Your Turn: “He Dumped Me Because I’m Married to Someone Else”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

I’m 24, and immigrated from the Caribbean in 2001. In 2009 I married my boyfriend at the time so I could get my citizenship. We are no longer in a romantic relationship, but agreed to stay married until my citizenship goes through. We plan to get a divorce in about 6-7 months after the process is finished and carry on with our lives.

This year I started dating this 27-year-old guy and it got pretty serious. We have been dating since May. The night we got intimate I told him I was married. He wasn’t too happy to hear the news but he dealt with it. Throughout the months, I met his mother, some family, co-workers and close friends. I was at his house a couple times a week and I keep some personal belongings there for when I stay the night. Everything was great — we were in love and couldn’t get enough of each other.

Three days ago, I asked him why he never accepted my Facebook relationship request or post photos of us together. He said I was being a hypocrite since he never met my mother and I’m keeping him a secret (my mom was upset about my splitting from my ex and I wasn’t sure how she’d react to a new boyfriend). I went to bed pretty upset that night.

The next morning when he got off work as bar security he called and told me he couldn’t be with someone who’s married. He said that the real reason he hasn’t posted anything about us is because I’m not really his if I’m married to someone else. So he broke up with me. Three days later, he texts me (a couple minutes after ignoring my call to him) and says, “Good morning.” I say, “Hey, I miss you; I’m not mad or crying — I just want to talk.” He said he isn’t ready to talk. I sent him a Facebook message early in the morning explaining my situation and told him if he really loves me he would be there for me.

I’ve heard nothing else from him so far. Most of my friends are telling me there must be another reason he ended it. I didn’t think guys were this sentimental about marriage. I’m angry he waited until we were knee-deep in love. I can’t eat or sleep or do anything productive. I lay in bed all day and secretly stalk his Instagram and Facebook accounts. I just deactivated my Facebook so I won’t keep obsessing. I know I shouldn’t contact him, but I don’t know if he will miss me if he doesn’t hear from me.

It’s not like I’m still in a relationship with me ex. I got married to better my life and move forward. I hate I had to do it but it was my only option at the time. And now he has to judge me for it and throw away everything we built? I only have about 6-7 months left until I can get a divorce am I not worth the wait?

I hope he contacts me again and realizes his mistakes. Please, any advice would help. How can I have him see it’s not right to walk away from me like this? If he cannot stand with me during this stressful period how can we deal with more issues later on? Will he just walk away to protect his heart? — Married for Citizenship


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  1. I´m pretty sure that marrying someone just for citizenship is considered fraud of some type (and way to give people more fuel in their dislike/hatred of immigrants). So I would say sending a r/ship request to someone other than your husband is probably not the smartest move.
    Beyond that I really don´t know what to say. You´re married, I don´t care why. Married people shouldn´t date.

    1. Also, did you not consider that maybe you should have told the guy you were married BEFORE having sex?

    2. Yeah, maybe he dumped you because you’re doing something totally illegal.

      1. Oh please, he was fine with it until recently. It’s an easy excuse to use dump someone so he using it instead of telling her the real reason.

      2. Well, that’s not what he used as his excuse. He used the fact that she’s married, not the fact she was doing something illegal. And maybe he was never totally fine with it, and then just realized over the months that he can’t continue getting serious with someone who thinks it’s fine to commit immigration fraud. Or even that he can’t be serious with someone who’s married. Either way, he’s uncomfortable about something related to the marriage, and unless she can change that, I doubt if she can make him comfortable. And clearly she’s not going to get a divorce yet, so I’d say she’s stuck. Maybe she can contact him again after her divorce.

      3. Avatar photo beelzebarb says:

        Well, there’s also the fact that even if he doesn’t have a moral problem with it, he either figured out, or had someone point out to him, that if the INS gets suspicious and starts to investigate her for immigration fraud, there’s a good chance that he’ll get dragged into it. He might not get in trouble, per se (I don’t know what the law is), but who wants have INS officals show up at their home or workplace to question them? If I were him, I would stay way out of it. As far as him telling her that his problem is that she’s married, I think it’s a perfectly legit explanation for him to give her. Even if it’s more complicated than that, why go into it? It’s not some BS line like “it’s not you, it’s me.” I do have to commend the LW for having the fortitude to deactivate fb to keep from obsessing though. I have a lot of friends who really should have done that at some point or another but just could not stop tormenting themselves. Other than that, LW, sort out the citizenship thing first. Why risk screwing that up over some guy who dumped you? You’d regret that for the rest of your life.

  2. LW, If I were you and I wanted to stay in the US, I would be most concerned about obtaining my US citizenship. I’m pretty sure that the government checks whether or not your marriage is fake (same address? joint bank accounts? joint property? know the spouse’s family?, etc.) so that they grant citizenship to people that are truly married to US citizens. Obtaining citizenship is a long and arduous process from what I’ve heard. I can’t believe that you would even consider another relationship with deportation hanging over your head. Seriously, MOA from this relationship and worry about becoming a citizen. Besides, it sounds that you could use the time alone to grow as a person.

    1. Very true and she actually thought nothing of explaining her situation on Facebook? That’ll read great to the guys over at INS.

      1. llclarityll says:

        Actually the government pretty much does no checks like this at all. You don’t have to have any of those requirement even if you’re in a REAL marriage. There is no way for the government to prove or disprove any of those elements.

      2. Actually the gov’t DOES do these checks. I have a very good friend who’s from ireland who married a girl I went to high school with. He lives here and has his permanent residency established. Going through the process with INS to make sure this wasn’t an illegal sham marriage for citizenship was pretty arduous. And it’s still not resolved even though they now have three kids together and have lived here in the states for years.

        Now I don’t know if the INS does random things like this on a case by case basis, but he certainly went through and is going through a lot to be a citizen here.

  3. I was just listening to Dan Savage’s podcast yesterday, and a woman wanted his advice about sleeping with a married man (who wasn’t getting any at home and looked outside his marriage for sexual satisfaction). Dan, who is kind of an advocate of getting your needs met outside your marriage if they’re not met inside, said that Dan understood why he would choose to do this and might be justified in his actions.

    But, Dan pointed out, the caller herself wasn’t comfortable with seeing a married man. She just wasn’t. Even if his wife was a total shrew, this caller didn’t want to be an instrument of potential pain. So it was okay for her to say no, despite feeling compassion for this man’s situation.

    My point is: your circumstances might be justified (married in name only), but that doesn’t mean your boyfriend is okay with that. Should he have dated you as long as he did? Probably not. But that’s his decision. It’s not up to you. So you have to, as much as it sucks, move on. Treat this like any other breakup and get on with your life. Then, when you are officially divorced, see who’s out there for you to date.

    1. Agreed. LW you ask “am I not worth the wait” and the answer is not to this guy you’re not. Because at the end of the day he doesn’t agree with what you did. Wait out your marriage and then find someone as a single woman!

      1. That line also bugged me. Anyone who feels compelled to ask that question is just a wee bit conceited in my book.

  4. well, ill just come out and say it: marrying for citizenship (or staying married for citizenship) is wrong, and offensive to marriage in general.

    its a moral issue. you are doing something your boyfriend sees as morally wrong (and i bet the vast majority of americans would agree with him on that…), and he cant be with someone who’s moral compass is not intact. its as simple as that. its as simple as someone saying, oh, you make your money from stealing priceless art? we cant be together. oh, you lie to the government to get double welfare checks? we cant be together. you steal cable from your neighbors? we cant be together. ect.. your doing something immoral and wrong. kudos to you for being honest about it, i dont think many people would be, but after you tell people things like that, it is their right to choose if they want to continue whatever relationship they have with you. people need to have high standards for the people in their lives, and if “staying married just for citizenship” doesnt fall within their morals, then good for them for taking a stand in their life and cutting you out of it.

    also, about men not being sentimental about marriage- marriage is a big fucking deal. obviously you dont see it that way, but the majority of people see it as a huge deal. it honestly offends me that you stayed married just to screw the immigration system. so it might not necessarily be “sentimental” feelings he feels about your abusing the immigration system and the fact he cant marry you until some unknown future date. those are real concerns that someone should have about someone else.

    you made you bed dear, now you gotta sleep in it. i would just try to MOA the best you can.

    1. SweetPeaG says:

      I wish I could go onto other computers, sign on to Dear Wendy with other user names and like this again a hundred times.

    2. Preach!

    3. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

      The men not being sentimental about marriage was offensive to me as well. Marriage isn’t some joke or a game to be played.

    4. SixtyFour says:

      Look, I know that it is illegal to marry for citizenship, but I think that everyone here is being very judgemental when they haven’t considered what they would do if they were put in that situation. The LW says she came to this country in 2001 and she’s 24 now, so that means she came here when she was about 15. Its most probable that it was not her choice to come here and she was brought by her parents. Now she is here, considers this country her home, and probably would have a life with many less opportunities if she went back to the country she was originally from. What would you do if marrying for citizenship was the only way you could guarantee yourself to stay here?

      1. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

        Well the way she’s going about things, posting things on facebook and such, it’s NO guarantee that the INS won’t find out that she has a sham marriage.

      2. llclarityll says:

        There is no way in heck the government is going around investigating marriages. The only way she’d get caught is if something was really screwed up with the way him and her were filing taxes. Ya’ll are putting way too much stock into her getting caught. She won’t!

      3. Skyblossom says:

        When we were doing the interviews for my husband’s greencard the agent who interviewed us came out and told the couple ahead of us that she didn’t believe them and didn’t accept their application. This couple had a toddler with them that did seem to belong to both of them and they acted like a real couple. They do look at you fairly extensively but at this point in time I can’t remember all that they asked. I do remember that they needed our marriage license and that she liked the fact that we were married in the Catholic Church. Sham marriages for immigration don’t usually happen in the Catholic Church because you can’t remarry in the church unless you get an annulment and that isn’t easy so sham marriages tend to be with a judge or a friend who gets a $35 divinity certificate. I’m certainly not saying that all marriages performed by a judge or a friend aren’t legitimate, just that a marriage that required premarital counseling and isn’t easy to get out of is looked at as legitimate by immigration.

