“He Went to Jail for Harassing Another Woman”

A year ago I met a 49-year-old man online. He’s divorced, with one child (18 years old). Right from the beginning, we had this great connection and good sex together. He a good man, a real friend, and I like everything about him — even his flaws. I told him after six months that I love him. He said to me that he cares a lot for me and that love was there but that he couldn’t go further because of the personal problems he has to solve and he didn’t want to tell me what those were.

Then a month later in September he had a stroke (no damage to his brain) and he had to stop working for a while to get some rest. So he went away to his father’s cottage where it was impossible to get in touch (no reception for cellphones). Finally, he called me one day in October and told me that he’d been in jail for six days waiting to see a judge who decide if he could get bail. His ex-girlfriend had charged him for harassment. She owes him money and didn’t want to re-pay him. He called and sent her emails for a while, and she wanted him to stop. According to her, he broke one condition and was arrested. The next court hearing is in three weeks.

He was devastated, for more than two and a half months, didn’t want to see me. During that time, his oldest brother, to whom he was very close, died. But we kept in touch almost every day. Then he wanted to see me on Christmas Eve, and I went to his place. Since then, we have been together three times, and I find he is not the same guy he was. He is not happy and he is scared for the future. He works all the time to earn more money because the accusations from his ex have cost him a lot. He is tired and I am afraid for his mental health.

I think he’s afraid to lose me because he doesn’t show me his feelings like he used to. We still have that sexual bond, but that’s not enough for me. I need his affection and more of his presence in my life. I really love him and I would like to have a future with him, but I don’t know if I should wait for him anymore. Should I let him go and go on with my life? — Afraid for His Mental Health

I think we can add another item to our list of red flags one should not ignore: he’s in jail for harassing an ex-girlfriend. Gurrrl, no. You need to MOA. He’s in jail for emailing an ex! No one goes to jail for sending a couple of emails. There’s a back story here. There’s probably a restraining order in place that he violated, and just imagine what had to have happened to make that a thing. And you really believe he had a stroke and had to go recuperate at his father’s cottage where he has no cell reception and then, just a couple weeks later, he’s in jail? Hmmm, I don’t think so. The “no cell phone reception” was a lie to get you off his back while he harassed another woman to the point of getting thrown in jail. Let that sink in for a minute. He lied to you so he could harass another woman without your bugging him. You think he’s not showing his feelings for you because he’s afraid to lose you?! Um, no. He’s not showing feelings for you because there aren’t any. He uses you for sex to relieve the stress and tension he’s experiencing over being arrested and facing prison for harassing another woman.

Aim higher.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. None of this sounds like an ounce of truth to me (his excuses). Whatever happened he is lying through his teeth.

  2. Juliecatharine says:

    Damn girl this is a whole new level of denial.

  3. Oh, sweetie, you have been played. Do some googling. That “I got sick and had to recover at my relative’s house and I can’t call” line is as old as the hills. I’d be willing to bet that the “ex-girlfriend” was not-so-ex, and you were the sidepiece.

    And Wendy’s right – people don’t spend six days in jail for calling and e-mailing an ex-girfriend. Something much, much worse is going on. That talk of “conditions” tells me that she had a restraining order against him, possibly because he had physically threatened her, or actually injured her.

  4. Avatar photo Cleopatra Jones says:

    Not really what I’d call a ‘good man’. Actually, he’s the exact opposite of a good man.
    At the very least, if everything that he has said is true– he’s still not ready to be in the type of relationship that you want.
    He needs to get the court stuff, the ex-girlfriend stuff, and health stuff together before he can reasonably thinks about being in any type of relationship with anyone.
    Stop sleeping with him, and MOVE ON! He’s going to take you on a roller coaster ride that will leave you sick, sad, and miserable in the end.

  5. Unwanted_Truth says:

    Why are the comments listed differently and to the right of my screen? Or is it something on my end?

  6. anonymousse says:

    It’s on my end, too.

  7. RedRoverRedRover says:

    You have to do something pretty serious to land in jail for this. At the least, hundreds of calls or emails. At the worse end, stalking or physical attacks. Is this the kind of guy you want to be with?

  8. You’re recounting his words like they are facts and you believe them. This is all lies. He did not have a stroke. He disappeared for literally three plus months (September through the end of December). You didn’t see him at all during that period. He could have been doing absolutely anything! What he *chose* to tell you was he was in jail for harassing an ex, for six days. If that’s what he decided to tell you, whatever it is is soooo much worse.

