and then be still or she couldn’t go back to sleep.

    This is something that keeps me going in knowing, and I mean KNOWING, that God truly does live and truly is all-encompassing compassion and love: the fact that her husband, Jewish, never ever stopped loving her or feeling deep like and affection for her and never even wanted to leave her, even when they did not have any sexual events.

    When she broke down when the girl reached age 5, and told him she did not love her daughter any more, he said, “I will love her enough for both of us”.

    That is only human love.

    This is what keeps me going when I’m overwhelmed with evil all around me. God can heal every wound. He hates what happened. He can transition us from harmful or no-longer-working life saving coping strategies [that did serve a miraculous purpose in saving our lives and sanity at one time] to health from the inside out where we will be mentally, sexually, socially, physically and intellectually healthy and whole.

    Not perfect, but definitely healthy and whole.

    I’m only two years into the helping profession for survivors. It is an honour to walk the road to recovery with exceptionally resilient people with enormous capacities for love.

    • And, my favourite line in her book, “I knew healing was not a gift. There was only one route and that was doing the work and remembering my mantra, ‘if I die, I die, but I don’t want to live this way anymore’.”

    • Linda, Thank you for sharing all of this information!!!! I should receive the book on Tuesday and cannot wait to delve into it. I think I’m going to learn so much and become so encouraged!!! And, by the grace of God I will share that encouragement with others here!

      I know it’s going to be a difficult book to read, but such a helpful one!!!

      Thank you so much for caring and sharing!

  2. I had a little bit different way to hide. I made a wooden box in my mind. It could be locked from the inside. When I knew bad things were going to happen, I would get in my box and lock it shut. I was safe. I could not be touched.
    My parents said the reason I was molested, was that I was “comming on to the boy”. I was 9 and he was 16, when it started. I believed what they said until I was caring for my sisters 9year old girl. She was as inacent as I had been. I never told my parents about when I was molested at age 3 and age 6. My sister who is almost 5 years older was jelious that the boys paid attention to me and no her. I used to think, “if you only knew”. Mom and dad had a foster home. They took in boys. There were 8 of them comming and going all the time. I knew I would lose my mother to a job again if I told anyone. I didn’t tell my mom until I was 16, about what happened when I was. Like I said, I never told them about the rest.

    • Melody,
      I’m so very sorry to hear of your childhood. Life isn’t fair — not at all. I appreciate you sharing how you manage to hide the reality of your abuse in a wooden box in your mind. Survival is amazing, isn’t it? And, we go to great lengths to think of ways to survive pain and torment.

      What was told to you — that you were coming on the to the boy — is like re-victimizing all over again. I’m so, so sorry that this was the response of your parents. “Not telling” is so common — mostly because of shame, feeling so unworthy, and fear of not being believed. I hope that now — this very day — you are able to hold your head up high, look into the mirror and say aloud, “I did NOT deserve this! NONE of this was my fault! I am stronger than this, and I am a survivor!”

      You most definitely are a survivor and I thank you so very much for your comments. I hope that you have been able to throw away the key to the wooden box in your mind now and that true healing is taking place.

    • Melody,
      That is a terrible thing that was done to you by the boys and your parents. You are quite creative. I’d have never thought of the wooden box, but it was a good escape when you had no one looking out for you. I pray that you have gotten through this and are healing. ((((Hugs))))

  3. Clara,
    It makes me feel a little sick to know that people have such a warped idea about forgiveness. How quickly the Christian is encouraged, if not demanded, to offer blanket forgiveness to the abuser. I believe this a major misinterpretation of the bible’s teaching on the subject. The bible speaks about holding grudges and harboring bitterness against those who have wronged us. This is in the context of spats and arguments amongst friends and family members. I truly believe that major crimes fall into a subtle, but different category. Namely that the criminal must pay the price and the victim can choose to forgive in their own time, in their own way, and most likely in baby steps. Forgiveness does not have to mean that the victim allows the abuser back into their life to wreak havoc all over again. Even if the abuse has stopped, what does it do to a victim’s mind to have to be around the abuser and pretend that everything is okay? We both know that abusers seldom feel remorse, if they will even admit what they have done. And if they do admit to their crimes, it’s usually only done when they have been arrested.

