I have been divorced for several years. I found out during my marriage that my husband was a voyeur (taking secret video tapes of unsuspecting people without their consent in showers, bathrooms, etc). During this time I also found out he was having affairs, hooking up with random strangers on Craiglist, and advertising on Ashley Madison. I kicked him out immediately (literally…that day), changed the locks, and divorced his sorry arse before he could say “why”. I still haven’t bothered to tell him all of the evidence I’ve found on him. No contact = no effing contact in my world.
Now looking back, I feel guilty. Guilty that I never turned him into the police. I feel like he could be (probably is) video taping people still. He’s a predator and I know what that feels like having been victimized by him. I was in some of the tapes. I still wonder if I’m floating around the internet. I can’t stand the thought of others being subjected to this. I think at D-day, having a newborn, I was so tired, shocked, scared, (did I mention SHOCKED??) and hurt that I couldn’t think straight. Pressing charges never crossed my mind. I just. wanted. out.
I have no evidence. He destroyed the tapes. I’ve asked law enforcement and legal counsel if I should file a police report. They feel that without proof, it’s pointless and will just anger him (and make me look crazy since he will deny everything).
I feel like I was weak and that if I’d been in a better state of mind, I would have pressed charges. Should have pressed charges. Should have had him locked away so he couldn’t hurt anyone else. I feel like it’s my fault a predator is still roaming our streets and it makes me feel awful.
Please don’t beat yourself up. You ESCAPED, that’s the important thing. It’s not your fault “a predator is still roaming our streets” — it’s HIS fault that he’s a predator! Don’t wear that blame!
I think it is a very common chump fantasy to think that we can Warn The Next One, that we have some control over the sick shit they do — or worse, that we’re responsible. Listen, you exercised a tremendous amount of mightiness getting out as quickly as you did. Most people don’t react that decisively. So give yourself some credit here. You aren’t “weak.” You reacted to a terrible crisis.
Reading your letter, my immediate concern is not police reports, but your child. Is Mr. Creepy still around? What is your custody situation? Because THAT is where I would blow a fucking gasket. When you say “no contact” I hope you mean for you and your child as well. Please ensure that your personal experience of his criminal contact is heard in any custody evaluation.
I don’t know this part of your story. But I do know what it’s like to long for a different outcome. The part where you get to rewrite the ending, and your pain has some meaning. Okay, you suffered, he preyed on you, exposed you to God know what, but now you speak out and save the others. Guilty, that’s why I write this blog. Learn from these mistakes! Save yourself!
I get the woulda-coulda-shouldas, but exposure of criminal wrong-doing is a very delicate thing. Please don’t think I’m arguing against telling — I’m all about speaking our truth here — but this is the sort of matter you need legal counsel for. Anyone reading this in a similar situation — please get professional help. Get protection. You don’t want these wingnuts retaliating, and you’re there all vulnerable and out of your mind with grief.
I’m publishing this letter because maybe someone IS still in that window where they have the evidence and they can use it. I hope more chumps have the courage and foresight to come forward and expose these motherfuckers. Running this blog has given me a terrible education of just how dark and predatory the world can be. That’s why my head explodes when I read people like Esther Perel whitewash infidelity as Exuberance Acts of Defiance. Really? Then how do you explain the hooker habits? And the sex tourism? And the kiddy porn?
Oh, but that’s extreme. That’s a one off. That’s the fringe.
Is it? You found this guy on Ashley Madison and Craigslist. Common cheater sites. What’s that Venn diagram where serial cheater overlaps with predator or john or happy, paying customer of the sexually trafficked? These creeps write REVIEWS! Billions are spent on this shit. Someone is buying it. There are a lot of ugly double lives out there.
Wouldn’t it be nice if more chumps alerted law enforcement?
Guilty, you did the best you could. I’m glad you’re safe. Let’s hope the next crop of chumps who find themselves in your shoes learn from your regrets. Big (((hugs))).