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Ask Mom & Spawn: TRIGGER WARNING – My Boyfriend is a Registered Sex Offender

Erin wrote in because she is happy with her new boyfriend but doesn’t know how to tell her family that he’s a registered sex offender…

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual abuse, please visit this website for more information and resources. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please visit this website for help.

“I’m 40 and a divorced single mom. I recently started dating a 44 year old man who is a single dad. He is an amazing person- super ambitious and adventurous and with a great sense of humor. I am so comfortable with him, and we complement each other really well. He is a sober alcoholic (his term) and has been sober for 8 years. During the time he was an alcoholic, he did some things that have tarnished his record. One of those was making out with a 14-year-old girl at a party while he was wasted (he was 33 at the time). He was charged with sexual assault on a minor and now carries the sexual predator designation. He has since made amends with the girl and her family, per Alcoholic Anonymous guidelines. So here’s my question…I’m divorced because my ex-husband treated me terribly. My family is now impossible to please when it comes to men in my life- no one is good enough for them. How do I even broach this topic??” – Erin

@CrazyJewishMom: Okay, just hold on a minute here. You’re a mom. The first thing you must do is make absolutely certain that you have all the information about what this guy did independently verified, if you haven’t already. Seriously, hire a lawyer/ investigator to get you all the facts and do a serious background check. Then, you should think long and hard and decide if you are okay with it, and then, and this is crucial…you must also absolutely speak to an attorney. I don’t know where you live, and I don’t claim to be a legal expert, but the last thing in the world you want to do is risk losing custody of your kid, and I’m pretty sure dating a sex offender could do that.

@KateFriedmanSiegel: Yeah, wow! I didn’t think of that, but it’s a really good point. No matter how great you think this guy is, dating him may jeopardize your family, so I agree with my mom. You should get all of the facts and then figure out if there are any risks for you and your kid.

@CrazyJewishMom: I don’t know about this, Erin.

@KateFriedmanSiegel: Listen, we’re not here to judge you, and frankly, I’m super conflicted about this one. On one hand, people should be able to redeem themselves – we all make mistakes. At the same time, this is one hell of a mistake, and I know I would personally have a tough time getting past it. Ultimately, you’re not asking us to weigh in on whether or not you should be with this guy. Your actual question was about how to bring it up to your family, and I don’t think you have to. Again, this is assuming you’ve done your own research and background check, to make sure the way he has represented the situation to you is accurate. But, “this is my boyfriend David, you might know him from the underage sex offender database…?” would obviously not be the greatest way to introduce him to your family. It might be a good idea to let your family get to know him as a person without his past clouding their first impression.

@CrazyJewishMom: Unless there are kids around. Then it’s unfair not to give them a head’s up. Even if you believe it’s fine, as a mom, you still want to know.

@KateFriedmanSiegel: To end on a positive note, I really do admire his commitment to sobriety. It sounds like he’s really embracing his recovery, and that is certainly a good thing.

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