Help! My Guy Went Back to His Wife—but Not Before Stealing My Necklace.

Advice on manners and morals.
Feb. 13 2014 6:00 AM

To Err in Eros

Prudie’s advice on a pilfered necklace, expecting a ring, and flowers for Mom—just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Emily Yoffe.
Emily Yoffe

Photo by Teresa Castracane.

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Dear Prudence,
I dated a man who was separated from his wife (they were both aware of the separation, thankfully). While we were dating, he stayed the night a handful of times. The last time, I noticed that a pearl necklace my father had given me was missing. I turned the house upside down, but never found the necklace. Eventually our relationship fizzled and he reconciled with his wife. Then, a mutual friend forwarded an image his wife sent out of a beautiful pearl necklace he had given her to symbolize their new commitment to each other. This necklace already has sentimental value—to me! The necklace has unique elements, and I have photos of myself wearing it. When I tried to ask the guy about the necklace, he blocked my number. I could contact his wife. I don't want to squash their reconciliation, but I can't think of any delicate way to explain the situation and ask for the necklace to be returned. Should I let the necklace go and wish them the best, or should I let her know that her husband is part of the Bling Ring?

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—The Bedroom Burglar's Ex

Dear Ex,
At least this jerk didn’t steal your heart. Your Bling Ring reference makes me think of the classic To Catch a Thief, and I say with certainty that your cat burglar is no Cary Grant. Perhaps this guy said to himself that he wanted a memento of your beautiful affair, and now every time he sees it around his wife’s neck he thinks of you. You should give him another reason to be on his mind. I know Valentine’s Day is upon us, but don’t get so carried away with the idea of romance that you are willing to let this light-fingered guest make a grand gesture to his wife with your jewelry box. Contact his wife (tomorrow would be an appropriate day!) and tell her that while she was on hiatus from her marriage, you and her husband dated. Explain that during this interlude, a pearl necklace given to you by your father disappeared from your house. Say the mystery was solved when a friend forwarded you a picture of the wife wearing it. Acknowledge this is distressing news, but that if she has any doubts you can send her photographic evidence the necklace is yours. Let’s hope that she doesn’t rip it from her neck and throw it in her husband’s face, but instead makes arrangements to return it to you. After all, she now knows the symbol of her husband’s commitment is stolen property. If she decides that instead of returning it, she’ll just also block your number, gather your photographic evidence and have the police visit this pair.

—Prudie

Dear Prudence: Dressing Down

Dear Prudence,
I started dating a great guy about a month ago and I’m at a loss with how to approach Valentine’s Day. We’ve been on four fun and pretty amazing dates so far. I’m scared to bring Valentine’s Day up to him and have him reject me—whether it’s because he’s got plans with another girl (we haven’t had “the talk”), he decides to go out with his friends, or just isn’t invested enough in “us” to do something. He’s a romantic and sweet guy, so I’m sure he’s not oblivious to the fact that Valentine’s Day is coming up. Do I just keep my mouth shut and do my best not to be disappointed if he doesn’t mention V Day or plan anything? Or should I be brave and bring it up in a casual, playful way? Things are progressing very nicely between us and I don’t want this holiday to mess things up.

—Fretting

Dear Fretting,
If you’ve seen this guy four times over the past month you’ve been going out once a week. So I hope this week you two have a lovely Saturday evening and ignore the pressure that Friday’s Valentine’s Day would impose on such a nascent relationship. There’s no hiding from the fact that it’s Valentine’s Day, but since you don’t even know if he’s dating other people, now is not the time to be brave about the year’s most fraught romantic holiday. If by now you don’t have Friday plans with your new guy, then go out with friends, or stay home and watch the Olympics and be grateful you’re seeing things better than Bob Costas. If things continue to progress, you two will have plenty of time to plan a blowout celebration on Feb. 14, 2015.

—Prudie

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