Dear Abby: Woman ashamed to admit she was victimized online
Dear Abby: After using online dating for almost a year, I have met someone, and it’s getting serious. Problem is, during some of our first conversations, he talked about his previous online experiences. One involved a woman who asked him for money and how stupid she must’ve thought he was. Another time, he told me he couldn’t understand how a person could send money to someone they met online and had never met in person.
Well, this person (me), who he thinks is so smart and successful, is one of those who was drawn in by an online person. I sent money several times. I am a well-educated and successful professional who is so ashamed of this that I haven’t gone to the authorities. I cut ties with the person to whom I loaned the money. He promised to pay me back, but I haven’t seen a penny.
I haven’t told a soul I did this. Should I disclose this to my boyfriend? I want to be honest with him, but I also wonder if what’s in the past should be left in the past. Please advise me.
—Ashamed Southern Lady
Dear Lady: I see no reason for you to discuss this with the man you are currently seeing, unless it is to enlighten him that even well-educated, successful people can be gullible under the right circumstances. Fortunately for you, you weren’t seriously damaged by the person’s failure to repay you. (Other intelligent, but trusting, people have suffered irreparable damage.)
Because you feel you were taken advantage of, it couldn’t hurt to notify the authorities. Yes it’s embarrassing, but human beings make mistakes. If you were preyed upon and the person was a scammer, you might be doing someone else a favor by reporting it.
Dear Abby: My granddaughter-to-be is an absolute doll. She’s perfect for my grandson, and I think they were meant for each other. My concern is her family. They treat her like Cinderella.
She cleans, cooks, does laundry and takes care of her disabled sister. She is 21, but because she’s living with her parents until she and my grandson are married, she has to ask permission to go anywhere or do anything. She also believes everything they tell her, which is mostly B.S.
My fear is that her family will interfere with their marriage and expect her to still take care of her lazy relatives. She has told them things will change once she’s married, but because she is easily manipulated, they will expect her to continue taking care of their household. How can I convince her to set boundaries without sounding like I’m trying to manipulate her myself?
— Only Wants the Best for Them
Dear Only Wants: Creating boundaries is going to be a new experience for this young woman. While it may eventually be liberating, it probably won’t be comfortable in the beginning. Thankfully, she will have your grandson at her side to reinforce her.
Befriend her and listen when she needs to talk. With parents as controlling as you describe, she’s going to need all the support and validation she can get. When she needs to strengthen her backbone, remind (don’t lecture) her that as a married woman, her first priority must be her husband and — if they are blessed with any — her children, and repeat that important message often.
Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com.