      4. Guy Friday says:

        Seriously, please cite your sources with statistics or any evidence. I don’t fully practice immigration law, but in doing family law and in working for a firm that deals with the indigent and poor (*cough cough* Blacks and Latinos mostly *cough cough*), I do deal with enough immigration-related issues to know a little about the process. And, respectfully, you’re full of crap. The INS and ICE are seriously anal-retentive about these kinds of things, especially now that illegal immigration has been in the political spotlight for the last few years. I can guarantee you that a foreigner marrying for his or her green card has A LOT more hoops to jump through than my wife and I did. You have to prove you’re committed to marriage, and I’ve heard stories about couples having to visit the Chicago INS office and basically play The Newlywed Game, only the prize isn’t a car; it’s your freedom and citizenship. So don’t act like no one gets caught or it’s not difficult.

      5. its a moral issue, as i said. i dont believe its right to do, thats how my moral compass works.

        as you say yourself, its illegal. thats where it ends for me (and a lot of other people) in terms of judgement for people who do it. this is no different then the drug dealer debate we had a few weeks ago- its illegal. it doesnt matter what you personally feel about it, its illegal, and that makes it wrong. you can debate about the fact that it is illegal all you want, and whether or not laws should be changed, ect,, but at the end of the day its an illegal activity, and in this particular situation, very offensive to 1. people who are trying to come into this country legally and 2. people who take marriage seriously.

      6. Avatar photo Astronomer says:

        Using laws as a moral compass doesn’t always work. Is it moral for two dudes to get married in Vermont but immoral in Michigan? Is it moral to use medical marijuana to combat the effects of chemotherapy in California but immoral in Utah?

        Look, our immigration laws make it a very difficult process for people to become citizens, particularly those who have been staying here illegally. I see nothing wrong with marrying a boyfriend to solve the problem, and then going on with your life (but not the divorce) when the relationship didn’t work out. For all we know, these people still have friendly feelings for each other, and the guy is doing the LW a solid.

        I’m not saying the LW’s ex-boyfriend doesn’t have the right to decide whether or not to be in this relationship (for whatever reason), but I am saying that maybe we shouldn’t be so judge-y about this girl’s immigration/marriage status. She was a kid when she came here, she’s practically still a kid now, and she’s trying to figure out how to fix her problem by whatever means necessary. I would do the same.

      7. Gay marriage and marijuana consumption are prime examples of people thinking about if laws should be changed, and concerning those issues, we are in the midst of that change. Unfortunately it’s not just a one time thing in our country, it’s a long, drawn out process, but the bottom line is that people are starting to think, you know what? Gay marriage/marijuana isn’t a bad thing- we should stop it from being illegal. Personally, I don’t think that will EVER happen for marrying to gain citizenship. It is a blatant and total screw of the immigration system. I do definitely agree that our system has flaws, that our system is harsh, that our system needs some new policies… But that does not mean screwing it someone becomes ok.

      8. I understand that, but it’s this part of your argument that I can’t get behind:

        “it doesnt matter what you personally feel about it, its illegal, and that makes it wrong.”

        There have been sooo many things that are or have been illegal that I don’t consider to be “wrong.” Alcohol was illegal for a period of time. Sodomy is still illegal in many states, isn’t it? Marrying someone of another race was illegal. And discrimination and slavery were legal!

        Yeah, I get it. It takes time to change laws. But in the meantime, that doesn’t mean that something is morally wrong JUST because it’s illegal.

      9. Avatar photo theattack says:


      10. Ok, this is hard to explain, but you can’t debate illegality. Something either is or is not illegal. If you do something illegal and get caught, you can’t tell the judge that you morally oppose the law- you will get put it jail or fined or whatever anyway, and that is what’s wrong in my opinion. Going to jail/paying fines/whatever is bad, so its wrong to commit acts to get you there. Now, the morality of laws is different. I would like to think we are past a spot where most laws are immoral, like slavery you mentioned. We’re past that. There were people in that period who fought for those laws to be changed. And that’s really the whole point I’m trying to make- if you don’t personally agree with a law, it’s not right to just say fuck it and do it anyway. You should actively try to get laws changed so that they are an accurate representation of morals. And again, like I said, I really don’t think that you would find a lot of people who think marriage for citizenship is morally ok. It’s also not legally ok. So, just because our immigration system needs work (which I won’t deny), that doesn’t make it on to just screw the system by using a sham marriage.

      11. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Katie, I think it just comes down to that you think it’s immoral in and of itself to break the law, regardless of what the law is. That’s great, and from our history of arguments together, it seems like you’re pretty convicted of your beliefs. Not everyone believes that though. All of us have different moral codes, and it’s part of my own personal moral code to not impose your beliefs on other people, whether that means religion, your own moral code, shaming other people’s life decisions, etc.

        But you actually can debate illegality. That’s what lawyers are for. haha

      12. no, you cant debate illegality- its black and white on lawbooks. you can debate whether something *should* be illegal or not, and that is where the lawyers come in.

        and yes, i do think its immoral to break laws, and if you think certain laws are wrong, you should try to change them and not just do whatever you want to do. thats not how a good society operates.

      13. Avatar photo theattack says:

        haha, Actually lawyers exist to debate how to interpret those laws every day, not to change them. Legal codes are not at all black and white, which is why the profession exists. Very few lawyers are involved in changing laws. That’s usually left to the legislation. Lawyers are occasionally involved in changing the way certain laws are officially interpreted, like in Supreme Court rulings, but they do not themselves change laws.

        But anyway, my point is that not everyone believes the same things you do, and people don’t sit back and wonder What Would Katie Do? when they’re making their own decisions.

      14. I don’t think Katie wants people to ask “what would Katie do”, she was just explaining HER position, which is likely similar to the boyfriend in today’s letter since he’s the one who broke it off with the LW.

      15. Avatar photo theattack says:

        @rachel, My comment is partially informed by what she’s said in the past about this issue, not just what she’s saying here. Although I do think she’s made it pretty clear here that she thinks it’s a very black and white issue.

      16. Honestly, I don’t care if people ask What Would Katie Do, I just wish they would ask what ANYONE else would do. Maybe then people would make better choices.

      17. Guy Friday says:

        Uh, I don’t know what you think lawyers do, my friend, but that’s not it 🙂 In most states you can’t debate illegality; that would be known as “jury nullification” — effectively asking a jury to ignore the law for moral reasons — and that’s prohibited. In fact, in my state, if you try to pull that, you MIGHT get a warning from the Lawyer Regulation board the first time, but you’ll get punished if you do it more than once. Sure, you can challenge the constitutionality of a law, but that’s not saying that the action isn’t illegal; that’s saying the action SHOULDN’T be illegal because doing so violates another law. So, to crib from CatsMeow, someone convicted under sodomy laws in Texas in the 1980s can’t get their conviction overturned now just because sodomy is no longer prohibited by law there; it just means they can’t get convicted of it from here on out.

      18. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Are you talking to me or katie here? Because I definitely know what lawyers do. I live with one, I’ve worked with several, and I’ve thought long and hard about becoming one myself. I’m not saying that lawyers try to ignore the law. I’m saying that lawyers exist to interpret the law, and it’s not black and white like katie is saying. That’s why the whole profession exists. To argue what action fits into what statutes, etc. You definitely CAN debate whether or not an action was illegal or not. If you couldn’t, there would be no criminal lawyers. Katie is the one saying that lawyers make the laws. But thank you for explaining that you can’t get out of old convictions, because that’s totally what we were talking about.

      19. um, for the record: i never said lawyers make laws.

        i will grant you that most politicians and law-writers are lawyers, or were trained as lawyers, but they do not make, modify, or nullify laws during law procedings. like Guy Friday said, lawyers can sue for constitutionality, but that is just doing what lawyers do: using laws. there are laws in place that say, if you think a law is unconstitutional, you can go through these channels to get it ruled as such.

        lawyers use laws. take murder for example: murder 1 has x, y, z requirements (things like intention, ect). murder 2 has a, b, c requirements. murder 3 days d, e, f… ect. a lawyer will read these laws (that are black and white on lawbooks) and think either two things: (1) my perp did x, so we might be able to get him for murder 1. however, he also had b, c, and f. so he is probably going to plea for murder 3. (2) my client did x, so they will try to get him for murder one. however, we have evidence of b, c, and f, so we can probably get him a lower sentence for murder 3.

        that is not making, changing, or nullifying laws. that is taking the laws that already exist and using them in cases. THAT is what lawyers do.

        if you want to really simplify it, look at the whole law system like a board game. the laws are the rulebook. you have to successfully navigate your player (your case or court precedings) through the game, following all the rules. you dont get to change rules, you dont get to say that rules dont apply to you, you have to use them as they are written.

      20. So, as long as something is illegal it is wrong, but as soon as it becomes legal then it is no longer wrong because you can’t be fined or jailed for doing it?

        I’m not saying that you shouldn’t suffer consequences if you break the law just because you disagree with it. I’m just saying that morally wrong and illegal are not always synonymous.

        Oral sex was illegal in many states, even for married couples, until 2003 btw.

      21. no i agree with you, that is exactly what i said above- legally wrong and morally wrong are very different things. but, i do still think its wrong to break laws because then you get jail time ect, and thats just my personal opinion. i have high standards for people.

      22. Oh, ok. 🙂 I was like, did I misunderstand something?

      23. Are you serious? Oral sex was illegal until 2003?????? wtf….

      24. Immigration is tricky in general. I know a lot of people who have issues with the fact that a child born to illegal parents is an automatic citizen here (Hi 14th Amendment!).

      25. Only if ‘subject to the jurisdiction’ is a child a citizen here per the 14th amendment. That would mean that an ambassador’s child would not be a US citizen, and it could mean that an illegal alien’s child, if the illegal alien was repatriated, would not be citizen.

        It is a matter of statutory law that a child of unknown parentage is as an act of mercy and clementcy, given citizenship.

      26. Talking Mouse says:

        Then she should STAY married to the person she married for citizenship. While it is better to marry for love and/or joy and/or companionship, people have been getting married for other reasons since marriage was invented. People have been getting married for property, to unite families, for social advancement, this is little difference than marrying for citizenship. What I fault her for is not sticking with her bargain for citizenship — stay with her husband.

        The boyfriend was right to drop her, and she has no sympathy from me on her “heartbreak”

  5. I’m a little confused – why could’t you get your citizenship between 2001-2009 – I know you would have been about 12-14 then but couldn’t you qualify for permanent residence? I realize this isn’t an answer to your question but I’m just curious.

    Also marrying someone just for citizenship is awful. Did your boyfriend at the time know that’s what you were after? I really hope so..

