Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Ex Won’t Remove My Photos Online!”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in three sentences or less, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss post-breakup photo etiquette, lying spouses, and traveling with an undocumented immigrant boyfriend.

I’m in an unusual position: my ex won’t take my photos down off his flickr (photos of me, and photos I’ve taken that I’m guessing he’s claiming are “his” now). He said he’ll “get to it when he has time” and to leave him alone. I just want no further association with him or anything he does. It’s not the first time he’s done something like this; it took forever to get him to stop following me on all the social networks we connected on. I also admit to being stupid, and searching for his old dating profile, and saw that he was using pictures I took of him for it. I’ve asked him twice for him to take them down. At this point, should I just leave it alone? — Photo Finish

 
Good lord, woman, if you want no further association with this guy, then quit this silly photo drama and Move On Already! Who even looks at flickr anymore, anyhow?? And if you’re seriously getting upset about photos your ex is using on his dating profile, then you clearly aren’t as over him as you’d like to think and stalking him online isn’t going to help you to move forward.

My husband and I got married after almost two years together. I love him very much but the problem is he can’t stop telling me lies instead of owning up to the truth. He told me he took care of settling his business with his ex, but he didn’t and it has now cost him (and me) over 15k because she stole money from him. He has lied about having his own lawyer, borrowed money from me for the lawyer only to find out he paid for his ex’s lawyer. He lied to me about getting his name off the condo they had together. Now it’s in foreclosure and he owes money to the IRS for it. He has lied about the amount of credit card debt he was in. I made the mistake of thinking the lies were over and I married him, only to find that he has been lying to me about quitting smoking. It’s not the smoking so much; everyone slips up and makes mistakes. But when is he going to stop lying about everything he is afraid to tell me? I’m about to loan him ALL of my savings to take care of the credit and IRS issues but I’m scared to death that the lying won’t stop and I will be stuck with no money (the house we have is mine and I pay all the house bills) and going through yet another divorce. I can’t go back and un-marry him so how do I go forward? — Lied To

 
Actually, you can un-marry the guy. It’s called divorce, and whether or not you decide to pursue that route, you need to find a good attorney immediately — before you loan your husband any money — and discuss all your options for protecting your assets.

I have an amazing boyfriend I love and care about. The problem is he’s here on an expired visa. He’s from Mexico and though he’s been trying to become a citizen the whole time he’s been here, it’s been complicated. I have a lot of friends and even a sister-in-law going through this same thing, so it’s nothing new to me; however, this means he can’t leave the country and get back in easily. This is a problem because we both love to travel, and we are basically limited to where we can go. I’m just not excited about traveling the United States after living abroad. It’s frustrating and not easily fixable. I just need some advice on how to cope with something like this. I’m not thinking of leaving him over this, but I can see it causing tension between us. I don’t want it to turn into a political debate about immigration because this is the man I love, and it kills me to see him in a position like this. I just don’t know how to get over the nagging feeling of being held back, because this is not under my control. What can I do? — Immigration Nation

 
Do your overseas traveling with a friend, fun family member or by yourself and get more creative about national and local trips you can take with your man. This is a huge country with so many beautiful and interesting things to see that even a globe-trotter like yourself should be able to find a cool new-to-you spot on US soil to explore. If you can’t, it means you aren’t trying hard enough.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

173 comments… add one
  • avatar

    TheOtherMe July 1, 2011, 8:10 am

    LW1: MOA. If you leave him alone ( like he asked you too ) and he doesn’t take the photos down, he’ll be the one that looks like he can’t move on.

    LW2: Seriously consider Wendy’s advice, your husband is not thinking of you at all when he pulls these stunts and he will probable cause you a lot of financial harm. You need legal advice a.s.a.p. ( and probably a divorce, sorry )

    LW3: Tough one. I am really not sure what else you can do except follow Wendy’s advice to travel around the U.S. it’s not worth the trouble to try to get around illegally.

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    Morgan July 1, 2011, 8:39 am

    LW!: i was thinking like, naked pics or something when I saw the title. But you’re angry that he’s using a picture you snapped of him as a profile picture? So its probably the only picture he had with decent lighting, a good angle, and not weird hair. And he has pictures up on his flickr that you took or are in? Unless they’re super personal, I don’t see why its a concern that he has “Camping Trip 08” or whatever still up online even though you’ve broken up. The events still happened. Big deal. I get you own the pictures as the photographer, but seriously. Unless you’re planning to publish them in your new coffee table book “Pictures of my Ex” is this really something to get worked up over? If you don’t want to be associated with him anymore, then do as he asked and leave him alone. You’ll be much happier once you do.

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    • katie

      Katie July 1, 2011, 8:54 pm

      haha… “pictures of my ex”…..

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    Mainer July 1, 2011, 8:49 am

    LW1: grow up
    LW2: move on
    LW3: get over yourself and your “i’m a world traveler and as such this country is boring.” Plenty to see here that knocks the socks off a little cafe under the Eiffel Tower.

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    • avatar

      TheOtherMe July 1, 2011, 9:03 am

      ▲▲ Now THAT is what I call a SHORTCUT 🙂

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      ReginaRey July 1, 2011, 8:59 am

      Yeah, LW3’s problem is a little too first world.Some of us would LOVE to have the ability to travel anywhere! Not be chained to their desk job with only 2 weeks of vacation a year.

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        SpaceySteph July 1, 2011, 9:36 am

        Concur. When I read the letter I could only think “oh boo hoo you are sacrificing so much.” Get over yourself and go to California or Montana or something. I cannot muster sympathy for such a ridiculous “problem.”

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didn't July 1, 2011, 9:56 am

        #firstworldproblems?

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        SpyGlassez July 2, 2011, 1:53 am

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    • avatar

      MsBorgia July 1, 2011, 11:06 am

      Totally agree with you on LW3. Sorry you’re so wordly that the entire United States isn’t good enough for you anymore.

      Also her boyfriend is struggling to maintain the right to STAY IN the country she’s so bored with. “Boo hoo, my boyfriend’s legal troubles are inconveniencing me and my tourism!” Sheesh.

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    • avatar

      Valerie July 1, 2011, 11:13 am

      Yeah seriously, I HIGHLY doubt that LW3 has seen everything in this country, has traveled every road, visited every national park or has stayed in every city. LW3, if you’re looking for an awesome American vacation, why not travel historic RT66 from Chicago to Santa Monica? I would LOVE to do that some day!

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    • avatar

      Jess July 1, 2011, 11:43 am

      Ya’ll are being way too harsh to LW3. no, i totally understand what she’s saying. Traveling is not just about new places, its about new cultures. Then again, I have also lived abroad. I’m sorry but domestic vacations don’t count as ‘travel’ to me.

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      • avatar

        Kate July 1, 2011, 11:44 am

        Well excuse us!

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      • avatar

        mango July 1, 2011, 11:52 am

        Accidentally thumbed up when I mmeant to down. So the culture in manhattan is identical to the culture in aspen, nantucket, miami, and la?

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      • avatar

        kali July 1, 2011, 3:26 pm

        Not to mention culture in Four Corners, MN being identical to Potlatch, ID and Rincon, CA? Trying getting off the main roads and away from the big hotels and see America!

        OR move somewhere outside the US where you beau CAN legally travel. So he won’t be able to get back in our country easily, but it does solve your world travel dilemma. I get the sense LW3 wants the best of all worlds.

        LW3, I do hope your beau is working on legalizing his status here because it could turn into a more serious issue for you.

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      • avatar

        kali July 1, 2011, 3:27 pm

        Four Corners should be in New Mexico. I do know better! Apologies!!

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      • avatar

        MissDre July 1, 2011, 12:12 pm

        So why can’t she travel with a friend? You dont have to be glued to your boyfriend’s hip just because you love him. My boyfriend is the love of my life, but I still went to Jamaica for a week without him. I’m going to Cuba this Christmas and I’m going to Spain next spring. You won’t die if you spend 4 weeks of the year apart.

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      • avatar

        applescruff July 1, 2011, 12:22 pm

        I’ve lived in 7 states. The culture in Portland is very different than small town Utah, which is worlds away from Baltimore, which has nothing on Yosemite, which is a completely different kind of spectacular than Alaska.

