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Forgiving the ‘Sex Addict’

Whenever I think I’ve overstated the pernicious ubiquity of The Reconciliation Industrial Complex (RIC), something pops up on my news feed and gobsmacks me all over again. No. I’m not imagining it. There really is this fucked up societal message — and literal industry — insisting that chumps not just forgive, but reconcile with their abusers.

Take this recent New York Times article — “Her Husband Did The Unthinkable. This Is A Play About Everything After.” The play is “Accidentally Brave.”

Ooh. Sounds like a chump story. Tell me more.

“Brave” was not what Ms. Corman set out to be. But three and a half years ago, while driving to work on a “semi-terrible TV show,” as she put it, she got a phone call that can’t even be described as the kind of call nobody wants to get because it would never even occur to most people that this call would be possible. The police were at her house, her teenage daughter sobbed through the receiver. Her husband had been arrested on child pornography charges.

What do you do when your husband of two decades — father of your three children — is suddenly revealed publicly to have a shameful and disturbing secret?

Lawyer up? Get everyone therapy? Find a support group? Change the locks? Buy a firearm? Take up self-defense?

When the police made it clear it was not a mistake, she pulled over to the side of the road and threw up. She picked up her husband on a street corner in Brooklyn, after he was released on bail, and she asked him if it was true (yes, and he said he needed help) and if he had ever touched anyone (he swore he had not). Then she punched him, and she sobbed, and she called her kids and reassured them that everything was going to be O.K., even though, as she puts it in the play, “I do not recognize the voice coming out of my mouth.

Every chump can relate to this scene. The sickening discovery. The betrayal. The anger. The intense protectiveness for your children. The disbelief. The hollow assurances.

Maddie Corman and her children have my complete sympathy. Jace Alexander, her husband, and the narrator of this NYT story, however, do not.

Hey class! What channel is the mindfuck set to? SELF-PITY.

The poor boo needs her “help.” Help he didn’t realize he needed until, gee whiz, he’s up to his pervy hard-on in criminal charges.

Also note — viewing and sharing child porn is not described as the criminal act the police seem to think it is — no, it’s a “shameful secret.”

Like picking your nose. Or eating a whole box of cookies. Or having a mortifying yearbook picture.

The real problem is “shame.” That toxic bugaboo.

You know where this is going, right?

Oh, and here’s what she calls the spoiler: Nearly four years later, after rehab, an ongoing 12-step program, couples therapy and much anguished wrestling with questions of ethics, family and the nature of forgiveness, she and her husband remain married.

Much of the article that follows is a description of how “not OK” she feels. I want to reach out and insist she Google “trauma bonding,” but apparently the 12-step sex addict therapy ranch retreats got there first.

Her husband, best known for his work on “Law & Order,” is now producing a documentary — working title: “Tsunami” — about the destructive forces of pornography.

“You’ve had the worst thing you’ve ever done exposed to the entire world,” said Mr. Alexander, who spent a month and a half in an inpatient rehabilitation facility and remains part of a 12-step program for sex addicts. “It was incredibly painful and incredibly destructive, but it allowed me to reinvestigate the way I lived my life.”

Well I’m glad becoming a registered sex offender was a growth experience for you, Jace. Think of the journey of self-discovery it must be for your family.

And so, the way she sees it, speaking about the unspeakable might help someone else whose life is turned upside down, who is forced to test the limits of her own capacity for forgiveness in the face of something terrible.

“I wouldn’t wish what happened to me or my kids on anyone,” she said. “But the way that I feel, and honestly the way that my husband feels, is that when we keep things in the dark, that’s when shame and pain actually grows.”

“Our family,” she continued, “didn’t just stop being because something terrible happened.”

Right-o. Set aside the whole RIC forgiveness diktat (bravery is staying and forgiving) — notice the passive language of Terrible Nebulous Things.

No one will explore the absurd assumption that divorce is a more terrifying specter than marriage to a sex offender. (Would she be lauded as brave then? Or bitter for failing to understand him and work through his sex addiction therapy?)

No, to do this kind of mental reconciliation jujitsu, you have to sterilize the language of accountability.

Try instead: “Her own capacity for forgiveness in the face of her husband’s criminal sexual behavior with child pornography.”

“We keep things” is taking ownership of HIS terrible secret. The problem isn’t that child porn is secret — it’s that a 52-year-old man IS INTO CHILD PORN.

And pornography didn’t make him do it. You have to look for child porn. And download it. And trade it. And jerk off to it. And make it quite the recreational activity for the cops to raid your home and impose a criminal sentence.

NONE of which is Maddie Corman’s fault. Or shame. Or secret. As someone who tried reconciling with a monster, I can tell you, the shame you’re feeling, Maddie, is the cognitive dissonance of your values crashing up against the act of taking him back.

And you can fight it, and throw sex addiction couples (?!) counseling at it, and you can write an off-Broadway play about it — but it will never feel “okay.” Because it’s not okay.

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  • Oh FFS. What does it take? War crimes?

    There is ALWAYS a next time. And it may involve your grandchildren. Are you ok with that?

    Look, you are free to mess your life up, but don’t stand there telling me it was just an accident, and that you are a Splendid Person for enabling a pedophile.

    And as for making money out of the fact that your husband jerks off to images of abused children – well, there are no words.

    • Seems an odd cultural moment after the Neverland documentary — which I watched over the weekend, and Holy Jesus — utterly devastating. You want brave? James Safechuck and Wade Robson.

      • Amen to that. Plus the guy who finally blew the whistle on Kevin Spacey, then at his most powerful.

      • I’m not surprised that there are people willing to excuse even child pornography and major media outlets willing to publish their propaganda. That’s what articles like this are–attempts to normalize deviant, abusive, dangerous and illegal behavior. Read the Miami Herald’s article on how billionaire child sex trafficker and rapist Jeffrey Epstein got away with his crimes with almost no penalty. Articles like this are not even really about the poor wives and kids–it’s an indirect argument that all of us should forgive those who commit sexual assault, who traffick in kids and images of kids, who think other people are objects to use for their gratification. And right now, we are at a moment when very powerful people are revealed to be abusers of children, women, employees, and people who have been trafficked. This is pushback, intended to normalize these perverts and their actions. This deviant behavior involves people in the Catholic Church and other religious organizations, universities, major industries, and the government who are active abusers and enablers. These are powerful people and institutions. They don’t go down without a fight.

        • You are right LAJ. They don’t go down without a fight because these predators know what awaits them….jail. A good friend used to be a prison guard in a max security prison. He said these fucking child porno/molester creeps were at the bottom of the freak totem pole and would regularly get their asses beat by other inmates. If hardened criminals know how fucking heinous these monsters are and distribute their own justice inside prison walls, what the hell are we doing as a society by supporting these sick fucks? Chumps… RIC….Patriarchal society works hard to protect the sick MFers. This mentality HAS to change.

          • Patriarchal society also reinforces the notion that women without husbands are “less than.” It encourages women to stick it out, even with men who are clearly not partner material – it’s better to have a gross man than no man.

            This play that she’s doing seems like Stockholm Syndrome on steroids.

            • This is so true. Especially if you are in a religious community. It is so odd to me how even people who view adultery and abandonment as a sin show obvious discomfort and even immediate dislike at my “single mom status”. It’s an odd place to be when I am used to being immediately liked because of our “prefect marriage/family” appearance and my ex-husband’s high profile job. Talk about being humbled…

              • Prettybird, I had the same experience. That’s why I’ve left organized religion.

        • In part, I blame my own profession. Psychology has done much to uncover the how/why of people’s behavior. However, the corollary–that understanding factors (e.g., childhood sexual abuse) that predisposed someone to a given behavior (porn “addiction”) should EXCUSE that person is dangerous to both individuals and society. There are plenty of people abused as children who do not go on to become abusers or porn addicts or promiscuous.

          Letting offenders off the hook because we partly “understand” their behavior also violates a key tenet of psychology–people learn best from CONSEQUENCES. And sometimes that means jail time, or divorce, or social opprobrium. Skinner got many things wrong, but that is one thing he got right.

          • What does psychology propose as the way to address pedophilia, which is an inborn sexual orientation, a “targeting error”? Clearly we all see this paraphilia as disordered and abhor those who act on it, but how are those who have it to be identified and guided so they don’t act on it?

            • I don’t believe pedophilia is an inborn sexual orientation, and I doubt many specialists do. It is true that many people who gravitate toward pedophilia were themselves abused as children (though not all, and only a fraction of those sexually abused as children will become pedophiles).