    Honestly this guy is probably not interested in you anymore after finding out that you’re married just for citizenship. People don’t want to hang out with people who do things that are against their moral code. Not saying it’s against everyone’s, just that this guy doesn’t want to date that kind of person. So let it go. And stop telling people you’re only married for citizenship!

    1. spark_plug says:

      It’s totally possible. I have a friend who went to highschool and college in the US. Was sponsored after college for a work visa. After two years, her status was revoked and she was forced to go home. Now she’s back in the US for grad school. If she finds a job that sponsors (much harder these days) she’s still in the same boat – there’s always the possibility of getting your visa revoked at any point and you have to go home. The only sure solution is to win the lottery or get married. Fortunately, she’s working really hard on getting sponsored for work. If she met the right guy right now, I’m sure she’d rush marriage (and I would encourage her to do so as well) however most people don’t just marry for that reason only.. there has to be at least something there.

      1. But that’s because your friend was there on a student visa and a work visa which once it ends they have to leave. At the age of 12-14 she would have been there with her family and living there and not on a work visa or student visa and as far as I know she didn’t leave the country (maybe she did) in the 8 years to live somewhere else. I just don’t understand all this immigration stuff I guess

      2. spark_plug says:

        My friend came here for HS on a student visa.. that would have made her around 15 years. And yes, she came here all by herself. Not saying the LW is in the same position.. but its very possible to come here at a young age and not have the right to stay here.

        There’s an entire documentary on the status of illegal immigrant children that go to school in the US – both HS and college – and are deported later on in life. It’s actually not that uncommon.. Even if you’ve been here 10+ years, without a sponsor, you can’t just apply for a green card..

  6. I don’t know how to say this delicately but breaking up because your girlfriend has a husband is a valid reason to break up. You don’t have to agree but then again you don’t need to. Your boyfriend doesn’t need to put his life on hold because of your immigration choices. As to what you can do about it? Not a blessed thing. He doesn’t have to stand by you. You aren’t fully commited to him – so he can walk away and find someone who can be.

    1. llclarityll says:

      This is the most logical and honest answer on here, FireStar. This isn’t an immigration issue, it’s a “your boyfriend is morally against what you’re doing and you can’t change his mind” issue. Aka, the theme of many (most?) letters that are written in to advice columnists.

      1. Yep. If someone breaks up with you, for any reason, just accept it and move on. Don’t obsessively message them, don’t try to change their mind. Even if you think you’re right and they’re wrong. I’m sorry you’re hurting, LW, but it’s time to let him go.

  7. I have a few problems with this. #1 is that you think it’s a good idea to post that you’re in a relationship with someone else on facebook while remaining married for citizenship. The people processing your citizenship will check most things in your life, and considering that facebook is incredibly public, they’ll know you’re lying about your marriage. That’s just a really stupid move.
    As for the boyfriend, it took him a while, but he realized that he wasn’t comfortable with the way the relationship was going. Maybe at first, he thought he could get past the fake marriage, but had a change of heart. You have to respect his decision and MOA.
    The other part of this letter that bothered me was that you’ve only been dating since may. That’s 5 months. That’s an incredibly short amount of time, and honestly “knee deep in love” doesn’t sound all that deep.
    Honestly, you should be thankful that this guy didn’t put anything about the two of you on facebook. If you were in charge of your own socia media, you probably would’ve ruined your chance at citizenship.

  8. spark_plug says:

    LW – I understand your desire to want to be a citizen, stay in the US and do whatever you need to do. I’m an immigrant myself and was lucky enough to have been sponsored for citizenship. I understand that many people aren’t in that situation – I have many friends that aren’t – and it pains me to see them struggling and not be able to stay in a place they have so many opportunities because they’re not as lucky.

    At the same time, I’m sure you can understand the practical reasons why US has immigration control. Imagine that EVERY person who wanted a better life could come to the US – it wouldn’t work. It’s unfair, but realistically the logistics of a 100% open country don’t work. So yes, sometimes people have to do things to get around the system – like you have. I’m not going to judge whether its right or wrong b/c its tough when you’re not in that situation.

    However, I will say that it is incredibly offputting to flaunt how easily you ‘cheated’ the system to other people. If I were you, I’d wait until my marriage was over and stay mum. You’re lucky your boyfriend is a nice guy – you’re lucky he didn’t get upset and report you to the IRS. Girl, where are your brains? You know you shouldn’t be admitting these kinds of things to people right – it could get both you and your husband into serious trouble and worse, your little ass banned from the US. For someone who’s so ambitious about making a better life you’re very willing to throw it away on a guy after a few months.

    So first, MOA. And second, wrap your head around the reality of the situation. Millions of people are trying to get the same opportunity you are and working MUCH harder at it – esp if they try to take the more.. honest (i.e. legal) route. It’s incredibly disrespectful to all immigrants who’ve worked hard to stay in the US or are working hard to stay here to here someone say “Woe me, why can’t a guy I dated for 6 months realize that I’m in a fake marriage just to get a green card.. what’s wrong with HIM???”

    1. Great response, especially this bit:
      “It’s incredibly disrespectful to all immigrants who’ve worked hard to stay in the US or are working hard to stay here to here someone say “Woe me, why can’t a guy I dated for 6 months realize that I’m in a fake marriage just to get a green card.. what’s wrong with HIM???””

      1. preach. my favorite part too.

      2. Agreed. The lack of self-awareness and responsibility with this LW is really mind boggling.

    2. iseeshiny says:


  9. There’s a very good chance that your bf realized that you’d be found out for having a fraudulent relationship to get citizenship and didn’t want to be involved with that in any way. By breaking it off now he saves himself from future pain when you get deported in a few years.

    Wise move on his part.

  10. This is one where I think the answer is simple- if you’re married to someone else chances are the person you’re with does have a right to know and make a decision about that from there. He may not have told you as explicitly as possible but he made a decision about the relationship. And to be honest, I can’t blame him. You’re married and only told him after you got intimate. And for alot of women and men that indicates a betrayal of trust and potentially loyalty. I know you got married for citizenship (which I do not condone) but still YOU’RE MARRIED.
    As I heard Iyanla Vanzant say, “Put your big girl panties on” and get yourself together. You might be in trouble for fraud and may not be a citizen but at the end of this you still have to deal with yourself. And if I were you I would want to deal with a grown up version of myself.

  11. Reading your letter a few times has led me to believe (or hope) that maybe at the time you got married you did love your boyfriend and together you decided to do this for you both. I’m really hoping that’s true.

    The thing that bothered me the most about your letter was this line, ‘I didn’t think guys were this sentimental about marriage’. What does that even mean? You didn’t think they cared whether or not the person they dated was married, even if it wasn’t real?

    You’ve been dating for 5 months, right? I get that in 5 months you can fall for someone. However, I think in 5 months you can also figure out things that won’t work between the two of you. Obviously your bf wasn’t happy in the relationship, he didn’t make a mistake by breaking things off. He decided his needs weren’t being met and left. Does it suck? Yes, but the only thing you can do is move on.

    You also got married young at 21 and are only 24. You have a lot of life to worry about ahead of you. You have to worry about gaining citizenship, getting a divorce, etc. Basically I think you have WAY too much baggage to be in a relationship with anyone right now. Focus on yourself for the time being and next time wait until you’re actually divorced to date. (or at least able to actually be legally separated without worrying about losing your citizenship)

    (Also WHY would you flaunt to people that you’re trying to skirt the system? not that I think the system is perfect, but why oh why would you want to throw the fact that you’re trying to break the rules in other people’s faces. what if he or his family reported you???)

  12. Avatar photo MackenzieLee says:

    Your boyfriend has every right to break up with you for any reason at any time. That’s part of a relationship. To him the fact that you are still married is a deal breaker. It’s unfortunate that he told you so late in the game, but at this point you just have to MAO. This kind of situation is part of the package when you marry for a reason like yours

  13. Yes, LW, you’re probably right that it’s not *just* that you’re married.

    It’s that you’re committing fraud, and he may not be comfortable being involved with someone who a) is breaking the law and blabbing about it on FB, and b) may well be deported before your divorce is final. Really, do you think you’re fooling INS? That no one has tried that before? It’s not an original idea.

    It’s also that you’re 24 years old, and you’re hiding your boyfriend from Mommy. If you want to be in an adult relationship, you need to act like an adult.

    Any one of those things would be a deal-breaker for a lot of men. I’m sure that all three of them have been weighing on his mind for a long time, and he’s just decided that he’s had enough.

    And re: your comment about marriage not being a big thing for men……when their girlfriend is married to someone ELSE, it kind of is a big thing. Even if it’s only a front for her immigration scam.


  14. I don’t understand the particulars of your situation, but you should probably try not to splash across Facebook that you’re not actually romantically involved with your husband. Most people who marry for citizenship are a little more careful, and you seem pretty cavalier about the fact that you could easily be deported and your husband punished if you are caught.

    It’s pretty bold of you to declare that you’re worth a wait of six months. You say that your relationship is serious, but it’s still a pretty short one, and it’s hard to expect someone whose known you for such a short time to put their life on hold for you. It’s not something you can demand. Either they will or they won’t. And if not, it’s their choice.

  15. Skyblossom says:

    Everyone has their own dealbreakers and for this man the fact that you are married to someone else is a dealbreaker. A legitimate relationship doesn’t have to be kept a secret. You’re real boyfriend isn’t one that you keep hidden and he knows that. He doesn’t want to be the other man. Even if he waited until you were divorced and then married you he would still always be the other man. The man that was with you while you were cheating on your husband. He doesn’t want to be that man. He doesn’t like being that man and he’s decided he won’t be that man.

    Even though you feel that your relationship is over he knows that you’re married and that you’re willing to be with a man other than your husband while you are married. He has probably realized that he can’t trust you to not do the same to him sometime in the future. He wants a relationship that he can proudly show to the world and his relationship with you wasn’t that type of relationship.

    You’ve both found one of his dealbreakers. Neither of you can change that.

  16. Michelle Szetela says:

    I don’t know how many guys you’ve been in contact with, but there are many men who are really interested in getting married, and those who do not like the idea of having an affair with a married woman (or a woman who’s involved with someone else).

    Get your citizenship first, establish your independently, and take care of yourself.

