I met a man who told me he was divorced. Due to his extreme kindness, his eagerness to protect me, and his love, I ended up giving in to the idea that we should live together. After many months, he told me that his children and their mother were coming to visit and that we should let them stay in our house. It turns out that he was not estranged from his wife. He was divorced, but only because he and his wife agreed that he should consider the possibility of marrying someone in this country in order to get citizenship and then bring his whole family. It was all nothing but lies and pretense. He never had any good intentions with me. I know that at my age it was very stupid to let myself be defrauded emotionally, but maybe it was the many years of loneliness that made me fall for his lies.

I am writing my sad experience to take a weight off my conscience, so that it can be an example to someone who finds herself in a similar situation, and more than anything to receive forgiveness from God for not having known how to respect the dignity that he created me with.

Dear Friend,

You are very brave to tell your story, and wise to realize that you will help other people by admitting that you made a major mistake. Unfortunately there are many individuals who are willing to lie, cheat, and engage in sexual relations in order to gain legal standing in another country. Those people don’t really care who they hurt along the way.

Women are the ones who are most frequently the victims of this kind of scam because they are more likely to let their emotions trump their reasoning ability. However, most women think that it could never happen to them. They usually believe that their intuition will help them identify anyone who is trying to take advantage of them. But the reality is that unscrupulous people are very successful in exploiting women (and men) by taking advantage of their vulnerabilities.

We believe that every woman should thoughtfully develop a list of common-sense rules for herself. Furthermore, she should determine that she will not break her own rules no matter how much “in love” she believes herself to be. She should keep a written copy of the rules and share them with a few friends or relatives. At the top of the list should be rules about what she will allow herself to do about money and sex.

God designed sex to be the loving expression between a man and a woman who have committed to each other for life in marriage. It is intended to be the ultimate intimacy that results from bonds of love too special to be shared with anyone else. It is a gift that a wife gives to her husband, and a husband gives to his wife. God meant for it to be beautiful, pure, and exclusive.

Many believe that the Biblical prohibitions against sexual relations outside of marriage are outdated. People of all ages have been brainwashed by the popular culture to believe that sex should be a common part of any romantic relationship between consenting adults. And there are those who mistakenly believe that sex is just a form of entertainment with no emotional component at all.

After beginning a sexual relationship, it is very easy to decide to live together for practical reasons. But often when the couple begins to really get to know each other, the disillusionment begins. They discover that they don’t really want to be together, but by that point it has gotten so complicated that they don’t feel there is any escape. So one or both of them ends up having sexual relationships with other people. They feel trapped, and happiness becomes a distant dream.

You mentioned that you want God to forgive you for not respecting the dignity with which He created you. We assure you that God will forgive you if you ask Him. He wants to restore your dignity and your self‑respect so that you can demand that others treat you as you should be treated. You have learned a valuable lesson that will help you avoid unwise decisions in the future. Make rules for yourself that will show that you value both your emotions and your body.

Thank you for sharing your story,

Linda and Charles