I am only 21 and my husband is 23. We just had a baby boy 8 months ago. We have been together for a total of 5 years at this point. When I found out I was pregnant I also found out that my husband had been photoshopping images of himself having sex with women around my age including my cousin. Since then I haven’t seen anything the same way. Circumstances have made me jealous of everyone. He assures me that he has no feelings for her or anyone. I am afraid that I might of pushed the idea into him. There is one commercial we often see and every time I thought he liked that girl but I had never said anything. The girl on the tv was a teen in high school but most probably under the age of 18. And he said that he thought that girl came out in a movie but no such thing had ever happened since the commercial was new and she seemed young. I instantly felt like he had an attraction for her. Up until now, we have been okay. (aside from my continuing feeling depressed with what I had already experienced finding the photos on his phone over a year ago) Now, this idea has taken over and I am not sure if it’s only me seeing things or if this is the beginning of a pedophile or if I am accidentally pushing the idea into his mind. I don’t know if asking him is the right thing to come out to him bluntly asking something that might not be true and imputing it into him afterward. I need help knowing what I should do. I am afraid and I’m scared of what might happen but I need to know. (From the USA)
While photoshopping pictures of yourself having sex with women the same age as your wife is an odd choice for sexual arousal, it isn’t part of a profile that typically is associated with pedophilia. Also, you felt your husband had an attraction to a young woman on a TV commercial and assumed she was under 18. Your husband thought he had seen her in a movie, but you dismissed the idea because the commercial was new.
There are several things about these assumptions that jump to conclusions. First, you haven’t asked if he felt an attraction — you assumed it. Secondly, you assumed the actress in the commercial was not 18, and finally that regardless of her age she could not have been in a movie. All of these assumptions are on your part and, while the photoshopping is odd, he is not picturing himself with children.
Pedophilia is termed pedophilic disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5.) To be classified as a pedophile according to the DSM you would need to be at least 16 years old, at least five years older than the child, and the sexual urges and fantasies have either been acted on or caused actual interpersonal difficulty or severe distress because of the intense, recurring urges. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) “… a sustained, focused, and intense pattern of sexual arousal—as manifested by persistent sexual thoughts, fantasies, urges, or behaviours—involving pre-pubertal children. In addition, in order for Pedophilic Disorder to be diagnosed, the individual must have acted on these thoughts, fantasies or urges or be markedly distressed by them. This diagnosis does not apply to sexual behaviours among pre- or post-pubertal children with peers who are close in age.”
I am elaborating on the definitions because typically acting on the thoughts or severe stress surrounding those specific thoughts are part of the diagnostic profile from either the DSM or the ICD-11. For more information please read here.
Your husband, from what you are saying, has not acted on anything like this — and, also from your description, has not even had a fantasy. Liking an actress on TV is what is supposed to happen. Your assumptions are filling in a story that isn’t there.
Talk to your husband about your fantasies about what is going on and have an honest conversation about what you are thinking and feeling with him. If this proves too difficult to do with each other you can find a therapist from the ‘find help’ tab at the top of the page, or from this group here.
Wishing you patience and peace,