    Yes, we should forgive others who have hurt us, as it is in the victim’s best interest and peace of mind to get to that point. I believe it is possible to forgive and still choose not to have a relationship with the guilty party. And we should also expect that this level of forgiveness can take years to reach. The process is often two steps forward and one step back.

    And what about the abuser? Is he/she sorry? And I mean more than just a surface “I’m sorry,” which is often said just to smooth things over and try to get back in everyone’s good graces. A truly repentant (i.e., turning away from sin completely) combined with a genuine apology still may not make it possible for a victim to have a relationship post-abuse. I honestly don’t know how victims can continue to be around the abuser; at least not by choice.

    Abusers who have been put in jail are exactly where they deserve to be, forgiven or not. They must pay the consequences for what they did. God gives his grace and forgiveness to the truly repentant, but those consequences must still be faced and paid.

    • Lorrie,
      Thank you so very, very much for your beautiful explanation on forgiveness. So many times, well-meaning churches and pastors have instructed victims to “forgive” and they have given little to no consideration about the one who has done the abusing. And, believe me, the molesters can play the system. They know how to pull the heart chords and make a person feel so guilty. I agree 100% with your final two sentences!!! Thanks so very, very much for your thoughts and comments! By the way, I have NOT worked my way to total forgiveness of John yet and I don’t feel guilty for saying that. It will take me time to get to that point. And, when I do, I’ll remain strong in belief that he is right where he needs to be — in prison where he can no longer get to children ever again!!!

    • Lorrie, Amen. Can you imagine what they would have done to someone found to be abusing a child in that way in the OT. I think the penalty would have been more severe than prison.

  4. Clara,
    It takes so much courage on your part to read the letters that are sent to you from prison. Thank you for bringing this to light from the wife’s perspective. I could probably write a post but it would be the child’s perspective and what happens to the child as an adult. I never really wanted to know or cared what went on in the pedophiles mind. I already knew–it was pure evil.

    I saw much of myself in the people in this video. I wondered for years if my mother knew what the stepfather was doing to my sister and me. I have never had the courage to ask. I am quite sure that he also molested his own children. He had 2 before he married my mother that were taken away from him and his former wife. He always said it was because of her drunkenness, but that wouldn’t explain why he couldn’t have them. That was never questioned. I am 99.9% sure that he also molested my half brother from infancy. It does NOT explain why my brother also went on to molest his nieces.

    I stand with you Clara. Pedophiles belong in prison and should not get out. Forgiveness is for our hearts, not theirs. They will molest again. There is no question in my mind. I have seen from a distance this very thing happening. A man went to prison for inappropriate touch of a minor (is what the legal people called it). After his release he began going to a local church. He had a Bible study in his home, where no children were involved. Other victims began to come forward and he was arrested again and is awaiting trial. Fortunately, the church put him out. When asked by the pastor if these new allegations were true he did not give a yes or no answer. He said, “they could be”. That sounds like yes to me.

    I don’t understand the mom who knows and willing feeds her own daughter to the wolf. I remember times when there were other forms of abuse that took place while mom was there. She always came up with a reason that I must have done something to make him that mad or she would give an angry look that was meant for him, but not where he could see it.

    I never tried to commit suicide. I wanted to have a split personality much like Sybil so that someone else could take on the abuse and I could have what happy memories there were.

    • Brenda, I wish I could reach through this computer screen and give you a big hug right now!!! The video in this post had me sobbing because it made everything so real! When you put child abuse with a face, it personalizes what has happened and to actually hear those who have endured this kind of violation and pain time and time again was heartbreaking to me. I’ve attended classes that help explain why a mom would walk away and literally turn her back on her child that she knows is being molested. There are a number of reasons — all of them selfish, if you ask me. The woman doesn’t want to be left alone. She feels she doesn’t want the intervention of police and agencies questions about parenting. Horrible reasons, but it happens more often than we realize. Just one more reason why so many children don’t speak out — the fear of not being believed or of having a trusted adult turn away and give no help. I understand what you’re saying about wanting the split personality — definitely a coping mechanism needed for survival. As always, thank you so much for sharing your words of care and wisdom. May God help you on your continued journey of healing.

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