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home : columns : dear harriette November 21, 2018

4/11/2018 7:51:00 AM
Reader questions whether to confront former boss

DEAR HARRIETTE: As so many Me Too stories are coming to light, I have remembered what happened to me at my job years ago. When a superior tried to force me to be intimate with him, I told my boss -- each time. I didn't get much help, though. In the end, I avoided him until I stopped working there.

Now that people are talking about their experiences, I want to add my voice to the conversation. This man is retired now, but I know how to reach him. Do you think I should write him a letter or contact him in any way to tell him how much he violated me back in the day? I am not interested in money or anything. -- Me Too, Baltimore

DEAR ME TOO: It is true that this movement to hold (primarily) men accountable for sexual misconduct has reached a loud roar in our culture. As a result, many people are remembering and speaking up. It is good for you to get it out so that you can purge yourself from this bad experience.

Approaching the man who violated you is tricky. You must figure out what you want out of it. If speaking about what happened to you is enough, send the letter. It is unlikely that he will respond. If you can find his phone number, you may get more satisfaction from saying it to him and hearing any reaction he may have. Sadly, many men who engage in this behavior never admit their sins.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I've been dating a woman for about a year and a half. I like her enough to marry her, and I have told her as much. We are both in our 40s. That's why I don't like playing games. She, however, has been doing some things that bother me. For example, she never identifies herself as being in a relationship on social media, even though she posts regularly, often with sexy pictures of herself. I'm not trying to control her or anything, but it seems weird to me that she says we are close and that she wants to be committed to me, but the commitment is never public in the social media stratosphere. I feel funny about that. I don't want a wife in private who acts like she's single in public. What can I do? -- Claiming My Lady, Shreveport, Louisiana

DEAR CLAIMING MY LADY: When you consider marrying someone, you need to figure out if this person is compatible with you and if she shares your values. A shared life has many twists and turns, but if you don't start out on the same page, it will be very difficult to find comfort together down the line.

The new frontier of social media is alluring to some people and distressing to others. Some use it as a place to play out their alter ego's fantasies. If that is what your girlfriend is doing, you have a problem, especially if she is not including you in that fantasy. Talk with her about your concerns. Ask her to explain why she is making these choices and what she wants for the future. Tell her that if you two plan to marry, you think it's important that you agree on many things, including social media use.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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