She stole $13,000


New Member
I am not a parent, however my problem deals with a parent/daughter relationship and I found this forum through google and it seemed the most relevant to my concerns.

I'll try to keep this as short as I can:

My girlfriend (31 yr) and I (27yr) have been together for 3 years. During the first couple of years we had our ups and downs. Some of those "downs" were financial differences. I'm an avid saver and long term thinker. I have no debt. She has chosen to live her life in the moment and has a lot of irregular debt. I consider "irregular" debt to be anything besides car payment, student loans, rent/mortgage etc. Basically she has a lot of consumer debt.

We lived together for one year and had to move out due to both of us changing jobs and such things. We moved back home, planning to only stay for a couple months. We've chosen to stay at home for a year now because we had some arguments and weren't sure about the relationship.

Now that we have that out of the way - to put it simply, I've always known that my girlfriend "borrowed" money from her mom when things were tight and she needed a little extra to cover her bills. She "borrows" it because her mom has put her in charge of a savings account that she hides from her father (step dad). She gives my girlfriend money each month to deposit into that account that is secret. My girlfriend is in charge of the account A) so that it's secret and B) because my girlfriend's mom is originally from another country and doesn't speak English hardly at all so it's easier for her daughter to take care of many things like this for her.

I found out tonight (she told me) that she nearly had a panic attack because her mom asked for her money - $13,000 in total. She wanted to transfer it to a new account. My girlfriend apparently spent all of it and has NONE of it. She spent it on her debt, etc.

I didn't even know what to say. I knew she "borrowed" money and that felt sketchy to me but I thought she paid it back - or at the very least I didn't think she took that much.

I'm struggling with this from a moral sense. I work in law enforcement and this goes against my morals. In fact it's criminal, and I would arrest someone for it. But this is also a girl I love and have been with for 3 years.

Her mom works for less than minimum wage due to being foreign and having trouble with the language (she's legal, though). I can only imagine how long it took for someone like her to save $13,000. Her mom has NO idea her money is missing, and my girlfriend has a lot of stress that she will need it before she pays it back. Her "plan" is to get a second job and pay it back slowly after she's done with her Masters degree in May. She's been in therapy for a year, and she's been working hard to get a higher paying job to pay this stuff off.

How do I talk to her about this? If this was your daughter what would you do? I'm so confused as to where I should stand right now. Any help is appreciated.


Roll With It
If I were you I would first look to protect my JOB. Knowing about this and not acting could maybe put it in danger? I don't know, but you need to first protect yourself. NOT to rat her out or anything, but if you are not cared for, you cannot care for her or anyone else. You also need to think LONG and HARD about the type of woman who would do this. And look into how she handles it from here.

I would encourage her to go and speak honestly to her mom. If her mom needs the money now, then daughter better start having the yard sale to end all yard sales, all her consumer goods better go on Craigslist to get that $$ back - with Christmas in a few weeks the time is right now rather than next month when prices will be much lower. If her mom is willing to wait, then the second job needs to start NOW. Even if it is only a few hours a week, SOMETHING needs to start now. And ALL spending needs to stop unless it is for the most very basic items. SHe needs to learn to be frugal even if she hates it.

IF she won't go to her mom and be honest and apologetic and remorseful, literally groveling, then something is going on. If she has done this before and her mom won't forgive her and let her work to pay it back, or sell her things to pay it back, then mom has the right to have her arrested and you may have to do it. Likely another officer will, but her mom has that right. If you want to help her through this, that is your call.

This will devastate her mom. Please make sure you let them both know you support the mom in her feelings, whatever they are. The daughter is so far out of line that it is incredible. I would suggest that the daughter get this over as soon as possible and be prepared for the worst. There may not be time, and she may not have enough stuff to liquidate to get her mother the money as soon as she needs it. PLEASE do NOT give your girlfriend the money to give to her mother. This is NOT your debt and your girlfriend NEEDS to experience these consequences to learn this lesson. She NEEDS this. BADLY. Or she WILL do it again, even bigger. You don't want to have been there, done that, and gotten the ugly tshirt.

