Dear Readers – Some columns spark much more reaction than others, and so it is with a February 28 question from a woman whose fiancé had lied to her about his age, and hid the fact he had a child, then claimed it wasn’t his:
Reader #1 – “I'd like to offer this writer a long-term perspective from my own personal experience.
“Like her, I fell deeply in love with a man who seemed wonderful in all ways. A year after we met, when I was well and truly hooked, he confessed to having four children, not two.
“His excuses and rationalizations were to the letter the same ones this writer describes. After a prolonged period of soul-searching and anger, I chose to forgive him. We married.
“But eventually I discovered that this beloved husband of mine continually lied to me, and defrauded me financially for over a decade.
“Again, when confronted, he offered all sorts of plausible excuses, all the while also telling me how much he loves me, how I'm the only woman for him, etc.
“Now I'm a single mother, and my biggest regret is that I didn't take the early warning signs of a deeply dishonest and manipulative man much more seriously.
“My recommendation is, RUN, don't walk, from this man. He'll deceive you in so many ways, and will never stop, until you can take no more.”
Reader #2 – “This woman needs to run, not walk, far, far away from this man and into a therapist’s office to find out why she seems so willing (and eager) to rationalize this man's behaviour.
“Nothing about her letter suggests that this is, or will ever be, a healthy relationship. If nothing else, the rush to wed is a huge red flag.
“The deceit about his age is next. The fact that he has a child he’s never told her about is a third alert. The fact that he seems all too happy to deny that this child is his, is a fourth. The way that he speaks about his ex is a fifth alarm.”
Reader #3 – “At 26, I was engaged to a man whom I fell for very hard. The first lie I discovered was about his age. Not important, right?
“He led me to believe he was divorced, but I gradually found out that he wasn’t, and then that he’d lived with his wife and family until we moved in together.
“I made excuses for all that until I discovered he was involved in some way with a woman whom he said had mental health issues and needed his support.
“That was it, the ring went back, and he was out of the apartment. I experienced then several very bad months, but I knew there was no future with him. Thank goodness!
“A few months later I met the man I eventually married, and we’re still together 46 years later. I hope the writer, “Hidden Truths,” can find the strength do the same.”
Ellie – These voices of experience have been direct, and I hope the writer heeds them. She’s 25, and thinks this man is the love of her life.
That’s why I pointed out what lies ahead if she doesn’t realize she still doesn’t know who this man really is – 17 years older than her, connected to a child he doesn’t acknowledge, and a serial liar.
But her youth and passion for him could misguide her, so readers’ personal accounts are important warnings.
My grandson's other “Gramma” is very competitive with me.
It’s been two years of her belittling or laughing at me. I never think of an immediate response.
I was planning to email her that it’s not okay to demean me. Or should I just ignore her?
Ready To Explode
Perhaps she feels you have more access to the mutual grandchild and is jealous of this. Or, she may be an insecure person in general.
Talk to your adult child who’s also dealing with this woman, to see if you’re being treated differently from others, and if there’s any hint as to why.
When it comes to continuing family relationships, I usually recommend the “high road” for as long as possible.
But rather than explode, speak up. Putdowns, jeers, or belittlement shouldn’t be tolerated.
Ask her in person what’s her problem. Say that you don’t treat her with disrespect and won’t accept it either.
Tip of the day:
Planning marriage with a person, who’s repeatedly lied to you, is a recipe for distrust and heartbreak.