Posted by: Heartbroken mum | 2017/06/19

Uncertain on what steps to take following suspicious behaviour of fiance

Dear Cybershrink It is with a very heavy heart that I write this. I am shattered to pieces and completely uncertain as to what to do following the recent occurrences of the past few days. My fiance and I have had a very difficult 7 year relationship which had completely recovered in leaps and bounds in the past year. Brief history. I have a 10 year old daughter from previous relationship and toddler with my fiance. I am 10 years older than my fiance. Over the weekend I couldnt sleep and my partners phone was within reach so I played a few games on it and also went through his internet history. I saw some porn sites that he had been visiting but what was most disturbing was the things he had searched. He had searched for teen porn. He also had searched blackmail porn and then a search about do 10 years old girls think about sex. Connecting the dots to those searches as a mother made me feel completely hopeless. I immediately woke him up and confronted him about it. I asked my daughter if he had ever made her feel uncomfortable, if he touched her or talked to her inappropriately and she said not. And while it may not have happened I cannot help but think that it was a thought in his head. He said that his searches were random and he had no intention of ever harming our girls. I asked him to be honest with me. We went to see a church counsellor where we spoke about everything but I just help but wonder if he actually did have thoughts or fantasies about molesting my daughter. Her biological father refuses to have physical contact with her but does support her financially. I dont know if this is a weakness that may be identified to be preyed on. I have NEVER in our relationship thought he would ever harm our children but now I am uncertain. What do I do? I told him that I would need help to trust him again, because I have lost my faith in him. I dont want to be a mother who didnt see the warning signs and who didnt take action. I was molested as a child which I have not discussed with anyone and its something I live with. Please give me direction because I feel that even though he has agreed to do any counselling necessary, my head is still not going to let go of this betrayal.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2017/06/20

Hello hm,
This is a rather long and sad story.  It is wise and sensible for you to have concerns here, though not enough reason to be so sure and so profoundly hurt as you seem to be feeling.
I don't wish to defend him, but when you write of "this betrayal", let's remember that he has apparently not acted on these potential interests, and betrayal implies that he has broken a specific promise or vow he had made to you.
I think the key thing in this is that you reveal that you yourself were  molested as a child, and apparently you never ( so far ) have felt able to reveal this or discuss it with anyone.  This is centrally important, and you deserve to see a good counsellor to help you work through this experience and stop it from damaging or limiting you freedom to enjoy life. It is probably why, in addition to your very natural concerns as a really good mother, about any possibility of your children being abused in any way, it feels like a betrayal if he has even thought of teens in a sexual way.
He does have something he also needs to deal with, and you have achieved something useful if he has said he is prepared to join counselling about this.
While some men who would never think of actually doing anything sexual with a young teen, may explore porn with such a theme, the elements of searching about "blackmail porn" and especially about what 10 year-old's think about sex seem uncomfortably specific and indeed troubling. That's definitely something more than merely "random" searching : he didn't do searches about the economy of Peru or the history of bicycles.
So maybe a useful approach would be to accept his expressed willingness to take part in counselling, and see a good counsellor together ( someone with more expert training than the usual church counsellor ) to work together on dealing with your very reasonable suspicions and fears and his part in this.  You may want to think seriously about revealing to him, perhaps within that counselling, your own experiences of being abused, and how this has affected you, and why you feel so strongly concerned to ensure your children have no such experiences. Discussing that, and maybe enlisting him in the same effort to protect the children, may be valuable for both of you.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Anonymous | 2017/06/28

Your story is indeed very unsettling but I wish you could also be honest at least.I mean, your claim that you were struggling to fall asleep and decided to play games on his phone...really..if that was the case, why didn't you end there,how did you end up on his search history...or was it part of a certain stage/level in the "game" that you were playing?...You were clearly snooping. Well on the other hand,I don't condone what he did but sometimes we are just curious as human beings e.g I searched gay porn last week but I'm far from being gay and I saw what I wanted to see and ends there! I hope this puts the matter to rest,SNOOPY.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2017/06/26

I am very sad for you...but a close family member of mine dabbled where he shouldn't have and the pain/fall-out was worse than one could imagine. Would not want to condemn someone as being guilty when they aren't, but I do think you have cause for concern, perhaps not your own daughters but others out there. I think he has to seek help and you have to move on. I've been through heartache and I know how it feels. Just know that people out here do care and do understand. One day at a time. I could be wrong here but I feel you may have had doubts since you went through his phone...maybe this is the final deciding factor for you. You're clearly a very strong woman and this too shall pass.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Tegan | 2017/06/20

I understand that it's a difficult and heart breaking situation but you must be realistic even if it's unpleasant - No one who fantasizes about or intends to molest a child would just openly admit to it, the fact that you asked him to be honest with you does not change that. You must also consider that it's common for sexual offenders to follow certain patterns of escalation with their crimes. Meaning that if you could pull up the history of several convicted sex offenders you would see that most of them walked an eerily similar path with how their behavior escalated from curiosity, to obsessive, to actual criminal behavior that worsen in severity. Also, it's worth remembering that you can educate your daughter about safety, what is right/wrong, to always speak to you if x,y or z happens but predators are often times extremely good at manipulating children - it's not 100% fail safe way to know that you will be alerted if something is going on. I think you have seen very early warning signs and I honestly hope that you will rather heed them than take chances with your children's safety. It's the type of situation where it's always better to safe rather than end up sorry.

Reply to Tegan
Posted by: Anonymous | 2017/06/20

You are right to be concerned and if it was me I would immediately break off the relationship with him. I also have daughters and would never want anyone to ever hurt them. You would search for something you are "interested" on online. That does not seem random... It's very creepy.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Heartbroken mum | 2017/06/20

Update: Last night I asked him to leave and ended our engagement. I couldn't risk my childrens safety, even if it is based on suspicions.

Reply to Heartbroken mum

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