  17. I don’t even know where to begin. I guess I’ll start by saying that you have a sham marriage. This is illegal because it is a type of fraud. Admitting that you are in this kind of marriage anywhere on the internet (here, on FB) or texting about it (don’t know if you did) was probably not the best move. You could wind up being deported and barred from legally entering the U.S., at all, if authorities discover what you’re doing. (Which honestly might happen — I don’t know the procedures for detecting fake marriages these days, but I wouldn’t put searching your internet activity past the INS.)

    That said, your ex is right. You were never his. You were married. You ARE married. Present tense. Maybe you entered into that commitment lightly because you were “just” doing it for residency, but most people don’t think of marriage like something you decide to wake up and do one day between getting your car washed and shopping for groceries to save you the hassle of gaining legal residency in another, LEGAL manner. (Yes, there ARE ways to do it legally!) People get married because they want to build a life with someone, and I hate to say it, but what you’re doing is just plain offensive to the millions of people who want to get married but can’t. Actually, on second thought, pretty sure it’s offensive to way more people, but I’ll move on! You are just plain wrong when you say you are “no longer in a relationship” with your ex, and you have the paperwork to prove it.

    Would you be as shocked if your ex didn’t want to be with you if you’d committed, say, identity fraud? Would you be as shocked if he judged you for THAT? No, you wouldn’t.

    At the end of the day, the reasons don’t matter for why your ex chose to end it. While I’d be willing to bet that your fake marriage is at least a HUGE part of the reason that he chose to walk away (I’d be willing to be most people wouldn’t want any part in that), it could really be anything. Stop focusing on the reasons why, and just focus on the fact that it happened. He dumped you. It’s over. How much could you have possibly “built” with someone between May and now? That’s about 6 months and as far as relationships go, yours was still in its infancy. You were still in the honeymoon stage, and to be honest, I think most people are still deciding IF they want a serious commitment in those first months. Do yourself a favor and focus on yourself and the situation you’ve gotten into, not on dating outside your marriage.

    Also, the whole line about knowing you shouldn’t contact him, but you don’t know if he will miss you if you don’t contact him? Huh? To me that read like, “I want to contact him to MAKE SURE HE MISSES ME, so that I can continue to MANIPULATE THIS SITUATION to get the outcome *I* want!!!” (Maybe that’s just me, though.)

    Oh, and am I the only one who thought it was kind of shady that this guy, before knowing the back story, knew his “new girlfriend” was MARRIED and was still okay with dating and intimacy? Maybe I’m just extra sensitive to cheating/cheaters because of how my last relationship ended, but I didn’t think the ex sounded like a particulary terrific or standup guy as soon as I read that detail. I don’t believe in knowingly coming between another couple, which is what he was doing at the time, even if the marriage was crappy and fake.

    To this guy, no, you weren’t worth the wait. MOA, focus on yourself, and wait until your issues have been resolved one way or another before you worry about dating.

    1. I’m not sure when they first started sleeping together, but she didn’t tell him until then. She sort of implies that they’d been together for a while before he knew.

      1. I couldn’t really tell the timeline of when he found out. I read it as being early in the relationship because she then goes on to describe what happened ‘over the months’ that followed. I gave the LW the benefit of the doubt that she divulged this particularly detail before hopping in the sack with him.

      2. Never mind. I re-read and see that he kept seeing her after he was told…

  18. Michelle.Lea says:

    well when it comes down to it, you *are* married to someone else, no matter the reason.

    also, how much trouble could this be in the future for him? I’m sure he’s thinking about that too. because when I moved to Canada and married my then husband (it was a legitimate love and marriage) I was required to submit proof of the relationship. People had to be references for me, I had to submit emails that showed that we were legitimately together for 5 years before we married. you’re putting any of your references in a spot where they will have to lie for you.

    and not very bright if you’re just telling people that you’re getting married to stay in the country. and it’s not like you get instant citizenship or even green card status, so you’ve been lying for awhile.

    1. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

      Lucky that you did before the recession! It is so much harder now. My friend has been trying to move to the states to live with her husband for 3 years now. He wants to come to Canada but Canada won’t let him until they have lived together for a year first, which they can’t do until the US lets her in.

      LW, you are making it harder for those who take the legal way in.

      1. They should both teach English overseas. 🙂 Then they will have lived together for a year, and he can move to Canada! Problem solved! I will start my advice website soon.

  19. Look, you yourself say that you think a supportive partner would have stuck by you through all this, and understood that your marriage was one of necessity (or at least convenience). Whether or not you are entitled to that opinion is almost secondary. It sounds like you have very clear ideas about what you want in a man and this man in particular is not living up to that. He didn’t make a mistake by breaking up with you, he’s just not the man that you want him to be and feel like you deserve. You can’t force him to turn into something that he’s not so your options are to move on and find someone who lives up to your ideals, or stop contacting this man until your divorce has been finalized and you can offer him the type of truly exclusive relationship that he needs.

    Also, it sounds like in the future a lot more honestly a lot earlier on could help to avoid these issues. “Oh, by the way, I’m technically married” is a declaration you get out of the way on the second date, not when you’re in bed together! Sure, he strung you along until you had fallen in love with him, but you strung HIM along until he was about to (or had already?) had sex with you.

  20. The LW takes no responsibility for doing anything wrong. People who are married shouldn’t date. PERIOD. It doesn’t matter what the state of your marriage is. It is not fair to the person you are dating. It is incredibly selfish and she deserves the heartbreak for being a fraud.

    1. I think “she deservers heartbreak” is pretty harsh, but I also think you’re right that this LW hasn’t been completely fair to this bf OR herself by expecting her marriage to not be such a big deal in their “relationship”. I use that term lightly, because it just seems like they were dating and that she was way more into him than he was into her. He probably knew long before she did that this relationship wouldn’t really go anywhere, whether it was due to her marriage or just her personality, etc.

  21. LW I am so sorry you are hurting right now. I don’t think he broke up with you because you are still married however. It sounds like a convenient excuse to break up with you. You should probably move on from this guy because to me it sounds like he does not want a future with you. I hope you feel better soon, breaking up is the worst feeling in the world.

  22. Honestly, I think you are missing the point for him. It isn’t that you are married. It is that you act ashamed of him. He isn’t worthy of meeting your mother. And, Marriage is a BIG deal for guys. In ways, more than women. Read the book, “Act like a Lady, Think like a man”. If A man is in love with you, he is planning and working to make it clear that you are his. For you to not want him to meet your family and be married to another man is why he is having trouble.

    1. I really liked that book. But apparently a lot of women didn’t.

      1. I LOVED that book. Now I am going to google why people didn’t like it because I can’t imagine why.

  23. sarolabelle says:

    I don’t know much about citizenship but I believe that when a 13 year old comes in with their parents they can then apply for a green card and then once 5 years has passed they can take the test to become citizens. I’m wondering why she didn’t just do that.

  24. Ah yes, and allowing gays to marry would ruin the sanctity of marriage. Sorry, I don’t have any sympathy.

    1. sarolabelle says:

      that’s random….and hopefully will be deleted by Wendy because it is off topic.

      1. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

        It’s not random. Someone else brought this up earlier. She got married for to stay in the country. Her point is that THAT is something that ruins the sanctity of marriage, not gays and that prevents her from having any sympathy for the LW.

      2. sarolabelle says:

        not sure why she just didn’t say that then…..she didn’t comment before on this topic and said nothing about the LWs situation. It just seemed odd to me.

      3. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

        Well the “Sorry, I don’t have any sympathy” is about the LWs situation.

      4. she did say that, just not in as many words. it was implied.

      5. Sorry, sarolabelle, I didn’t intend to be so subtle. Like LadyinPurpleNotRed said it (better than I did), the LW is in a sham marriage, but in our country, two consenting adults cannot get married if they are the same gender. It makes me sad.

      6. sarolabelle says:

        Sorry – I don’t comment often and I can’t read sarcasm well….I understand now.

      7. You aren’t sure why she didn’t explain her comment to you in a way you would understand – even though other people got it immediately? I find this very random.

      8. off topic and random? did you read the letter? just because you don’t agree with the poster doesn’t make it off topic or random.

      9. sarolabelle says:

        I didn’t see the topic of gay marriage in the woman’s letter! Gee wiz, did you? It seems strange that this commenter said this…that’s all I’m going to say about this. Maybe y’all see something I don’t. But I think this commenter posted this comment to get people in a hizzy and mad at her. And I’m not going to be a part of it anymore.

      10. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

        She’s just comparing it. It’s political season now so these things tend to be on people’s mind. And this letter, to her, is a perfect example of how that reasoning is bogus. People post things all the time that are seemingly off-topic, but are tangentially related so I don’t know why you are picking on this comment out of all of the ones you could have picked out in the past.

      11. i see a LW who is treating marriage like nothing special when there are many people who wish they could get married and can’t. which is exactly the point that the original commenter brought up.

      12. You don´t see how a letter that makes a mockery of marriage can result in a comment about it? And the hypocrisy of gay marriage not being legal in the US? I guess George Takeis comment about Kim K´s marriage was totally irreleveant at the time, as well.

      13. It’s pretty much the first thing I thought of too. Not off topic at all.

      14. Avatar photo the_optimist says:

        I’m not sure how that would get people mad at her. It was a comment directed at people (like the LW) who abuse something that many law-abiding citizens in committed relationships simply cannot have. And I totally agree, it’s frustratingly unfair.

      15. sarolabelle says:

        I read the comment wrong. I didn’t understand the sarcasm in it….think about how I read it and you’ll find it confusing and odd like I did.

  25. This just made me think of Will and Grace, when Karen’s maid was about to be deported so Jack married her. Sham marriages in order to gain citizenship are not a good thing; it’s likely illegal and as soon as INS sees the Facebook activity you’ll probably be deported anyway. I know there’s a way to become a naturalized citizen without marrying anyone, so don’t say it was your only option. I had a coworker at my last job who was from Mali and he took all the classes and tests to become a naturalized US citizen. He knew more about US history than my coworkers who were born here! It was really cool to see how excited he was to become a citizen.

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      Yeh my brother just married someone who has had a green card for 10 years. Now she will gain citizenship through their marriage, but it’s still a long process. And she waited to marry for love.

      1. anonymous says:

        I had a green card for 22 years (since the time I was 6 months old). I married, but tried to naturalize on my own recognizance (not using my marriage to a citizen as a reason for naturalization). You know what? The INS wouldn’t let me. In fact, they gave me 1 hour to get home, find my marriage certificate, and get back downtown or they threatened to close the file…

        Okay, at first blush unrelated, but NOT trying to use your marriage for citizenship can also cause issues with the INS.

