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When Meddling Is Good

Dear Sugar
My sister is 36 years old and has a history of depression. She's never attempted suicide, but she's had plenty of emotional breakdowns. She has a terrible dating history and a very low self esteem that worries me. She met her current boyfriend online 2 years ago and they live together now. I've met him and I like him I guess. He does seem to really love her, but I can't help but be a little suspicious of him. Too many stories that he's told me just aren't adding up. Before each and every holiday he is suddenly called into work and each and every weekend he has to go back to the house he lived in before he moved in with her (a 2 hour drive away) to "check on" the home since he's preparing to sell it. When my husband and I were around this guy once, he was getting multiple calls on his cell and my hubby overheard a female voice. He has told my sister he has never been married. He also tells her that he's going to propose soon, that he wants them to buy a house together and that he wants children soon. She is on cloud 9, but I don't buy it. So, I did some research on him and found that he's got a marriage license in his name (from 2 years ago) and that a woman with his same last name is living in the home he claims he is getting ready to sell. There is absolutely NO CHANCE that my sister already knows he is married. So now that I have this info, what should I do? I'm afraid of telling her but I'm afraid of NOT telling her because she just might end up pregnant (she really wants kids). And believe me when I say emotionally she is not ready for motherhood, much less with a married man. HELP! What's the right answer? Meddling Maggie

Dear Meddling Maggie
You have to tell her. It's hard to hurt the ones you love, but you are looking out for her and you just have to hope that she'll see it that way too. She sounds weak and emotionally fragile. So break the news to her matter of factly and have your proof available for her to see. Maybe your parents should be there too, this way if she does (hopefully) decide to leave; she can go home with them. There will also be more emotional support there for her. When you tell her, be prepared for a few different reactions. She's going to want to question him about it and she's going to be angry that you don't trust him and researched his background behind her back. Also, don't discount the notion that she may even know about this woman, but they could be getting a divorce and she is just too embarrassed to tell you guys. I'm just saying, you don't know. Lovers bonds are strong and as we all know, love is blind. He could be promising her the world and like you said, she's turning her cheek to the bad stuff. There are also several risks as well with confronting her. But you can count on the fact that no matter what, this guy is going to be PISSED. He's got something to hide and you're busting him on it. Now if this is all a big shock to her and she talks to him, he could woo her even harder and then she could turn on you and run off with this man and you may not hear from her for years. Or she could feel sad and scared and very hurt. Whatever you decide to do, you and your folks need to think all of this through and be convincing. You don't want to lose her to this bigamist.

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