              How to treat it is not clear; “curing” someone of that propensity has a very low success rate.

              • And many people who are pedophiles weren’t abused as children. And, in fact, I learned from the work of academic and practicing psychologists that pedophilia, like autogynephilia, was a sexual paraphilia that can be classified as a sexual orientation in which the object of sexual attraction is a “target error.”
                Perhaps it’s more helpful to think of it as a compulsion, and the job of the person who feels compelled is not to act on the compulsion.

              • Maybe this should be a completely different thread but, after watching Part1 of Neverland, I have been very upset. I do not understand the attraction from adults to child — in a sexual way. It completely baffles me and it’s abnormal and EVIL. And, incurable from what I understand.

                Adente was asking, like I would be asking, how do therapists to these criminal creeps give guided advice on how to function moving forward? Surely, it’s not all fancy-ranches in Montana for 30 days.

                Also, WHAT brain thing causes monsters like this? What can people do to protect everything in society from them….

              • Tempest, “How to treat it is not clear; “curing” someone of that propensity has a very low success rate.”

                – Martha Stout says that where there is paedophilia, there is psychopathy. That psycopaths feature heavily in both drug addiction and in child abuse. I agree.

                She said: you can spot a psychopath by the trail of hurt and damage that they trail behind them.

        • But don’t you dare be a black woman who votes when she is still on probation. (She didn’t know it was a crime, she thought she was doing she civic duty) and got 7 YEARS.
          OR the Hispanic 15 yr old girl who was raped, sold, trafficked, and eventually killed her abuser and was tried as an adult and won’t see the outside until she’s in her 60’s.
          And Epstein got a few months in a private wing of a prison and was allowed to go to his office every day.
          It’s a fucking joke!

      • What is particularly outrageous is the notion that she and her family were the only victims of this crime. There are children being sexually abused and tortured in those porn videos and pictures. But as long as the whole thing gets compressed into a question of private forgiveness between two consenting adults, the offence against society’s wellbeing, and the childrens’ lives doesn’t matter. We are supposed to applaud them, but some of us can’t stop thinking about the children. Some of us will never stop thinking about the children. And I’ll bet the sex addict treatment professionals love this story–because they don’t recognize ANY offences against anyone. They wring their hands over their precious little men called sex addicts being shamed about anything.

      • I cannot believe the number of enablers crawling out of the woodwork to defend Michael Jackson and call Safechuck and Robson liars.

        Or the fact some “benefactor” recently paid R. Kelly’s bail.

        It is appalling the depths to which so many people will defend abusers to the bitter end and throw victims under the bus.

        He makes a very important point: the link between character and bad behavior. To excuse something as a slip/mistake is to consider it not a fundamental part of one’s personality. But some addiction, like child pornography, are signaling something fundamental about a person: pleasure in exploting the vulnerable. It is not something like food binging, it’s about the system of values. It takes a lifetime to understand the way a personality emerged, not 12 steps.

        • I listened to the last week (?) about prostitution and sex trafficking. One of the guests (male) was strongly advocating going after the johns more than the sex workers/victims because “they are availing themselves of such human misery”.

        • How do we even know this is an addiction? Who diagnosed it – another sex addict?

      • I was shocked that Corey Feldman defended Michael Jackson after his own abuse in Hollywood. He’s been talking about it for years but nobody wanted to hear about it, including Barbara Walters.

    • I have often wondered what exactly is going too far too. War crimes? Maybe. My knowledge is mostly of how the church works and I’m pretty sure the answer is nothing. I’m also positive that the only thing that will keep the average church from returning a man to the pulpit is if his behavior lands him in jail and they’ll do everything in their power to keep the monster from getting caught.

    • Is sex addiction really a thing? I’m struggling with this concept since I think it isn’t. I believe it is a made up disorder to appease the public and hurt families to give the fuckwits an excuse for their bad behavior, toxic character and lack of impulse control. I guess sex addiction would look to me like a dog humping someone’s leg like all the damn day long – can’t control it. Not someone who sneaks around, plans and schemes and just gets caught. The idea that sex addiction is real seems fraudulent. They didn’t mean it – they’re *sick*. Sick is right.

      • Ding, Ding, Ding! Not a thing. Not even the DSM lists it. These sick criminals would like to make it a thing so they can get sympathy and not punishment–BUT. IT. IS.NOT.A.THING>

      • Not a thing. I married one. DXed with OCPD with narc traits. Says he’s a “sex addict”….just an excuse to screw whoever/whatever he pleases when he wants and now he hides behind the whole SAA BS. Anyone who says they are a SA is really just a disordered fuckwit that likely has not been DXed.

      • Sorry but there is a thing called sex addiction. Yes, those affected can’t control it and when having a compulsion to have sex, they have it with anybody, any random person, fat, skinny, old, handsome, ugly, whoever. Such addiction is RARE.

        Now, to gaslight chumps, many claim they’re addicted to sex. Real sex addicts don’t plan and don’t hook up regularly (for months or years) with the same person because they sleep with anybody when they feel compulsion. This also means that they don’t have a type. For example, celebrities sometimes get treatment for sex addiction after being busted for having affairs with a series of similarly looking partners. Real sex addicts don’t have a type because they have sex with just anybody, regardless of looks, when they feel compulsion.

        I personally wouldn’t want to continue to have a relationship with a sex addict (even though I have understanding for the condition). Let alone with a pedophile (as above). Or a cheater, for that matter. I have a right to leave a guy (or he me) if I don’t like the way he squeezes a toothpaste, or don’t like his political views and certainly if he watches (child) porn or cheats on me.

        • that’s interesting, the idea of genuine sex addicts (clearly with a true underlying psychiatric disorder that is not within their control) having an actual illness coopted by nasty little narcissists, intent on gaining sympathy. I suppose it’s not surprising really, but it is a good point, that there is in fact an actual medical condition.

        • Exactly- my ex claimed to be a sex addict, yet his fetishes were SO specific even his therapist refuted that self diagnosis. Careful planning, secrets, hiding money, multiple affair partners, cheating on those affair partners…. let’s call a sociopath a sociopath.

        • Science does not support a diagnosis of sex addiction currently. Science continues to evolve, but right nos? Nope.

      • To Becca,
        You are right in your idea of what sex-addiction would actually look like. There are professionals who argue that yes, unless there is actual compulsive behaviour involved, then it’s just selfish choices, not an addiction. There are the few who do display compulsive behaviour in sex-addiction, but they seem to be the exception.

      • Right. Addiction is physical and chemical, and that means you can’t just stop, you need to do detox and rehab. What these sickos have is a psychological compulsion. They can stop but just don’t want to. They don’t mind at all that kids are abducted and raped for their pleasure. That’s a character issue, not an addiction. Decent people are horrified by children being abused but these scum love it. That makes them all inherently dangerous. This pig should be in prison and his alleged guilt is fake. He has no conscience. His wife is a doormat, an enabler and doesn’t have much of a conscience either. If she did she’d never dream of exposing her kids and grandkids to the possibilty of abuse by this creep. Naturally, he evaded jail time because he is wealthy. Sickening!

      • I think there is such a thing as sex addiction… but I believe the addiction itself is the illness. The What For? doesn’t matter. People with addictions always have them. An enormous number of people simply DO NOT ACT on it.

        You can EXPLAIN addictive behavior but NEVER, EVER EXCUSE IT. You can EXPLAIN how your addiction has hurt and affected your victims, but NEVER, EVER use that addiction to EXCUSE the harm you’ve caused.

        It isn’t criminal to have an addiction; it’s criminal to ACT on that addiction.

        Are alcoholics and crackheads excused from the consequences of their actions based on their addiction? NO. It would be ridiculous!

        So have your sob story about how you’re a sex addict… but it doesn’t matter at all. You CHOOSE to act on it. You CHOOSE to give in, in a thousand graduating steps over years and years, and absolutely will be held responsible for your ACTIONS.

      • It’s a crock of shit, made up by some fuckwit who wanted to assuage and legitimise their fuckwittery.

        If anyone mentions about being “sex addicted” – my response always is, and will be “You have a willing partner, or failing that, a hand and an imagination. It does not mean getting into disgusting fetishes or fucking other people who are not your SO!”

  • Was the “terrible something” that he got caught by the police or that he was engaged in child pornography? I know what they would like you to believe. However, it seems like the getting caught is treated as the issue with a dose of shared blame…which is AWFUL!!!

