Upon hearing about a man convicted on child pornography charges, many women declare that if it were their husband, they know exactly what they would do. They would turn him in themselves, they would hold him at gunpoint, they would hate him forever, they would kick him out of the house, they would damage or remove his testicles, they would abandon him without thinking twice, they would never let him see the children again. He would be so gone.
Perhaps these women know themselves very well and this is exactly what they would do. I will take them at their sometimes bloodthirsty word.
My favorites, though, are the ones who say they are glad they will never have to worry about their husbands looking at child porn. They are just that sure. For their sake, I hope they are right. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, not even those who think CPS should come take my kids because I didn't leave my husband.
Those of us who have husbands in trouble for child pornography, well, we were caught off guard. We didn't have time to concoct elaborate plans. And if we had elaborate plans for such an unthinkable day, the unthinkable day trashed our plans. Seeing our husbands in trouble, seeing our husbands facing the worst trouble imaginable--facing unimaginable trouble!--we reacted as if these men truly were our husbands. These were the men we promised to love and cherish. How could we abandon them? These are the men we do love and cherish.
How could we tell our children that the father they love--the father who taught them to ride a bike, who takes them fishing, who reads bedtime stories, who knows how to explain math, who never once touched them inappropriately--is just so much mud to be wiped off their shoes?
Here's the thing: It isn't always your husband who gets caught.
What if your brother were going to prison? Would you abandon him? What about your father? Love isn't a garden hose. You cannot simply turn a spigot and stop the love.
What if it were your son? Could you leave your son to deal with the justice system on his own?
It isn't always the husband. Life is funny that way.