  26. Hmm, second day in a row reading a letter from a woman who has no problem riding roughshod over everyone to get what she wants…
    LW, I went through the immigration process with my husband and it was long, arduous and expensive. Any man who would go through all those steps with you and not rat you out to the feds now that he realizes he’s been used should at the least command your respect and your good behavior until this farce is over. Both your husband and your ex-boyfriend have behaved like decent people. Now it’s your turn.

  27. Avatar photo SweetsAndBeats says:

    What everyone has already said, hits the nail on the head. I’d like to mention, LW, that I literally cringed when I read, “I sent him a Facebook message early in the morning explaining my situation and told him if he really loves me he would be there for me.”

    Telling someone that they HAVE to do something because they love you is one way to make sure they never want to do something “your way” again.

    1. I cringed for a different reason – because if you’re lying to the US government, you probably shouldn’t detail it in a facebook message.

    2. I believe that also qualifies as emotional blackmail?

  28. Well I think everyone’s said enough about the citizenship thing.
    The one thing that I think you overlook here, is that in his eyes, for you, marriage is a means to an end. No emotional connection, no love, none of the feelings and importance of marriage exist for you. That would be a huge reason I wouldn’t want to date you. Look, your.. relationship or whatever is was may not have even been close to marriage, hell it might not have ever happened, but the fact is, you are someone who takes a pretty significant and important milestone in a relationship and take it as a fraudulent business transaction.
    So, on the outside, how would someone show they wanted to spend their lives with you? Marriage is very important to people, it shows they want to commit to you for life. If you’ve already cheapened it in his eyes, there’s no coming back from that.
    If anything, I’d take it that perhaps he cared more for you than you think, but your moral compass made him think twice. Aside from the fact that maybe associating with you and your lies could potentially get him in legal trouble.
    I think if he wrote in here wanting advice for how to deal with a girl he really likes, but is married so she can get citizenship, we’d all tell him to MOA. It isn’t worth his time.

    1. Not only has she cheapened the insitution of marriage, she is also cheapening his emotions and well-being. At the end of the letter, she asks, “Will he just walk away to protect his heart?” Um, yes. I think most people would. Who would stay in a situation that makes their heart hurt? It’s just not worth it.

  29. LW – the phrase that really jumps out at me is in your last paragraph: “I hope he contacts me again and realizes his mistakes”. I think he already HAS realized his mistake – getting involved with someone who is married. Regardless of whether this marriage is for citizenship or not, you probably should have been up front sooner about the fact that you are only separated from your husband, even if you are not romantically involved with him currently.

    I think you need to MOA, AND let this man MOA. It seems he has made his decision. You’ve only been dating this man a few months, since May right, so how serious was it? What have you really “built” together? It’s possible it just really isn’t meant to be, regardless of the marriage status. He may just not be interested anymore. After you confessed about your marriage, it’s possible he was not feeling as serious about the relationship as you were, who knows. Sure, he could have done the appropriate thing and backed out sooner, but we can’t put it past some guys to stick around for the some of the physical perks of a relationship. Or maybe he was in love and fell out of love. In any case, the point is he’s realized his mistakes and that you are not the woman for him.

    Please, please settle your divorce proceedings with your current husband before starting any new serious relationships.

    1. Skyblossom says:

      I think that you can be in a serious relationship and learn something about a partner that you think you can accept but as time goes by you realize that the knowledge changed everything and that the relationship will never work. At that point you break up even though the event causing the break up happened some time in the past.

    2. Also – I forgot to mention, since everyone is saying this guy has backed out because of the marriage situation – it’s also possible that he has another gf or is seeing someone else. To be fair we don’t know much about this guy, and he probably isn’t perfect either. Still, either way, time to MOA. Even if he does contact you again! Stop laying around all day being obsessed with this guy. Are you working or in school, busy with hobbies or friends and family? Work on bettering yourself, as you say this IS what you want to do here in the states. You don’t need to be married or in a serious relationship to do that :).

  30. Avatar photo theattack says:

    “I’m angry he waited until we were knee-deep in love. ”

    Do you really have a right to be angry at him for waiting to break up with you when you so conveniently waited to tell him about your marriage AFTER you two slept together? Many Americans would see that as you tricking him into helping you cheat, which is not okay. It also disturbs me that you’re so willing to be manipulative toward him (ie: telling him “if you love me, you will do X).

    Bottom line is if you want someone to be honest, loving, and committed to you, then you have to be honest, loving, and committed to them too.

    1. I would say many PEOPLE “would see that as you tricking him into helping you cheat”. Common decency is not limited to “americans”.

      1. Avatar photo theattack says:

        You’re definitely right there. I debated whether to say “Americans” or “people” but decided that maybe, just maybe, LW’s home culture doesn’t view it that way.

      2. I’m Caribbean – and PEOPLE is appropriate.

      3. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Caribbean is pretty broad, which is why I didn’t try to speak for everyone here. “People” might be appropriate, but “American” was not inappropriate for me to say.

      4. No one said you were wrong. But if your reason for choosing ‘American’ over ‘people’ was because of a question of cultural then all I am doing is informing you on the point you said you were unclear on. Your screen name notwithstanding – not everything is actually an attack.

      5. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Well JK sounded offended about it, so I just assumed it was. Anyway, thanks for clearing it up.

      6. Not offended, just stating the truth.

      7. Seriously.

      8. Avatar photo theattack says:

        It wasn’t supposed to be a dig at the rest of the world. Just an explanation for the LW about her current situation.

  31. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

    You treated marriage the same way a prostitute treats sex- like a business transaction. He feels about marriage the way a strong Christian feels about sex.

    Can we add this to the IQ test?

    1. llclarityll says:

      Oof. Marriage is, to a lot of people, a business transaction. You have to sign a license, are bound to certain terms, and file taxes accordingly. Don’t impose your convictions on someone else.

      Perhaps it’s that she views citizenship as: I’ve lived here, paid taxes here, contributed here, so why shouldn’t I be a citizen?

      1. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        I’m not imposing my convictions on anybody. I didn’t even state my person opinion.

      2. Avatar photo lemongrass says:


      3. Please don’t impose your convictions about imposing my convictions on someone else. 🙂

  32. Q; The guy I was dating dumped me after he found out that I am currently defrauding the United States government and that I am also married. What’s his problem?

    A: Maybe he thought about it and realized that he didn’t want to marry someone who is dishonest, doesn’t want to get involved in your fraud and wants a girlfriend who doesn’t come with the baggage of a husband?

    I am always amazed at how people can be completely self-absorbed, yet totally lack self-awareness at the same damned time.

  33. parton_doll says:

    LW – You talk about about what your boyfriend needs to do for you, but really, what are doing for him to contribute to this relationship? If your marriage was only a business arrangement, why did you wait until you were intimate to tell him about your situation? Why not at least give him an indication earlier that you were in a complicated relationship situation? This seems very manipulative to me. If he would have left earlier because he couldn’t handle being with a married woman, even a “business” marriage, HE should have been givne that choice. YOU started the relationship off in a place that was not honest and just expected him to accept, accept, accept. What are you willing to give him in return? You mention nothing of what you contribute to the relationship in your letter. So, yes, he has every right to protect himself and take a step back and reevaluate if this is a healthy relationship for him. If you care about him as you claim to, give him some breathing space and stop trying to make him communicate with you. And support you. And understand you and your situation.

    I purposely left out all references to your citizenship issues because it has been covered elsewhere in the advice given and truthfully I think you are using that as an excuse for poor relationship behavior. Before you move into your next relationship, get your life stabilized (hopefully as legally as possible) and start out being a person who can contribute something to your partner, instead of being someone who demands so much.

  34. Addie Pray says:

    Whoa, whoa, whoa…. you sent your boyfriend a relationship request on Facebook without discussing it first? Making it FB official is huge! It’s like taking a vow that you will stay together for the foreseeable future (because who wants to be that person who is in and out of relationships all the time on FB?! Not me.) My boyfriend and I made it official on Facebook on Sunday – a little on the “too soon” side if you ask me but, whatever, our fast pace feels right.

    So, who wants to hear how that happened? Anyone? Everyone?!?! Ok then!! Well, it was the result of a few discussions that spanned 24 hours. See, on Saturday evening we were at a wedding, and my evil friend Matt was drilling my boyfriend – “what’s the deal with you two? Where is this going?” etc. My boyfriend said, “We are officially together – boyfriend/girlfriend/exclusive – but not Facebook official.” That launched a HUGE discussion about what it means to make it FB official and whether we were ready – and more to the point, whether he was ready for what would surely ensue (ie (or eg?), everyone commenting, teasing ’bout babies and weddings, and close friends of mine FB friend requesting him without ever meeting him – which by the way happened!). He mentioned it again that night. The next afternoon, the conversation continued at a Starbucks. He was mostly shocked that I would meet his family (several times) and invite him home for Thanksgiving (he’s coming home with me!!) but not feel ready to make it FB official. … Finally I said, “Look, I can handle it. I’m worried about you. I’ve warned you about what will happen – if after considering all that you still want to be ‘in a relationship’ with me, you’ll send me a request.” And BOOM, he sent me a relationship request. And oh fuck I had to accept it. It was scary. And now we have to stay together FOREVER because breaking up on FB would suck! 🙂

    Who wants to talk more about my boyfriend? He’s so sweet. I can’t think of anything else to talk about.

    1. YAY!!!! I LOVE it when couples make it Facebook official! I like how take charge he is!! I love it when a guy dives both feet into the relationship that means something to him when so many put one toe in like “OMG RELATIONSHIP WATER COMMITMENT DAMPNESS I NEED A TOWEL.”

      You know what’s funny, my boyfriend and I never made it FB official. We bring it up sometimes but we realized its way too late and doing it now would just get us a slew of “Yeah, no sh*t sherlock.” comments.

    2. Good thing you didn’t move to Charlotte, huh?

      1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:


    3. omg- I didn’t even notice!! Just checked, and he’s cute!! Good job!