    • I wonder, too, what it’s like to be married to a child pornographer. We know what it’s like to be married to a cheater/liar. So I’m thinking that being married to a child pornographer is like that, only worse. What were the red flags? How could he continue to function as a “healthy” husband and father?

      Also, he says his sex addiction treatment was destructive. Really? Is that what we want to hear from a rehabilitated sex offender? I think we want to hear the opposite. That the treatment was constructive.

    • I recently saw on SNL: “I know it’s wrong because I got caught.” I thought this was a brilliant sentence.

  • Do these people not realize that you can forgive someone, but never live with them again? Or in fact see them? Or remain married to them?

    There is no sliding scale where remaining married is the gold standard of forgiveness, while divorcing and living apart is a sort of cheap version of forgiveness for less Splendid people.

    You either forgive or you don’t. It can take years. But it’s got nothing to do with having a double garage. (At least, I don’t remember that part of the Bible.)

  • I am so glad you wrote about this. I read the story and couldn’t believe it – altho I can see why people would buy into this – it sounds so much cleaner and barely-a-problem than it actually is.

    This was my x’s double life. It’s weird how so much depravity is tolerated or glossed over. Perhaps many people associate pornography with the Playboy magazines of the past, as I did. Anyway, it’s a terrible terrible underworld and her play and choice to remain married, unfortunately, seems pathetic.

  • Somebody really needs to tell this poor woman about Dr Omar Minwalla’s work… from focusing on sex addiction, to realizing the impact « sex addiction » inflicts on partners, to in the end talk about the trauma experienced by the true victims.

    • My ex was “diagnosed” as being a “sex addict” and a “love addict” to cover his whole range of behaviors from online flirting to jacking off to porn to neighborhood hookups to hiring cheap prostitutes to service him in our home.

      During his brief “sex addiction treatment” and my “partners therapy” I couldn’t get away from that word TRAUMA. It propelled me out of the marriage. I don’t understand how anyone in a healing profession can advocate that the victim of SO MUCH TRAUMA ever stay with their perpetrators.

  • So shame and pain grow in the dark…..

    Kind of like STD’s

    I said it before and I will say it again. Your spouse’s affair can kill you. It hat serious. No one expects us to take back an attempted murderer, but that’s what they are.

  • ???? the self-absorption on display here. None of those abused children matter. It’s all just a prop for the play that is their life. Not one mention of their pain. Guess poor children put through sex trafficking don’t matter to her.

    Why ain’t he sitting in jail? Oh yeah, he’s a rich filmmaker.

    • Exactly. And the play is just a ploy, a grand rehabilitation of his image. It’s his version of the well-worn formula in pop/celeb culture whereby they put their alleged private and personal “growth” on very public display so as to inoculate themselves from the derision they deserve. As she and her kids tortuously made their way through four years of RIC mind bending, he no doubt was dreaming all along about just such a stage for himself. They re-craft themselves as quickly as possible from pariah to heroic overcommer. For most, that is their only real goal in any “rehab”. Anyone who calls BS on this process is deemed judgemental and unforgiving. And it’s difficult for the general public to understand that anyone could look the part of such a sad sausage and not actually be remorseful – even when they’re literally on stage. It takes hard-won experience with the life-long cunning and predatory nature of these types to understand the canyon between their appearance and their core. The truth of this whole play-act would be revealed through a simple question: what have you privately done toward compensating or saving the trafficked children you victimized?

    • And like R. Kelly, it will happen again and again. More children will be abused. But let’s keep the “family unity” intact! He will get better! We all know that is bullshit. They. Don’t. Get. Better.

    • The play and the documentary: let’s hope every penny they earn go to charities helping children abused by the porn industry.

      • It’s like the play is porn for the RIC – watch me be forgiven for watching children be sexually abused and raped. It’s so meta – watch me watch porn (while my own children are down the hall from me?) and watch my wife forgive me for it. This guy is getting off watching children be sexually abused – in the words of Jayne Cobb: Where’s that get fun?

  • This is sad and sick on so many levels. I wonder whose idea it was to write a play about the disgusting behavior that is destroying a family and community – this is child porn and law enforcement was involved. It makes me ill to think that many people are involved now with the intent to profit from this incredibly horrifying, on-going trauma. Narcissists are celebrated in our culture today, but this takes the cake.

    • It really is overwhelming. It feels like monsters are normalized and those who expose them made the vilians.

      • This exactly. MONSTERS ARE NORMALIZED. Society doesn’t even bat an eye at the abnormal, the abusive, let alone flat out deviant (or ILLEGAL) behaviors. All is free game in the world today. Makes me absolutely sick.

    • Yah. It makes you wonder what Maddie’s kids, mom, dad, brothers, sisters, friends, faith community are saying.

      • How about his kids, especially? I would NEVER allow my kids within a mile of this asshole. What kind of developmental horror & social hell awaits them after the horrific fact of their father’s crimes?
        Nah, those are just “extras” in the play that stars the narc.
        This turns my stomach.
        Maybe enough to write a play….

        • So he likes child porn so much that they’re callong him an addict. Untreated addicts can’t control their addictions. So do you think he got off in giving his kids baths, watching his daughter leave the bathroom in a towel, changing in the pool locker room with his son?

          She’s so sure there was none of that. It was all just other people’s kids on his computer.

    • Yes, she’s “brave” for dealing with it and sticking with him…but somewhere in Lithuania an 8 year old is being abused and filmed for men like her husband. Maybe, just maybe, if you choose to stay with a repeated criminal child sex offender and justify his behavior through addiction then you oughta spend your time writing more about that 8 year old. Better yet, join and fundraise for legitimate organizations working to prevent men like your husband from ever exploiting children again. There are many.

      OR you can write a play and be lauded by all of NY as the bravest little wife of a criminal sex child sex offender ever there was! These people are unbelievable.

  • RIC (none worse than the church) pushes forgiveness of the addict and schmoopie(s).
    The ex’s schmoopie number who the hell knows was given my private contact information. She began messaging me last fall after being told not to contact me. She said among other things that she “loves” me and prays for me every day, God has forgiven her for whoring around with half the men in the county and having an affair with my ex (they celebrated their “one year anniversary” with a cruise just over a year after the ex walked out and while we were still married), she wants to have lunch with me and can’t wait to meet me so that she can give me a hug.
    I pointed out several lies she tolde in that one conversation and she back-pedaled and swore she wasn’t lying. I don’t think sweet, daughter of God knew what to do with someone who refused to join in her fantasy.
    The RIC can kiss my ass.

    • Amen. My STBX is a SA. He and his schmoopie go to church and pray for everyone everyday. Yet he continues to pathologically lie to the kids, to me, to his attorneys, to his therapist on a daily basis. I’m pretty sure that Christianity takes a dim view on lying. And cheating. And stealing. And pornography. And prostitutes. But when you are entitled, you get to make your own rules. How dare Jesus tell him what to do; Jesus isn’t the boss of him!

    • It’s important to look at the link between the Church urging people, usually women, who are physically, emotionally, and mentally abused to stay in a marriage and the practice of covering up pedophilia in the Church itself; at the link between universities ignoring sexual harassment and rape and covering up sex abuse of students, including athletes; at the link between guys like Jeffrey Epstein getting his wrist slapped for raping underage girls and trafficking and officials at the highest levels victimizing subordinates and people they view as only sex objects. The message is: sit down, shut up, and take it.

      • I think that people really are invested in the idea of the benevolent father. They can’t give that up, and it includes benvolent authorities in all forms. Family, church and state. It keeps the patriarchy going. A few really god fathers keep the whole rotten system going, in a way. Just like some really great teachers keep a rotten educational system going. It’s kind of perverse that the good ones keep a degraded system going. Everyone wants the good father, the great teacher. The good little wife who will put up with any kind of garbage. Don’t question it, because if you do there will be consequences for you (not for them). It’s an ages old ordeal, and the women of this generation are the first to be able to question it en masse. It’s a lot of hard work.

  • I often see the title and think whatever CL is about to talk about is way more extreme than my situation. Then I read her article. And it becomes clear she is describing my ex-wife.

    This is the very first article I’ve read where the connection is pretty tenuous. Other than the shame part, at least. My XW is many things. She was really awful to me. Especially after D-Days 1 and 2 (there were no more; I filed for divorce 5 months after D-Day 1, and 3 months after D-Day 2).

