Help! Stepson sexually abused me; husband still supports him

I am prayerfully hoping there are Catholic wives out there who may be able to help me. My husband’s son (he was a widower with three young sons when we met and married ) was caught videotaping me in my bathroom two years ago for his own gratification. He was just 5 when I began raising him as my own and no one in my family could have predicted this. I am a devout Catholic woman and wife and my husband also is a practicing, prayerful Catholic. This young man was sent away to treatment and has not lived under my roof since this discovery, nor will ever. My husband’s desire to have an on-going relationship with this young man has been an on-going source of deep pain and a feeling of betrayal. His response to his son’s abuse of me was muted from the beginning. Recently my husband has confessed that he himself has had a lifelong struggle with pornography use, which I did not know when I married him. I am feeling under attack by the devil and do not know how much more I can take. My question: Does my faith call me to stay with this man, who continues to want to have a relationship with my abuser, who attacked me and our marital intimacy, and who also has been so unfaithful to me so many times himself?

No, no it doesn’t. Please don’t stay another day with this man.

I’m so, so sorry for what you’ve been through, and for what you’re currently still going through.

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Am i not supposed to forgive, and pray for the both of them? My husband’s says it is selfish of me to deny him a relationship with his son, and that I am asking him to unfairly choose between his son and me.

How old is the son?

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He will turn 20 this month. He videotaped me outside the window of my bathroom in our home for several months while he was 16 and 17.

So is the videotaping the sexual abuse?

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Your husband is being selfish, incredibly so. It’s not up to him to decide about forgiveness, and you are not being unfair for struggling to forgive your stepson for his actions.

You do not have to stay in a relationship with this man.

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Yes. He stored these videotapes of me in and out of the shower (I’m in my 50s!!) on hidden online photo locker, used them for his own gratification, as well as distributed them to several friends at school. To this day I do not know how many people have looked or are looking at these videos.

Have you spoken with a priest about all this?

Just because you forgive someone and/or pray for them does not mean you need to have any sort of relationship with them.

And if you can see a counselor, that would probably be a good idea too. All of this must have shaken you to the core!

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