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Gramps,

I am distraught. My husband molested my daughter when she was very young. He did not go through the proper steps of repentance at the time.   Fast forward many years. He started again on the same daughter. It was stopped. I insisted on him going to the bishop this time. He did. Proper steps are being taken. He is truly repentant. At least he seems to be. He is wracked with grief daily. I have read much and cannot find anything anywhere that supports a woman staying with a spouse that molested her child. I have much guilt. All parties are getting professional help. The ridicule has begun. I truly believe a person can change if it is done properly. Am I wrong for wanting to try to keep working on my marriage and family?

Lou

 

Answer

 

Lou,

The short answer is no, not at all. Now I will explain why. As long as there is even the slightest glimmer of hope for the situation, pressing forward is the right thing to do. It is also the most difficult thing to do. I cannot imagine what you are enduring from all sides in this issue, but the key for you will be to focus on Jesus Christ and everything you know about Him.

Jesus has ever been a patient, loving, forgiving, and determined Savior for us. I cannot imagine that He would give up on your husband as long as his sorrow and humility are sincere. From what you have shared it seems all the proper steps are in progress, and that is another essential key. Your husband is not rejecting any recommended process to correct his actions. What that means is that his family, you and your children, are still very important to him.

It is true that most victims of abuse are instructed to look at leaving the situation. Even at this point, you should be ready to, if he were to relapse again and become unrepentant. On one hand the safety and welfare of yourself and your daughter are the first priority. On the other hand, the integrity and strength of your family as a whole is the very next priority.

My heart goes out to you at this time, because you are the one with the most information about the situation. You alone will best be able to decide whether to keep working for your family unity, or to act to protect yourself and your daughter. I assume you are praying regularly about this and I encourage you to continue.

When you meet with your bishop, pay heed to his council. Listen to what the therapists tell you. And most importantly, speak regularly with your husband alone, one on one. You will be one of the greatest sources of strength for him. You know him better than anyone else talking with him. As you show your support and encouragement of his repentance, it will help him greatly. Pray together as a couple. Keep the Spirit in your marriage as much as you can. Heavenly Father wants to see you both beat this test. He needs to hear from you both, so He can help you the most. Talk with Him about your concerns and worries. You are still a married couple and you can survive this trial together.

As for the ridicule, pay it no mind at all. It is beneath you and unworthy of your time and thoughts. Only Satan would want to see your marriage crumble and fall apart. The road ahead will be difficult with long dark nights and fierce winds. Lean upon the Lord for your strength. Any other family members who want to be supportive should be welcomed. This kind of trial requires much faith and help from many people.

I have every confidence in you both to win this fight, and I pray with all my heart that when your family has successfully weathered this storm, you can all pray to God with gratitude and faith for His love and care.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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