    But my XW was not a child-sex predator. I work in the criminal system. There really is very little comparable to that horror.

    I get what CL is trying to do here. I really do. And “affairs” are truly abuse. To the spouse and the kids. But child-sex stuff is a category all on it’s own. That’s all.

    • A couple points — the article is about the RIC — that cultural message is so extreme, it”ll work with “take back the registered sex offender!”

      Sex addiction “therapy” is all over this blog.

      Many chumps here have found double lives that included under age porn, sex tourism, under age sex partners.

      I’m not covering new territory here.

      • Welp, here’s the thing.

        The line between a powerful man who sexually exploits increasingly younger work subordinates and a man who will exploit children is thinner than you think.

        During divorce, discovered—because my kids finally felt safe enough to divulge it once he was gone—each separately divulged to me that their father regularly masturbated to pornography in front of them when they were small, but old enough to know it was weird and wrong and scary. Like 3-9 range. And that is absolutely abusive and predatory. Nobody would guess it. I didn’t. But apparently I could not go grocery shopping for an hour on a weekend afternoon without this happening. And I know know that he did in front of both at once until son reached a certain age, and then did it in front of daughter alone if her brother was not here.

        Exploiters exploit. For many of us here, the cheating was not a matter of our partners slipping up one time while inebriated or some such and then immediately regretting, confessing, and working had to win back our trust once sobriety returned. Nope. It was an attitude of entitlement, a view of people as things to be used, a complete lack of normal human empathy, absence of any sort of moral compass, plus expertise at charm, deception, and manipulative.

        Infidelity and abuse of all sorts are correlated. Sure, not every straying spouse is a pedophile or a sexual predator, but it’s hardly a rarity, especially if the cheater is anywhere on the cluster b spectrum.

        So, yeah. Pertinent post not only because of the sick RIC notion that it is the chump who must fix and forgive beyond all reason (even when actions are beyond forgiveness, and damage is unfixable), but also because varieties of abuse often coexist.

        • Spot on. During the discovery period and before I left, I found images of boys of “questionable” age, tied up, and naked on my husband’s computer. He swore he carded them before having sex with them. I nearly hit him over the head at that point- “How could you be THAT stupid?? Ever heard of a fake ID? All it’s going to take is one young man, underage, who claims you raped him and your life is over, OVER”.

        • Oh gosh I’m so sorry for you and your children. My father also took advantage of times my mother was out of the house to abuse me. The fact they choose their timing so carefully is how we know they know it’s wrong AND that it’s in their control.

      • Yes, forgiveness and understanding at all costs! Even if that involves continuing to sleep next to a criminal child sex offender and justify his behavior as addiction.

      • Your point is well-taken, and it’s not entirely lost on me.

        And I put “affair” in scare quotes because it really is a euphemism for something much darker.

      • The fact is, we will never know what our spouses have done or what they are capable of. Because they are liars. I can’t honestly vouch for the fact that while my ex lied and cheated on me, he never did or never will do ‘that.’ He pretended so well. I thought the cheating was totally ‘out of character.’ I believed the whole RIC thing about affair fog and I bought into his story that I was partly responsible for having neglected him. When I dumped him after Dday 2, he said he wanted to explore polyamory and BDSM. Tickling, golden showers, ropes. It all just seemed so ridiculous. 2 years later and he is now arranging a CNC kidnapping and gang rape of one of his partners without consulting her first. WTF? He socializes with people who believe this is all just harmless fun, consensual constitutionally protected self-expression. But he’s a liar. For all I know, he could be a budding R Kelly or BTK. In fact, he could have been a Dennis Rader-type the whole time we were married and now he’s just found a new pool of victims. I can only pray he is not abusing our kids. The judge won’t modify custody unless/until I can prove the kids are harmed. Apparently family court judges have witnessed so much disordered behavior that this kind of thing falls within the acceptable range of behavior for 50% custody. My lawyer told me I’m lucky, she has another client whose ex-wife was caught trying to poison him and their 7-year old daughter. Unbelievable.

    • Spot on AF, Friend. Child pornography is sex slavery 100% of the time. It’s foul and cruel and monstrous 100% of the time. It’s abuse and exploitation of the highest order, a terrible abuse of power and destructive force in the world.

      Any person who could commit this crime with children of the same age around them does not deserve access of any kind to those children or their young peers.

    • Well, Imback, lucky you. There are lots of people not so lucky, like my friend whose husband was having sex with a kid in his daughter’s HS class.

      “Forgiveness” should not even come up in the same discussion as sex with kids or child porn. And I’ll bet my next 10 paychecks that 90% of child sex predators (kidnappers, rapists, murderers) use some form of kiddie porn. If the RIC thinks reconciliation is the right move for those living with one of these freaks, that’s an indicator that no behavior is so extreme that “reconciliation” isn’t the answer.

      • And if these kind of behavior is considered “sex addiction,” let’s treat it like addiction to substances like alcohol, heroin, cocaine, meth, Oxy. Addiction should be a dealbreaker. Let addicts get clean and show they can stay clean. Let them show they are capable of having a relationship with something other than a substance or a porn video. Get the kids out of a home that centers around addictive and illegal behavior.

      • I wonder what the RIC would say if she was only engaged to be married, or had been dating him for 6 months? Would they tell her to stay?

        The RIC knows you’re hooked when you have children and a long shared history. I was fortunate in that I had neither with the “sex addict”. All I had was trauma induced confusion and a brief false belief in his potential to master the “addiction” so the therapists didn’t have much to work with.

    • Iambackbaby, I get what you are saying but unfortunately it is just rungs on a ladder. My ex made sure to tell my middle age sons that I was bad in bed, boring at an age where they did not think about their Stay at home mother in a Sexual way, that is sexual abuse, giving them thoughts of sexual behavior before they are ready. Looking at Child Porn is horrible and it destroys children lives, changes who they are and how they relate and trust for the rest of their lives Sounds pretty familiar to the state my children were in after the affair and discard.

      Chris Watts did not look at child porn but he killed children for an affair/thrills, to me just a rung up the ladder from killing my children’s safety and security along with my broken ribs because he wanted me out of the picture so he could drive off into the sun set with true love. If I had stayed maybe my EX would have climbed a rung up the ladder, then people might have thought I should have left him!!!!

      As a chump the hardest thing for me to do was admit he was a predator, and deviant That real men do not up and leave their family with such joy and greed. Affairs are extreme situations, and just as damaging. The RIC message to me and my kids was that we should try and stay because he was good looking and made good money, do not worry about morals and values. If you can “screw” over your family financially and emotionally, there is not much you will not do. It was hard to get angry enough to leave and not wonder if I was making a mistake.

      That is why sites like CL are so necessary, once I introduced self love (great personal councilor too) into the picture, I no longer wondered what was right thing to do… Leave a cheater, gain a life.

      • Once a person has devalues spouse and kids, it’s only a matter of how deep the disorder goes. The Chris Watts and Scott Peterson types are so entitled they think killing their kids is an answer to wanting out of a marriage, because, you know, child support.

        That’s behavior on a continuum with running up massive credit card bills and refusing to pay child support or failing to meet even minimal standards of contact with the kids. Those behaviors are more alike than they are with a divorcing couple who work out reasonable and mutually acceptable ways to separate.

        • As a reminder, mentally unstable people are very unpredictable, and as such, should be handled with an awareness of that. Do not threaten an abuser. I just read an article about the Chris Watts tragedy, and allegedly when he told his wife that day that he wanted a divorce, she said to him that she would never let him see his kids again. If true, it is a sad reminder that someone who pushes the rage button of an unstable person does so at their own peril. Had she simply walked away, she might still be alive.

          • Truly fabulous advice, except that a) you are taking a liar’s word for what happened. Initially he said she strangled the children. b) she didn’t know he was unstable- she knew he had become distant, and she was devastated about that c) normal people say things when they are distraught that should not be then used as an excuse for strangling them when they are pregnant, with children also being murdered because they were witnesses.It. Was. Not.Her.Fault.
            Jeez this comment makes me angry

            • It certainly was not her fault. My sister is a 25 year psychiatric case manager and I could tell you so many stories of innocent people suffering at the hands of others. You can be as mad as you want. That’s your prerogative..I work in a city and two years ago a co worker of mine was cut off in traffic coming into work. She honked her horn, rolled down the window and yelled an obscenity at the guy. She was not expecting for him to pull a gun on her. She was damn lucky she wasn’t shot!! You NEVER know what or who you are dealing with so it’s best you remember that or potentially risk injury or death. It.Happens.Every.Day.