        America has amazing national parks. Go see one.

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      • avatar

        Jess July 1, 2011, 2:22 pm

        oh come on people. i’ve been to yellowstone. My family did a big long camping road trip, it was pretty cool. i’ve lived in oklahoma, pennsylvania, and south carolina. i went to college in norht carolina and in georgia. i’ve been to california, dc, new york city, las vegas, flordia, texas, new orleans, skiing in tahoe, vale, and sun valley. look, i love the US, i love vacations, I can’t remember all the states I’ve been to. I get that the US is big and there is a lot there. And yes, I know you don’t want to hear it, but there is not that big of a culture difference between these places.

        Do you really think that there is some choice people have to make between US vs World??? If you’ve been able to go to other places in the world, you’ve probably been able to see more than one state. jeez.

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      • avatar

        MissDre July 1, 2011, 5:56 pm

        There is nothing wrong with wanting to travel new places that you’ve never explored before. I think most of us would love to travel the world if we had a chance! But the LWs “problem” just seems silly (not the immigration part, I realize that’s a struggle and I wish them all the best).

        A lot of us would LOVE to travel, but we can’t because we can’t add the expense of a European vacation on top of our mortgages and car payments and insurance payments, or student loans, or whatever. Also, a lot of us can’t take time the time off work. Not to mention, we’re just coming out of a recession.

        So to us, it really just sounds like the LW is a brat and whining about what a huge sacrifice she has to make, instead of being grateful for the travel opportunities she has had and perhaps being a little more optimistic (cuz really, there are a lot other options she can take).

        LW, either travel world wide with a good girlfriend (you’ll be fine for 2 weeks without your man, I promise) or if you really want to travel with him, but you’ve already seen the entire USA, your boyfriend hasn’t. He’s new to the country, I bet he’d love to see more than just where he’s living. I’m sure he’d love to see NYC or New Orleans or Vegas or Orlando…. It will be a brand new experience for HIM and I’m sure you’d have a wonderful time together if you can allow yourself to share in his excitement.

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        applescruff July 4, 2011, 5:02 pm

        Is the culture difference between Wyoming and New York as distinct as between Wyoming and Thailand? Obviously not. And of course you can travel both domestically and internationally. But that wasn’t your comment. Your comment was that domestic trips don’t count as “travel” to you, which comes across as beyond condescending, and is why people are jumping on you. Also…there are 392 parks besides Yellowstone.

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      • avatar

        EB July 1, 2011, 1:04 pm

        “Then again, I have also lived abroad”

        if “reminding people you spent that semester in Europe to justify/explain now being bored with everything in the USA” has not yet been featured on http://www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com, it clearly should be…

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      • avatar

        Jess July 1, 2011, 2:15 pm

        i still live in europe :/

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      • avatar

        LTC039 July 1, 2011, 1:59 pm

        When I traveled to Europe, it actually made me miss the U.S.A. I had a bigger appreciation for my country. Sure, Europe has many beautiful things, but so does the U.S. Every country has good things & bad things. I’ve been to several different states & enjoyed the differences between them! This is your HOME COUNTRY, embrace it!

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      • avatar

        Jess July 1, 2011, 2:24 pm

        i do love america? who said I didn’t love america? it wasn’t me!

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        beans629 July 1, 2011, 2:26 pm

        Thumbs up, if you went to after reading EB’s comment.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph July 1, 2011, 2:39 pm

        This one is close…

        I was the token white girl in high school, and probably half this list applies to me. What can I say, white people are kinda predictable!

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      • avatar

        katiebird July 1, 2011, 4:48 pm

        accidental thumbs down, sorry about that. stupid phone. and that website is the best

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      • avatar

        SpyGlassez July 2, 2011, 2:02 am

        I also lived abroad, and have traveled around the US. I still travel overseas when I can (I go without a lot of things because I love to travel and have some freedom to do so). I’m thirty and have been doing this for a decade now. There is always time in the future to travel if it is THAT important to her, and as others have said, she can travel sans boyfriend.

        Plus, it’s a huge difference between hitting the touristy places when traveling in the US, and just getting lost and experiencing a new area when traveling in the US. Yes, I get that the “culture” is different overseas, blah-blah-blah, but you can have a lot of fun visiting the kinds of quirky roadside attractions that the US is known for.

        Maybe instead of talking about how inferior the Parthenon in Nashville is to the Parthenon in Athens, you should remove head from your sphincter and remind yourself that “privileged white bitch” doesn’t look pretty to anyone.

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      • avatar

        LSS86 November 10, 2011, 6:16 pm

        I’m on this post because of today’s update, but I have to say that the Parthenon in Nashville was awesome. And partly because it was so out of place it was almost comical. I also loved that this California-by-way-of-New York girl was able to buy some authentic cowboy boots! Super cool!

        Also, I agree with everyone saying that people who are fortunate enough to have traveled extensively should be grateful for that, but not be condescending to the rest of us who haven’t had all those opportunities. If it’s part of your life and you don’t want to give it up, that’s fine, but be aware that if you complain about your “problem” to others, we might not be terribly sympathetic.

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      • avatar

        SGMcG July 1, 2011, 2:13 pm

        I’m sorry, but you want to talk new cultures? Try moving from the NYC-metro area to the middle of South Carolina. They are TOTALLY different experiences, even though it’s the same country, on the same eastern seaboard. If you are not experiencing culture shock whenever you travel, then you are not TRULY traveling.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark July 2, 2011, 3:43 pm

        Then maybe she simply shouldn’t date an illegal alien. Seriously.

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  • avatar

    Kerrycontrary July 1, 2011, 8:55 am

    LW1: I agree that you should just try to get over the photo thing, BUT you can contact Flickr and ask for the photos to be taken down (especially if you took the photo with your camera). Most photo-hosting websites have a user agreement form that states that you will not put up pictures without someone’s permission. I actually had to do this as someone had put up a high-school picture of me that was coming up when you googled my name and the photo website was very quick to respond. Not sure if Flickr will do this or not, but it’s worth a try!

    LW3: I love traveling abroad too, but I recently visited the southwest twice this spring (BF was there for the military) and I realized how much there IS to see in the US. While the immigration thing is complicated, traveling isn’t all there is to a relationship. And your BF should have the whole situation worked out eventually, so it’s not like this will be a lifelong problem (or it shouldn’t be).

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    • avatar

      NOLAGirl July 1, 2011, 9:01 am

      totally agree with your comment about the SW, it’s gorgeous. Places in New Mexico and Arizona are incredibly beautiful. I keep meaning to go back out there but I haven’t been in years. Also South Dakota is surprisingly beautiful. I don’t usually think of South Dakota being a destination but it’s just so big, open and lovely. Also, there are places like *cough* NOLA *cough* with lots of music, food, culture etc. and a relatively cheap airport to fly in and out of. It ain’t all Bourbon Street baby.

      Ok. Enough acting like the visitor’s bureau.

      Seriously though, there are tons of awesome things to see and places to go in the US, you just have to be open minded and remove any stick which may or may not be up one’s arse to have a good time. I love to go out in the country, eat at the local joints, it’s an adventure!

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      • avatar

        sarolabelle July 1, 2011, 9:51 am

        Western North Carolina is beautiful too!

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  • avatar

    KBobK July 1, 2011, 9:14 am

    LW2: You cannot WILL someone to change.

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  • avatar

    Bethany July 1, 2011, 9:17 am

    LW1- Grow up and MOA. If you want nothing to do with him, then HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM. Quit looking him up online! Just MOA!

    LW2- I had a friend who went through something dimilar w/ her husbnad- he lied about massive debts, not just credit card debt, but debt to the IRS in back taxes. When you’re married their financial problems become yours. They had to sell their house, she had to cash out her 401K and all her savings just to bail him out. It took a massive toll on their relationship and they ended up getting divorced, but not until they’d already had 2 kids. My advice is to consult a lawyer NOW and get out of this. Someone who really loves you wouldn’t lie to you like this and risk your financial security as well as theirs.

    LW3- Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all have problems like you! Do what Wendy said and do your international traveling with someone else. There are all sorts of amazing places to travel within the country that those should keep you occupied until your BF gets his Visa or whatever renewed.

