Don’t mind me. I won’t tell.

Don’t mind me. I won’t tell.

What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

And many a word at random spoken, May soothe or wound a heart that’s broken.

Sir Walter Scott

I now had evidence that elicit sex, one night stands and affairs of the Grey one were going to haunt me. If only in my suspicious mind. Irrelevant if anything physical happened or not.

When I look objectively at my marriage, I can see that the first love I had for my husband transitioned slowly into a sacrificial selfless love of unrequited allegiance. More than a certificate of marriage and our love bound us together, from that moment.

An unspoken pact that was menacing and would eventually ruin us. We signed and sealed an unholy alliance between us from that day.

Had the Reverends crimes been against the law, I too would now be detained courtesy of Her Majesties pleasure. Guilty as charged. Deprived of my freedom and at the mercy of judge and jury, until I could prove I had reformed my character. I haven’t ever been in prison, but I have been institutionalised for over thirty years in a cell of secrets, locked up by my own silence.

Now in present day I know I should have exposed the Reverend. I should never have been culpable in burying the evidence! By not exposing it, I hosted the Grey one and gave him my permission to coexist with the Reverend. I was unknowingly sending out the message that he could do his worst. His secret was safe with me.

There was now a life beneath the surface. A basement room to our marriage that no one must see. There were no windows, only the trap door that was covered by a rug with a thick, twisted pile of secrets. Cloned in an image of intimacy. We were emotionally shackled to a course of actions that were steered by the Grey ones perversions.

Everything the Grey one did, everything I found, went into the ‘Cellar of Secrets’, padlocked with an unspoken alliance of silence.

The Grey one is charming, but charm comes in many disguises. It can be turned on at will to attract likability. Charm cannot be trusted as a characteristic of substance.

One of our colleagues, older, with more experience, who we respected visited us for a special event, he was our guest speaker. He sat with us for a meal in our home during his visit. We were still in our early to middle thirties. He was unrestrained by convention and was audacious enough to ask us about our intimate relationship. Was it healthy, were we enjoying regular sexual pleasure with one another, he asked?

Of course the Reverend was very quick to answer all the positive responses. Which were true. In all honesty I would not have confessed anything to the contrary, based on his enquiries.

I was astonished there was someone brave enough and willing to ask those questions, because I knew too well that they needed to be asked.

God bless that man for his insight at the time.

For us to survive, and prevent our current separation, we needed deeper questioning with the promise of confidentiality. We needed counselling and healing. Without it we grew more and more disabled.

The exchange from Reverend to the Grey one could happen in a moment. Any kind of hostility or confrontation would push the buttons of the Grey one bringing the Reverends immoral rival to the surface. Who would be stifled with gritted teeth and bated breath.

The fine line could also be crossed in a thought. The Reverend disappointedly gave the Grey one rights of entry into his head, rather than evicting him years ago. The Reverend could not resist him. He was exciting, risky and a rule breaker.

He avoided the light and resisted the dark. He had no conscience, no regret or guilt, and very little empathy. There are no rights or wrongs in the Grey ones world. He believed he was free to satisfy his sexual dependency, with no judgment call on his morals and values, or spiritual and emotional responsibilities.

Too many leaders are forfeiting the confidence and betraying the trust of the people they are supposed to protect, and care for. All for the selfish hunger of extra marital sexual gratification.

My husband the Reverend was doing just the same, and it has cost him everything.

I could have severed myself from the heartache at any time, but an alternative life looked even more heartbreaking. Not only for me, our children’s lives would have turned into chaos. No matter how damming the Grey ones foolishness was, I was able to focus on the many things that made me very happy. I was in love with the Reverend, he was worth standing by. He loved me, we were solid, and we would grow old together.

I now know I was deceiving myself! There was no one to tell me what to do, there was no one to tell me things would get worse, that addicts cannot fix themselves.

To anyone in similar circumstances, do not be as blind as I was.

It was my uninformed and naïve choice to remain in the painful situation. Always believing the Reverend would one day master the Grey ones wild and rebellious conniving forever.

The Reverend never placed any pressure on me to keep quiet of his misdemeanours. I knew I was resilient, and I knew with the determination of grit that my children were not going to pay a price in their childhood for their fathers’ sex and pornographic abuse.

Through choice I have lived under thundering black clouds of suspicion that has been slowly corroding my wellbeing for the most part of our marriage.

The physical, indescribable pain sat deep in my stomach and at its worst crept round to the sides of my back at the waist; the tormenting pain of anguish is harrowing and emotionally crippling.

Because pornography and sex addiction is not directly life threatening, does not mean they do not threaten life. They are dangerous, they threaten mental and emotional health, and they threaten the stability of children. They fracture the culture of honesty, loyalty and trust that underpins emotional and mental health. To ignore its destructive intent, undermines the efforts of ensuring safeguarding policies, procedures and structures are in place and followed to keep society safe and well.

As precious as my husband is, and all his love and generosity was, it was compromised by the continued foolishness of the Grey One. I continued to hope and pray we will see the end of him for ever one day.

I became the keeper of more secrets. I was the rug that it all got swept underneath, then walked on top of.

Reverend Grey risked my health, and was extremely selfish! I had feet, I could have walked. He never made me feel physically unsafe. In fact he was the opposite. What i failed to recognise until recently was the impact on my emotional wellbeing.

It wasn’t necessary to use magazines or Royal Mail for pornography and prostitution anymore.

Because another, far darker opportunity came on the market to enable discretion and deceit…!