Maria’s Musings & Advice: Now I Know

By on Jun 23, 2017 in Advice | 2 comments

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Dear Maria,

I just found out that a family friend has been lying to us about his age. During a visit home, a mutual friend told me that she suspects that he is older than he appears. (I think she has a thing for him, too.)  I was at his apartment, and looked in his wallet to check his age. She was right. Why do you think someone would do that? And, what do you do when you know more than you wish you did?


What Do I Do Now?

Dear What Do I Do Now,

Why would someone hide their age? Take a look around at our youth-obsessed culture for some insight. Maybe he is insecure about his accomplishments or appearance. In some ways, this whole scenario confirms these fears: the gossip, the sneaking a peek at his ID. Is there something wrong with being “older”, or is his deception the real issue? His motives are a mystery, but your hurt and sense of violation are not.

How did you feel as your mutual friend shared her suspicions with you? How about when you looked at his ID? These are actions we keep to ourselves. Now, you share your friend’s need for discretion. That peek in his wallet may have been justified, in the moment, as way to the truth. But, this information has brought only further doubt and inner turmoil.

How does this information serve you? If your family is contractually connected with him, or in any other employment or legal relationship, then fraud is a concern. Tell them right away if this is the case. Otherwise, I’m not sure what, if any, action you take. Things will never be the same between them if you tell your family. Are you ready to be the cause of this dramatic change? I don’t know how you approach the subject, or the friend in question, without disclosing your own indiscretion. Trust is broken on both sides, and may be very difficult to rebuild. Since the friend who tipped you off may have an emotional investment in the outcome, it’s probably best not to involve her further in the conversation.

This truth about your friend will come out. There will be other ways that this deception cracks. The truth is tireless that way. For now, keep this info to yourself, and watch how things unfold. This information is a burden you carry. Seek wisdom and understanding in your response as the truth reveals itself. As for your friendship with this man, your guard is up, and for good reason. Keep a friendly distance. Don’t dwell on his deception, rather attend to his good qualities. Keep your wallet close. Next time you’re tempted to sneak a peek on someone, remember this regret. Someday soon, you’ll step into the light on this issue, and the weight will be lifted from your heart.


Dear Readers: In a quandary? Life got you down? Need some perspective? If you’d like to submit a question, click here. I look forward to hearing from you, or “for a friend.” Please add your thoughts, and suggestions in the comments section, below. 

Disclaimer: The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only. The opinions or views expressed in this column are not intended to treat or diagnose; nor are they meant to replace the treatment and care that you may be receiving from a licensed professional, physician or mental health professional. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist.  This column, its author, and the publisher are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions. We reserve the right to edit letters for length and clarity, and all comments are moderated.


  1. Sue

    June 28, 2017

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    The FIRST thing I thought when I read this entire story and question was why would you need to know someone’s age so bad that you had to “break into” their private things to find something? I have never been that interested to know someone’s age, except maybe when I was young and in my teens. I don’t ever recall getting into anyone’s wallet (save my husband’s) to look for something that was not mine. I’d be more regretful of doing that than worrying about the guy’s true.

    SECOND, since it is not evident the age of the people involved here, it is difficult to give a good guess as to why a man would hide his age. I know many women over 30 that lie about their age, and for many years until it suddenly doesn’t matter anymore. I didn’t even know men would bother to lie about their age, except to date someone younger or to lie to get into the military earlier than legally they should. I suppose there are other reasons, unique to different scenarios.

    • Maria

      June 28, 2017

      Post a Reply

      For the person hiding his age, this issue is becoming more prominent as baby boomers age. So many have lost work due to economic conditions, downsizing, etc. It’s hard to find work with comparable benefits in these situations. Recently, a friend who works in hiring told me that it’s acceptable to leave specific dates off a of resume now. The prospective employer really can’t ask an interviewee their age. It’s easy for them to discriminate based on age (just from viewing a resume) without considering the prospect for an interview.

      For the letter writer, I think trust is the biggest concern, and they wanted to know the truth badly enough that they took advantage of an opportunity. Something we’ve all done, in one form or another, along the way!

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