Dear Prudence Valentine’s Day edition: I read all my fiance’s emails, and didn't like what I found.

Help! I Read All My Fiancé’s Emails—and Other Love Quandaries for Valentine’s.

Help! I Read All My Fiancé’s Emails—and Other Love Quandaries for Valentine’s.

Advice on manners and morals.
Feb. 14 2013 6:15 AM

Be Mine or Else

Prudie offers advice on a snooping fiancée, a non-cuddler, and a guy who never brushes his teeth—just in time for Valentine’s Day.

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Dear Something,
From your description it shouldn’t be long before there’s nothing in his teeth, because he won’t have any. Sure he’s a lovely person with many fine qualities. But you are on track to write to me in five years complaining that your husband is 100 pounds overweight, won’t clean his dentures, and has out-of-control diabetes. You’ll be telling me you’re worried about becoming a widow and raising your kids alone. So before that happens, you should tell your boyfriend that as you contemplate the future, you’re realizing the issue of his health and hygiene aren’t something you can ignore and they’re potential deal-breakers. Tell him if he wants to commit to being healthier, you’ll support him all the way, but you don’t intend to monitor and nag. Add that given the condition of his teeth, it’s not healthy for you to kiss him until he goes to a dentist and starts brushing regularly. Then see if he takes any action. Believe me, down the road you don’t want to be looking for a Valentine’s card addressed to My Toothless Sweetheart.


Dear Prudence,
Several years ago a girlfriend whom I loved very much cheated on me and ended up getting engaged to her new beau. I found solace in alcohol. During one of my binges I broke into her house to take back an item of mine. While there, in my agitated state, I decided to take something else that had monetary value (which turned out to belong to her roommate). I told a lot of people how I had gotten retribution for all the scorned lovers. Since then, I’ve received professional help for my drinking and am in a good place in my life. After moving cross-country I bumped into my by-now-single ex who unbeknownst to me moved years ago. We got back together and are serious about taking things to the next level. I’m sick with guilt over my misdeed but worry if I tell her I will lose the chance at something great. But a lot of people know the story and someone might bring it up. What should I do?



Dear Worried,
Sure, you committed a felony in your attempt at retribution, but the person you really owe an apology to, as well as a check, is the roommate. But given that your breaking and entering was because of a broken heart, there’s a good chance your former—and current!—girlfriend will forgive the actions of a man out of his mind because of the loss of her. So tell her before someone else does. If she leaves you over this, then it’s probably best if she’s gone for good. Oh, by the way, what happened to that fiancé of hers she left you for? You probably should find out if she cheated on him, too.


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Emily Yoffe is a contributing editor at the Atlantic.