              • You’re making an argument that there was provocation.If you raise your voice someone might kill you. If you wear a short skirt someone might rape you. its a ” you should know better” point of view that puts part of the responsibility on the victim.

              • QB, sure, don’t poke a bear, we get it. But let me remind you that people get shot every day for no provocation whatsoever. And Studies show that people with mental illness are no more violent than anyone else. Someone who can plot and execute the murder of another can’t blame it on mental instability. Chris Watts is not crazy and therefore unpredictable. He is a liar and therefore unpredictable. His lie was that he was a gentle, loving family man. There was nothing Shanaan could have done to prevent this outcome. The police think he might have already killed his daughters before Shanaan arrived home. It is scary to think that he is not crazy, he’s just another selfish asshole with an inflated belief in his own ability to get away with bad behavior.

    • (I think I got a different message from the one all y’all got when I read this post – based on the other replies, and the fact that they all seem to me to be echoing the point that child sex abuse is abhorrent, yet y’all seem to feel you are not in agreement with the poster, I am clearly not grasping the flow of this thread.)

      • I think he is saying child abuse doesn’t need to be discussed because it’s not directly in line with the infidelity issues- it’s worse, illegal, etc… he’s saying CL is a bit off base, because this doesn’t fit in the pattern. but most of the people arguing are noting the abuse of power etc… I would also go back to… looking at child pornography may not in and of itself be infidelity, but that’s up to each chump- some would consider it so. Rampant use of porn can create all sorts of relationship issues and come between the people in a relationship. And porn that’s recorded or static images is very small steps away from live video chatting, and that is one person interacting with another, albeit via web, but it certainly is a lot closer to full on child abuse, and outright infidelity… and, and and… things escalate. behaviour of someone who is already delving down the child porn rabbit hole is not far from acting on it in a live abuse setting. And marital money and time is very likely being spent supporting and hiding this habit- memberships to proxy servers to surf the web more anonymously, chat sites to exchange illicit illegal images… it all feeds into the same infidelity stuff, but on top of that it’s children so it’s even worse. That the RIC feeds the reform message for this is unthinkable. These people belong in prison. Being told that child porn isn’t infidelity is not actually all that accurate. It’s likely at least financially so, and in honesty it may be actual infidelity straight up.


    • A lot of guys (probably almost all) who have affairs are into porn, too. You cannot watch porn regularly and not come across the abuse of underage girls. “Teen” is the number one internet porn search, and by teen, they don’t mean 18 year olds. 88% of porn is violent and/or extremely degrading. So this is all related. Guys who will abuse their wives with infidelity will also vicariously abuse women and girls through porn.
      Yes, kiddie porn is the lowest of the low, but porn that is abusive to women is also evil, and most of these cheating creeps love it. The RIC con artists want us to forgive all sick, abusive behavior, even pedophilia, so they can sell their books, seminars and treatment programs. That’s the point.

      • Right on. As others have said upthread, the powerful also want child porn and pedophilia to become as normalized as “regular” porn has become over the last 20-30 years in the US. And that’s another reason why articles like the one CL is calling out in this post, keep getting put out there. Once you are aware of this agenda, you see it in the media all the time.

    • My ex using prostitutes was not only illegal it went against our dating promises and marriage vows not to have sex with other people. Thus I was a chump like you I’mBack. But what you didn’t experience was having a healthcare provider – when they accept medical insurance they are healthcare providers – normalize ILLEGAL behavior.

  • My ex was a porn “addict” I personally don’t get the appeal, not for strippers either. People pretending to want sex in order to get money from you just strikes me as profoundly unsexy. But to each CONSENTING ADULT their own. The child part of this is just yuck.

    And what they have now is so far from a healthy relationship, and anything they should be modeling for their kids, it’s not even funny. I actually believe in forgiveness. I even still believe people can change. But I think we misunderstand what forgiveness is and vastly over estimate how many people will actually do the brutally hard work to really change.

    Forgiveness is not “You did nothing wrong, or Its ok, what you did was wrong but we will just put it behind us.” In fact, forgiveness requires recognition of wrong. Then a decision not to hold all the ill feeling of that past wrong in the present or carry it into the future. It doesn’t erase responsibility, it doesn’t promise continued relationship, it doesn’t eliminate the consequences of a person’s actions. Forgiveness is just, the offended against party decides to stop being angry about the specific offense being forgiven.

    That’s where change becomes critical. If a person refuses responsibility for their acts, how likely are they to change? If they are blame shifting or even blame sharing, how likely? If they are not changing their behavior then they will continue to “reoffend” over and over.

    At some point, forgiving when you know they are going to do it again becomes passive participation, don’t you think? At the very least tacit permission. Certainly putting the emotional pain of your family and kids out for public consumption – for a fee of course- feels like emotional porn. So , I’d say instead of her “forgiveness” helping him change, it’s instead changed her so that she now participated in his exploitative acts.

    • Pushing forgiveness on victims, IMHO, is a way to further subjugate them. Most trauma specialists don’t urge forgiveness on their clients, nor should they.

      You are right, the wife has become a codependent at the urging of the RIC.

    • Forgiveness is primarily for the victim of the circumstance. When they forgive, they’re saying they accept that they’re releasing the emotional debt that the perpetrator can never repay. It’s understanding that what WAS their reality wasn’t and never will be. It can help the victim understand that they had no culpability in the situation. This can bring some peace to the victim. It can help lessen the stress. The spillover is that the perpetrator (when informed of the forgiveness), can feel better knowing that as long as it’s not repeated, the relationship, whatever the relationship is, can move on. The victim is in no way saying it is forgotten.

    • Regarding their appeal towards prostitutes: they get a thrill out of it because they are using and abusing. They have total power and control over a woman, and get to treat her like she’s a piece of worthless meat. They know how degrading and wrong it is to allow a man to use your body for money, and that is what excites the men. That they can buy her body, thereby buying total power and control over her, and get their kicks out of degrading and humiliating her, by the very act of requiring her to have sex with a total stranger, to be used and then discarded. It all comes back to abuse. These men are abusers.

  • I feel so sorry for her kids. For her daughter to experience the police arresting her father for child pornography and then to have to go on living in that environment.

    • Sounds like no one gives a shit about protecting the daughter or thinking about someone else’s life other than husband and wife, and the ‘blessed’ marriage. Just not OK!

      • you just would never trust anyone again would you, if this awful experience was met with the expectation that you put up with it. like it was normal for it to be swept under the carpet. like it could happen in any family. how awful for the daughter.

      • How about for the daughter to wonder whether her father ever looked at HER this way..,

  • Omg! I’d be struggling to ever look at such a lowlife again. But when you hear all the stories about the weird shit that goes on in Hollywood, where child actors are preyed upon compounded by all the big money and drugs, the industry is permeated by an anything goes mentality. Because art! The mental and moral corruption can be so complete, they think rehab is a badge of honor. Okay, lets write a play about it! It’s a horror. Remember the Kevin Bacon movie they tried so hard to push about a perv as a sympathetic character. But it’s art! I don’t want to understand these people. I’m glad I didn’t read that article. But I’m sure there are one too many wives and families held hostage by the shame of this situation and struggle to escape. The sad part is, porn is a medium that escalates the desire for more and extreme. One day it’s jerking off to a playboy mag. The next, it’s Marc Albert in a hotel room whipping some gal while wearing a tutu, just to get a hard on. The brain craves more and one day you’re downloading kid porn. I’m against censorship and not a pearl clutcher, but porn really is a challenge for wives and parents. Mix that with access to anything goes, an entourage of assistants willing to do anything for a job with a star, and Hollywood money, and nobody escapes clean or mentally whole, or ending up a chump.

  • Child pornography. Child sex abuse. Dealing with people and places involved in sex trafficking (looking at you, Robert Kraft.) All should be total dealbreakers.

  • “Sex Addiction” is one thing (not a REAL thing but that’s another post), but Pedophilia is a whole different level of fucked up. Remaining married to and living with a registered sex offender which leaves your children at risk from a sexual predator who is SEXUALIZING CHILDREN is so far beyond okay that I don’t know how to process it. If she wants to fuck up the rest of her own life fine but it is not okay that the children were not protected. That anyone would celebrate this story as a “success” is vomit inducing.

    • Yes. It makes you wonder if law enforcement condones this Jace staying in the home with his own children. Maybe we need laws to protect the actual children of a pedophile.

