long distance marriage in trouble please help

louise64March 3, 2012

Long story but I met and married my lovely husband 10 years ago I had 2 adult children from a previous marriage who adore him and he them.After a few years he became extremely sad at being so far from his home land and was desperate for me to met his elderly Mother. For some months of seeing him become more and more miserable, coupled with the fact that we had no family living near us in the UK (The kids were getting on with their own marriages and children) I agreed to move abroad with him, Moving to any new land I'm sure can be difficult but I found moving to the middle east a huge culture shock. Within 8 months we learned that my daughter was very ill and was about to undergo life saving surgery but with a very real risk that she would not survive the opp I immediately returned to the uk to be with her and it was agreed that my husband would join me asap, he knew how difficult the move had been for me and even without my daughters health problems we both felt we had made a mistake in moving.

Together again in the UK we were happy but then his entry clearance visa was coming to the end of its 2 year issue, after which time he should have been able to apply for citizenship, however he had not travelled straight to he uk once his visa was issued as we had work contracts to end, apartment furniture to sell etc, which took a month or 2. When I called to request a citizenship application we were shocked to learn that he was not able to apply because he had not been in the UK long enough! we were both crushed as we had just started a new business together and knew we did not met the relevant critera (financially) to obtain a new visa for him due to the business we had invested in.

He had no option but to leave the country or face deportation. We struggled for a further 8 months apart while it became obvious I could not manage the business on my own and so we lost all our investment. Also my daughter had fully recovered and was once again getting on with her own life.

Even though we knew it would be hard the only way for us to be together was for me to join him again in the middle east.

We were happy but I cant pretend that I settled into the culture and I became as depressed as he had been in the UK at the beginning of our marriage. After 3 years during which time my mother died, we lost a grandson and trying to long distance councel my daughter through a very unpleasant divorce, serious political unrest erupted around us and the British Embassy advised us they were pulling out all but essential staff and that if at all possible British Nationals should also leave the country. My husband and I agreed that I should return to the UK and that he would join me, that somehow we would get him a visa to join me again. He sent me saying that he belived it was Gods hand as it seems our daughter goes from crisis to crisis either with her health or relationships. He said she needed us both to be available to her and he too missed our grandchildren.

So since 2009 we have been apart, me trying in desparation to get a well enough paid job to fit the visa requirements but in these terrible economic times and with such gaps in my resume I have not been able to.

For over two years he has been the one working hard to keep in touch, calling me every day and us both supporting each other as best we could via yahoo etc. He moved in with his now very elderly mother to whom he is a wonderful nurse.

Last year I visited him and we spent a wonderful 3 months together, parting at the airport was heart breaking for both of us.

He has always kept my spirits up reminding me of our dreams and his love.

He took a new job just before Christmas and he is working 7 days a week as well as looking after his frail Mother. He called me 2 weeks ago and he was not his usual strong self but wept as he told me how worn out he was emotionally and physically, how alone he felt and that he had lost all hope of us ever being together. I cried too and in the emotion of the moment said it would have been better if he had never met me and had married within his own culture. We both cried and his international phone card ran out.

He didn't call me for a week and when he did his manner had changed towards me he was very respectful but suddenly said that although he would never divorce me I should divorce him he then proceeded to give me the names of the forms I would need where I should send them etc. It all sounded surreal to me.

I have called him and sent him so many emails explaining that I didn't mean my words, and that I will come to him, that I cant imagine life forever without him. He just keeps saying that although he loves me it will never work as he can not face seeing me be so unhappy in his country and he can not come to the UK and that now with his new job he has realised he no longer wishes to live in the UK even if we could make it happen. He says we should face it and end our marriage. I have begged him to let me try living there again and he has said if I want to he can not stop me but he has no hope that I will be happy and its not what he wants for me or for himself.