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    • avatar

      Slamy July 1, 2011, 11:07 am

      Agreed. And why on earth is he paying for his ex’s lawyer?

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      • avatar

        spaceboy761 July 1, 2011, 11:11 am

        Might be ordered by the court if she’s broke enough.

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      • avatar

        VioletLover July 1, 2011, 6:13 pm

        Wait…what? The courts can order you to pay for your ex’s lawyer? That’s…just weird, I think.

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      • katie

        Katie July 1, 2011, 9:01 pm

        usually when you win any kind of legal case you have to pay for the other side’s legal fees… as in, defentant is awarded $1000 plus legal fees. i think they call them filing fees, sometimes, too

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey July 1, 2011, 8:21 am

    LW2: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results. In you’re case, you continue to hope and pray that your husband will magically stop lying, when he gives you absolutely no reason to believe that he will. If you continue to hope he won’t stop lying, two things will happen: 1) He won’t be forced to own up to his problem, 2) You WILL lose all of your savings/assets and likely never see them again. Before you loan him a CENT do what Wendy said. Go to a lawyer. THEN, go to a couples counselor with your husband. If what you said is accurate, he is incapable of telling you the truth. You need to get to the bottom of why that is, and you aren’t accomplishing it on your own. If he can’t overcome his obsessive lying compulsion, this is NOT a marriage you can realistically stay in. You can’t stay married to someone you can’t trust. End of story.

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    • avatar

      TMSC July 1, 2011, 10:51 am

      YES! All this. Also, I would venture even further and say don’t lend him money, period. I hate to say that to someone who is part of a married couple, as I generally believe once you marry, you share everything (including financial woes). However, I am inclined to reject my previous belief in your case. Lending him money will do nothing but cause you more grief, and if you do decide to separate from him, or divorce him at any point, I firmly believe you will have nothing for yourself start a new future with. I agree you need to work with him and possibly a therapist to get to the bottom of the lying issue. In the meantime, let him figure out his own financial mess. He is a grown man and both the IRS and credit card companies would rather work out a payment plan with him than get no money at all. (As long as your name isn’t on any of those cards or anything else. I hope for your sake it is not).

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        Valerie July 1, 2011, 11:05 am

        I was always under the impression (anyone with a better legal understanding care to back this up?) that debts accrued before marriage do NOT become the responsibility of the spouse upon marriage. Regardless, LW2: DO NOT give this man a dime of your savings. And definitely see a lawyer asap!

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        ArtsyGirly July 1, 2011, 11:42 am

        I believe you are correct. Also, if one spouse has no access to a credit card (say it is only in the husband’s name) then the wife is not responsible for the dept on that.

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        ArtsyGirly July 1, 2011, 11:42 am

        debt**

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        ReginaRey July 1, 2011, 11:39 am

        I believe it depends on the state in which you marry. But my understanding is also shaky.

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        kali July 1, 2011, 3:20 pm

        Depending on what state they live in, LW 2 may also be able to get an annulment on the grounds of fraud. But a good attorney would be the best to advise her on those options. Liars lie and they continue to do so. Especially if someone else bails them out time and time again.

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        ReginaRey July 1, 2011, 11:03 am

        Yeah, it REALLY worries me that if (and quite frankly…when. This relationship seems like it SHOULD end for her to get to a healthy place in her life) this relationship ends, she could have NOTHING left to start over with. And having nothing could keep her with him and reliant on the marriage, which is something she absolutely needs to avoid.

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  • avatar

    David Jay July 1, 2011, 9:31 am

    Agree with Wendy entirely on 1 & 2 (How come the guys don’t get these easy questions?)
    As for #3: YOUR BF IS AN ILLEGAL ALIEN in this country. Love him or not, he is breaking the laws of the United States and you must make that right. Go to your local Immigration Office immediately and start the application process, and be ready to fork over ~$800 before you’re through.

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      spaceboy761 July 1, 2011, 9:43 am

      If you guys are really good one day, I’ll tell you about the time I snuck an illegal immigrant over the Canadian border.

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        spaceboy761 July 1, 2011, 9:55 am

        Note: The tall, blonde, hot illegal immigrants are the easiest to sneak across the border.

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        spaceboy761 July 1, 2011, 11:45 am

        Fine, Mr. Redthumb Killjoy, because of you now I WON’T tell the most awesome story ever. Thanks for ruining it for everybody.

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        applescruff July 1, 2011, 12:24 pm

        Bad Redthumb Killjoy! I wanted to hear. Please tell us, spaceboy, we promise to be good.

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      Mainer July 1, 2011, 9:50 am

      Yes, I’m sure LW 3 is so concerned about the welfare of this country. She must appreciate your completely irrelevant advice to her problem, of which she will absolutely not follow. You really expect her to be like “Woah, I NEVER thought about that! Fuck this guy, he’s destroying the country I have zero interest in because I’ve been to other countries and feel so above this place. But right is right, and illegal aliens are the whole reason behind my distaste with this country, so I should do the equivalent of throwing a pebble in the Atlantic and get this guy I love thrown out before he does something so devastating as continue to live here.”

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        David Jay July 1, 2011, 10:54 am

        It is an opportunity for him to at least get his visa extended which DOES solve their travel problems, and put him on the path to full citizenship so he can fully take part in the blessings of freedom that only America offers and make a succsessful life for himself. For her, it is simply an opportunity to become part of a solution instead of part of the problem, and set an example for other illegal aliens she knows. Do I expect her to do it? No. But that should never stop anyone from suggesting the right thing to do, else the whole idea of an “advice column” is moot. No?

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        Mainer July 1, 2011, 11:18 am

        LW notes that, despite having an expired visa, he has been working on getting his citizenship the entire time. He already is on the path, so her “reporting” him would actually inhibit their union even more. To do that is making the problem bigger rather than providing a solution. And if you’re suggesting that it is still the “right” thing to do, then I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but betraying someone you love in the name of the law is not honorable.

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        David Jay July 1, 2011, 11:23 am

        If he were in the process of getting his citizenship, he would currently be on a temporary visa, such as a tourist visa.

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        Mainer July 1, 2011, 11:42 am

        There’s just not enough info. “Process to get citizenship” could mean a lot of things. Maybe he was on a work visa that the company did not renew, and he couldn’t get a job at a place willing to provide another. He could be looking for a job that is willing to offer a work visa, so he can be a legal resident for five years, thus able to finally apply for his green card. This could be the “process” LW is referring to. There just isn’t enough info.

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        Jess July 1, 2011, 2:36 pm

        forehead palm. if only immigration was this easy.

        do you really think this is as simple as filling out a piece of paper? really?

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      LTC039 July 1, 2011, 9:46 am

      Even though your comment will be massively thumbed down, I understand what you mean.
      I’m not going to go into my personal feelings on immigrants, etc… (BTW I’m the first generation in my family that was actually born here in the U.S.) But I knew a girl that had an expired visa but didn’t want to go back to her country so she was here illegaly for about 5 yrs. (She just recently became a resident) She went through hell, she was always worried ab getting caught, she was scared to drive her car bc if she got stopped by the cops she could be deported. She couldn’t visit her family (who moved back to their country). It was pretty bad. & I believe the only reason she got her residency now is bc she got married a few months ago.
      Mind you, this whole time she’s constantly bashing the U.S. saying how her country is so much better, their lifestyle is better, clothes are better, food, etc…
      Ummm. OK?

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        Rachelgrace53 July 2, 2011, 3:25 pm

        Ummm why did she stay here then?!? I hate that… If your country is so great, go back there!

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        SpaceySteph July 2, 2011, 4:08 pm

        Seriously this is makes me SO mad! Alot of people I knew in high school had come as young children from other countries (Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, etc.) They would always talk about how America sucked and was corrupt and how much they hated it and wanted to go back…
        I think its important to acknowledge and be proud of your heritage but there is a reason your parents left their old country to come here, just as there was a reason my great grandparents left their old country (Russia, Poland, Germany) to come here. I wish people would at least acknowledge that we (the US) do have some things going for us, and this isn’t the worst place in the world. Its not perfect, we have plenty of problems, but there are some things we’re doing right. Otherwise why would thousands of people try to move here every year?

