In 2010, I met a good man who lived near my father's house in New York. He was from another country – one with political turbulence – and he had worked with my father for almost eight years. We started as friends. Then I fell in love with him. (I met him a few years after my divorce.)
We started a relationship in 2013, but it felt unstable because he was in NY and I live in another state. After a few months of dating, I found out that he had a wife and a daughter in his country. When I discovered that, I felt so horribly betrayed and ended it. He explained that he left his country because he suspected his wife had another man. As it turned out, when he returned to his country – which he soon did – his wife had another man living in his house.
During all of this, I tried to stay out of the picture. But because the situation in his country is very bad, he asked me for financial assistance to help him with the crisis. At first, I felt mercy and I helped him. But then I found out that some of the money I sent him was spent on nights out drinking with his friends. I told him I wouldn't send him anything else.
Years passed, and he found me on Facebook and says he wants to get back together with me. He asked for my forgiveness many times. He says he was an idiot to keep secrets from me and that he does not want to be in his home country anymore. He wants to marry me, etc. But after all of these kind words and promises, he asked for money again.
I had started getting excited about him again – until there was another request for money. Also, my feelings aren't what they once were because it's been so long since I've seen him. I feel hopeless. What do you suggest I do?
Your gut is telling you that this man shouldn't be asking for love and money at the same time. It's also saying that too many years have passed, and that as much as it's nice to read kind words on Facebook, his promises aren't real. You're unsure about the relationship because it's never been a sure thing.
You don't have to continue to talk to him. You can trust your gut and move on. It would be better if you spent your time and money looking for a partner who doesn't jump to conversations about marriage. Let someone (perhaps a local someone) get to know you and choose you because they want you around, not because they need to unravel a life elsewhere.
I understand that the complicating factor here is that you're worried about this person. You want him to be safe, and maybe you feel bad for shutting him down while he's in a turbulent place. If you didn't have lingering feelings for him, I'd say you could be his friend and help him navigate his next steps. But you're not over him. His marriage plan sounded good to you until he asked you for money. That means you can't be anything other than his ex. Accept that and set boundaries.
Readers? Should the LW be in touch with this person? Is the marriage comment something to consider?