I was married for twenty-four years to a man in whom I believed and whom I loved more than anything. We have a nineteen-year-old daughter and a sixteen-year-old son. Although through the years we faced many difficult situations and marital conflicts, I still valued keeping the family together…. A year ago, my daughter confessed to me that her father had been sexually abusing her throughout her adolescence. I confronted him, and he confessed that he had done it. My daughter reported him to the authorities… and he is now in prison.
A few days ago my husband told me that he knows that what he did was wrong, but that I made it worse by backing up my daughter’s testimony when she reported him…. (Before the law, his family and friends deny that he did such a thing.) And he had the audacity to ask me that our daughter and I retract the charges so that he can get out of prison, claiming that we have done him much harm. Did I do the right thing by supporting my daughter?
Thank you for telling your story. You are obviously under a great deal of pressure from almost everyone around you. Those misguided and uninformed people are making you doubt your past decision. They are causing you to be confused and to second-guess even your support of your daughter.
Your husband would like everyone to believe that he is the victim in this situation. He is trying to brainwash you, and to blame you for what he did. Don’t listen to him! He is a sexual pervert and a pedophile. And he is lying to anyone who will believe him (including his family and friends) so that they will support him against you. Meanwhile, your daughter, who is the real victim, is being told that she should feel guilty for telling the truth. We are very proud of you for standing with her! She will likely face years, if not decades, of side effects for what was done to her. But at least she had a mother who stood with her. That is in her favor.
There are those who believe that these situations are best handled inside the family, and if the family has any relationship with God, some would advise that the church be consulted instead of the judicial authorities. Both of these options are favored and encouraged by the perpetrators, as a way to lessen the consequences they pay for their crimes. This is wrong, and allows the sexual perverts to continue abusing other victims.
The Apostle Paul taught, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality.”1 Your husband may ask God for forgiveness in Jesus Christ’s name for his sins, and if he is sincere, God will forgive him for eternity. However, if he continues to lie to others about what he did, his sincerity is questionable. And just like with other sin, he still must face the consequences on earth for what he did. He deserves to be in prison, so leave him there!
We wish you well,
1 Eph 5:3a