The two of you need some therapy and financial counseling together.This will tear you apart as a couple faster than anything else. Check every joint anything that you have with her. One of the only times I EVER used the word divorce in a discussion with my husband was after finding a bunch of credit cards I didn't know he had. We got credit counseling, which I recommend for your girlfriend. Check with the BBB for a reputable agency because the bad ones are REALLY bad. Our company is out of business or I would give you the name. They were excellent. They negotiated lower payments not only monthly, but as a whole. They also got creditors to stop calling, got one company to see that we really had paid them off years before and didn't owe them anything, and taught my husband how to stick to a budget. I had been trying to do these things, but he would get a credit card and go out and just buy whatever was cool or shiny that broke before it got home. It drove me crazy. I think it was the sixth time in ten years I found new credit cards that were maxed out when I said this is the LAST time, or I am gone, done, over. We are at 25 years now, so he learned.


Well-Known Member
What an awful problem to be in the middle of. I am not sure that your job would be in jeopardy. I think it would depend on whether the mom presses charges, and many moms would not. And even then, if you weren't aware or involved, it should not affect you. But it is a major conflict of interest.

My concern, is do you really want to continue a relationship with someone who could do this to her hardworking mom? She took advantage of someone who was vulnerable. Someone who loved her and trusted her.

I would give an ultimatum that she confesses to her mom and makes it right before continuing a relationship with her.

So sad. KSM


Active Member
There is a point where you need to protect yourself. Sounds like it would be a good idea if you did so asap! (I would distance myself from this mess at a minimum.)


New Member
Thanks for the responses.

Do you really think confronting her about this is a good idea? I mean surely, I will HAVE to talk to her about it at some point - but I'm concerned that with her current state of stress over the issue, confronting her or giving her ultimatums may not be helpful to the situation. She may actually regress and it may only serve to cause more problems if I push into it.

I'm even more concerned about telling her to confront her mom about it. I know ultimately, it's the right thing to do - but on the other hand, there is absolutely NO WAY she'll be able to pay that money back anytime soon and I'm worried about breaking her family apart. I don't really feel like it's my place to force her into telling her mom which might result in ruining her relationship with her own mother or possibly her other family members even.

Of course, I want her to learn a lesson and I want to see that this is something she isn't making a habit of (especially in regards to our future together). From what I know, this has been a one-time thing. In fact, she went into a lot of her debt years ago helping her parents stay in their home instead of losing it when her dad went through a period of unemployment due to work related injury. She hasn't historically been the best with money, but it's always been her money at her own detriment (hence, the consumer debt). She isn't someone who I've ever seen steal money or objects or con people just to continue a habit like shopping. She's gone through cycles where she racks up consumer debt, gets a second job, and pays it all back to zero. Then does it over again.

She got into therapy mostly for this reason, and I have seen her improve that aspect of her life in the past year. I gave her an ultimatum at that time because we were arguing about whether we could have a future together because of her finance problems. She's been a lot more frugal in the past year and she's been paying her debt down considerably. It sounds like this $13,000 is an accumulation over years that she took a little bit here and there, rather than all at once... and, she stated to me, that she hasn't been paying her mom's account back because it's zero interest compared to her credit cards and she thought she could pay those off first - and then be able to pay her mom's chunk of cash back a lot quicker once those credit cards are gone.

I'm not making any excuses by any means, but I'm trying to view this objectively after sleeping on it. On one hand, she's doing the things she's supposed to be doing: she's in therapy for the issue, and she's made visible improvement over the past year. She stated to me that she's going to be handing the account access off to her sister so she won't have access to it once she starts paying the money back (right now, there's nothing in it). She seems remorseful and it's causing her a lot of anxiety. On the other hand, the moral issue bothers me, and the sticker shock of 13 grand kinda took me off guard.

Right now, we're in a unique situation. We have zero joint accounts so I don't have to worry about that. Due to our work schedules being a lot different, we see each other 2 days a week. On that note, a second job for her right now is almost impossible. Between work and commute she's gone from 5am - 8/9pm at night Mon-Fri. I work nights and she's still up until 2am every day doing her homework for her masters degree. Most of the 2 days a week we see each other are spent sitting side by side doing homework the entire day (I'm also pursuing a higher degree). There is a possibility her next few classes won't be as rigorous, and she'll have more free time - but right now, it's nearly impossible.

