Dear Michelle Valentine,

I have been divorced twice, with my first marriage lasting a couple decades and my second, to an abusive husband, less than a year.

I don’t make a lot of money, not even enough to live on my own. If I weren’t living with my current boyfriend, who also has been divorced a few times, I would have to move in with my kids. I had a bankruptcy from the first divorce and am slowly getting my finances straightened out; I also am working on furthering my education.

I expect by a year from now my financial picture should be much better – I never expected to be “rescued” by anyone financially, so when I get my life back in order I will take great pride in having accomplished this goal.

The issue: My boyfriend has been thinking about marrying me, but only if my finances to be in order first. We get along very well, and he says he loves me, my children and my grandchildren – even my dog. We also have the same views on many other issues, but I have had very domineering husbands and am afraid his request is too controlling.

I am building up my self-esteem and I think it may be good to be on my own, to think for myself, for a while. What should I do?

Carol, via e-mail


Dear Carol,

You said it yourself in your very last line:

“I think it may be good to be on my own, to think for myself, for a while.”

With this in mind, you should consider not living with your boyfriend until you two marry – if you decide to marry a man who is more concerned about your money than about you as a person. But, he could be smart about protecting his finances and credit, depending on how deep you are in financial trouble.

In the meantime, living with one of your children might be a good idea. You would have the emotional support of your children, and you could help them out with child care and household chores.

And you should be very, very proud of yourself for getting your life in order and furthering your education!

Dear Reader:

Do you know someone who has been through a financial crisis and has a hard time getting back into the dating scene? Please leave a comment below and tell us all about it!

We’ve all had good and bad experiences in our lives. We all have gifts to share… especially the gift of knowledge. My hope is that this week’s advice column empowers you to take (or continue on) the wonderful journeys life has to offer!

Now, I would love to hear from you… Have you – or someone you’ve known – to be in this situation? Or… if not, what advice would YOU give to this letter-writer? Yes, more than one answer is allowed – but I’m truly curious as to what made your heart pound the most.

Leave a comment below and let me know. Remember, do your best to share as much detail as you can because thousands of fabulous individuals come here each week for insight and inspiration.

With so much love and appreciation,


Michelle Valentine

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