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        Kate July 2, 2011, 4:13 pm

        Wait, people from the countries you listed think the US is corrupt? Compared to what? Utopia?

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        SpaceySteph July 2, 2011, 4:25 pm

        I know right? I don’t deny that the immigration process is unjust and confusing, that police officers do tend to profile people minorities, that their parents had to make ends mean working low paying and hard labor jobs, that they were discriminated against for their accents or appearance… its no picnic to be a poor immigrant in this country. But it also is not the worst place. They left countries where they could be jailed and executed for speaking about their government the way they talked about mine.

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        Kate July 2, 2011, 4:29 pm

        It’s not even CLOSE to being the worst place.

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        LTC039 July 2, 2011, 4:34 pm

        For the record, the girl I was referring to was from Colombia…So yeah lol

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        Kate July 2, 2011, 4:42 pm

        Not to stereotype Colombians, but I work with a Colombian guy who is JUST like this (constantly complaining about our culture, etc.).

        He got his green card recently by marrying another Colombian who married and divorced an American. She paid for his lawyer which was upwards of 20K, and he divorced her about 2 months ago. We call it “Pay It Forward” in our office. It’s difficult to listen to people constantly criticizing a place when they voluntarily came here.

        Then again, I’ve worked with plenty of other people who are here for school and love it, even though they miss their home/friends/family.

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        LTC039 July 2, 2011, 4:56 pm

        I understand you totally. I’ve worked with, dated, & had many Colombian friends. It is very typical of them to constantly be glorifying themselves & their country & bashing everyone else. (I’m not saying EVERY Colombian is like this, just the majority of the ones I’ve known!)
        I was telling one of my Colombian friends one day “I want to go to Argentina bc one of my really good friends that lives there told me all I have to do is buy my plane ticket, I can stay at her apt. etc…” She then interrupted me with “Why Argentina? Why don’t you go to Colombia? Colombia is so much better!”
        I admire their love & pride for their country & all, but there’s no need to constantly be bashing other countries.

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        Kate July 2, 2011, 5:05 pm

        Oh, yes…I hear ya all the way!

        BTW, I think both places would be wonderful to visit, but I would personally pick Argentina.

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        LTC039 July 2, 2011, 4:33 pm

        That’s exactly what I say!!

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      Calliopedork July 1, 2011, 1:16 pm

      While she wasnt asking about more than summer tourism I agree that helping him complete the process towards citizenship is a valid suggestion. Especially since she just has to get out of the us frequently and cant bear to leave him behind.

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    • avatar

      Elle July 1, 2011, 2:00 pm

      @DavidJay. I agree that he is breaking the law, but please do not equate what he’s doing with theft or murder. He’s not hurting anyone, and would only gladly pay taxes, if the government would let him. Also, this law did not exist in the US 100 years ago. Which instance was the right one: 100 years ago or now? In my view, this law is arbitrary. The LW’s boyfriend is guilty of only wanting a better life. One of my friends from Africa went through a hell of a childhood before his father was able to legally bring him to the US. Read child abuse and child labor and malnourishement. His father had to flee the country, or he was going to be killed. To this day,20 something years later, they still can’t go back. Not that there’s anything to go back to.

      Anyway, please look for the YouTube video where Milton Friedman talks in favor of immigration. He’s one of the brightest minds of the last century. Also, the video where he talks about the legalization of drugs is very interesting, on principle.(normally, I would put the links here, but I’m writing this on my phone, and can’t figure out how to copy-paste stuff).

      PS. I have a nerd crush on Milton Friedman. That’s where I draw the line :).

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        David Jay July 1, 2011, 4:49 pm

        I’m all in favor of immigration, as immigrants are more apt to truly appreciate freedom and not take it for granted. My only requirement on immigration is that it is done legally so that those who work here can contribute to the tax base if they are to reap the benefits of such. It is not too much to ask. If you want a better life, a few hours of filling out forms and writing a check is hardly a sacrifice.

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        VioletLover July 1, 2011, 6:19 pm

        The sad thing here is that you apparently think getting legal status in the U.S. is that simple. It really, really isn’t. It can take years and thousands of dollars. It’s not like goin’ to the DMV and getting a driver’s license, it can be an incredibly complicated process.

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      • katie

        Katie July 1, 2011, 9:07 pm

        but just the fact that its complicated makes it OK that they come here illegally? its also hard to become a citizen in austrailia, but that doesn’t mean its ok to just go there and live illegally. in ireland, all you have to do is live there for a year and then pay like 10 grand in euros. if its complicated or not, then go through the process, do it the right way.

        and of course its complicated- its the government! thats the only thing they know how to do the right way- complicate things.

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      trillian July 1, 2011, 2:27 pm

      Yes, of course. Why didn’t HE think of that? @@

      If it were that easy to get visas renewed, we would never have a problem with illegal immigrants. Try instead years, even decades of legal limbo, and thousands upon thousands of dollars. He would be required to go back to his country of birth until such time as the petition was resolved, with no guarantee of ever being able to come back again.

      There are quotas, and lotteries, and waiting lists. They are required to have various types of sponsors, whether work, or family, or both. The process for work visas is so arduous that many companies will hire a less-qualified person simply to avoid the sponsorship hassle – and since there are a limited number, this late in the year his odds of getting a work visa would be practically nil. If he wished to be self-employed, it’s even harder.

      There is a reason getting married is called the “easy” way – and that’s not easy either. Fiance visas are often denied, even for perfectly legitimate (and heartbroken) couples coming from countries that aren’t flooded with applicants. It can take years after an actual marriage occurs (this happened to my aunt, also a Mexican immigrant) before they are able to gain citizenship.

      Oh and Mexican citizens have a separate set of requirements than most other countries.

      So yeah. Simple as that.

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        David Jay July 1, 2011, 6:27 pm

        Seems to me that if you’re in love, it doesn’t much matter WHERE you live as long as it is together, but I’m an old-school romantic that way. Granted it’s not nearly as exciting as living in eternal fear of getting pulled over for going 38 in a 35 zone.

        I had to go through the immigration process with someone recently, and yes, it took many months AND they managed to screw it up more than once, but we never considered that there was an option except to put with the crap. I’m NO fan of government, but I accept the need for an immigration policy, and the utter silliness of the current policies is not an excuse to sidestept it.

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    Elle July 1, 2011, 9:38 am

    LW2 – this is not a marriage. You’re an enabler. He could just as well be a teenager getting himself in trouble, and you coming to the rescue. Newsflash: he’s responsible, he should get himself out of trouble. You have the option to get out of this marriage now, in a somewhat good financial position, or you can divorce him later, after he’s wiped out your life savings. If you do decide to stay, don’t loan him the money, but make his payments for him. And whenever he claims he took care of something (paid his CC, or took his name off the condo), ask for proof. You trust him way too much, and he’s already proved he can’t be trusted. Good luck!

    LW3 – why don’t you marry your amazing boyfriend? It’s not his fault he was born in a foreign country, it’s not his fault the government is the way it is, and it’s not his fault you want to travel abroad with him. Don’t put this on him.

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    • avatar

      Kare July 1, 2011, 3:53 pm

      When I read the last letter, I thought maybe she was writing in hoping Wendy would advise her to marry him.

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    spaceboy761 July 1, 2011, 9:38 am

    LW1- What’s flickr?

    LW2- First off, if you don’t file divorce papers tomorrow, you’re a complete fuckwit and there’s no helping you. Secondly about the money aspect, you’re in trouble. You can consult your matrimonial lawyer about trying to recoup some of the money you’ve lost and debt you’ve racked up (yes, it is YOUR debt… not the marriage’s, not his alone), but lawyers are not magicians. From everything you’ve said, it looks like you’re going to be digging out of this financial hole for a while. Your best bet is to make as clean of a break as possible, fight for whatever you can get as part of the divorce settlement, and make a solid financial plan on how to get back on your feet. A lot of the financial damage has already been done here.

    LW3- #whitegirlproblems. But seriously, GFY.

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      TheOtherMe July 1, 2011, 9:40 am

      “fuckwit”

      -OMG i think I love you !

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      LTC039 July 1, 2011, 9:41 am

      I have a feeling she’s hispanic & lives either in So. Cal, Texas, or Miami.