Due to our situation, I've considered that I'm already pretty removed from the situation and I guess I'm lucky enough that I don't have much to lose (besides her) if she screwed up somehow. It may be to my advantage to push her in the right direction by selling some of her things, etc ... and see how she decides to act, rather than giving her an ultimatum, and how she acts may tell me everything I need to know.

What do you think?


Well-Known Member
I don't think it's about you. You are not going to fix her. Nobody can but herself.

Her mother doesn't know she stole. You really can't know for sure if secret stealing is a bad problem of hers. Stealing from her mother shows a lack of empathy toward her own loved ones.

I think you may be in denial as to what sort of person she is. Perhaps you could get into therapy to gain insight and clarity from an outsider. If you were my son and asked for my take, I would encourage you to wait a few years before getting into a committed relationship with her. See if other stuff comes up. Observe. Wait. Don't excuse morally dark behavior. See what life with her would honestly be like.

This is not somebody I'd want my son to marry and have kids with. She literally ruined her own mother financially for her own use. And she is not a young kid.

You are going to do what you want. I hope you keep your eyes wide open. It's not up to you to teach her lessons. She is the only person who can change herself on a deep and organic level.

Wishing you all the best!


New Member
Thanks, you're right. It's definitely all up to her - and that's why I don't think I should even get involved with making her tell her mom or anything like that. Trust me, I agree that it's morally dark behavior and that's why I'm having a hard time processing it. Like I said - I knew before she "borrowed" money but I thought it was like... a couple hundred before she got her next paycheck, and then it all went back in when she got paid again. I mean, it's still sketchy, but I thought she was on hard times and I thought it was being immediately paid back. Sort of like asking your parents for help in a pinch, but she did it without asking which was the sketchy part.

Anyway, yeah, I may seek some professional counseling or something briefly to help me figure out what is best for me and how to proceed. As far as stealing goes, well, I believe she hasn't been a habitual thief. I never observed any behavior like that when we lived together, before, or after. I did know about this "borrowing" of money, but like I said my impression was different; perhaps it's my fault for not asking her for more details - it sounds like she "borrowed" and didn't return like I thought, and it just got way out of hand and now she owes a lot.

As funny as it sounds, I don't know how to talk to her about it. If I dealt with something like this on the job it would be really clean cut.... but since it's someone I'm close to and care about, it's not. I don't want to make her feel like a terrible person since she already expressed remorse and anxiety - but I also feel like it's something we HAVE to talk about.


Well-Known Member
Borrowing money without asking,even if she had paid back, is stealing. She is 31, not a child, but even a child knows this.
If you feel you can't confront about something as important as this behavior, that is not a positive about your ability to communicate with her.

This is actually a criminal matter. And you don't know if she shoplifts or steals from others and just hasn't been caught yet. I personally...and this is jmo...dont think that one random day, after having been honest all her life, all 31 years. she decided to steal from her mother. I don't think that's logical. To me, caught or not she has probably done bad things before. Whether you saw it or not or she did them to you or not.

Whether or not you care about her (why did you turn a blind eye to het: borrowimg?") ...this is a thief. It makes a statement about you too. Most of us I believe would have put a stop to it, even if we had to tell Mom, and then walked away. This was not just sketchy behavior. It is illegal and so wrong. Your own mother??

What will she do to you if she gets desperate?you think you are more exempt from this than her own mother? I call Denial...i am sorry.

Think hard about if this is who you want teaching your children. Again wishing you luck.
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Well-Known Member
Hi and welcome,

There is a lot going on here, more than just the theft.

A healthy marriage/partnership should be based on honesty and openess.

I hope you will consider whether you can build a life with someone who could deceive you (not to mention her own mother) in this way.

A relationship is not something that you "make work". It is about finding someone that already has the character that you admire. Someone that doesn't do things behind your back. Someone that you can trust completely. Someone that you can talk to about anything and everything, and she does the same for you.

Don't gamble with your future.