I am in pieces I can't sleep or eat he is my world. He agreed that we should meet up but that it would take a few months for him to be able to send me money for flights. I was so worried that our marriage would not stand that kind of delay that I have borrowed the money and booked flights for next week when I told him he seemed genuinely pleased but not over the moon the way he was last year when I was arranging to visit him. It's so out of character for him not to show overt expressions of love towards me, he even seems a little irritated by my calls and emails so very very different from his usual way.

I am so worried he has said that if I do move back after this visit then I should be very very sure that I will be happy, but that he cant see it, so I shouldn't come.

To be honest I know in my heart that I can not guarantee him or myself that I will cope with it. He is right I have tried before more than once

but the alternative is unthinkable to me. I have played it out in my mind and not having him in my future is unbearable to me.

Please any insight or advise would be so welcome the whole family are baffled at his sudden change I cant emphasise enough how within our relationship he was the one that worshipped me and even as recently as last month emailed our grand daughter saying how he couldn't wait for him to join us all in the UK.

Also our children and grandchildren our so upset not only at the realisation that he will not be joining us all one day here, but also that I am moving away again.

Tonight he got his brother who has lived in the USA for the last 20 years to call me I've only ever spoken to him once before, he was very kind and understanding but kept telling me that he didn't think I could be happy there that after his visit there last year he couldn't do it so there was no shame in a European woman not being able to. I explained that I wanted to try anything to save my marriage and he then kept trying to persuade me that it wasn't safe for Westeners there. Eventually I told him I had booked flights and he backed off.

Please help me I leave in 8 days time and my imagination has me fearful of what I might face. I have asked him if he has found someone else and he assured me he hasn't I asked his brother to tell me if there was anything else I should know and he too said as far as he knows there is know one else involved.

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Louise, good luck with your trip. I pray for you.
So sad to read your story.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 4:44PM
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Thank you so much Marie for your kind words, I really aprieciate your prayers

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 6:11PM
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Louise, "Don't agonize, organize!"
Call or write your local government representatives who deal with this sort of thing - ask him to do the same with his consulate. Talk to the press, a news magazine, immigration lawyers - tell your story to everybody you know - somebody somewhere knows how to cut the red tape to get you back together - fight for your love relationship. Win this, don't spend the rest of your life wondering "what if...".

Good luck!

P. S. Is there a third country where you both could live together?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 11:54PM
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Its been months since I posted but I find myself struggling with issues that the long distance may have started but I just don't know what to do now!
Upon my arrival it was apparent that he had fundamentally changed in his feelings towards our marriage and so his attitude towards me has been extremely hurtful. Its long so please bear with me as I really need help.
Just before I came back he told me he had only 1 hour online access at work and no access at his Moms, and he blamed this as the reason he didn't respond to my messages and emails, but as soon as I arrived at his Moms he said 'you can go online and tell the kids your here safe' I asked him why he had told me he didn't have internet at home and he flew off the handle denying ever having said any such thing! I logged onto our yahoo account as it is more reliable in the middle east, he has never been tidy with the yahoo account so it was overloaded with old emails spam and the conversation list was pages long. I started to delete and generally tidy up the account when I noticed that he had over 30 emails from a woman I didn't know, I opened a few of them and they were love/friendship poems and pretty gif art featuring hearts and romantic settings. I don't know why I did it but I forwarded a few of them to another account. after an hour or so he came over with a coffee and nearly dropped it when he saw I was using the yahoo account instead of my msn. neither of us said anything. Later the same day I logged on again and All OF HER EMAILS HAD BEEN DELETED nothing else just those and she was no longer in his contact list!! rightly or wrongly I said nothing for a number of weeks as I didn't want to put even more pressure on what was looking more and more like a marriage he no longer wanted.
Over the next few weeks he was so changeable he would either be emotionally shut down towards me or very loving, he became very negative about our years together saying it was a mistake for us to ever be together then he would say things like your different I think we can make this work only to change his mind again a few hours later. He started asking strange questions like 'do you think I will marry again?' or 'what should I do if someone else fell in love with you?' what kind of questions are those to ask your wife???!!
I still tried to stay calm and would answer things like that by saying ' I'm not sure I understand what your asking, why would you be thinking of getting married again? I'm here with you" but no matter what I did he would become frustrated with me. One evening he was particularly hurtful and I tried to reason with him but eventually we ended up in a terrible row and I let him know that I knew about the woman at work and had seen all the emails before he deleted them. He told me I was crazy he had never received such emails and certainly never deleted them!! He was visibly shocked when I told him I still had copies and that I knew her name her facebook account and so I also had a photo of her. (where we live adultery carries the death penalty) and I keep wondering if this was not the case he may have been honest about this emotional affair I don't think it went further than sharing a private office together but I cant be certain as he will not speak of it. He then later said he should be allowed to do what he wants as I used to have a work friend that called me a lot. the guy was gay and proud of it and I always took calls from him in front of my husband. His family have all been very different towards me and I have since learned that just before I came back he talked openly about me not coming back and 'moving on' they of course all said what he wanted to hear at the time things like: you should have children of your own/ you need a Persian wife/ it was never meant to be etc etc. and now they seem embarrassed to be around me unlike when I used to live here and they came to us every week for a get together.