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        spaceboy761 July 1, 2011, 9:44 am

        One does not have to be white to have #whitegirlproblems.

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        LTC039 July 1, 2011, 9:47 am

        Ahh. I stand corrected.

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        Calliopedork July 1, 2011, 1:21 pm

        I thought white girl problems to, but I am too chickenshit to say it

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        SpaceySteph July 1, 2011, 9:49 am

        Even better. All 3 of those states have so much diversity in population and landscape, exploring even one could take years worth of vacations.

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        LTC039 July 1, 2011, 10:21 am

        Oh Lord, now the “you’re so racist” thumbs down parade starts.
        I live in Miami & am Cuban FYI.

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        Lil Lurker July 1, 2011, 2:41 pm

        I live in SoCal and I’m Filipino, so I guess anything I say about other flips and minorities in SoCal isn’t racist! Also I have like, tons of black and hispanic friends, just so you know, so how could I possibly be racist with Tokens firmly in hand?

        (I snark, I snark. It’s said with a gentle, loving tone.)

        Seriously though, LW3 needs a good dose of Perspective.

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        LTC039 July 1, 2011, 3:28 pm

        Your comment is funny, for real! I thumbs-uped it!
        The only reason I noted that was so that people wouldn’t get there panties in a bunch. Personally, I don’t think me being hispanic or w/e is an excuse for anything I say. I say things because it’s my opinion, whether people like it or not. I’m not offensive or outright insulting. However, in this case I figured pointing my race out & my geographical location would take some heat off.

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        EB July 1, 2011, 3:37 pm

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        SGMcG July 1, 2011, 7:31 pm

        Hoy! Kamusta ka? 😀

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        David Jay July 1, 2011, 4:53 pm

        It doesn’t matter if she’s green and from Mars, the law is the law. Race and geography is absolutely a non-factor here.

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      MsBorgia July 1, 2011, 11:08 am

      LMAO @ “what’s flickr?” Seriously.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph July 1, 2011, 9:43 am

    My dating profile right after I split with my ex was almost all pics taken by my ex… I was with him for 2 years, I didn’t have a whole bunch of pictures NOT taken by or with my bf. It’s a non issue. Same with pics on Flickr. I had pics with my bf in fun and cool places that I didn’t want to lose just cuz we were no longer together (all IN the US btw, LW 3) and they’re still on fb to this day. You’re part of each other’s past, lack of photo evidence doesn’t change that.
    Stop cyberstalking the man and quit worrying about it.

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      LTC039 July 1, 2011, 9:48 am

      Was your dating profile pic one you took with him but cropped him out but a piece of his hair/shirt/arm is still in the picture?? That would be great. (depending on how things ended, of course).

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        SpaceySteph July 1, 2011, 4:50 pm

        Nope, just one he took. It was a great picture, i was with Balto in Central Park!

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    spaceboy761 July 1, 2011, 9:49 am

    Hey LW3, come visit us in NYC. I can show you about seven or eight neighborhoods that would make you swear up and down that you were in a foreign country. I mean like looking in all directions and seeing no English anywhere and the food is probably better than anything you’ll get in the home countries. Hell, you can tour all of Asia without leaving Queens.

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      LTC039 July 1, 2011, 9:54 am

      If she wants to see Cuba she can come to Miami! Calle Ocho is quite the spot!

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        spaceboy761 July 1, 2011, 9:58 am

        I’m not even talking about touristy crap like Little Italy. I mean like “Does anyone here speak English?”, “I mildly fear for my safety”, and “Can I drink the water?”.

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        LTC039 July 1, 2011, 10:01 am

        Oh I know exactly what you mean. Around where my bf lives billboards are only in Spanish & if you go to restaurant, or any business for that matter, & try to speak English, they look at you like if you’re from another planet.
        Everytime someone calls my office & automatically starts speaking Spanish w/o asking I say “Excuse me? How can I help you?” (Even though I speak it).

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        EB July 1, 2011, 11:39 am

        maybe that’s why they hired someone who’s bilingual

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        LTC039 July 1, 2011, 11:52 am

        Ahh you’re right. But I have a whole long- drawn out arguement as to why I do that, as I said, I rather not discuss it here bc that’s not why we’re commenting. However, if you lived in my same city, you’d def. understand why.

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        BoomChakaLaka July 1, 2011, 1:04 pm

        Flushing, North of Northern Boulevard. I Know EXACTLY what you mean.

        By the way, I live in Little Haiti/Jamaica in QUEENS.

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      • KKZ

        Pankakez July 1, 2011, 6:27 pm

        I am DYING to go to Cuba after having studied Spanish and Hispanic cultures all through high school and college. Thought about living in Puerto Rico for a while, but nuts if I have the means to make that happen. Still, all that I’ve learned and read and absorbed about Cuban culture makes me very eager to see that country in person one day. Here’s hoping the (IMHO: stupid, good-for-nothing) embargo gets lifted within my lifetime!

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        LTC039 July 1, 2011, 6:39 pm

        I would love to see Cuba too. It’s the country my whole family came from. I would love to be able to see for myself everything they’re always talking about, but it’s not possible right now. Cuba does have an amazing history & culture (as well as other countries!) & like you, I hope to one day have the opportunity to see it. I guess whoever thumbed down you doesn’t like Cuba 🙂

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      • KKZ

        Pankakez July 1, 2011, 6:46 pm

        Wow, that was a quick turnaround for a thumbs-down. Maybe they have something against my opinion of the embargo. Although, you got a purple thumb, too, so maybe you’re right. Oh well. To each his/her own. (How would you say that in Spanish? “A cada, suya?” Or is there a similar expression?)

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        LTC039 July 1, 2011, 7:48 pm

        I believe it’s “a cada qual lo suyo” so you were almost right!

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        MissDre July 1, 2011, 6:47 pm

        I’m going to Cuba for Christmas 🙂 I can’t wait!! Hopefully there will be opportunities to get OFF the resort and actually experience real Cuban culture (resorts are so North Americanized, they don’t really even count as travel unless you get out into the city).

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        LTC039 July 1, 2011, 7:50 pm

        Oh wow, that’s pretty cool! Well I hope you get to see the real Cuba too! If you don’t mind me asking, are you & your family Cuban? Or you’re just going for a vacation?

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        MissDre July 1, 2011, 10:04 pm

        Just going for vacation. My mom has been and told me that it’s really beautiful, and I’ve always wanted to go!

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  • avatar

    LTC039 July 1, 2011, 8:51 am

    LW#2: This is another reason why the divorce rate in this country is so high. News Flash: Things get MORE difficult after marriage & flaws in your partner only highten!! Unless your husband is a master-mind con artist (which I highly doubt) I don’t see how all this stuff could’ve been so surprising to you! If you stay in this marriage, it will eventually end & you’ll be the one oweing money. If you just can’t leave now, I’d suggest marriage counseling & hopefully that will work, & as Wendy said, get yourself a lawyer!

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  • caitie_didnt

    caitie_didn't July 1, 2011, 9:59 am

    LW2: D-I-V-O-R-C-E. ASAP.

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    SGMcG July 1, 2011, 9:59 am

    LW#1: Unless you or he are aspiring or actual professional photog that wishes to use those photos to build up your portfolio, I really don’t see what the big stink is. If you feel that strongly about those photos still being associated with HIM, give them the streisand effect and make them avaliable EVERYWHERE without license. Otherwise, take new, better photos and MOA.

    LW#2: DO NOT CO-MINGLE YOUR FINANCES WITH HIS ANYMORE. The first thing you need to do is get a lawyer and make sure that ALL your assets are properly protected. Most importantly, bring with you copies of your past IRS records and make sure that THOSE were filed ON TIME – for the last thing you want to discover is that your husband has been lying to you about YOUR taxes being filed. If they haven’t even been filed yet, get yourself an accountant, and ask about paying those potentially past taxes due and file them SINGLE for those dates now. If you have a joint account, stop contributing to it and open your own independent account, away from your husbands – in a totally different bank, if you have to. DO NOT CO-MINGLE YOUR FINANCES WITH HIS ANYMORE.