Well-Known Member
Well, I have a different viewpoint than others, which is not to say I would minimize the situation.
I've always known that my girlfriend "borrowed" money from her mom when things were tight and she needed a little extra to cover her bills. She "borrows" it because her mom has put her in charge of a savings account that she hides from her father (step dad).
This is very common in my own culture where women in my own family siphoned off money to have "their own" money. And then these mothers have joint accounts with their daughters, sometimes, like this.

I had a friend who was holding 10,000 dollars in 1977. She "borrowed" it to invest in stock options, and lost it all. So, you see, I have seen this before, so it does not seem all that unique to me.

Which is not to say it is not problematic behavior.

Also, compulsive behavior like you describe-with money-is quite common; shopping, inability to face money issues, etc
is very common, too. That your girlfriend is seeking therapy is to her credit.
Do you really think confronting her about this is a good idea?
I think if you can think of this as supporting her, sharing her burden, you might find it easier to do.

If you want an intimate relationship, sometimes you have to talk about hard stuff-go to difficult places with somebody, where there is pain and shame and maybe conflict. You see this in your work every day. That is what family is about, really. The people who will go with you, stay with you--through bad and good.
I'm even more concerned about telling her to confront her mom about it.
Yes. This worries me too.

With my friend of long ago, she worked and so did her husband. I think she just put all the money she earned towards repaying the "borrowed/stolen" money and the mother never knew. The mother does not need to know if the money is quickly replaced, I do not think.

I think replacing the stolen money is more important than the masters degree, which can always be resumed. Personally, I think that. Is there a way that you would be in the position of helping her accelerate the replacement of the money? If both of you were paying towards the sum, it might be done quickly.


Well-Known Member
…. Just an idea … I'm only commenting on a way to think of replacing the mother's money asap.

If girlfriend really wants to make it right asap, If there is a way perhaps she could get a loan of money from a financial institution / lending service agency, etc., in order to quickly ~ asap replace all the funds in her mother’s account. Girlfriend would of course still have the debt to repay (with interest surely), but her obligation for the repayment would be to the third party lender (not to her mother). This situation is a much more comfortable set-up. She would then be treading a right path. If the loan was from an established lending service, there would be a legal contract and all on the up and up.

I don’t know personally know what kinds of loans people can get, or if she has collateral she can give for a loan, etc. Is there a close well-off “friend” with funds, who trusts her enough who could loan to her, etc? Even a loan from a well-off "friend" could be legally set up with a contract and payment agreement plan. Girlfriend will likely end up paying more of course because of interest, but that is what most people do when they “borrow” and have use of others’ money.


Roll With It
The big problem I see is the the Mom ASKED for the money from the daughter. The daughter cannot get out of discussing this, and really should come clean with the entire situation. If you discovered it accidentally but the mom hadn't asked about the money, I would encourage the daughter to start putting the money back immediately, but to handle it her way. In this case, coming clean is going to HAVE to happen. Lies and omissions are going to make things worse, as are attempts to whitewash the situation as borrowing or whatever other nonsense that is going through her mind.

I would bet that your girlfriend, if she has any conscience, is tearing herself up inside, panicking and thinking that everyone is going to hate her and throw her out of the entire family/relationship. Talking about it all gets that out and lets you see that while anger is there, and so are consequences, love is still there. Trust will take time to earn back, but it possible. But if you don't talk it out, some of that awful feeling is going to be there for a long time. Being open and honest is truly the best way to handle this. Maybe do it with her therapist to mediate things, if her mother will go to the session (of course daughter should pay for the session, not mother).

My thought of having you there as she talks to her mother was not to judge her but as moral support if she wanted it and if you wanted to provide it. My suggestion about making sure you were clear for your job was for simple self protection, because that should be your first priority. You don't want to be implicated in her crimes. Sadly, since she did not take the money all at one time, this would possibly be considered more than one crime, a series of crimes, which could be very serious. It is also likely felony level. THIS is why I suggested making sure that YOU are clear, that she could not implicate you in some way, because this would destroy your life in many ways, especially your career.

