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"Sometimes I thought it would be better if he killed himself"

Appeared in Stern, 4 Sept. 2014

Von Autorin Ingrid Eißele

Married for decades, two grown children. The police find child pornography on his PC. Thousands of images. Why are they still together? An encounter with a couple living at the limits of stress.

Mrs. A., how did you find out?

She: It started in 2006. My husband was at work, and the cops came to the door.

He: Until that day, it was my secret.

What was your secret?

He: There were fifty thousand pictures on my PC. Child pornography. Not all hardcore. Some just nudes. A potpourri.

How did you react, Mrs. A?

She: I couldn’t believe it. I said, Those are kids! What were you thinking! They aren’t doing that for fun, they’re being forced!

How long have you been married?

She: Almost thirty years.

It must be liked the world turned upside down. You think you know the most intimate details about a person, and then this.

She: Suddenly he’s a stranger. And you ask yourself, Wasn’t I good enough? As though he had slept around. You ask, why does he think he needs this?

But child pornography is a lot different from adultery!

She: Obviously, and when I thought about what must have happened to those kids, it was horrible for me.

You have a job. You could have left home.

She: But we’ve gone through so much together. Good things, too. We’ve made a life with each other.

Didn’t you wonder whether the pictures were the whole story?

She: Of course! Was it only pictures from the internet? Was there anything going on in the real world? I asked our children, and they said nothing had ever happened. And he certainly didn’t hang around playgrounds. Of course you don’t really know.

He: I liked staying at home in the basement where there was peace and quiet …