My wife left me. After we finalized the divorce settlement, I discovered that she’d been filing fraudulent tax returns for at least two years of the marriage.
My discovery also revealed that she’d been hiding significant sums of money from me during the marriage.
Now I have a moral problem. If I report her to the authorities, she could end up in serious trouble, enough to damage her reputation.
It’s a civic duty to report tax cheats. But I feel that reporting her would be motivated more out of vindictiveness than civic duty. Though I'm mad at her, I don't want to see her hurt or her reputation damaged.
But I don't like knowing that she got away with using me (I was paying her bills when she had this money).
Should I report her or let it go?
Confused and angry
Now you’ve given me a problem. If I tell you to not report, I’d be advising you against your civic duty. So I won’t say that.
Instead, you must consult your moral conscience, and a lawyer. From the latter, find out whether you could be disadvantaged yet again, if it’s discovered that you failed to report this and end up fined, or charged, as part of the tax fraud.
Also, consider whether you were the higher-earning partner regarding any joint bills. Make your decision after you have all the facts.
I’m a single mother, mid-20s, living with my parents. I left an abusive, controlling relationship this year and am getting counselling for it. I’ve made some very healthy, positive changes, and am going back to school.
While extremely grateful for my family’s love and support, they’re very opinionated when it comes to me trying to date again.
Recently, I went on a date with a man I met on an online dating service. I only told my mother about the date afterward. As a result, she’s accused me of lying and putting myself first before my son.
Why do I feel like I’m a teenager again needing to ask for permission to date?
(Any social/dating life I have always takes place while my son’s with his father).
My mother said she has a hard time trusting me, given my past experiences, both recent and distant (I was a very unruly teenager).
How do I repair this relationship? How can we both feel we have control in this area?
Treated Like a Teen
She’s worried about you and your son, and has reason to be. Moreover, once you’re back in her home relying on her help, you’re her child again. And she knows that if there are relationship problems ahead, she’s responsible for that little boy, too.
You’re both overreacting to each other, but frankly, she has more credibility here. It’s great that you’re turning your life around, but she’s terrified that it may only take one jerk to upset those gains.
Dating “strangers” through an online service is worrisome to her (and should be to you), in your current circumstances. You cannot risk choosing badly, or being taken in by another controller (old patterns of attraction can re-emerge).
Your mother would take better to your dating someone you meet through friends, school, or other means, where you and your family can get to know him casually.
Also, stick with counselling to address your former tendency to rebel and hook up with an abuser. You need to keep strengthening your confidence and resolve to avoid any chance of that happening to you again.
FEEDBACK #1 Regarding the husband who suddenly left what seemed to be a perfect marriage (May 15):
Reader – “Along with a lawyer, she should hire a private investigator to find out what’s really going on.”
FEEDBACK #2 Regarding the woman who calls herself "Not Horrible Mom" (April 15):
Reader – “I wonder why her ex-husband, a so-called “narcissist,” thinks she’s a horrendous mother?
“Perhaps she needs to explore where that feeling comes from, and dig internally to see if any of the thoughts are warranted, or if this is simply her own worry/anxiety.
“I specifically appreciate the fact that you mention that they are “his” kids too, as her approach seems to be one-sided.”
Ellie – There are always two sides to a divorce, and since questions are one-sided, we can never know the full story. That’s why I try to bring some balance to my answers to the writer.
Tip of the day:
Before acting out of revenge against an ex, learn all the facts.