Di­vorc­ing hus­band wary of life’s on­line de­cep­tion

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COMMUNITY - Abi­gail Van Buren Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY: I have been mar­ried for 10 years. Four years ago, while wait­ing for our di­vorce to be fi­nal­ized, I de­cided I’d start dat­ing on­line and sug­gested she do the same. We were still friends, so I didn’t think it was cross­ing any bound­aries.

My on­line dat­ing ef­forts were met with pe­cu­liar re­sults. All of the six women I con­nected with ei­ther stood me up or made ex­cuses why they couldn’t or wouldn’t meet me in per­son. Out of frus­tra­tion I be­gan dat­ing my wife again and we can­celled the di­vorce pro­ceed­ings.

About a year af­ter we got back to­gether, my wife con­fessed that the women I had reached out to on­line were all fic­ti­tious per­sonae that she had con­structed with the in­tent of ex­haust­ing my search ef­forts. It worked.

We are now fil­ing for di­vorce again, and I’m wor­ried she may do the same thing. What can I do? — SOUTH­ERN GUY

DEAR SOUTH­ERN GUY: Be­cause you think your wife might pull that stunt again, stop shar­ing any de­tails of your on­line dat­ing pur­suits with her. Def­i­nitely re­frain from telling her which sites you’re us­ing. (Use dif­fer­ent ones than be­fore.)

Or, hear­ken back to the good old days and try meet­ing peo­ple in per­son. The worst that could hap­pen might be that you en­counter your soon-to-be ex in var­i­ous dis­guises — but you know her well enough by now that you should be able to see through them.

DEAR ABBY: I am en­gaged to a won­der­ful man, and we will be mar­ried soon. We have been to­gether two years and get along well. His par­ents live 35 min­utes away, and his mom doesn’t drive.

The other day he com­mented that she wanted us to in­vite her over, as she hadn’t been over in a year. I told him his mother is al­ways wel­come and should just call to make sure we are home. He then pro­ceeded to tell me he wanted her to spend the night. He said that in his pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ship, his mother would stay over oc­ca­sion­ally.

I didn’t know what to say, but at the age of 40, should he re­ally be want­ing sleep­overs? It struck me as odd. I’m a pri­vate per­son and I’m not sure how to re­solve this. I don’t want him to feel I’m re­ject­ing his mom, but I don’t see why she needs to spend the night. I don’t want to walk on eggshells with her, be­cause she called and scolded me about how I spoke to her son sev­eral months ago. Ad­vice? — LADY OF THE HOUSE

DEAR LADY: Is there some­thing you haven’t men­tioned? Why has it been a year since your fi­ance’s mother has been in­vited to visit? Cer­tainly in all this time you could have picked her up. A blan­ket “come any­time, just call first” isn’t a proper in­vi­ta­tion — par­tic­u­larly if the per­son doesn’t drive.

If you pre­fer she not be an overnight guest, I don’t think your fi­ance should force it. And if you pre­fer that she not med­dle in your re­la­tion­ship with her son, I hope you made it clear to her when she “scolded” you. Of course, it wouldn’t have hap­pened if her son hadn’t tat­tled to her — which should be a glimpse of what mar­riage to him may be like if you don’t get this straight­ened out now.

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