Dear Amy: My dear friend of almost 40 years is getting ready to enter into a green card marriage with a young man he met on the internet!
My friend, “Frederick,” is a hairstylist in his mid-60s, who has never been lucky in love. His longest relationship was 25 years ago and lasted only three months. He has never lived with anyone. After building a successful salon, he is now nearing retirement, owns his own home, and has a nice nest egg.
Unfortunately, he is lonely and vulnerable.
Frederick recently shared with a few of his closest friends that he had met a 26-year-old young man, “Juan,” on a dating site. Juan is from an impoverished country renowned for its violent culture. They have met in person only twice at a resort in Florida, and apparently “clicked,” sexually and otherwise.
Now Frederick is in a fantasy world of romance. He plans to sponsor Juan, bring him to the U.S. next month, and move him into his home where they will share a bedroom.
I persuaded Frederick to get a background check on Juan, which revealed that he had been essentially truthful in describing his background, but the report strongly cautioned that his poor country has a cottage industry of seeking U.S. citizens for green card marriages.
On one level Frederick acknowledges that he is almost literally courting disaster and heartache, but he is giddy talking about his upcoming wedding and honeymoon with this virtual stranger (who is young enough to be his grandson).
Frederick is very sensitive, and has asked for my advice, but then clearly doesn’t want to hear it. He has a “yes, but” for every concern raised by me or others.
Do we just watch this ship hit the iceberg? Is there nothing we can do? — Caring Friend
Dear Friend: Yes, you will watch this ship hit the iceberg, but you should do so from your own lifeboat, bobbing patiently and at the ready for a rescue, if necessary.
“Frederick” trusted your advice enough to follow through on a background check, so he is actually listening to you.
You should accept his romantic choices — as disastrous as they seem to be — and confine your counsel to practical matters. This is the equivalent of tossing him a lifesaving buoy. He should legally safeguard his financial assets, business and property, as a hedge against his somewhat uncertain romantic future.
Stay close to Frederick and get to know his new partner. His friendships offer an important emotional support system.
Dear Amy: Recently my husband received a text from a co-worker, who is also married, and she attached little hearts at the end of the text.
I feel that this is not only unprofessional, but a personal breach as well.
I asked him to please address it and he said he would. He has not. Your thoughts? — Wondering Wife
Dear Wondering: Here’s a little story: Years ago, my husband (a builder who spends his days working out of his pickup truck), ended a telephone call with a subcontractor by saying, “Love you, honey.” Oops. He had just gotten off the phone with me and ... it just flew out.
My point is that if someone texts a lot, it is possible that the little heart emojis basically flew out. Or — if this colleague was asking your husband for a work-related favor, the heart emojis might have been her (clumsy) way of saying either “please” or “thank you.” I agree that this is not business-like.
One way your husband might have of “addressing it” would be to not address it at all, but to basically ignore it and kick the emojis down the road, deciding to only address this if it recurs or seems to evolve into an inappropriate flirtation. Is this what he has decided to do? You could ask him.
In the meantime, I don’t think you should worry about it.
Dear Amy: “Anonymous” wrote to you, complaining about her boyfriend, who didn’t want his photo posted on her Instagram account.
Every single thing about this letter screamed “narcissist.” Thank you for calling her out about her need to violate his privacy for her own bragging rights. — Fed Up
Dear Fed Up: What “Anonymous” didn’t seem to realize is that she can actually have this both ways. She can enjoy her curated Instagram life, and she can enjoy the relationship with her boyfriend. She just can’t do both things on the same channel.