Ask E. Jean: My Friend Is Married to a Sex Offender and He’s Ruining Her Life

Life & Love

Dear E. Jean: My grad school friend’s husband was busted for having child porn on his computer. Now he can’t be around minors, can’t be online, can’t take any intoxicating substances, and must register as a sex of-fender. My gregarious friend has curtailed her sparkling social life, and her once-brilliant career is stalled because she has limited options for where she can live. He runs up her credit cards, and she finds lots of fraud and “unauthorized activity” on her bank accounts—he denies everything, naturally. I was taught to stay out of other people’s marriages unless someone is being beaten. What would you do, E. Jean?—Wishing Loser Hubby Would Go Away

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Miss Wishing, My Luv: What are you waiting for? You want him to kick in her ribs? This man is beating her every hour of the day. Speak up! And don’t sugarcoat it. Say: “Darling, I love you. You don’t want to hear this, but your husband is destroying your life. I won’t mention that the government has already arrested him on a child pornography charge. I will only say: He’s a liar. He’s a cheat. He’s a fraud. And he will wreck any chance you have of happiness.” She will never speak to you again. But two or three months (or years) from now, the truth of your words may hit her, and she will pack her bags. Either way, as the great Emerson says, “It is better to be the thorn in the side of your friend than his echo.”

This letter is from the Ask E. Jean Archive, 1993-2018. Send questions to E. Jean at


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