Snooping Disaster?

30 Sep

Letterbalm DetectiveDear LetterBalm: Did I do a bad thing? On the recommendation of friends and a lawyer, I had a full background check done on the man I’ve been seeing for the past year. It looks like we’re headed for marriage, and I love him like crazy. But I wanted to be sure he was the real deal. So, I had his personal and financial background investigated. It turns out that everything is fine, which I thought would be the case. But two weeks ago one of my blabbermouth friends told him what I had done, and how he’s really angry. He’s stopped seeing me and won’t return my calls or e-mails. He won’t even listen to a good friend of his who volunteered to be a go-between. I’m afraid I’ve lost the love of my life. Help!

–Can’t Be Too Careful

Ah, no good deed goes unpunished. (Thank you, Clare Boothe Luce or, maybe, Oscar Wilde.) You did something with the best of intentions and it backfired on you. Ms. L.B. commends your caution; a person can’t be too careful, and your friends and attorney gave you good advice. Heck, prenups and other premarital negotiations are a dime a dozen these days. You might consider why your beloved overreacted. Is he secretive by nature? Would he have been more amenable had you told him: “Sweetie, I hope you’re not offended, and I expect nothing to come of this, but I’m having your finances and personal life checked out. You might do the same with me.”? Hmm … on second thought, it might have caused offense. Mail him a handwritten note. If he responds, lovely. If not, consider it a life lesson and don’t discuss the subject further with family and friends. And, if you must investigate a potential mate in the future, tell no one, especially your blabby friends:

Dear Simon,

You have every right to be offended by my decision to take a look at your life. If it means anything, please know that I expected the background check to find that you are exactly what you are – a fine and decent man with nothing to hide. But it doesn’t take away your feeling that your privacy was violated, and for that I am so sorry.

If it is any consolation, I honestly felt I needed to do it because I’ve been burned in the past, and it has made me cautious. Perhaps I should have told you what I was going to do. Would it make any difference that I would be O.K. with you running a background check on me?

I hope with all my heart that you can understand my actions and want to talk about it with me. It may be hard for you to believe now, but I love you very much and hope that we can be together.

Love, 

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