Let The Person Beware
By Thomas Anter For The Woman's Page

First of all I would like to apologize for not having a column last month. My Internet Server lost the e-mail before it reached the editor. My column this month deals with knowing your prospective life partner or significant other before you decide to spend the rest of your life with them or get into a relationship with them. I have written a piece about this before but I believe that this deserves a second examination.
Here is a scenario for you to ponder: you meet someone through a friend and you seem to hit it off really well with him or her. You start spending more time with this person and you think that you know them. However, what you don't know is that they have three different cell phone numbers, two e-mail addresses, and they are hiding certain facts from you about their past. They frequently tell you one thing and with the next breath they contradict themselves and you catch them in a lie. You know they are lying but you don't believe that they would do anything to hurt you, so you put it in the back of your mind and hope for the best.
You now have been with this person for approximately a year and you are considering marriage. But wait there is more: he came home late without an explanation. When you asked him where he was, he says he had too much to drink when he was out with his friends and slept it off in the car. Here's another lie: his friend that he was out with comes over to visit and he isn't home yet. You ask him why he didn't take your boyfriend home last night and the friend replies that they never went out. Again you put this in the back of your mind and forget about it, being the forgiving person that you are.
Flash ahead to a year from now and you have been married for a month. You find a condom in his pocket when you're doing the laundry and when you ask him about it he loses his temper and slaps you in the face and tells you never to question him about anything again. At this point you are stunned and hurt and you are deciding whether or not to call the police to file assault and/or domestic violence charges. He turns to you and says he is sorry and that it will never happen again.
The same incident happens twice more but by now you have a child with this person and you are not working. You have no income and you feel trapped. At this point you file charges against him, and get a restraining order. He harasses you by telephone and constantly appears in the same places you are. You decide to take him back, only this time it's worse--he threatens to kill you and the children.
The preceding is a composite of many clients I have dealt with and it hurts me every time. Usually when I get a call like this, where the person is in immediate danger, I advise them to get out of where they are and make a call to the Sexual Assault and Trauma Resource Center (1-800-494-8100).
Much of this can be prevented if the person is aware of the circumstances they are in early enough to do something about it. Many women and men find themselves in bad relationships that have a major effect on their lives. My message is simple here: look before you leap. I know this is easier said than done, but it is good advice. If you are in doubt about your other half, or your significant other-to-be, check them out. I know this is tough to take but sometimes it is necessary.
You have enough in life to deal with; you don't need extra aggravation. Life can be very good if you are with the right person. Be choosy. Check around before you decide to spend your time or life with someone.
Until we meet again, be safe and be aware.
If you have any further questions I can be contacted at Legal Support Services
401-359-7193. I can also be reached by e-mail at info@bigbrotherinvestigations.com. This column does not substitute for proper legal advice. If you are in need of such advice please contact a lawyer.