How Do You Forgive the Threat of Incest

Dear Luise: I am having an internal conflict right now. The ex-wife of my husband simply decided to dump her two boys on us. That was OK with me as I realized my husband wanted to spend time with them. The last 7 years or so, she has tried to control everything and keep them from him. But I found out after 6 months, from my 15 year-old daughter, that my stepson tried to molest her. He did not succeed in his attempts. To date, he is still with us, but I do not feel comfortable having him around anymore. I have talked to him about his behavior but somehow I no longer trust him and I want him out of our house. The thing is his mom is in her own world with her new boyfriend. So how does one proceed? He was pampered, and I guess that is the reason why he thought he could try that. What is forgiveness? What is the right thing to do in this instance? I don’t think he even realizes the seriousness of his mistake. I would appreciate your advice if you have the time. Thank you. G.

Answer: Dear G.: You and your husband need to sort this out together and then he needs to sort it out further with his ex-wife. She may think it’s a time in her life to run and play, but she still has parental obligations. You may need to talk to a family counselor as well.

Children are experimental and it is always difficult to guide them through such situations. Since your daughter held her own, nothing came of his advances and you have talked with him about it…you have started out in the right direction. You’re probably right that he doesn’t see it realistically or see himself as a threat.

Wanting him out of your house is a natural response but may not be easy to accomplish or wise. And if he has no idea that he was way off base and the seriousness of that, it may be hurtful. Did you make it clear that he was on probation? Did your husband back that up? This is the time for clarity and a united front. Blessings, Luise

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