  35. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

    Eh, I think the marriage issue here is a red herring. He’s not exactly thrilled with that, I’m sure… But the real issue is that You haven’t even bothered to introduce him to your family… And yet you are demanding that he fully announce your relationship status to the world… This of course make no sense on your end, by the way. You won’t introduce him to your Mom, but want to splatter this relationship all over Facebook? Huh? Oh, and PS — great way to ensure that your precious citizenship goes through… to PUBLICLY be in a relationship with another man on Facebook–complete with pictures? Talk about fucking stupid… Um, maybe your boyfriend just realized he can’t be with anybody THIS idiotic? Seriously…

    1. llclarityll says:

      The government is not patrolling Facebook to see if married individuals are in relationships with other people in order to put the kibosh on their citizenship application. Plenty of legal citizens do this everyday.

      1. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Um, you’d be surprised… facebook has already been used in lots of creative ways.

      2. but, they’ve used it for other things, why not this? maybe i’m just super paranoid, but i feel like if i went this route i would do anything to make sure i was following every rule. i’m way too much of a worrier to do something like that though, which i realize is the only option some people have because of the way the laws are. but, i feel like i would be an anxiety ridden mess if i actually told people i was breaking the law.

      3. Do you have some fact-basedreason for stating this categorically? Because I have friends who were “requested” (which, when dealing with INS, is a synonym for required) to submit personal correspondence, including email, to back up the wife’s citizenship application and help prove their marriage was real. Why would FB be any different?

      4. Guy Friday says:

        I regularly use Facebook to cross-examine witnesses in my cases. The DA’s office does the same to my clients. Are you suggesting the federal government wouldn’t do what state governments do?

  36. So I’m not going to comment on the citizenship marriage thing because:

    a.) It was random luck that I was born into this country
    b.) I see a lot of illegal immigrants struggle every day and I don’t think its my place
    c.) I know very little to nothing about how hard the process is to get citizenship in this country

    I WILL say that I think other commenters are right in that if you’re going to trick the system, being fine with telling facebook that you are doing so is probably not a good idea, especially when social media is becoming an integral part of detecting false marriages and infidelity for lawyers and such. I will also say that I can totally understand why your boyfriend felt like you were hiding him, because unless your mom is an INS official (OMG LIFETIME MOVIE PLOT), you not telling her about your boyfriend was to protect your hide from her judgement, not from a government agency.

    But, the entire focus of the letter should be this and this alone:

    “I sent him a Facebook message early in the morning explaining my situation and told him if he really loves me he would be there for me……I’ve heard nothing else from him so far.”

    “I sent him a Facebook message early in the morning explaining my situation and told him if he really loves me he would be there for me……I’ve heard nothing else from him so far.”

    “I sent him a Facebook message early in the morning explaining my situation and told him if he really loves me he would be there for me……I’ve heard nothing else from him so far.”

    “I sent him a Facebook message early in the morning explaining my situation and told him if he really loves me he would be there for me……I’ve heard nothing else from him so far.”

    Do you get where I’m going with this? Here’s a few more just in case.

    “I sent him a Facebook message early in the morning explaining my situation and told him if he really loves me he would be there for me……I’ve heard nothing else from him so far.”

    “I sent him a Facebook message early in the morning explaining my situation and told him if he really loves me he would be there for me……I’ve heard nothing else from him so far.”

    “I sent him a Facebook message early in the morning explaining my situation and told him if he really loves me he would be there for me……I’ve heard nothing else from him so far.”

    So, erm….you told him “Be there for me if you love me”. He replied “…….”. What about that has room for interpretation? I think he was pretty clear. He broke up with you. Move on. Worry about getting legit citizenship before you get in another relationship. And OMG be braver with your mom because any guy with an ounce of dignity will have a problem with you protecting her feelings at the cost of his.

  37. SixtyFour says:

    LW – I was in your boyfriend’s shoes. My last serious boyfriend came here under a tourist visa and payed someone to marry him so he could become a permanent resident. Eventually he and the woman did fall in love and actually did live together for a time, but when I met him, they had been separated for two years but still legally married because he hadn’t gotten his 10-year permanent resident card yet and wouldn’t have been able to get it if they got divorced at that point.
    He told everyone in our circle of friends that he was already divorced, so when I met him, that was what I thought too. It wasn’t until after we slept with each other the first time that he confessed that he was still legally married but that the divorce would be finalized in a month. It really bothered me. I didn’t know if I could trust him, and I really hated on a moral level why he got his citizenship that way. But I decided that I was so happy with him and that he had all the other qualities I was looking for, and I understood why he made the decision he did (grew up in poverty, father killed in a carjacking when he was 12, etc), that I would look past it and say that he was worth it. And it was a very happy year-and-a-half long relationship.
    Unfortunealy for you, your boyfriend does not feel that you are worth it. That sucks. But there is nothing you can do to convince him otherwise. After the divorce is actually finalized, maybe try contacting him again. By then maybe he will come to accept it, or maybe not. You have to find someone who feels that you are worth it despite what baggage or past choices you have made. And maybe for you that means your dating pool will be a lot smaller because people will judge you for how you got to this country. Someone won’t though. Someone will be okay with it, just like I was.

  38. Melancholia says:

    Other people have pointed this out, but I feel it’s necessary to reiterate: #1, marrying someone solely for the purpose of gaining citizenship in another country is ILLEGAL. So, that could be another reason why your “boyfriend” decided he didn’t want to be with you. It’s a perfectly acceptable reason to dump someone.

    #2, YOU ARE FUCKING MARRIED TO SOMEONE ELSE! Either you aren’t very intelligent or you are completely ignorant and dense, but OF COURSE THERE ARE MEN OUT THERE WHO VALUE MARRIAGE! Are you kidding me? Maybe this boy toy of yours thought he could get past the negative feelings associated with getting involved with a married woman, but he couldn’t. Especially since you are doing something illegal.

    I hope the country you are trying to gain citizenship in deports your ass.

  39. EricaSwagger says:

    “In 2009 I married my boyfriend at the time so I could get my citizenship. We are no longer in a romantic relationship, but agreed to stay married until my citizenship goes through. We plan to get a divorce in about 6-7 months after the process is finished and carry on with our lives.”

    Screw you. This is disgusting.

  40. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

    Wow, this is definitely a first. Suddenly so many others in this thread are making me seem mellow and almost calm in comparison…

    1. Seriously…

    2. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

      Work harder.

    3. anonymous says:

      Yup, people have been channeling you in your absence….

  41. LW: Move on, lay low and STOP telling people you married for citizenship.

    DW commenters: I’m kind of shocked how many people are horrified by the thought of getting married for citizenship because it is illegal. Do you know how many millions of young people there are in this country who have no other option?

    If LW came to the U.S in 2001, that would make her around 12 years old. A CHILD who obviously came here with her parents / relatives. The law is : If parents enter the country illegally or overstay their tourist visa, they and their children remain here illegally with no other option to gain status without marrying a permanent resident or U.S Citizen, unless they want to leave and go back home and then apply for a green card in 10 years ( because you broke the law and stayed here illegally, the government imposes a lag time of 10 years before you can apply again.) I’m sure LW doesn’t want to wait until she is 34 to come back to the U.S (where she has spent the better part of her life, and probably worked, paid taxes, went to school just like the rest of us.)

    Anyway, my point is have some sympathy and please read up on our immigration laws here in the U.S. It is a very important topic and you should understand how it works before judging people who come here for a better life.

    1. llclarityll says:

      AMEN, Lindsay. Perhaps if our immigration laws weren’t the most difficult, confusing, arbitrary set of hurdles to citizenship, then less people would have to make choices like the LW.

      1. Do you think it’s super easy to just waltz into any other country and become a citizen? I won’t disagree that our laws and processes here in the US need an overhaul- but it’s not like we’re the only country with rules to follow to become and citizen and rule breakers who exploit the system.

        There has to be a balance. We can’t just have open borders, obviously. That wouldn’t work anywhere on our earth. We also, though, have to give people a way to become a citizen of other countries if they so choose. People who break the rules should have consequences. That’s just the way it has to be

    2. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

      Okay, I’ll wade in here on this issue. The problem is, we don’t NEED any more people in the U.S. Period. We really truly don’t. Hell, we’d be overpopulated as it is because so many of you fucking breed like rabbits… It’s one of the reasons housing is so absurdly expensive… Meanwhile, the fact remains that as their lives get better, ours seemingly get worse.

      Just take a good look at the city of LA.

      It’s fucking gone to hell since I arrived here in 1995… Sadly, it really, truly has. Hey, I’d love for all the world to have better lives, but frankly, I’m tired of paying for it. This city has declined so much in services in the past few decades. Oh, sure, illegal immigration isn’t entirely to blame, but it certainly HAS played its part — a very big part — that much is true. The schools here? SUCK so bad it’s beyond sad. Dozens of hospitals? HAVE CLOSED. Meanwhile, every time I go to my post office, I have to wait in line endlessly because of the all the money orders being sent south. And that’s a real problem. People come here in search of a better life, yet many immediately send all that money elsewhere. I get it, they have no choice and blah blah blah… But how can that NOT be a drain on our economy? Meanwhile, the influx of cheap labor destroys employment opportunities for many…

      Try being a housepainter or landscaper here in LA and you’ll see what I mean. As art direction has dried up — I’ve tried to be a housepainter to make ends meet. I’m actually, really good at it. I even enjoy it… Too bad I can’t compete. I simply can’t make it on one hundred dollars for a twelve hour a day… I just can’t. And frankly, nobody should. It’s slave labor, truly. But drive by ANY Home Depot and you’ll find dozens upon dozens willing to work for that rate — or even less. Hell, here in LA, we make it so easy for the rich to exploit the poor, somebody has even built little offices with water and what not right beside each and every Home Depot just to ensure that the cheap labor is always, always on hand. It’s exploitation at its most clever. It’s pathetic. And in the end it FUCKS us all…

      At any rate, I get it. People are FED UP. I know I am.

      And then to have some vapid twit write in about how — wahhhhhhhh! — she’s lost her boyfriend due to her deception as she fucking games the system? Yeah, frankly, I can see why that set people off. Talk about playing into stereotypes… It almost makes me wonder if this letter wasn’t sent in by somebody on the Right just to get everybody all riled up.

      1. BGM, things are not worse here than they were in the 90’s. If you weren’t here before 1995, then you also weren’t here for a little thing called the LA riots. That was the worst. There was a lot more hate back then, I can promise you that.

