I met a guy online last December; it turned into a serious relationship and it's been great. We have a lot in common. He’s respectful and generous with me, and his friends whom I’ve met speak highly of him.
Although he’s a permanent resident here, his main residence is in the Middle East. He frequently travels between here and that region very often.
He’s told me he has three children from a long-ago previous marriage, which ended after a couple of years.
He recently proposed. Although I love him and believe he’s been honest about his past, I feel the need to verify some things.
I found a company that does background checks in other countries. It's costly but I want peace of mind.
I know this is the right thing to do, but feel like I'm calling him a fraud. I fear what would happen if he discovered my checking.
Also, how should I handle any potential negative outcome?
Your instinct to investigate reveals a gut level of doubt, which you must explore.
However, starting with a hired professional is premature. Instead, you have a right and need to know more about him.
Ask for details about his marriage and divorce, about his children, and what contact he has with them.
Also, what he does when he travels to his home country and the region. Ask about his parents, his culture, religion, and practices he still honours.
All these will impact on your life together if you marry. You need to know what the future looks like beyond today’s “common interests.”
If you still have doubts, you may well have reasons to hire a private investigator. Or, end the relationship, which is what you’d do if he’s deceived you.
My wife accuses me of doing “nothing” and is always on my case. She seems to think every man’s a carpenter, electrician, and plumber. If so much as a coat hook is loose, she starts bugging me to fix it.
I’m not that DIY guy, never was. My father was older when I was born and he was a professional. He wasn’t handy and I wasn’t encouraged to be handy either.
My wife, however, is 1) a perfectionist and, 2) has hyper energy. So if I don’t take out the garbage on command, she’s whizzing past me out the door. But she’s also always complaining, telling everyone I’m useless, and crying too poor to hire a handyman.
I’ve been laid off for a couple of months but hoping that I’ll get a job. I spend my time at home searching the Internet for openings and contacts that might help. I could use some support but the minute she gets home from work, she’s checking what she wanted me to do and complaining about what I didn’t get done.
Frustrated, Not Useless
Yes, you need support but so does she. Your unemployment is a worry for both of you and does affect both your moods and finances.
She’s carrying the heavier load and resenting what she sees as your indifference to that… you’re home but hardly pitching in, if at all.
However, she already knew you’re not about to become Mr. Fix-it. She basically wants some reassurance that you’re making a concerted effort to find work.
If you were to get out to a career counsellor, take an upgrading course in your field, go knocking on doors and meeting contacts to network, she’d be less interested in household repairs.
My “fairy tale” marriage ended, without prior warning. The betrayal, loss, and painful emotions were overwhelming, but worse was how it made me feel about myself.
It takes time and effort to survive, to understand, to heal, and to rebuild.
Some suggestions to help others heal:
1. If your husband suddenly bolted into someone else’s arms, read Runaway Husbands, The Abandoned Wife’s Guide to Recovery and Renewal, by family therapist Vikki Stark.
2. Read Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection, and Daring Greatly. Her TED Talks and books offer valuable insight and inspiration.
3. The right counsellor is worth every penny you spend.
More than friends can, a counsellor offers the added benefits of experience and the viewpoint of an unbiased third party.
Gaining perspective is imperative, especially as you work through the different stages of grief and loss. And if you don’t find the “right” counsellor the first time, keep looking.
Tip of the day:
When you have doubts about a prospective partner’s honesty, probe deeper for the truth.