I am glad she is getting help. It is important. I realize the holidays are coming up and gifts are important. I would like to suggest one that would give her a different way of looking at money and consumer possessions. It might not be to her liking, but it might be interesting. It can be found used on amazon. The book is "The Complete Tightwad Gazette" by Amy Dacyczyan. I give used copies for gifts to good friends often. It not only has ideas and recipes for living cheaply, it shows how to figure out which of several options is cheaper, and which credit option is best and how long it takes to actually pay off credit if you use it. I DO give used items as gifts, especially to my tightwad friends, as long as they are in good shape, because it is about the gift and not the price. This book has amazing lessons in common sense told in plain language. This would be a good tool if she would use it. You also might enjoy it.

I do hope this all works out for her.


Well-Known Member
If you want to know what kind of person this is, that you are thinking of sharing your life, your finances, your trust, your future children with, DO NOTHING.

Just watch to see how she handles this situation.

Don't start the dangerous prescedent of cleaning up her self-made messes.

Don't make this in any way your problem, because it is not.

If she doesn't put her mother first in this, confess all on her own volition without your prodding, NOW, and immediately start replacing every penny, plus interest, you will know that she is not a person you can place your trust in.

If her own mother can't trust her, why should you?

And frankly, going to therapy and paying on her own credit card debt, while ignoring her mother's pleas for her hard-earned money does not make me think well of your girlfriend.

Don't get in the habit of trying to "fix" people, and take on their problems. Especially a love-interest. This is so important! Please think twice about this. Your job is not to fix it and make it better. Your job is to find a healthy person to spend your life with.

Don't lift a finger.


Knights in shining armor are only for fairy tales, not real life.

You don't want to keep having to come back here with the same complaints.


Well-Known Member
The big problem I see is the the Mom ASKED for the money from the daughter. The daughter cannot get out of discussing this, and really should come clean with the entire situation.
Unless the money can be replaced RIGHT NOW by a personal loan for which your girlfriend is responsible.

I agree with susiestar with everything she says. More lies only dig a deeper hole.

You don't want to be implicated in her crimes. Sadly, since she did not take the money all at one time, this would possibly be considered more than one crime, a series of crimes, which could be very serious. It is also likely felony level.
I am wondering if this is really a crime but a moral betrayal. If the daughter's name is on the account, either jointly or entirely, how is it a crime?

This is a betrayal of trust on several levels. The Mom who I greatly sympathize with, took community property money, behind her husband's back and secreted it away from him and from his control. (I greatly understand this because it was done in my own family and by other wives in my culture. Maybe less so now, I hope, now that women can more freely work and control their own lives, at least hypothetically.

The question is now only about accepting responsibility for culpability and restoration of trust, it is a situation of clear communication, no matter what. In this sense, I truly agree with Susiestar. But the thing is, there is a mountain of deception involved here which could be an embedded cultural and historical pattern. The girlfriend's mother is culpable too, and she knows it or she would not have concealed it.

I think you, stealing, if you are committed to this woman and to your relationship and to healing--have to take the stand, first, and to decide what you need. There are moral decisions to be made. This is not just the solution of a problem. The restoration of the money is not the real problem, it is a spider's nest of betrayals and deceptions that has culminated in a crisis. Resolving the crisis does not solve it. It is just the beginning. Stealing. You need to decide where you stand, first. And then act from it and go from there. But understand, that their may be cultural and familial patterns that your girlfriend has lived, from which she will act from. Unless the change and communication start now, instigated by you, you will be marrying into her family system. Be clear. You will be going into this hornet's nest with clear eyes. This is a blessing to you, to know now, going into it.
The book is "The Complete Tightwad Gazette" by Amy Dacyczyan
Thank you susiestar, for this reference. What this really is to me is a different way to live life, removing the lens of materialism, the illusion that consuming will handle anything--emotional need, sadness, discontent. And teaching is consciousness, to face who we are, what we need and where we want to go. While I have not read it, from what I understand it is a radical tool to reassess who you are by confronting compulsive behavior.


New Member
Thank you everyone again for your replies.