      • Yes! How do you tell your own daughter “we are sticking with dad even though he participated in child sexual abuse?”

        • You simply say “people make mistakes.” Or “this has nothing to do with our love for you.” Or “everyone has a right to live their own life.” Just choose from the playbook.

    • I hope the children change their names legally at some point so Creepy Dad’s disgusting deeds don’t follow them for the rest of their lives.

  • Thank you for pointing out this manipulation of language:

    “…her own capacity for forgiveness in the face of something terrible.”
    “…her own capacity for forgiveness in the face of her husband’s criminal sexual behavior with child pornography.”

    Yes, let’s be specific. It’s a crime, and the victims are the children.

    • It’s also important to notice the judgement imposed on victims of partner betrayal. When phrased this way (as it often is), chumps aren’t really given any choice. Either you have the capacity to forgive, or else your heart is two times too small and you should paint yourself green and exile yourself to the top of a mountain with a dog named Max.

      • And sometimes that judgement goes in the other direction. I’ve worked real hard on forgiving my ex so that I may live in meh and just not care…and that hasn’t sat very well with plenty of folks who paint him the devil and want me steamin mad in perpetuity.

        • Damned if we do (weak, needy, codependent pushovers) and damned if we don’t (heartless, sub-human, “lacking the capacity.”)

          Society will never have our back. Whichever way we react to the ultimate betrayal will always be the wrong way. At least we have each other over here in CN to say ‘eff them all. 🙂

          • Change the narrative. That’s the work for all of us. Change. The. Narrative.

          • So very true. A good friend and I were both cheated on by our husbands. She was the primary bread winner for the family and, apparently, that made him feel insecure so he needed to cheat to restore his manliness. I was the lesser earner and more of the homemaker/child raiser and mine cheated because, apparently, he felt overwhelmed by the responsibility of it all and needed to cheat to restore a sense of whimsy to his life. Another friend’s husband cheated–they were about equal earners and equal homemakers. He said he was bored, basically.

            Damned if you do, damned if you don’t is right. CL is correct, the important thing is to get people to start seeing cheating as abuse and worthy of scorn and blame.

  • Forgiveness is moving forward in a life where one is no longer carrying the baggage of these abusive, controlling, manipulative jerks.

  • I really needed to read this today. When I went out with a longtime local friend to celebrate a successful trip to court the other day, she divulged to me that when her family put my could-be-gay-could-be-sex-addicted-cheater X up for a couple of weeks after I kicked him out (and changed the locks), the things he had told her made her and her husband think X is a pedophile. It devastated me more than anything I’d dealt with over my 25 year relationship–after being mighty through so much, I found I couldn’t function, it sickened me so. How can these people brush this aside as not a problem? How is such a thing worthy of forgiveness? My friend shares my values–and, in fact, wanted to know why I wasn’t getting X arrested. I told her–I have no proof! I have no direct knowledge! I looked through everything of the X’s left in the home, looked through old computers, and nothing–it’s like I lived with a ghost. I reviewed everything she said with my therapist and son’s therapist–and we reviewed everything we know to date about my X–and still all we have is smoke and mirrors. It put me right in the horrible cheater/chump detective zone again–when I needed to be focused on keeping myself and my son safe and sane. The way people act like porn isn’t a problem–I don’t get it at all–and wish I’d kicked porn-loving, 12-step-faking X to the curb sooner, when the tip of the porn iceberg first surfaced!

    • Definitely, porn is not nothing. It is very devastating. And it’s a huge industry. As big as Hollywood.

      If your friend is so concerned, she should go file a report. Just drive herself right on down to the police station and ask to talk to an officer about a pedophile. She might have to schedule an appointment. Okay, then come back at the scheduled time. She’ll be taken into a private meeting room, with a nice officer. She can tell everything she knows. The officer, based on the information she gives, can tell her what her next steps are.

      I did this to get James Bond busted for soliciting prostitutes. (In our city, your handsome face gets shown on tv when you’re arrested.) The kind officer told me, “It’s only a matter of time” before he’s arrested. “It’s only a matter of time,” she assured me.

      • Yes, I did wonder why she hadn’t done something or told me sooner. Maybe she will now. Meanwhile, I live wondering what awful shoe will drop next. As you say, its only a matter of time on all this.

        • Thinking of you, (((MissHadASham))). So sorry you have to deal with these possibilities, and after being mighty for so long – though, as CL rightly notes, part of our work as chumps is not to take on shame for whatever our partners might have done without our knowledge.

          I just have to say, I love your handle!

  • Sorry Maddie, I am not paying or even spending my time to see a play about how to be a chump. Either you are very stupid or very smart. Good luck!

    Like Lola Granola says in the first post: “What does it take? War crimes?”

    PS: I knew CL would take this story apart. As always, she sure did. I am waiting for her take on Bezos et al.

  • “but it allowed me to reinvestigate the way I lived my life.”

    Meaning, he just learned how to take his shit deeper underground.
    There is no hope, no rehabilitation for pedophiles.

  • What I wonder about, is how this “addiction/affliction” starts and is fostered and groomed by our society at large. I think the purveyors have not only a financial motive, but also attempt to “normalize” deviant behaviors and devalue the women and children used in the making of their product, “pornography.”
    Personally I see all the difference in the world between the statue of David, or some other artistic rendering of the beauty of the male and female form, and I don’t have a problem with nudity between consenting adults, in the privacy of their home or even an adult resort. I don’t consider myself a prude. I remember seeing Playboy and Penthouse magazines, not finding them particularly interesting, but certainly more tolerable than the later raunchier magazines that followed in their wake. Some where you have to draw a line between art, beauty, curiosity, and pornography and trafficking. It is not about forgiveness for me, it is about what we as a society will tolerate as passing for “normal” sexual activity.
    Is it normal to “need” stimulation daily, perhaps multiple times daily, and increasingly be stimulated by passive “partners” portrayed in porn, or sexual activity which requires the duping of children, and or the physical restraint of any sexual partner? Who can convince themselves that another human wants to be a “sexual slave.” I just cannot condone any social reinforcement of these activities. I don’t want a member of any “clergy” telling me it is my “duty” to take care of my partners offensive sexual “needs.”
    I have had enjoyable sexual relationships in my life, but I always reserved the right to choose the type of activity I participated in. I was not interested in being part of a threesome, for instance, and I was not bored or constrained by monogamy. Sex was a part of my life, but it did not interfere with me going to work, paying my bills, raising my children, cooking, cleaning, and doing the laundry. When I ordered pizza, I wanted pizza, not a horny pizza delivery guy. My home didn’t clean itself, and there was no magical domestic appliance who washed, dried, folded, and put away clothes. I was not required to spend the funds I earned by working on any “adult entertainment” and it was not necessary to take the children’s college fund or my retirement savings to pay for pornography or hookers.

    Think about this, are women ever going to be considered equals in the workplace as long as we are paid less, and are required to be beautiful and sexually attractive to our economic superiors? Will children ever be safe if we consider pedophiles to be “normal” or “cured” by some rehab program? Sexual orientation is formed early, maybe we are even born with it, but acceptable sexual practices are learned. Where were these predators, what were they doing, and what was their “reward” for discovering that they enjoyed sex only when the partner had no choice/voice in the matter, or was restrained, or innocent and unknowing, or even tortured and killed? I really believe the deviance is about power and control, and the sex/rape is the instrument/weapon used.

    I don’t need to understand, or forgive. I need to be vigilant. I want to be safe. I want my children and grandchildren to be safe.

  • “When Ms. Corman realized she would soon no longer be able to host trick-or-treaters at Halloween, she purchased 27 pumpkins and decorated them all.”

    But she didn’t divorce him and permitted him access to their daughter and twin sons. Trauma bonding. FUBAR.

    I can’t comment on NYT, but if I could, I would post a link to today’s CL.

  • The male 4th grade teacher at my daughter’s Lutheran school was caught with child pornography on his computer the spring of her 3rd grade. He was supposed to give the message at the Lenten service that night. He had 1000s of images on his computer, some of the same children taken over many years (all were purchased; he was not taking any. Most were from overseas. And they were of young girls, ages 3-11). Fortunately, he confessed right away. There were women (grandmothers!) at the church who supported him and wanted to extend Christan forgiveness. I told my then-husband, the Rev Cheaterpants, that I would never be in the same room as him, because if I could not even think that he might have ever looked at my daughters and wondered what they would look like naked. I could not stay married to a man who could get sexual pleasure off of someone else’s daughter being abused and forced into pornography.