His mother was very very rude to me throwing things at me and when she realized we were moving into our own home again she kept saying things like you can go but he owes me his life he has to stay/ she would make hurtful comments like 'he wants his own children and a new wife' my husband never told her off for any of this not even when she threw things at me and so it got to the point when we did move out that I asked him to have no contact for a while as I belived she was not good for our marriage. of course the first opportunity he got he went to her and this caused me such emotional termoil, when he came back he could tell I was unhappy and he just kept saying 'I can leave if you want' or an hour or so later ' I think you want me to leave' I ignored it for as long as I could and after a drink or 5! I finally snapped and said yes just go back to your Mom! and so he quickly packed and did!! I immediately felt that I had blwn it so I called him and said I was sorry for getting so angry, he got his brother to call me from USA to tell me to leave the country as my husband was never coming back and didn't want to see me!! My husband texted me the next day saying he felt he couldn't come home but didn't want to go to his Moms I told him to come home and we would see what we could work out. After work he came home but was very very cruel and said things I never thought I would hear from him, and in the middle of saying such things he would look at me and say 'I could never have said these things before as I know it hurts you' but it was as if he was enjoying hurting me. later the same night he started having sex with me but he was very drunk and he forced me to have anal sex which was so very painful!!afterwards he just said 'go shower' and then went to sleep. I cried all night and all the next day I tried to make a joke of it! I know that sounds stupid but I didn't know how to deal with it. I blamed myself as throughout our marriage he has 'tried' but it has always been too painful for me and so he has always stopped. But I feel that because I've always been willing to try maybe he thought it was OK or I tell myself he was so drunk he didn't know what he was doing...but he was sober enough to tell me to wash. If Im honest my gut feeling was that his cruel words before and this forced sex act were a punishment!! He wanted to hurt me???
This was 2 months ago and we are still together, he still is very loving towards me but then doesn't want to be with me, he will often just come home get drunk or stoned and go straight to sleep, but other nights he is lovely to me. If I upset him at all he repeats things like I will only stay if Im happy./ I want a perfect marriage/ if I get to 40 and this is no good then I have no kids of my own etc etc
I never promised to stay with you forever!! But then the next day he will say things like 'please don't leave me/ your amazing/ I love you/ I adore you !!!!!!
Please help me I dont know which husband to belive? I feel truly suicidal at times Im so confused.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 9:35AM
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Get your affairs in order and prepare to leave...he has checked out of the relationship, there is no going back at this point. Sorry to be so blunt, but I lived thru a similar thing with my ex wife...I wish someone had put it so bluntly to me, it would have saved me a few years of trying/hoping to salvage things.

