Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length.
Dear Doctor Love,
My family needs some help deciding what to do about our father. Eight years ago our mother died at an early age (49). My father went into some kind of mourning and was devastated for several years and could barely function. Three years ago he sold his business and retired, moving in with my younger sister.
He started living on the internet and developed a hot relationship with a young woman from the Philippines. This lady is nothing but a scam artist. She managed to talk my dad into paying for a boob job for her because she said her small boobs were holding her back in her modeling career. None of the family knew about this until it was over. We found out because she sent topless pictures to him showing the before and after. He shared the photos with us and that’s when we discovered what was going on. Then he sent her money to pay off her lease so she can move here. When she was supposed to arrive her father died and she had to spend the money to pay for his funeral.
We did everything to convince him that he was being scammed but he would hear none of it. He bought her an engagement ring and sent the money for her visa and a flight. At the last minute she had trouble with her visa. He flew over to her country and never found a trace of her. It turned out that she did not exist except on the internet. He returned here depressed and heartbroken.
Now, it is starting again. He has met another young lady from the Philippines but he is certain that this one is legitimate. We figure that he has wasted about $18,000 on this so far. We are not worried about the money so much because he is wealthy. We are worried that he will be heartbroken again.
How can we stop this?”
/s/ Oldest Daughter
At the risk of sounding callous, perhaps you should let him continue with it. After all, the last relationship cost only about $6,000 a year. This seems a cheap price for the amount of enjoyment and hope he got out of it. Why not let him go on and encourage him to share it with the family. That way you can monitor what is going on and try to deflect it if things get too outrageous.
If it happens to him again, perhaps he will have learned his lesson.