    LW#3: I wish I had the finances to even travel – yet I have to settle for staycations. You call yourself a traveler because love doing it and you’ve lived abroad, yet I don’t think you really are a TRUE traveler, because you are displaying such snobbery regarding travelling in the United States. A TRUE traveler, rolls with the punches, lives for the adventure of the experience and adapts when necessary. You can divert your wanderlust so that you can share trips with your boyfriend or change your traveling companions to international waters with those other women in your situation you mentioned in your letter. That’s what a TRUE traveler would do.

    Also, if you haven’t driven down Historic Route 66 yet, like many well-travelled Europeans aspire to do, get that off your bucket list now.

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  • Public Pearl

    Public Pearl July 1, 2011, 10:03 am

    LW3: If the US is so boring, why don’t you move to Mexico with your boyfriend? There, two problems solved!

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      spaceboy761 July 1, 2011, 10:04 am

      Oh snap!

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      NOLAGirl July 1, 2011, 10:17 am

      She should just marry him! Problem solved! :-p

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        Yozi July 1, 2011, 10:45 am

        If he’s got an expired visa becoming a citizen won’t be as simple as just getting married. It’s a long process. And he’ll probably have to file a waiver to excuse the overstay. My friends are going through this. It takes forever & you usually need to get a good immigration lawyer.

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        kdog July 1, 2011, 11:10 am

        Yea I speak from experience when I say getting married for immigration isn’t the cure all that people think it is. Easier, yes. Easy, no. My BF and I got married four years ago, paid out the waz for an attorney and all the government fees (bear in mind I supported both of us on a receptionist’s salary while he waited for his work visa) and he JUST got his green card.

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        NOLAGirl July 1, 2011, 11:19 am

        note taken: next time I’ll put (insert sarcasm here) rather than the face.

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        kdog July 1, 2011, 1:13 pm

        Sorry for the sense-o-humor lapse, I actually got that you were joking in this case, but you’d be surprised how many people really do think it’s an easy cure-all.

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      haggith July 1, 2011, 11:16 am

      why mexico?

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        convexed July 1, 2011, 11:37 am

        Because that’s where her BF is from and presumably has citizenship. Also, there is certainly adventure to be found in Mexico, so it solves the problem of the USA being too dull and same-y for the LW. Depending on what kind of travel this LW is into, you could pitch it with the vacation brochure (jellyfishes! beaches!) or ‘I’m a REAL traveler, not a tourist’/PSA (drug cartel violence!)

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        haggith July 1, 2011, 11:44 am

        true: as public pearl said that would solve the two problems!

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        LTC039 July 1, 2011, 11:23 am

        “He’s from Mexico and though he’s been trying to become a citizen the whole time he’s been here, it’s been complicated”

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        haggith July 1, 2011, 11:42 am

        oops, my mistake

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  • avatar

    El July 1, 2011, 10:28 am

    Am I the only one getting the impression that something may be going on between LW2’s husband and his ex?

    Why does he keep handing her money? I mean, he used YOUR money to pay for HER attorney. I really don’t think its a stretch to think that he’s still sleeping with the ex.

    Married men don’t just hand out money to exes (unless there’s alimony or child support involved). Dump his ass now, and let he and his ex wallow in financial hell by themselves.

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    • avatar

      Elle July 1, 2011, 11:01 am

      No, you’re not the only one. I thought that was weird too. Maybe he got into all that CC debt because of his ex, because she was spending his money. The letter is not very clear, but it looks like he came with the CC debt into the marriage. And he (and his ex) found a good samaritan in the LW. LW2 is definitely being taken advantage of. LW, no one has the right to tell you what to do with your own money. Ever! Get a divorce, legal separation, a post-nup, something, so that his creditors can’t go after you for the debt he incurred before he married to you. Also, it would be a good idea for him to contribute to house bills. What is he, your child?

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        spaceboy761 July 1, 2011, 11:07 am

        “Get a divorce, legal separation, a post-nup, something, so that his creditors can’t go after you for the debt he incurred before he married to you.”

        This is a nice idea, but chances are that she’s already on the hook for the debt if nobody ever signed a pre-nup. Lawyers don’t have time machines and this is looking like a very expensive object lesson for the LW. Her “husband” might be willing to negotiate, but I wouldn’t count on it since she has very little leverage here.

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        Elle July 1, 2011, 12:49 pm

        You’re right, lawyers don’t have time machines. Maybe she can protect herself from debt he incurs from now on. Getting a post-nup might be troublesome, since it requires both their signatures, and as you mentioned, he has no incentive to sign it. That might be a litmus test though. If he’s refusing to sign a post-nup, then he clearly sees the LW as a solution to his financial problems ( can you say sugar mama?), but not as a partner he is willing to build a future with.

        I’m sad to see that the LW doesn’t see divorce an option, but it is the only option. If she’s staying with him, and keeps geting him out of trouble, she’s reinforcing his behavior. And marriage is not about one partner always solving the other’s problems. Hope the LW gets that sooner than later, preferably before she hands over to him her life savings.

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      • katie

        Katie July 1, 2011, 9:15 pm

        so true. i think it was on TF where they had a “10 reasons to get a prenup” article and this exact situation was on here. i will be getting one, even if it justs has the “your debt is yours, mine is mine” clause in it.

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      Beckaleigh July 1, 2011, 11:04 am

      I don’t get the feeling he paid his ex-wife’s attorney’s fees by choice. I got the impression it was court ordered. But who knows…

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        SpaceySteph July 1, 2011, 4:55 pm

        Then why lie about it? Nope, something doesnt add up if its a court order.

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      Slamy July 1, 2011, 11:13 am

      I definitely got that impression, too.

      If I was with someone, and he was giving his ex money (unless it was court-ordered, which this doesn’t sound like it was, or she would’ve mentioned that in the letter), i’d MOA. Or I hope I would.

      My suggestion is that LW2 “unmarry” him. It’s better to be alone than manipulated, lied to and taken advantage of.

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey July 1, 2011, 11:05 am

      No, I definitely am suspicious of her husband’s relationship with his ex. It seems to only be adding to the complicated sordid nature of it all. I wouldn’t be surprise in the slightest if there was something going on there.

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        kali July 1, 2011, 3:45 pm

        Not sure there’s anything sinister going on. My ex was a frequent liar and he’d have done the same thing if you just bitched at him long enough and loud enough. Sounds like the guy is a major wuss as well as a liar. That’s how I read that letter just based on my experiences at any rate.

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    BroGoddess July 1, 2011, 11:04 am

    This is just me, but I think LW3’s problem isn’t just the travel. I think the travel is just how she expressed her insecurity about her bf’s illegal status. I can only imagine what it would feel like thinking that he could get discovered and deported at any time. And like Yozi said above, it isn’t just as easy as getting married; there are still some major time-and-money-consuming legal issues involved (I am a law student and took an immigration law class last semester). I sort of sympathize with her because I’ve also had a relationship affected by immigration issues. He is an amazing guy but had to go back to his country when he finished grad school in the spring, and can’t come back for two years because of the type of visa he had. The whole setup of US immigration law isn’t exactly relationship-friendly, and I think that’s what LW3 is thinking.

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    • avatar

      mango July 1, 2011, 12:06 pm

      I’ve noticed before that wendy seems to get a law student commenters and letter writers. I suspect that its because law students can’t go more than a few hours without “casually” mentioning their law student status to disinterested parties. Real life experiences reinforce this theory.

      And if you’re wondering how I know so much about law students feel free to make the obvious ironic assumption.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy July 1, 2011, 12:21 pm

        You should see the number of letters I get from crazed law students during the week(s) of exams.

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        El July 1, 2011, 12:39 pm

        THIS. My fiance is taking the bar this month. He went to a very prestigious law school and 99% of his classmates were totally insufferable self-important douches.

        I had classmates of his abruptly end conversations with me after learning that I wasn’t a fellow law student (because, you know, us “normal folks” aren’t important enough to know).

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        EB July 2, 2011, 10:43 am

        Yeah becoming a lawyer always seemed like the natural career choice in my mind until my senior year of a college when I realized I disliked about 90% of the people who I knew were applying to law school.