        I love Los Angeles. We are an urban city crammed with people, and I don’t think who they are or what nationality they are has to do with are zoning laws. If you really want to blame somebody, how about you blame the carpoolers who earn an income here and they pay taxes in different counties? But honestly, I don’t find many reasons to want to blame anyone. There is art, there are good hospitals (this coming from a girl who doesn’t get insurance from her job), there are good schools, there are places to get help when you need it, and yes, there are people. I love it here and as much as you would like to say it is, it is most definitely not a post-apocalyptic zone.

        I agree with you that our immigration problem has turned into nothing less than condoned slavery. But why would you blame the who are really punished by it?? Not only that, but you make terrible stereotypes about them? Do not blame the people at Home Depot who work for pennies because they have to, blame the people that will only let them work for that much. I mean, for God’s sake, its the Grapes Of Wrath all over again! Do not blame those people who are being exploited because of their desperation to support their family. Which is worse, the immigration policies that keep people from living here legally and paying taxes, or the people who suffer under them? If immigration policies kept with the times, employers would HAVE to pay employees legal wages and you could compete with your own gardening business. It seems like you know that, so please PLEASE stop blaming the real victims of these monsters.

      2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        I would like to make a public declaration of love for SarahKat! Seriously, this is true love.

      3. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        SarahKat, will you be my new Dear Wendy partner? Budj pretty much abandoned me (amirite?! where is he?)

      4. Will we have….the sex?

      5. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        I’m not blaming those people, but that doesn’t change the fact their ongoing presence has most certainly fucked me out of a viable way to make a living… And frankly, it kinda pisses me off as I am seriously running out of options. Hello! I am already grasping at straws here… Do any of you actually THINK that I ever imagined I’d be reduced to painting houses for a living at forty? For fuck’s sake, I have a college degree…

        And yet there is NOTHING in this economy right now. NOTHING. Seriously, I’m at my wits end. So are a lot of people. The ironic thing is that I’d be more happy to pay my bills painting houses for a while. I’m damn good at it. Hey, I could set my own hours and that would sure be handy right now.. But sadly, it hasn’t proven to be an option. The fact that we have arranged things here so that it is all but condoned for people to hire the undocumented at slave wages is simply hopelessly fucked up.

        It just is. And it fucks over a lot more people than just them.

      6. Not for anything Mark but have you ever thought about moving? You live in an expensive part of the country with apparently few options where you are. Do you not have a friend that can do an audit of your situation with you and generate viable solutions? Not saying that implementing solutions is easy or that change or starting over is a cake walk. But you are someone who has a support system, a seemingly close family, your health and the ability to string together words in a coherent – if at times mistaken – manner. If you are already at your wits end, what do you have to lose by taking a risk and making a move to build a better life for yourself? It may not feel it – but forty isn’t old. Some of those same immigrants you were railing at show up at your borders with less resources, dependants and more candles on their birthday cake. And they make a life.
        You and I aren’t friends and I’m not really interested in giving a pep talk to you but I find it sad that you are struggling and I wonder if there isn’t a better way for you.

      7. BGM, you have the possibility for aid that illegal immigrants do not. You also have about 70 trillion more options in employment than they do because you’re a legal citizen. Plus, if you moved to the valley, you’d have much cheaper rent. Are things tough economically? Yes, but not impossible. Thinking it is will just make you feel like the world is against you when it really isn’t.

      8. I just love the immigration arguments – from people of immigrants – that say no more immigration! I mean when MY family came here seeking a better life – that was okay and how the country was built – but now that MY FAMILY is already here, YOU ALL stay the hell out and let’s lock down the borders.


      9. This x 1000. We weren’t all just dropped here by bald eagle storks, for f*ck’s sake.

      10. Are you sure Sarah? Because I’m starting to think some were dropped on their heads….

      11. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        True. But my family didn’t sent all the money back to Norway either. Seriously.

      12. All what money? If you were just saying they don´t make a livable wage.
        And even if they scrounge together a few dollars to send back every however often, would that be enough of a difference to save the US economy? (I´m guessing thats your problem with sending money away)

      13. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Look, I don’t know where they get it. I assume that they probably simply save it via living much more cheaply than I do. Like apartment sharing or something, and many don’t own cars, so they don’t have insurance bills either… All I know is that damn near every time I go to post office. It happened today even, I had to mail a package to a friend who is turning forty on saturday… At the Los Feliz branch the line is always bogged down by people making money orders — paying for them in cash. I know this because I see it plain as day. The agents are always busy double counting out the money and what not.

        My point is — it would be nice if the money earned here actually went into the economy. God knows every penny I make lately is fed right back into it on rent, food, and what not.

        Do a little research if you don’t believe me. This isn’t some crackpot theory I’ve dreamed up on my own. Even the LA TIMES (which decidedly swings the other way on this issue) has published pieces detailed the tremendous cost on our society by all this illegal immigration. Even they admit it’s very real. Because it’s reality. In fantasy land, everybody would come here and together we’d all just continue to rise and grow and our nation would prosper more than ever — but the reality hasn’t seemed to match the fantasy.

        Instead its dragging us all down. Look at the budget situation in California and tell me again how great everything is. I wish the fantasy WAS reality. Hey, everything would be just great. Sadly, it’s not.

      14. Oh for Pete’s sake BGM, if you live in Los Feliz, the only people that are holding up the money line is hipster kids getting money from their parents.

      15. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Um, no. Come to the fucking post office. Hipster kids don’t use snail mail. I’m old school that way…

      16. Of COURSE hipster kids use snail mail, precisely because it IS old school. You guys still use Radioshacks over there ffs. Either way, if you actually live in Los Feliz, then how are you complaining about immigration? That is one of the whitest and most affluent communities in Hollywood. No effing way could I afford to live there! I can understand why you’re having a difficult time finding a job though, not because of immigrants, but because of all those 20 year olds just out of college who live next to you.

      17. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Fine whatever. If you really think that all the hipster kids are snail mailing money orders home to their folks while dressed up in costumes to make them look like they just wandered in from TJ…

        Look, maybe the area north of Los Feliz Boulevard is all white. But south of Franklin, where I live it’s much more of a mix. Hell, it’s practically considered little Armenia for one thing. I don’t think you know Los Angeles well at all, frankly.

        And it’s not THAT expensive either. My rent is barely 700 a month.

      18. BGM, LOL! it’s practically considered little Armenia for one thing? Yeah, you’re in a real slum over there. I would call that the Skid Row of the Hollywood Hills/Griffith Park surrounding area. LOL.

        And saying I don’t know Los Angeles that well is RICH coming from a guy who thinks things are more tense now than they were after the race riots.

      19. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Um, I never said they were more tense with regards to races. Never. Instead, I said that the city is more fucked up as far as having terrible schools and other services… The amount of hospitals that have closed since I arrived is staggering.

        Honestly, I don’t exactly see how the race riots that pretty much nothing to do with illegal immigration would even factor into the equation here.

        And I never said Los Feliz was a slum, I merely said it wasn’t as “white” as you repeatedly assert it to be… My closest grocery, two blocks south, (Jons) caters largely to the hispanic population. What do I base this on — you will undoubtedly ask. The fact that pretty much every magazine at the check out in Spanish.

      20. You two should go out for a drink. Then take a photo and send it to me and I’ll put that shit up on Facebook. DO IT.

      21. Pick your poison. If the true problem is that money is leaving the borders – I would worry more about off-shore tax havens… than the money a day labourer sends to his family in a village somewhere. I’m willing to bet the business Western Union does can’t hold a candle to the Cayman Islands. And if that is your problem – your villains don’t frequent Home Depot parking lots.

      22. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        There’s room for plenty of “villains” in the world… And regardless of the varying dollar amounts, they are ALL doing decidedly shady things. What you are suggesting here is simplistic at best. Look, just because Hitler murdered millions (and here in this analogy I’m casting Wall Street Corporations as Hitler) did the world look away from anybody who killed his wife in the 1940s?

        Um… No, I think not. Nor should they have either. And that’s my point.

      23. iseeshiny says:

        Godwin’s law strikes again!

      24. My problem is that your original post cast immigrants as your villains. Let’s not play – there are degrees in life – even if I were to allow that people sending money to their families was detrimental to the economy. And if you are going to cast a villain in your piece – then at least cast the right one. The world picked Hitler and not the man who killed his wife as the villain of that time. You picking the modern day version of the husband as Hitler stands off to the side makes for a wrong headed argument. And it makes me wonder why you focus on the immigrant when there are others clearly doing more damage – as you define it.

      25. Ok, I just wonder: do you think illegal immigrants are a net negative impact on our society?

      26. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        What? No, I picked Corporate America as Hitler… I merely said that I simply don’t believe that just because others are doing much worse things EVERYBODY should suddenly get a pass…

        You know, I used to be really idealistic. What happened? I don’t know, I grew up, I guess. My car got smashed up twice by undocumented drivers who had neither licenses or insurance. My rates went up.

        Oh, and I paid two $750 deductibles just to fix my car… For two accidents that weren’t my fault. And that’s not my opinion. That was the ruling of the investigations…

        The first time, I was like — “Oh, well. Life happens.” The second time, I was like — “Seriously? Again?” And then as time went on and my premiums remained sky high I have to admit that it really began to grate on my nerves. I suppose one can argue that I am an isolated incident and blah blah blah. But my experience can’t be THAT unique…

        There IS a cost to undocumented people acting like the U.S. owes them something. And frankly, yes, it is really starting to grate on my last nerve.

      27. Skyblossom says:

        I actually received an email last year from someone who wanted me to write to my congressman and demand that all immigration be stopped. I was so angry I couldn’t speak to that woman for weeks. Was I supposed to pack up my husband and send him back to England?

      28. We should actually be allowing more immigrants, especially the educated ones. They are the ones that invent things and build companies and hire people.

        Mrs D is a citizen now, so we are safe from the xenophobes.

      29. Likes upon likes to you, my bitter gay friend. Much of what you said applies to Phoenix, too, and you are absolutely right on.

    3. Grilledcheesecalliope says:

      Actually that is what the DREAM act and other laws like it are for, people have other options. People are upset because it is illegal, expensive and the easy way out. She was brought here illegally but decided on her own to.continue illegal activity. She also decided to flaunt her lack of respect for the law and marriage. Also many carribean countries are not exactly pakistan.

      1. iseeshiny says:

        You know the DREAM act was never passed, right?

        Also, wtf do you know about Carribean countries and which one she’s from and whether it is or is not better or worse than Pakistan? I get where you’re coming from but your statement sounds really really ignorant.

      2. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I second everything you say. And Haiti is probably just as dangerous as Pakistan, just in different ways.

