- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dear Ms. Vicki,

My fiance and I have been engaged for two years. We were engaged before he deployed to Iraq. I waited faithfully. I worked full time, paid off bills (many were bills he incurred before I met him), stayed in contact with his mother and other family members, and had a home ready for him when he returned from Iraq. Boy was I stupid.

He was getting phone calls in the middle of the night. He said it was a wrong number. Long story short, I found out by reading his e-mails that he was cheating on me with another soldier in Iraq. I have since met the girl, who confirmed his actions.

He has apologized and tries to assure me it won’t happen again. I feel betrayed because I know I don’t deserve what he did to me. Lying about it and keeping me in the dark makes it worse. I often asked if he was cheating and he made me feel like I was going crazy and that it was just my imagination.

I postponed the wedding until next year. Do you think I should still marry him? — Fiance Cheated

Dear Fiance,

I think postponing the wedding is a good thing. Why should you marry someone who is already cheating? The red lights are flashing right in front of you. Don’t ignore your fiance’s actions.

Since you asked me, I’ll give you the short version: No, don’t marry him. Not now or next year. However, if you go through with the wedding, do not do so without premarital counseling. I think his actions are just a sign of what’s to come after you marry him. Proceed with caution.

Reader responses:

• I read your column regularly in The Washington Times and generally I think you give very sound advice. But anyone can drop the ball now and then.

“Fired Because of a Lie” said in her June 11 letter she had been fired during her probationary period on the job on the strength of rumors planted by co-workers about stealing supplies from the company. You told her to “move on and let it go.”

That might have worked in the past, but in these times, that lie — and her dismissal for it — may come back to haunt her throughout her career. It easily could be the reason any future employer casts her resume into the “junk” pile instead of the “call for an interview” pile.

Today such lies about a person’s professional conduct will stay forever in a personnel file, and can easily find their way onto the Internet. Once there, they’re unstoppable and can circulate virtually forever — without challenge, too.

She should, at the very least, file a strongly worded objection with the labor board, human resources department, and her former supervisor, stating her side of the case and denying the allegations. She may or may not be believed, depending on how convincing her accusers were, but it has to be on the record.

I was in a similar situation some years ago. I had to threaten to sue to get the accusations withdrawn, and even then, they spread by word of mouth. I have never quite reclaimed my reputation, even though I did absolutely nothing wrong and had a stellar work record until that time.

No, Ms. Vicki, “letting it go” is not an option in this case — not unless “Fired” wants this to blemish her work record forever. — Lynda Meyers, Arlington

• Ms. Vicki, I only occasionally read your column, but the June 18 column was right on. You gave good and mature advice to the three ladies who wrote to you. All three are whiners and women! Is there a relationship there, or do you hear from men who also don’t get it?

“No Fairness in the Army” seems to forget her husband voluntarily joined the Army. If he has back “trouble” and knee “problems” which she does not explain — how did he get into the Army? And who is the doctor who doesn’t think he should be deployed? Is he an Army doctor?

“Moved West to Start Over” got married to “spite” her parents and has been playing the skin game with men who aren’t her husband. What happened to her brain?

“Mother and Son” is 36 years old and is looking for “happiness,” but abhors a son she had outside of marriage. She also has been married three times! I predict she will never find some happiness until she accepts the responsibilities she has. Maybe being alone will give her time to think.

I’m an 80-year-old man and I do not look down upon women, but these three really shock me. — Bob Jerussi

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