  • But of course! All parts of this “process” are to be accepted as wonderful, life affirming, and some path to enlightenment.

    And if you just can’t (your failure) stay married to the massage parlor happy ending, child porn using, sex slave trafficking, alcoholic, embezzling, cheating, lying, abusive narcissist (what’s wrong with you, why can’t you forgive): then you simply must have a HAPPY DIVORCE

    In the vein of living your best life, we are also supposed to have a happy divorce! I came across a phenomenon I couldn’t fathom but is real nonetheless: the divorce selfie. Yes. We are to celebrate our conscious uncoupling with a rainbow and sprinkles post to instagram thanking each other for the memories and good times, noting how we are both better people and the kids are not only going to be alright, they will THRIVE in divorce.

    I felt insane. How is this amoral world the version I ended up on?

  • I think there’s something intoxicating for women who choose to stay with criminal men. I lost my sister bc of her longstanding attraction to criminals. We haven’t spoken in yrs bc she’s awaiting the parole of a bfriend sentenced to life in prison for raping his young daughter. Having argued with her for a good 20 yrs about her romantic choices, I’m beginning to understand that when she champions these guys against the world it creates this intense bond between them. I think she’s energized by others negativity and enjoys the challenge of controlling the narrative and getting others to see how “they treat me like a queen”. Of course *she* knows he’s not guilty bc she’s “seen documents.” In our case she’s given up her whole family for prison visits with this jail bird child sex offender Romeo and whatever attention his family will give her. Oh and she’s finishing a teaching degree…

    • Guarantee when if her creep does get parole and is released, he will dump her. He’s had nothing else to do behind bars but write her long love letters and plead for her support because she’s “so understanding and truly gets him like nobody else does”

  • Remember that you can’t view child porn by “accident”. It is highly illegal and must be gotten from other pedos usually on the dark web (that you have to jump through some hoops to get on).

    No one but pedos looks at that garbage and I’d be willing to bet $1000 that the “tv producer” has physically abused children.

    The whole “sex addiction” is frankly a bunch of BS and it is really disgusting that they use the same terminology as drug and alcohol addicts making them out to be victims rather than either the slime or monsters they really are.

    • Yes yes yes!!! THIS!
      Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The porn is just a mirror for these animals. By the time they’re collecting porn, it’s likely the porn is a trophy after the fact. And even if not directly, they are fully responsible for child abuse and exploitation by consuming it, so the damage is done LONG before their exposure. They are the cancer that keeps that sick industry alive.

    • Great points, Laughing Gator, about how hard it is to actually get child porn.

  • Are you still at it, highjacking threads with your anti-choice lunacy? You insulted CL and most of the women on this board and now have the nerve to come back for another go at it? Get a shrink. You are hostile and abusive. You should be banned, IMO.

  • I feel sick reading this. And, what is the New York Times thinking printing that piece?

  • I read this article in the New York Times the other day and had to comment on it in their comment thread. Good grief, Maddie Corman pretending to be ‘brave’ taking her gross, disgusting, perverted husband back and ‘forgiving’ him. She’s is not brave, she is a weak woman and just as sick as he is. How in the world could a woman have sex with a man KNOWING that he really gets off on naked children?? Eeewwww. What a sick fuck. Not to mention, how about your future grandchildren Maddie? You feel just because this monster had a little rehab that you can trust him around your grandbabies?

    It never fails to amaze me what some women will put up with just to have a man. GROSS !!

    • Even we are sanitizing child abuse – child porn isn’t about naked children, it’s about real children being raped in real life. Recently, a guy from a more glamorous part of UK was imprisoned for having greatest stash ever discovered in the UK of child pornography (he also had a great stash of illegal weapons). His search words in relation to child pornography? ‘Animal abuse’, ‘sweet Asian street meat’. ‘Russian brother and sister’. That’s what these people are looking at and this is what stupid people ‘forgive’.

      • Good point Persephone. It’s easier to understand her forgiveness when people think he’s only admiring artistic images of naked children, not jacking off to children being raped and tortured.

  • Forgiveness doesn’t have just one component. Rarely does sin just impact one entity of society. Very myopic (self centered) to think only the family unit needs to forgive.
    The original victims of his crimes were the children in the pornographic videos. Thus forgiveness should first be begged from the children.
    Forgiveness from God for defiling God’s plan of goodness toward man should also be most earnestly sought.

  • Society has hit a new low publishing a story like this, and allowing a play like this to be performed on its stage. They are trying to normalise, and minimise the absolute utter horror of child sexual abuse/pornography. In my opinion, if a man gets to that point, there is no turning back and his conscience is seared with a hot iron. A total reprobate. How evil do you have to be to watch a child be abused, and to derive pleasure from it. These people are dangerous and I believe pedo’s need the death penalty. I don’t care who disagrees with me. I care about the children being abused.

  • How about his kids, especially? I would NEVER allow my kids within a mile of this asshole. What kind of developmental horror & social hell awaits them after the horrific fact of their father’s crimes?
    Nah, those are just “extras” in the play that stars the narc.
    This turns my stomach.
    Maybe enough to write a play….

    • ….and just how on earth does this woman still have sex with this pig?? Can you imagine doing it with a guy all the while KNOWING that he’s probably imagining children while he’s getting off on you?? OH HELL TO THE NO!!! How freaking desperate this sick woman must be to have a man. Words escape me. I would be kicking that sorry pathetic piece of shit to the curb so fast he wouldn’t know what hit him and no way would I let my children near that monster. Shame on her for trying to capitalize on his filth.

  • I’m all for writing your feelings. It’s cathartic and some of our best literary works are made that way. Making money off sexual exploitation of children in as much as it is art created from your pain…hmmmmm. We’re getting in some murky waters there. Staying with a criminal child sex offender and justifying it through sex addiction??? Disturbing. Is she self sacrificial? Misled? Daft? And then I think…well. most of us here stayed way too long for reasons that now look ridiculous. I hope she wises up and shows her children what it means to reject this behavior and get a life.

  • The man knowingly supported a industry that is based on terrifying and hurting children!

    He enjoyed those images. He didn’t think “my God someone has to help these poor kids!”

    Sick, twisted, evil, doesn’t begin to address a man who could use these images for ‘pleasure’.

    I need a bleach bath thinking about him. He should rot in jail for contributing to this horror.

    His wife is selfish and as sick as he is.

  • As a registered sex offender, did he have to move out? They can’t have kids knock on the door for Halloween – so wouldn’t their kids have to be protected from him too?

    So many layers of vileness in the article.

  • I’m surprised that dear Maddie Corman didn’t opt for an opera instead of just a one act play with the Me, Me, I aria present in this entire thing. And what is up with the New York Times writing about this in a way that attempts to rationalize this as some sort of tragic heroine story? The only people who would not find this one act navel-gazing, self-absolution tale entertaining would be pedophiles and their enablers. That’s a nice story about her husband’s “sex addiction,” but what does that have to do with his sexual attraction to children? What is an acceptable level of pedophilia? The way this entire story reads, I can only assume someone has determined that there is an acceptable level. For Maddie, the fact that “Jace” said he never touched a child meant the fact that he viewed sexual imagery of children something she could rationalize and live with – and write a play about it – to profit off of the exploitation of others. She’s not a victim or a hero – she’s a co-conspirator.

    • And if this production is a hit, stay tuned for “Priests … The Musical”.

      I wish this woman had spent her time and resources fighting the crime at its roots or supporting the victims of such abuse, not telling an off-Broadway “limited run” how hard life is for her onstage, to people who can afford tickets to go to it.

      Imagine if Tracy had decided to write a one-person play about her situation instead of starting Chump Lady. It’s unfathomable how many people she would then not have helped. CL experienced the trauma, she healed herself, she sought to help others, and then, and only then, did she write a book and get some financial support to hire a snarky Spanish translator … that’s admirable.

      • *Correction: “… how hard life is for her [delete “onstage”], to people who can afford …” [Sheesh! Grammar! Dangling always confuses things.]

    • Sure he never touched them. And I didn’t eat the last two ice creams bars at 11pm Sunday night.

      Words are meaningless, especially in the wake of exposure.

      • No, he just watched children being abused, tortured and raped in real life and he just posted and shared a video of a 12 year old ‘performing a sex act’ on somebody. All fine then.