Copabanana - My girlfriend is also from a different culture. I'm a white American born and raised man. She's a Korean woman, and so is her family obviously. We do have cultural differences and often have to understand each others differences, so I appreciate your input. I think in this situation it's less of a cultural thing, unfortunately, and more of a desperation thing. She dug her own hole and now has to deal with it... but I plan on sitting her down this weekend and talking to her about the situation and I'll see if there is any cultural difference maybe I'm overlooking. As far as I've been told by her, she says her mom doesn't know - but I don't know exactly what she means: Her mom doesn't know she "borrowed" (stole) money at all, or her mom doesn't know to what extent she "borrowed" money, as in, the entire account. I need some clarification on this before I move forward. Even though her mom doesn't earn much, she's pretty nice about giving her daughters some money and assistance when she can, so it could be possible her mom said it was OK to use a little bit of it - but then my girlfriend got carried away (still wrong and illegal). I just read your last post - I think I also need to find out if it was a joint account or whether it was simply an account with her mothers name that she took from. This does make a big difference in criminality vs. morality.

Kalahou - Thank you for your input, yes, I too have been thinking about how she can replace the money ASAP. I personally do not feel like I can give her the money as I'd like to be as detached from the situation as possible (as many others have mentioned, for the safety of my job). However, I will definitely push her in the direction of looking at loans, peer to peer lending, or even some of her friends who are well off that might be willing to help her with a contract in place.

Susiestar - She is definitely panicking and tearing up inside. I'm not going to say it isn't her fault, but it is causing her a lot of anxiety. Out of a stroke of luck, her mom of her own accord decided that she wanted one of her daughters to open an account in their name instead of taking her money and opening a new account under her name - so the immediate problem of her mom asking for her money is now gone. My girlfriend said she will have her sister open the account so she won't have access to it, and she'll start paying her sister the money to put into the account so she has accountability and no access to the funds inside. Thank you for your suggestion of the gift - in fact, my girlfriend is always looking for books like that. She would probably like that, actually. I'll look into getting that for her.

AppleCori - I agree with everything you wrote. I feel like my role in this is to just inform her of the legal consequences and then sit back and see what she does. You're right; knights in armor aren't real. You can never "fix" someone unless they want to be fixed - and then you're not the one fixing them at all, they are.

Whether or not her and I stay together, I feel like I need to sit her down and talk to her about it. She already agreed to talk about it this weekend with me when I'll see her. I think I need to inform her of the legal consequences - as someone mentioned, although unlikely (due to this being a family issue, and most families wouldn't press charges), if they did ... well, this would be considered a class 2 felony most likely since it's over 10 grand if she stole from her mom's account and it wasn't joint. That carries a sentence of 3-7 years here, plus a likely $25,000 fine AND restitution of the original amount stolen. Maybe if I put it into perspective like that for her, she might understand the weight of the situation.

Sometimes it's easy for us as humans to not understand the weight of our deeds. I see it everyday. People don't understand the severity of the crimes they commit until the reality hits them (in fact, a lot of people don't even realize they committed a crime.) One thing is for certain... I have been in the jails, around them, etc. It is not a place I would wish on my worst enemy let alone someone I love and care about regardless of the crime they committed. Although it sounds simple and clean cut to tell her mom and run - well, that's a bad and possibly dangerous situation too. Sometimes even people who are normally calm and non-violent can become enraged and/or make rash decisions with situations like this, and I don't see the need for that. My training has taught me to de-escalate situations and solve problems rather than flame the fire. Sometimes that means finding a solution to the problem by thinking outside the box even if it's not the most conventional process.

So I will talk to her, and try to giver her some help and advice. Where she decides to take it from there is going to be up to her entirely. Whether her and I continue on will depend on how our conversation goes, and whether I can continue with it on my mind. One thing is certain, I need to see her make restitution.


Well-Known Member
If you want to know what kind of person this is, that you are thinking of sharing your life, your finances, your trust, your future children with, DO NOTHING.

Just watch to see how she handles this situation.

Don't start the dangerous precedent of cleaning up her self-made messes
I agree with Apple to a point. Your girlfriend is showing you who she is right now. She has choices. For example, she could declare bankruptcy on her personal debt and concentrate on restoring her mother's money.