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        SpaceySteph July 1, 2011, 2:42 pm

        Going for two on the stuff white people like…

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    Laurel July 1, 2011, 12:25 pm

    LW2: Your husband is not the man you thought he was. You need to get a divorce. You married him under false pretenses–he deceived you about a massive number of things. That’s not your fault. But believe me, it’s better to be divorced with some money in the bank than married to a lying, irresponsible scum and penniless. Talk to a lawyer ASAP and don’t sugarcoat the situation. DO NOT give your husband any more money. He is an adult and this is his responsibility.

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey July 1, 2011, 2:14 pm

      I agree with you on all counts except “it’s not your fault you married him.” It’s no one’s responsibility BUT yours to know when someone is lying to you, to check your facts, and to not marry someone if you know they have a history of lying. It’s common sense, and everyone should watch their own backs in that way.

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    AKchic July 1, 2011, 1:02 pm

    LW2: Having dealt with an idiot of a 1st husband who put me in a LOT of debt (and had his own), I recommend that when you file your taxes you file an “injured spouse” claim so they cannot garnish YOUR tax refund (if you get one) to pay off his debts. Make sure that you staple the damned thing to the tax return when you file it, even if it says not to. I learned the hard way when they took $4000 of my tax return to pay off child support debts of my ex-husband’s (child support he owed to ME!) and I never saw it from the state because two other mothers filed for child support and since their kids were older, they got the money first. This was after we were divorced, but the claim had already been filed and they had garnished me before. I lost over $9,000 to the IRS in 3 years because I listened to them about not stapling. I stapled the 4th year and hired an attorney and they stopped garnishing my refunds.

    Your husband won’t quit lying to you. He will lie to himself, and any therapist you may get him to see. Walk away, protect your assets and your financial future. Do not loan him anymore money and separate your finances from his NOW.

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    Jess July 1, 2011, 2:46 pm

    Has it really not occurred to everyone what LW 3s been to a lot of places in the US, and now would like to come someplace different?? I can’t believe how everyone is attacking this girl for her hobby. And I LOVE how everyone’s assuming this girl has never traveled in the US. That’s crazy, I’m sure she’s already been to most of these places you guys are mentioning. I know I have, that’s just what happens after 20 years of vacations.

    So what, she chooses to spend her money on seeing foreign cultures. You don’t know what she’s sacrificing to do that. Why does it make her a snob because she chooses to spend her money on something she loves. Where’s all the hate coming from? Is it really jealousy? What if she’s NOT sacrificing everything and she just has a killer job and can afford it?

    To me this question is the same as asking, “I love traveling, but my boyfriend is afraid of flying” OR “I love scuba diving, but my boyfriend hates water” People want to be able to do their hobby with the person they love, and whether or not you can (or want to) afford that hobby too, it’s a legitimate thing to seek advice for.

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      kali July 1, 2011, 3:50 pm

      It’s OK, Jess. If you’re LW3, you can tell us.

      I think what people are reacting to is LW’s superior attitude and lack of willingness to discuss the illegal immigration elephant in the room.

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        Jess July 2, 2011, 6:16 am

        haha i’m not, i swear lol

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      SGMcG July 1, 2011, 5:24 pm

      My main objection with LW#3s letter is that because her boyfriend has an obvious travel restriction (which she obviously doesn’t want to take into consideration when she asks for advice) she personally feels like she’s “being held back” because of it. I personally want to ride every screaming rollercoaster in every amusement park I visit, but my husband can’t join me due to the rod in his back. So when we travel to an amusement park, we will find things to do that we can enjoy together as well as let him hold my purse as I go on the roller coasters. It doesn’t make the rollercoaster less thrilling because he’s unable to join me, yet it’s still a good visit to the amusement park because we did it as a couple.

      The LW may not have a choice in where she travels with her boyfriend, but she CHOOSES to feel being held back. If she were a true traveler/adventurer, she would recognize that it’s not always about the destination of where you go, but ALSO how you get there, who you go with and how you deal with the combination. So what if she’s already traveled to all the fifty states within the United States? It will be a different trip if she visits those places again, because she is going with this boyfriend NOW, as opposed to going alone or with someone else back then.

      Her complaining about it isn’t going to change anything at the moment. Yet if her boyfriend is worth it, she can adjust the itinerary if she wants her ideal travel companion to be her boyfriend. If where she wants to go during a vacation is more important than the relationship she has with her boyfriend, then she should do him a favor and MOA to those international destinations she’s whining to get to.

      And FYI – I’ve also traveled a lot. My passport has got serious mileage on it since I’ve been to various counties in Europe and Asia. Heck, I’ve been to Germany and the Philippines at least three times. I understand where’s the LW coming from with regards to the difference between domestic and international traveling. I have yet to go internationally with my husband, but the domestic trips I am able to take with him are just as exciting because it’s a change in pace and we did it together.

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        SpyGlassez July 2, 2011, 2:13 am

        THIS. There are a lot of places I would like to go and things I would like to do with my boyfriend – including aforementioned rollercoasters. However, he is too tall and his weight is high enough that there are a lot of things he cannot do. The delightful tiny cottage that my sister, my friend and I stayed at in Wales? He couldn’t easily fit or stand up straight. Everyone has restrictions. I do plenty of things with him, and he understands when I have a need to do things without him. This is simple: if she wants to travel outside the US, she needs to go alone. If she wants to travel with him, it has to be within the US. WHY IS THIS SO FREAKING DIFFICULT?

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      MissDre July 1, 2011, 6:34 pm

      What do you want us to say, Jess?

      The LW asked for advice, we gave options, but I guess they just aren’t good enough. Here it is real simple (feel free to add any other options I may have missed):

      1. Travel outside the USA with a friend
      2. Travel through the USA with your boyfriend since he never has
      3. Change your attitude. Decide to be thankful for your worldly experiences, be thankful that you have a man you love, instead of wallowing in sacrificial misery.
      4. If none of the above work, MOA and fine a man who can travel.

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        Jess July 2, 2011, 6:20 am

        that seems like great responses to me. I just didn’t like how everyones saying shes a snob because she likes international travel. and that since *they* can’t afford it, she shouldn’t be complaining about not being able to go with her boyfriend. ridiculous! that’s what I meant by people hating on her. obviously, the four things you listed are not hating on her, and not what I was referring to

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        EB July 2, 2011, 10:00 am

        Honestly, I felt that it was you not the LW who seemed snobby after you made the comment about domestic travel not counting as “real travel”. I didn’t respond with advice to the LW because frankly her “problem” didn’t seem like a problem to me. However, I did post a semi-snarky response to your initial comment because it reeked of condescension and entitlement. This has nothing to do with me being bitter about being unable to afford international travel, as I am the first to admit that through no merit of my own I have enjoyed a very privileged upbringing that has afforded me numerous chances to both live and travel abroad.
        That being said, my issue with your initial comment was that you equated traveling or living abroad to a cultural experience unparalleled to domestic travel. I think travel is what you make of it and just because a person is traveling/living in a country that has a different culture does not mean they are actually experiencing a different culture. It is amazing how many places you can go internationally and replicate an existence that is almost identical to your daily life within the US (thanks globalization!). I’m pretty sure the first time I was in Paris, I had my picture snapped in front of the Eiffel tower and then proceeded to McDonalds for lunch and was more excited about being able to drink with my fellow high school travelers than I was about seeing the Mona Lisa.
        In addition, I have multiple friends who have “lived abroad” in the sense that they spent 4 years in a Swiss boarding school which was comprised of mainly other American students. I have another friend who grew up in the US but had family homes in Mexico and the South Pacific. During her adolescence, she spent a good chunk of each year living in both. However, both of these homes are in gated communities filled with predominately other rich gringos. A few years back, I visited her house in Mexico and at the time I was nearly fluent in Spanish yet I can count the number of times on one hand where I actually had opportunity to speak it in the 2 WEEKS I was there. Whereas, I have another friend living in an Arizona near the Mexican border who is way more immersed in Mexican culture than the one who “lived” in Mexico has ever been.