  • I’m going to print today’s blog post and mail it off to a former classmate whose husband got caught for soliciting an underage girl (detective posing for a sting operation). When they arrested him, they confiscated his phone and that’s when things got very interesting. A cache of voyeuristic videos of women in his neighborhood and the environs. His (I hope now ex-)wife posted an apology to a neighborhood e-mail group and offered her phone number for any questions.

    Talk about supreme codependency;I feel very sorry for her. They married in their forties. He did three years of prison.

    Run dearie run. Better to be alone than with that flavor of f*cked up.

  • Some of the comments on this article in the New York Times were particularly disturbing to me. The people that stuck up for this pervert and his ‘problem’ were nauseating to say the least. Poor sad sausage sex addict. I couldn’t stomach reading them. BARF!!!

  • What about the exploited children. Where is the film on that?

    It makes me sick that they are using the term “forgiveness” for promotion. He deserves life in prison for the attempted murder of a child’s soul.

    Staying with this dirtbag makes the wife an accomplice in my opinion.

    • Even in the Catholic Church there are mortal sins that are NOT forgiven. I believe crimes against children are in that category.

      • Not quite. If you are genuinely sorry – and that means changing your life, doing everything you can not to do it again, and above all being sorry because God loves you and has lavished you with good things, and yet you’ve behaved like an ungrateful shit – then there is nothing God won’t forgive.

        The thing God can’t forgive is a person who isn’t sorry. You can go to Confession and parrot the words, but it will have no effect. Lots of people don’t understand this – they think it’s a get out of jail free thing. It’s not. If you aren’t genuinely sorry for the actual things you did, you aren’t forgiven.

        Only God can read hearts. He has the full picture. He has unlimited unconditional love.

        I can’t read hearts. I don’t have the full picture. I definitely don’t have unlimited unconditional love. All of this is normal because I am a human being, not God.

        So I can’t tell you if someone will end up in heaven or hell. That’s God’s job, not mine.

        What I CAN do is: observe behavior, observe actions, listen to what people say, and look at how they treat me and others. This tells me if a person is safe or not. If they’re not, I can stay away and protect myself.

        In terms of what I personally can forgive, I find it takes time and prayer and good boundaries for me to forgive someone. It’s also a process, not a one-off.

        It’s much easier for me to forgive if I have minimal or no contact.

        • I think it’s also important to note that even if some big being forgives, even if you’re sorry… you also have to deal with societal consequences. Murdering someone? Sorry about it? Still need to go to jail. Stole millions? Still gotta pay it back and oh- go to jail. Being legitimately sorry is not a get out of jail free card, it’s part of being decent.

  • As a society we seem to more n more admonish poor behavior. Especially criminal behavior. Problem is that criminal behavior is always uncovered after the crime. How convenient. It just couldn’t be possible that people behave badly and don’t give 2 shits who they hurt. Take medical marijuana. All that’s been done is we relabeled it to medicine. If its still illegal we are denying people their medicine. Rarely will users just admit they like to get high. Hate crimes? They carry more severe penalties. However all we did was uncover the MOTIVE. They still committed the same crime hate or not. To me it doesnt matter why. Its the same crime. Just my opinion. The why and therapy are irrelevant. There is a dangerous perp and a victim(s). They need to be removed from society with loss of freedom to protect the victim. Now real rehabilitation is a whole other subject. My point is RIC is doing the exact same thing as the justice system. Putting fault on the innocent or at least some of the responsibility in the name of wedding vows and the family unit claiming how resilient children are. I know I’m not making my point very well here.

    • You surely didn’t mean to make marijuana use analogous to child pornography, I hope. I fail to see the point of even mentioning it in this context.

  • This may not be popular. But he deserves death penalty for this sick behavior. Even if he has never touched a child, the images he is looking at have already destroyed children’s lives!

    • I’m against capital punishment, because people who are falsely convicted are put on death row and some have been killed. I also don’t think the state should be in the business of killing. However, I’m not against child porn victims themselves (or their parents) getting revenge against the people who create the demand for their abuse, and not being prosecuted for it if they can provide solid evidence. Perhaps not killing them, but giving them a vicious beating. Killing should be saved for those who actually do the abuse.

  • “But in some ways even more taboo is how you deal with the mess and the betrayal and all of it.”

    Ah, yes! Let’s use the exploitation of children not as a dealbreaker, rather focus on how to forgive a predator, capitalize on it and destroy your own child in the process.

    There’s nothing taboo about doing the right thing, ever.

  • The question for me is: what is the agenda behind such pieces which promote forgiveness and reconciliation with a child porn user (who claims he had never acted on his fantasies with people he knows…)?
    Why is this being suggested as an option, who benefits from this apart from child pornographers and abusers themselves? Why was this even published? Why are we being encouraged to stay in a couple and family situation with such a person? Why?
    I can only see one reason: there are other abusers and exploiters encouraging this forgiveness because they will find a more comfortable niche for their crimes.

  • The origins of pedophile behavior: I am going to weigh in here.

    There’s a push now from within pedophile movements to have it normalized as a sexual preference like being gay.

    Thing is, the more we learn about human sexuality, and especially neuroscience and neuroplasticity, the more it seems that human sexuality has a plastic component. It can be shaped, changed, moulded, and directed by stuff you are doing and learning.

    (Unpopular side note: Lisa Diamond and others argue vigorously and sometimes pretty convincingly that sexual orientation is much more fluid than the gay liberation likes to admit.)

    Porn is a major factor here. If a regular porn user gets jaded, they move down a fairly predictable trajectory into BDSM – voluntary or coerced helpless people playing power sex games – and from there to the complete helplessness of animals and children, who simply cannot consent. This is the ultimate power trip.

    I can’t think off the top of my head of case histories where people claimed to be ‘born’ pedophile. I can think of plenty where isolation, loneliness, poor social skills, and porn addiction have created this kind of neuro-wiring, so that the person can only be sexually aroused by children.

    But then you also get people with great lives but poor character, who can’t be happy with lots of cash, a top career, and a loving spouse who provides regular sex. So because She’s Not the Boss of Them, they have their cute little private porn habit as well. Which gradually takes over.

    They go down the same trajectory. So now there’s a cache of kiddy porn on their hard drive.

    It turns out that choices – little day to day choices as well as big ones – are more important than we thought.

    • I think you are on point, Lola. It’s about power and control and not about sex or desire, just like any form of rape. I am nauseatingly familiar with the porn trajectory. My ex had a nasty porn habit which at the time of my second and final DDay had devolved into a fixation with anal sex. This from a guy who thought a prostrate exam was the equivalent of a prison rape scene. That was almost seven years ago, who knows how far down the trajectory he’s gone now. He got fired from his high paying executive job in late 2017. I did wonder at the time if he got careless with his work computer or if someone saw the notebook of his favorite porn pictures he carried around in his briefcase.

    • “I can’t think off the top of my head of case histories where people claimed to be ‘born’ pedophile.”

      Check out Nathan Larson. He ran for Congress, after going to prison for threatening a president and losing custody of his daughter because he admitted to his sexual interest in children. He has a Word Press blog and I made certain the county knew about it. They have some of his computers in their custody.

      • Correction – he had his parental rights terminated. He never had custody of Piper. Her mother committed suicide and then her (his? Transgender) adoptive parents had custody of her.

      • O.M.Freaking.G

        What a piece of shit. But scarcely a poster boy for the Harmless Pedophiles Who Were Just Born That Way.

        What a relief.

  • You say it just like it is! Bravo.
    This woman has made a huge error thinking that her just needs forgiveness to make him better. When modern technology there is little chance for a “total recovery.” What he needs is a new superego!

  • This. Is not. Okay.

    There is always more. Does she seriously think he has not and will not abuse his own children who LIVE WITH HIM? He’s not a “sex addict,” he’s a pedophile and a predatory criminal of the worst sort. Protect yourself and your children for gods sake and GET THE F**K OUT.

  • No one should assume a “sex addict” isn’t committing illegal acts because their behavior has been conveniently labeled as such. Prostitution has been and still is illegal in Wisconsin, where my ex was a big consumer.

  • You are one of the best writers I have ever read. I appreciate your ability to pierce through bullshit like an arrow through a marshmallow fluff filled balloon.

    Thank you for everything.

  • I was married to a sex addict. I will always wish I had gotten divorced sooner. I did a recovery program for the trauma I went through. They were pretty heavy on working things out. I really wish someone, anyone would have said ‘hey, guess what divorce is awesome.” How come no one tells you this. I love being divorced.

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