You will just waste time if you continue to try to fix this....its a train wreck.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 1:42PM
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Thanks Mkroopy your right and the trying/hoping is loosing me all self respect. I imagine me just walking away but all I can think is .. what if... He said to me 'please wait for me I'm coming back' but there is a part of me that knows I can never forget this episode even if this type of thing never reoccurs. an old preacher once said 'if you so much as dip a clean sponge in ink you can never wash out the stain!' and if I'm honest that's how I feel our marriage will always be stained especially as his family now view me with pity and not as the adored dream come true status that I held throughout our marriage. (until now)!

I appreciate your honest opinion. I guess I just have to match my heart with my head so If I walk away I don't feel so disjointed!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 11:48PM
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Sweetheart, why on earth are you still there? Pack up your bags and get the hell out of Dodge. Do it without your husband suspecting what's up- he's keeping you on a string and it wouldn't surprise me if he tried to stop you leaving if he knew that was what was going to happen. In your shoes I would even be prepared to walk away with what I had on me if that's what it took.
Now that your husband is on home turf with his family to back him his true personality has come to the fore- and it's cruel and abusive, as you have stated yourself. It's never going to get better, so run girl, run.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 12:30PM
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To most of us, this is a no-brainer. Get away from that man, his family, and the relationship. I understand that your culture is much, much different. But you DO NOT have to put up with his control and actions! G E T O U T and don't look back.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 1:07PM
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Life is too short to waste it in this toxic relationship.

Do you want to look back on your life and wonder why you stayed so long at the expense of your happiness ?

It will be difficult in the short term to leave but things will get better when your brain is free to think for yourself.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:39PM
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As an outsider looking in it's easy to see: Your relationship is over, you need to go back to the UK as soon as possible. People here (including me) are concerned for your safety!

It must be very hard for you to see your husband change into this unpleasant man. You remember what he used to be like and of course you're going to have hopes he'll change back somehow. Unfortunately this is highly unlikely, I'm so sorry.

Have you considered that maybe your husband is not strong enough to break up with you; so instead he's trying to get you to do it for him?
I know a couple here who are in a similar situation; he treats her like crap because he doesn't really want to be with her anymore. He even tells my DH that it's his way of trying to get her to end it, how bizarre huh? But she's hanging in there; putting up with it all and this has gone on for years..it's painful.

It sounds like you know what to do; I agree with the other poster that it might be advisable to not inform your husband that you're leaving; just organise it and go when he's at work. Be on the safe side.

Hugs to you, wishing you the best!!!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:05PM
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I am concerned for your safety and your legal rights in a country where there is no British Embassy and perhaps where married women have few legal protections.

Have you considered your position in a culture where you are effectively stranded and at the mercy of your husband's whims?

Can you even leave secretly or do you require your husband's permission?

Whether he knows it consciously or not, your husband is applying intermittent reinforcement.

It's like slot machines. Because you win sometimes, you stay engaged, always hoping for the "big win." You keep feeding the coins in, even though most of the time you lose. But it's the possibility of winning that holds you.

And because your husband sometimes is nice, you stick, hoping things will go back to what they were. But the truth is 1) he's involved in some kind of surreptitious relationship with another woman, 2) his family is physically abusive and 3) worst of all, he forced you to submit to a sexual act you didn't want and which was painful. In other words, he degraded you. The alcohol is not an excuse. Alcohol just peeled away the layers revealing who he truly is.

Consider your vulnerabilities. Consider the risk of being trapped, no avenues for recourse, no opportunity to return home to your daughters and grandchildren.

Then get out of there as fast as you can.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 1:48PM
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Oh Louise, I fear for your safety. Please plan and quickly get back to the UK and like it was posted above keep your plans to yourself and do it when he is at work.

Get out while you can, deal with the emotions later when you are safely out of the country and back to the UK.
Please update here when you arrive safely back in the UK.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 4:10AM
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