But from my own experience, there is no perfect person. This girl has been shaped by her experience like each one of us. The original deception was by her mother, who as I understood it, took money that was not hers alone, without discussing it with her own spouse. She removed it from community property funds, and she took it voluntarily as her own. And then she decided that the daughter was custodian of the funds. Unless the account is noted as in trust for I think it may be construed pretty much "a gift." But I am not an attorney.
If she doesn't put her mother first in this, confess all on her own volition without your prodding, NOW, and immediately start replacing every penny, plus interest, you will know that she is not a person you can place your trust in.
People can change. Even if they are doing wrong things right now, they can decide to change them.

You can decide to take a stand. If you are committed to her, I do not think it would be an error to support her to change, and see how she responds.

My own partner takes the stand that Apple does, about me. If I created a mess, his expectation is that I do everything required to clean it up. He watches me flail, until I can find a way to solve the situation. But he will not rescue me at the beginning. He makes me try, and try and try--and then he will work with me, when and as he can. That is not to say that he will not help me with the challenges that we have taken on together.

Letting this girlfriend stew in her own juices, I do not know. I would not just watch. And then walk away. I would take a look at myself, and really face what I saw in her, and what I need in a partner, and what I am willing to give. Most of all I would gain clarity about my values are. You must be very clear about your own values, because of your work.

Then I would start from there.


Well-Known Member
Whether or not her and I stay together, I feel like I need to sit her down and talk to her about it. She already agreed to talk about it this weekend with me when I'll see her.
My training has taught me to de-escalate situations and solve problems rather than flame the fire. Sometimes that means finding a solution to the problem by thinking outside the box even if it's not the most conventional process.
I agree.
Whether her and I continue on will depend on how our conversation goes, and whether I can continue with it on my mind
My experience teaches me that these kinds of conversations do not occur in one day. They are ongoing. They may take years. And from the evolution of the conversation (and relationship) change occurs. The conversation is the changing. The changing is the conversation. And this makes commitment.

You will be starting this conversation with somebody who has had an entirely different cultural conversation than you. She was raised in her system, not yours. She arrived in this situation based upon choices by her mother, and the nature of the relationship of her parents--which may well be cultural in origin. Not necessarily a personal failure of your girlfriend. The crime is not hers alone.

I think the first conversation is with yourself, about your willingness and capacity to take on a relationship that begins from different places. (well all relationships do, but cultural differences exaggerate everything.)

It is about commitment. If you love this girl enough to decide to have a lifelong conversation with her about difficult things. This is between you and you.


Well-Known Member
I agree. I agree with everybody else. The issue is how your girlfriend takes responsibility. It sounds like from which you wrote, she knows that a bad thing is happening to her, and that she is in big trouble. But the question here is how she understands her problem. Does she see her problem as she got caught, or does she see that she betrayed her mother's trust and she betrayed herself?

This is a moral challenge, whether or not it is a legal one .

How the bank account was held determines the legal situation: if the account was in mother's name alone (which I doubt) this is big trouble for girlfriend, as you know. If it is phrased, in trust for, still a problem. If it is a joint account, with only one signature required, less problematic, and probably legally defensible. If it is in daughter's name alone, a betrayal but certainly not a crime, I think. But I am not an attorney.

I hope you stay with us and let us know how you decide and how your girlfriend decides. She would be a very lucky girl, if you find a way to stick with her, I think.


Well-Known Member
Take care. Don't help her. See if she had morals or just takes to get herself out of trouble/debt. That is not okay and I doubt it's ok in Korea either. Her.mother trusts her.

Also I was thinking about how I'd feel if any of my kids did this to me.

Totally betrayed and heartbroken. Also I'm hardly financially secure so unless I got paid back. I could be homeless for What? Trusting my daughter?

How would you feel if a loved one had done this to you? And what if it was hidden, but years later the truth surfsced,as secrets do, and you found out it not only happened but was kept from you.

What if she steals again if she is in a bad spot?

Think hard. Think of every angle. Divorce is common because we often ignore red flags...dont excuse it. There is no excuse for betraying a mother's trust, is there?

And the best of luck!
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