ASK DR. LEEDOM: “My ex-husband acts perverted around the children!”

Recently, a reader posted this in a comment about the father of her children. The comment contains several questions, I’ll address the most concerning first. To read the full comment, see Love Fraud: A spectrum (Part 1).

Another common behavior of my ex that I think affects my children is that he is kind of perverted in what he says and does. When I was married to him, he would continually grab my crotch and butt, and pinch and twist my breasts in a hurtful way, always in front of the children and always against my wishes. He also would say very sexual, inappropriate things. I notice this behavior in my oldest and youngest boys when they come home from his visits. They continually hit and grab the privates of each other in the same way my ex did. I have had to make it very clear that this behavior is not acceptable in my home. My daughter also complains that he says a lot of perverted things to her that make her uncomfortable. She says when she calls him on it, he hangs up and won’t talk to her. 

Please be aware that what you describe in terms of the sexual behavior is considered sexual abuse, especially with regard to your daughter. Sandra Brown, MA in her book Counseling Victims of Violence lists as sexual abuse of children:

“-Being made to listen to age- inappropriate dialogue containing sexual jargon or pertaining to sexual acts.

-Being looked or leered at in way that make one feel uncomfortable, or being subjected to inappropriate remarks about one’s developing body.

-Being made to watch or look at age-inappropriate literature, tapes, OR PEOPLE ACTING IN SEXUAL WAYS.” (caps mine)

Sociopaths and narcissists do so many outrageous things that we end up disregarding some of them because to deal with all of their behavior is overwhelming. Since our society is so sexual, there may be a tendency to look the other way regarding violations of sexual boundaries with children. The above behaviors listed by Sandra Brown, MA are clear violations of sexual boundaries that should be in place with children.

Father has also modeled for his sons how to use sex to gain power and abuse women. He models this behavior for his sons when he sexually humiliates their sister in front of them.

I am not suggesting that anyone in this situation, act precipitously to put a stop to it. This poor mother has already been to court once to get visitation restricted and lost. When dealing with sociopaths and narcissists, it is best to get plenty of professionals on your side and to have a well thought out plan.

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88 Comments on "ASK DR. LEEDOM: “My ex-husband acts perverted around the children!”"

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My X spath drinks a lot also, but he never changes. I think his tolerance is so high. I just chalked it up to him being English and being used to drinking. He told me once that he would never even think of going out and ordering an iced tea or something like that to drink. Not good.


eb92044 – They drink to self medicate. An alcoholic drinks to cover up emotional hurts they can’t or won’t deal with. Until they realise or feel the need to get better they won’t. End of story. Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic and there is nothing you can do to help them. I even phone Al Anon, for families and partners of alcoholics I was so desparate. they were very helpful, but told me the same. There is nothing you can do to help them.


You are exactly right. I know that’s why my X spath drinks; he is self medicating for sure. Just drinking to cover up the devastation he does to everyone. One night I was out and he turned up at the same place. Many of his subordinates were there waiting for him. I noticed as I looked across the restaurant that they already had a beer waiting for him when he got there. He needed it so bad, he couldn’t even wait. He is a mess. You are right on when you talk about them getting help. I know he won’t. Very, very few ever do. They have to want to change and I know he doesn’t.


Mine gave up for about 6 months or so & then I discovered that he was drinking at work or should I say while he was waiting for jobs to come in. His controller knew where to find him, in the pub. I din’t know this until much later.

Then he agreed to go to AA and went off to the first meeting. He never got there. Something happened to stop him. It always did. there was always an excuse not to do something.

Oh and he also ‘played’ with drugs as well. He took speed and occasionally cocaine.

Too sad. But what can we do…nothing. They have to fix themselves. But they are not fixable.

I have a friend who is going through a nasty divorce. She has 2 boys now 8 and 10, after her second son was born the husband moved out of the bedroom and there was no more intimacy. His view when she asked for intimacy, was tough! Anyway she did eventually leave but then went back and finally they separated 4 years ago. She is getting close to divorce now, and her ex has made life very difficult for her and the boys even forcing them out of the family home.

She has recently expressed concern about the ex husband’s behaviour towards the boys, i.e. he insists on bathing them when they stay with him and the boys are uncomfortable with this. Her ex now lives with another woman although the boys say they sleep in separate rooms, perhaps history repeating itself. She tells me the boys no longer want to stay with their father. I myself have a son who is 16 now and he certainly did not want me bathing him at 8 let alone 10!

I guess I am looking for any advice, I am UK based. She says her ex husband has no empathy etc but does not think he is a spath, she thinks more Aspergers. The boys really don’ want to stay over, but want to see him. She has told him that his behaviour is not appropriate, his response ‘what I do with the boys in my time is none of your business’.

Any advice welcome.

Dear Moving on,

I think this man is a “pervert” (pedophile) and he is using the ‘relationships” with women to cover his sexual disinterest in them because unfortunately most people seem to think that if a man CAN or is functioning with a woman, he can’t be a pedophile, and he can’t be gay. THAT IS WRONG! It sounds like this man is a pedophile who prefers little boys.

I suggest that your friend keep her kids away from this man. If the man were NOT up to no good, he would not insist on “bathing” children of this age. And YES it IS her business what he does with their children. The problem is, that ANY contact with him is dangerous for the boys. He is obviously grooming them for more intimate contact. If this were my children, I would move heaven and earth to prevent any contact.

Thanks Oxy,

I guess its that ‘denial’, and worry what will happen if she got other agencies involved, would he take her to court for contact or even fight for full custody, etc, he is a man of some wealth.

Never thought about him using women as a cover. I am due to speak with her again on Monday, more about the final hearing i.e. the divorce. I think she is probably too focused on this which is imminent.

Interestingly he will not let her near the house where he now lives (although she has been round to have a look, it is in a gated community which is unusual in the UK), he insists on handover of the boys at a service station on a motorway. He seems to have control over her despite everything that he has done. She has a new partner who she seems very happy with, so she has support, she has worked as a risk analyst for a bank for 20 years so she is not stupid either.

I think you are right, she should stop all contact immediately.

Thanks again.

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