In this Ask Amy article:
- A reader gets scammed when a friend shares their private disagreements on TikTok, asking for advice on whether his response was reasonable.
- A family member reconsiders estate planning, taking into account the behavior of various relatives during the pandemic.
- A reader expresses regret for tolerating sarcasm and defamation in their marriage and acknowledges it as abusive.
My girlfriend “Cynthia” and I have become much closer lately as we both got divorced and shared our experiences (I’m a man).
Cynthia recently moved back to the area after living a few states away and we’ve been able to go out a few times.
I’m enjoying finally being on my own after a mentally and emotionally draining divorce.
I’ve been very forthcoming that I won’t be sleeping around and I’ve stated that I’m interested in a long-term relationship with the idea that we can start moving in together sometime next year.
I recently came across a Cynthia “TikTok” page that’s (basically) full of videos bringing up every little disagreement we’ve ever had, not to mention me as a Being portrayed as a guy who “doesn’t commit” because I want to. I’m taking the time to work towards moving in together.
These videos get thousands of views and some of the comments (mostly very negative at my expense) relate to the specific apartment complex I am currently staying in. These comments are from friends of hers. This is a hard line for me and I have asked her to remove these videos if she wants to pursue a long term relationship. She then made another video of this conversation and after seeing this video I abruptly ended any form of relationship with her.
I wonder: was it unreasonable for me to ask that our in-person conversations not be broadcast on social media?
You know that asking “Cynthia” to respect your privacy is a perfectly reasonable expectation.
You also know that Cynthia is an unethical jerk who used her private experiences to shamelessly scale TikTok’s oily algorithm with the help of her obnoxious friends.
These are all things you already know.
What I do know is that these days, any deepening in a relationship should be accompanied by extensive conversations about privacy and using social media.
This conversation should definitely precede any speculation about living together, and if a potential partner intentionally invades your privacy and offers you up for online abuse, you should end the relationship immediately.
I appreciate and support your honesty and openness about what you are looking for in a romantic relationship.
I hope that you will continue to pursue your goals under the motto: Trust but verify.
After the pandemic, I made a decision about who would benefit from my trust.
For many years there have been family members who have looked after me, thought of me at their events and thanked me for cards and gifts.
There are others who haven’t.
For years all family members benefited equally from the proceeds of my estate.
That has changed.
The pandemic has put this behavior into perspective, and now those who have remained silent when, for example, a donation has been made will not receive a gift from my estate.
No one will know of this decision in my lifetime.
My question for you is if I should add an explanation to the Trust so everyone understands why some people have received life changing amounts of money and others have not.
I actually like all of my family members, but their behavior has made a difference in how generous I want to be to them.
– Do you want me to explain?
Dear, shall I explain?:
I like the idea of a “Knives Out” reading of the will, and I envision all of your family members sitting around a large wooden desk, leaning forward in anticipation as your attorney reads your will.
I am not suggesting putting this specific wording in your will regarding family members, but discussing with your solicitor the idea of including a letter of explanation as an addendum.
This gives you the opportunity to compose the letter and then later make a decision about the specific language, or whether you want to attach it at all.
In my opinion you should keep the language positive and indicate that you have chosen to reward those family members whose relationships and behavior have rewarded you the most throughout your life. Don’t make fun of certain family members.
Thank you for your response to “Stop Laughing” and for pointing out that sarcasm, derogatory and “humor” towards your partner are not funny, they are offensive.
I know I’ve put up with this for too long. My children began to imitate my husband’s behavior. I wish I had ended the marriage sooner.
I hope this family gets help.
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