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        EB July 2, 2011, 10:16 am

        full disclosure: I freely admit to going through my own travel snob phase in my early twenties where i took myself and “my traveling” entirely too seriously. I am pretty sure I did douchey things like bitching about how “Montenegro was becoming as touristy as Western Europe”. *face palms*

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        Morgan July 2, 2011, 2:22 pm

        It’s not that she’s a sob for liking international travel. She’s a snob for being all “boo hoo my boyfriend doesn’t have citizenship so we cant go to paris/china/wherever. boo hoo.” She’s kinda annoying for whining about not being able to travel abroad with him, as if that’s the biggest issue associated with his being in the country illegally. Seriously, she wrote into an advice column about what to do because her boyfriend’s illegal status means she can’t travel abroad with him. So go alone or with friends abroad and travel the U.S. with him. I think she’s getting a lot of crap for lacking perspective, not for enjoying European travel.

        Personally, my issue with her is that she feels held back because she can’t go abroad with him–kinda implies “I can’t go with my man, so I can’t go at all.” Um…no. I’ve traveled Europe without my boyfriend, and sure, there were times when I was like “Damn, this would be amazing if he were here.” Watching the sunset over the mediterranean? Gorgeous. Doing it with two platonic male friends while everyone else there is making out with someone? Tad depressing. I get that, I do. But I didn’t let the fact that he wasn’t there “hold me back” from having those experiences.

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        Morgan July 2, 2011, 2:22 pm

        *snob. Not sob.

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        SpaceySteph July 2, 2011, 4:18 pm

        There are just so many things annoying about LW3’s letter.
        It didn’t occur to her to travel with a friend, like she’s glued to her bf?
        She thinks his inability to travel is the biggest tension causing issue they face right now?
        She is “just not excited about traveling the United States” because she’s a fancy pants world traveler?

        Idk the whole thing is just so snobby and whiny that I’m not surprised the majority of posters are enraged. Its not that we are saying “because we can’t travel you should be glad to travel in the US” but simply that “you should be grateful for what you have, whatever it is.” Be grateful you have a boyfriend you love. Be grateful YOU have American citizenship. Be grateful you have means to travel. Stop looking at all the things you can’t do, and start being happy about the things you can do.

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    MissDre July 1, 2011, 5:57 pm

    I’m RE-posting this, since the comment I replied to was hidden due to low rating:

    There is nothing wrong with wanting to travel new places that you’ve never explored before. I think most of us would love to travel the world if we had a chance! But the LWs “problem” just seems silly (not the immigration part, I realize that’s a struggle and I wish them all the best).

    A lot of us would LOVE to travel, but we can’t because we can’t add the expense of a European vacation on top of our mortgages and car payments and insurance payments, or student loans, or whatever. Also, a lot of us can’t take time the time off work. Not to mention, we’re just coming out of a recession.

    So to us, it really just sounds like the LW is a brat and whining about what a huge sacrifice she has to make, instead of being grateful for the travel opportunities she has had and perhaps being a little more optimistic (cuz really, there are a lot other options she can take).

    LW, either travel world wide with a good girlfriend (you’ll be fine for 2 weeks without your man, I promise) or if you really want to travel with him, but you’ve already seen the entire USA, your boyfriend hasn’t. He’s new to the country, I bet he’d love to see more than just where he’s living. I’m sure he’d love to see NYC or New Orleans or Vegas or Orlando…. It will be a brand new experience for HIM and I’m sure you’d have a wonderful time together if you can allow yourself to share in his excitement.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark July 2, 2011, 4:07 pm

    I don’t have much sympathy for LW 3. I just don’t. Sadly, living in LA has made me rethink my previous stance in illegal immigration. I used to be all for it. And I used to think it was a tragedy. And blah blah blah. But now that I live in a state that is utterly beseiged with the numerous problems it can cause, I see it is not all hunky dory. California is a fucking mess. It’s broke. Its schools are in shambles. If you want to be here, FINE. But go through the proper channels. And when you get here, melt into the pot a bit more. Parts of LA are literally turning into Mexico. And not the fabulous Puerto Vallarta, but the slums of TJ. It’s depressing. It really is.

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      Kate July 2, 2011, 4:20 pm

      I am considering a job in CA, and other than real estate ridiculousness, your comment illustrates a big reluctance on my part to move there.

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        Britannia July 2, 2011, 6:57 pm

        It might be called racism, but the statistics are there that crime rates are much higher in areas where there is potential for Mexican-on-White crime and just plain crime like theft and breaking & entering… and many of the “slums”, “ghettos”, “Little Mexico’s” or whatever you want to call them are honestly just as dangerous to a regular citizen like yourself as the areas of Tijuana being ravaged by drug wars.

        I know it sounds sensational, but it’s reality.

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      Anonymous July 2, 2011, 4:27 pm

      Yeah, we should get all Mexicans who don’t “melt into the pot” out of California or at least section them off to a different region of CA where we won’t have to see them. If they stay in LA, maybe we could just make some laws where they’re not allowed to sit near us on public transportation or use the same restrooms as the rest of us, maybe call is Jose Crow?

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        Kate July 2, 2011, 5:06 pm

        I don’t think equating slavery to Mexican IMMIGRANTS is fair.

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      Britannia July 2, 2011, 6:53 pm

      The fact is that if a person utilizes all the benefits the US government provides – roads, healthcare, education, housing, food – without giving SOMETHING back to the taxpayers who are making those benefits available, the system is going to end up EXTREMELY broken. Right now, it’s easier for illegal immigrants to receive government aid than it is for lower-middle income taxpaying citizens. I’m from Arizona and we are really pissed off… The one thing I always have to say about it is –

      If they don’t respect our laws, why do they deserve citizenship? They’re felons, not immigrants.

      And here’s a picture to perfectly illustrate AZ’s stance on that:

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark July 2, 2011, 9:18 pm

        I also love that Mr Illegal somehow can’t seem to solve his immigration status, but he otherwise has plenty of money to burn traveling internationally? Seriously. Where is the logic in that?

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        Britannia July 3, 2011, 12:07 am

        It’s because he doesn’t have to pay any of those pesky taxes!

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        Britannia July 3, 2011, 12:08 am

        *income/property taxes

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        Judi July 3, 2011, 2:58 am

        It’s not always a matter of money, its hard for Mexican people to gain citizenship, especially when there is so much hostility towards them from US citizens, as displayed by the comments on this forum.

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        Britannia July 3, 2011, 3:06 am

        The actual application process for citizenship is not dictated by a bunch of Mexican-hating government agents, as much as the bleeding hearts’ propaganda try to lead you to believe. The citizenship process is bureaucratic, yes, but it is also racially unbiased.

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        Judi July 3, 2011, 3:02 am

        “They’re felons, not immigrants.”

        They’re people.

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        Britannia July 3, 2011, 3:04 am

        So are drunk drivers, thieves, and white-collar criminals. Do they not deserve to be punished for violating the crimes of your country because they happen to be the same species of animal as you?

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    twiglet July 2, 2011, 7:48 pm

    why not try a different kind of travel- go long distance horse riding, take a boat up a river, go mountain biking…. go for at least a fortnight, camp outdoors, just the two of you, no tour guide….you will see something new and unexpected every day, hear sounds you can’t even identify, the places that seem familiar and uninteresting will become full of wonders.And scary, in the dead of night. After a couple of weeks together in whichever wild place you choose you’ll start to realise how little you know your own country, and that’s just one teeny bit of it.

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    mary July 15, 2011, 12:55 pm

    I’m sure the girl with the immigration issues doesn’t just want to “travel with a friend.” She wants to go to these places with her significant other. Immigration issues aren’t a simple, easy, breezy problem. Those who’ve never experienced it have no idea. I’d be much more concerned with other issues like the fact that they can’t buy life insurance-you need to have a social security number for that! Among other things! I say SOLVE the immigration problem FIRST!!!!!!!! Or accept the fact that as long as you are involved with this boyfriend you will know that at any time he can be deported and then you’ll really have a problem.

    The whole immigration problem isn’t solved by going to immigration & paying $800. The FACT that he’s here illegally means he could be denied entry for 10 years!!!! She has got to decide to marry him, he has to go back to his own country & they have to apply for a fiancee visa. Now in Mexico he could be refused a visa because he overstayed his last one & was here illegally. Is this an issue she’s willing to deal with?

    I think she should be happy with what she has. I’m going out on a limb but I’ve been around many Latinos & I highly doubt he’d be happy with having his woman having fun in other countries without him also! That’s probably the real deal breaker.

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