    Besides that, look: you were together 6 months and he couldn’t say “I love you too,” when you said it first. He then disappeared for a long period of time and now only comes around for sex. He’s not holding back feelings, he doesn’t have any besides just wanting sex. You’ve got to wake up and realize this is over and it never really was anything.

    1. I think it’s safe to say this guy is scum, Kate; the problem is this LW doesn’t realize she is a pond.

      1. Yeah or a Petri dish.

  9. artsygirl says:

    I absolutely question his story as well. I highly doubt if anyone who had a serious medical episode such as a stroke would ever go to a remote area by himself with no way to contact someone. How would anyone know if he fell ill? How would be continue his follow up care? How would emergency services reach him if he did manage to contact them? None of this makes sense to me.

    1. I was wondering the same. My younger brother had a mini stroke a couple of years back – 4 days at the hospital, and weekly doctor’s visit after that. He lived alone so everyone was checking up on him, morning and night. I alone called every night to make sure he was ok before going to sleep. And this went on for weeks. This guy’s story doesn’t sound right at all. :-/

    2. dinoceros says:

      Yeah, not to mention that you have to actively work on rehabilitation. You have to attend physical and occupational therapy, go back for checkups, etc. And if he truly had no damage, he wouldn’t have needed to take time off.

  10. Sheesh. Just. Sheesh. I’m going to fight Wendy on her MOA advice again. In this case, it ain’t safe for you to move on. Just stop. Between the lies this guy told you that you believed uncritically (I count probably 16 depending on whether he even has a brother) to the lies you told yourself (about 8 by my count), you can’t risk a move of any kind. Don’t move on. Just stand very still. In fact, hide behind the drapes until a trained life coach comes to rescue you. Until you give that head of yours a shake, I wouldn’t recommend any entanglements with anyone. I think i had a stroke just now reading this. I’m serious – get a life coach and don’t date anyone without her permission. If you can successfully bring her two consecutive men who she doesn’t instantly clock as obvious skeevy liars, you win back the right to make your own decisions again.

    1. RedRoverRedRover says:

      Hahahaha omg.

  11. dinoceros says:

    There are plenty of women who accidentally wind up getting involved with men who harass women and they spend sometimes months or more trying to get away from them. You are purposely seeking this out. It’s hard for women to get men who are stalking or harassing them to actually be put into jail, so stop being naive and assuming that he’s an innocent party here.

    Also, if a person has any sort of negative effects from a stroke it would be caused by damage to one’s brain. If he had no damage, then he wouldn’t have needed to take time off. He’s most likely lying to you.

  12. Avatar photo Guy Friday says:

    You have to do something pretty serious to land in jail for this. At the least, hundreds of calls or emails.

    I’m not disagreeing as to the overall advice here about moving on, but I just wanted to clarify one point: assuming he was, in fact, in jail for 6 days as he claims, that’s actually not implausible for writing a few emails. If there was an injunction (the technical term for a restraining order that’s made semi-permanent for a period of time by a commissioner or judge) against him and she reported it, he could have been taken in late on a Friday afternoon, held for up to 3 subsequent business days without a decision having to be made by the prosecutor as to whether to charge him or not, and then ultimately released — with delays on that — on Thursday morning. Friday-Thursday = almost 6 days, which most people would round to 6.

    Now, if you want to debate the getting of the injunction in the first place, that I don’t have enough information about. But injunctions are generally easy to get BECAUSE courts would rather restrict liberty for safety as opposed to ignoring a potential deadly situation. I got one once for a woman whose ex threatened to bust the windows out of her car. He never did it, but I wasn’t going to take the chance. I don’t regret doing it, but I also don’t know that he would have done the deed if given the chance versus simply being pissed and saying something stupid.

    1. RedRoverRedRover says:

      Fair enough, I wasn’t clear. I meant including the possibility of a restraining order. Either he did something bad enough to just get thrown in jail, or he did something bad enough to merit a restraining order, then he broke the restraining order. And from the story he told her (“broke one condition”) it sounds like it was the latter. You don’t get restraining orders by being a totally normal person. He was either harassing her with the amount of calls or emails, or threatening her in them, is my guess. Either way, not exactly a prince of a guy.

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