Damned if she does... Damned if she...

QUESTION: Guys, you have to help me here! I have a girlfriend that has been dating a guy for the last few years. He asked her to marry him and she said yes. She then discovered that he had a teenaged child with his ex-wife. He didn't really know this child because his ex had supposedly hidden the child from him until recently (even though he was paying child support) . My friend decided to stick with marrying him and she was prepared for a ready made family. So, she packed her bags and moved to another city and started a life living with her soon to be husband and kid. They made wedding plans, picked a date and sent out invitations. With just a few months to go, he decides to tell her that he was only separated from his wife and he wasn't divorced after all. She asked why he had been lying to her for years and he told her, "I didn't think you'd really marry me when you said YES." So, now he's filing for divorce and he claims he still wants to marry her. She still wants to marry him. I think she's headed for trouble but I've tried to help friends before that seemed hellbent on messing their lives up, so I'm going to keep my mouth shut. What do you two think about this situation?

GARLAND: What do I think? I think it's good that I can't get my hands on your girlfriend, because I'd probably try to shake her until she came to her senses!!! (Not that I endorse violence - especially towards women!)

But seriously, I think your friend needs to cut this guy loose! A teenaged kid that his WIFE hid from him? Thats sounds kinda' shakey to me. If he and his wife called it quits and she took off with the kid but he still paid child support, there should be some way he could find them. That is unless he's had some legitimate criminal or mental health issues and the courts were keeping them apart. I mean - if he really truly wanted to see his kid and there was a money trail from his paycheck to a bank to her bank, and he had nothing legal against him, he could probably go through family courts to find them. That's just what I ASSUME. I've never been involved with that kinda stuff.

But why didn't he mention his kid before? This guy sounds very shady and deceitful.

And then he proposes and allows her to uproot her life and relocate to be with him and he's still married? Lord - truth is so much stranger than fiction! This guy is real trouble. First, he's screwed in the head for proposing to a woman that he really didn't plan on marrying. But then after she accepted, he should have realized that she wanted to be his wife - he should have filed for divorce then! Just sitting on his ass shows a real lack of class and brains and candor! Then secondly, he waits and waits and lets her set a date and only now he tells her! This guy is a piece of work. Your friend is a complete fool for still wanting to marry him and let me tell you why:

I'm willing to bet that she says, "But I love him!"
You don't have to tell me I'm right because I already know I am.
This is the problem with people (MEN AND WOMEN) that say "But I love him/her... These people don't truly love themselves! Because if you loved yourself, you would not allow anyone to treat you like shit. These women that let their men beat them and steal from them and cheat on them and they're willing to go out into the streets and fight other women for these so-called men that they LOVE so damn much... these women are the biggest, stupidest people in the world. If you TRULY loved yourself, when shit rears its ugly head in a relationship - you would say, "I am worth more than the grief this man is giving me! I will not accept less than I am worth! I would rather be on the shore, alone, in the storm than on the seas in a sinking ship!" Frankly, many women [and men] can't say that. Your friend, is one of these people.

I'm sure she figures, 'Oh, we've dated for a few years now, so I've invested my time in him. Things will be fine once we're married." To me, there are two things wrong with this mentality. First, until you marry someone you are speculating (yeah, just like stocks and bonds) you are measuring the rise and fall in their value... their merit, if you will. Once a person has shown the desired amount of rise with little fall in their value - then you can invest. And, second - marriage fixes nothing! Marriage doesn't stop cheaters from cheating, it doesn't stop beaters from beating, it doesn't stop liars from lying, it doesn't stop scrubs from being scrubby!!!

Your friend has hitched her dreams on a falling, lying, deceitful star. She is probably being recruited as a live-in foster mom for this kid this guy has. She has proven gullible enough to want to marry a man that has just sprung a kid on her out of the blue and now she's showing that shes the kind of woman that will let a man lie to her to her face. So basically, she deserves all the grief that he'll give her. And, believe me - it will be a lot, because now the shame isn't on him, it's on HER.

CHUCK: If I may be permitted, I'm going to use some man-centric terms here for a moment. In certain poker games, there's a principle I'm sure Garland is familiar with, where when you are dealt crummy cards, but you see your hand through, hoping against hope that the cards you need to save your ass will come across. And when they don't come across, and a big raise is made, you are left with the situation your friend has. She's trying to walk with a pair of threes.

Plainly spoken, your girlfriend has invested her time, hopes, dreams, and credibility on a lying bum. But because she has made this investment, she's reluctant to fold her hand with this guy. And she's being foolish. First, the Child, excuse me, Teenager Out of Nowhere. Then, the Divorce That Wasn't. What next? The Forgotten Bankruptcy? The Accidental STD? Really, who knows what this guy has in store next?

In ordinary circumstances, I would suggest your friend have it out with this guy, and make him be completely honest with her. But that doesn't seem likely to happen. Honestly, "I didn't think you'd really marry me when you said yes?" On that lie alone I could fertilize a small farm! Feel her out about all this, but if she's dead set on marrying this bum, do yourself a favor. Don't spend too much on the wedding gift.


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