      3. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Oh, come on. People routinely VACATION in pretty much every Caribbean country… Does anybody go to Pakistan? Seriously, lets not be completely absurd now…

      4. Avatar photo theattack says:

        The places most people vacation on those islands are touristy areas that are completely different from the parts of the country where most of the citizens live. It’s a false reflection of what their societies are like for the most part. Tourists typically don’t venture far from their resorts or ports-of-call that are built up to be luxurious and safe and la-di-da.

      5. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        I’m well aware of what it means to travel, I’m well aware of how different thing can be to those living there versus those visiting there… I’ve been to no less twenty two countries on three continents — and to compare the plight of the people of Haiti to that of those in Pakistan is more than a bit of a stretch.

      6. iseeshiny says:

        I know you’re not this fucking stupid, so stop acting like it.

      7. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Having met people who have actually FLED to the US (Legally, by the way) from Pakistan, I think I might have a better grip on what their life was like than you, okay?

      8. iseeshiny says:

        Yes, because a) knowing people from Pakistan automatically makes you an expert on their experiences and b) you’re the only person who knows anyone from Pakistan and c) Pakistan is the only country it’s okay to immigrate from, otherwise quit your bitching, you job-stealing foreigners, it’s not that bad!


      9. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        And what exactly is your expertise? When was the last time a school bus was boarded in Haiti to shoot a school girl in the back of the head for her writing a blog about the importance of education?

        To even compare the two is beyond obnoxious. It’d be like me saying my plight as the underemployed in Los Angeles is equal to that of a starving orphan in South Africa’s Ninth Ward. Seriously… It’s embarrassing.

      10. iseeshiny says:

        Starving orphans in the Ninth Ward of South Africa? That is pretty embarrassing.

        Okay, I’m going to drop the sarcasm here. Are you seriously saying that the fact that Pakistan has the Taliban means that all the people of Pakistan are suffering more than all the people in Haiti? Who are you to make that call? Look, my husband came here legally on refugee papers fleeing genocide and persecution (OMG I know an immigrant too! Biblically! More points for me!), but I don’t really think that makes me informed enough to say that I can quantify human suffering. It doesn’t make me qualified to say that the fact that Pakistan’s at war is somehow worse or more important than Haiti’s massive loss of infrastructure following natural disaster that’s led to cholera and large-scale unemployment and serious malnutrition and terrible, terrible crime problem, even if that were somehow how we decided who gets to come to the US (That’s right, pick the worst country. They’re the only ones who get to come here. If you live on a beautiful tropical beach, get the fuck over yourself! I don’t want to hear about the drug lords, you get to go surfing!).

        It does make me informed enough to know that when grilledcheesecalliope up there acts like there is some really easy way for the LW to get her citizenship, she has no clue what she’s talking about. She wants to take the LW’s attitude and behave as if that’s how all children of illegal immigrants are. Setting aside the fact that that’s a really ignorant thing to do to begin with (what if we treated everyone as a representative of their entire group? doesn’t really work out because minority blocs are made up of individuals, not some sort of hive mind) nowhere does it say that she’s an illegal immigrant. I’m not arguing the fact that the LW is doing something illegal. I said I could see where she was coming from but that she sounded really ignorant. That’s all, and I haven’t seen anything since to make me revise that opinion.

        I know I pissed you off calling you out about the misogynistic language, and I can’t help but think that you’re arguing this so hard because you’re offended about that. I’m sorry you’re deeply unhappy. I’m sorry you can’t find work you can live on in the area you live. I’m sorry you’re depressed. I know it’s not my place to be sorry about any of these things because I don’t know you and I could be offending you right now. I’m sorry about that too. I really hope you find happiness.

      11. Grilledcheesecalliope says:

        So then instead of continuing her illegal activity do something to help the cause. She didn’t say she was from Haiti, and I could ask you the same thing about carribean countries. If her home was so bad then apply for asylum, it’s not an easy solution but it’s the right one. If her home isn’t that bad then apply for citizenship the legal way and don’t write into an online advice column asking why your new boyfriend said he doesn’t want to be with you until the end of your sham marriage. That just invites criticism and frankly plays too well into the sterotyp. Also I am aware.the dream act hasn’t passed yet even more of a reason for the LW to be.a part of making that happen and show that in all other ways illegal immigrant young adults are law abiding would be citizens. For many reasons i think my life would be better if I could live in Australia, but if I want to do that I will follow the legal process to gain citizenship.

      12. Grilledcheesecalliope says:

        Also I think the lw’s overall sense of entitlement and willingness to manipulate adds to the lack.of sympathy. I support amnesty for the children of illegal immigrants but if they all sounded like the LW I might change my mind.

      13. iseeshiny says:

        Yeah, you’re not exactly changing the “ignorant” impression here.

      14. Grilledcheesecalliope says:

        Whatever, I’m not swearing and calling people stupid or ignorant because I disagree with them.

      15. iseeshiny says:

        You’re right. Refusing to educate yourself on a subject before judging an entire group of people is so much better than saying bad words. I now see the error of my ways.

        … said nobody, ever.

      16. Grilledcheesecalliope says:

        Ok done, since you seem to think educating myself would automatically cause me to agree with you.

      17. iseeshiny says:

        Well, I wouldn’t be able to call you ignorant anymore, now would I?

      18. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Oh, I’m sure you’d find a way…

  42. I am so disgusted with the tone and general idea of this letter in general.

    #1) She marries for citizenship. It’s illegal.
    #2) The assertion that men aren’t hung up on banging married women. Way to generalize!
    #3) She waits until the day they start fucking to tell him she’s legally married (if not spiritually married). More than likely, she waited until they were in the sack, or after they were finished. How classy is that? How long had they been courting before that point? Being legally married is something that should have come up long before his erection or before her panties dropped.
    #4) The assertion that if he loved her, he’d stay with her/be okay with her being married. No. He can have all the moral objections he wants and all the ethical objections he wants. And he is entitled to want those issues resolved before he continues a relationship with you, should he choose to have one with you, LW.

    You were deceitful. You ARE deceitful and manipulative towards the country you want to be a citizen of. That indicates you will be deceitful and manipulative in a relationship. And you’re already proving to be (not telling him you’re married is deceitful, telling him he should love you anyways and should stick with you is manipulative).
    Worry about your immigration status. He could very well call INS on you and report your sham marriage. That would really throw a stick in the spokes, doncha think? Stay single (within your marriage) until you get divorced.

  43. Just doing a little math here, you were quite young when you came over and probably didn’t know many people other than your family. I can understand why you got married so young and made the decision you did. Whether I agree with it or not is completely off the table. So I’m not going to say a word about it – I can’t say what I would do if I were in your position.

    But here’s what I can say about your situation: honey, slow the fuck down. You’re juggling a lot of things right now – a marriage, a relationship that has ended, and your citizenship.

    Let him go. Right now focus on getting your citizenship. There’ll be another guy and probably a few more after that since you’re young. You’ll get more chances for love. But your citizenship? I’m pretty sure this is the only chance for that.

    So, get up. Eat breakfast. Slap some make up on and do your hair(if that’s your thing). And do the dishes. Or vacuum. And, before you know it, you’ll have your citizenship, get divorced, and find a new guy!

  44. Hi…I’ve never really commented before..but I kinda wanted to comment. When I was with my ex boyfriend he was also a non citizen at the time and we had been dating a good year…well he got married to another girl she was a citizen and the kicker was it was his best friend’s girlfriend at the time. (They all knew. I was the last one to find out. Lucky me.)

    Honestly going through that process with my ex was super hard. We had to be careful on his facebook or one did say that he had to be careful putting up pictures and other things on facebook. Honestly you shouldn’t be asking your current boyfriend to do that, it is still really risky especially if you are waiting for your citizen to go through.

    And I can kind of feel with your boyfriend. Sometimes I felt sometimes it was morally wrong what my ex did, yah I know he was struggling to stay here, but to me it was fake and marriage seems sacred to me.

    But sometimes there was always a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that he was still seeing her you know since they are married. They were married. He had to go on ‘date’s’ with her to make it look like they were a couple. They had joint accounts on his cell phone plan. They actually got dinner few times and had to take pictures of those for his process . He had to spend some time with her to make his fake marriage look real and it used to sting a lot. I always felt coming in second or just his like hook up on the side.

    Im not saying your current boyfriend feels like this exactly but he probably has his doubts and his own moral compass that might be telling him the whole thing is wrong. LIke you know being married to another guy. That just doesn’t feel right. Does he know the context of your marriage that it was to get your citizenship? Does he know how you really feel about your ex? And honestly do you trust him enough to know the context of your marriage with your ex?

    Have you had ACTUAL talk with him not when you were intimate in bed. I’m talking full communication about these matters.

    I’m just asking these questions because I have been in a similar position with someone married to someone else for citizen It isn’t easy especially if he’s gone through all of that and let you meet his family. Asking for facebook relationship requests is kinda not a smart move on your part with your citizenship hanging in the air. He probably feels angry and other things at the moment, like being hurt, disappointed. it’s a lot to take in.

    So talk to him first.That’s all I can really say but if he wants out, he’ll want out. Don’t try to make him stay if he doesn’t want to. Because my ex dragged it out to a year and kept promising his papers and other things would go through and he would be free and I wasted my time honestly.And my emotions over all that….always wondering. We broke up over things but it was a major factor in the earlier part.

    It’s a lot to ask for someone like your boyfriend who’ve been dating only a for a certain time period to take in all this and stay by your side. It really is.

  45. sisisodapop says:

    I don’t have much time to read all the other comments (though I usually do) so I apologize if I’m being repetitive in any way:

    LW – he broke up with you. I think by your letter he has made it clear that he doesn’t want to talk to you. Leave him alone. Stop acting like a stalker. If someone doesn’t want to talk to you, they don’t have to. You’ve only been dating less than 5 months. This is not a serious relationship. He is allowed to break up with you. Breaking up does not have to be a mutual decision. One person can choose this, the other has to live with it. And IMHO he does not owe you any lengthy explanations. The situation speaks for itself.

    Something that caught my attention was your statement of “I say, “Hey, I miss you; I’m not mad or crying — I just want to talk.” He said he isn’t ready to talk. I sent him a Facebook message early in the morning explaining my situation and told him if he really loves me he would be there for me.”

    2 things I see here:
    1st is “I’m not mad or crying” which to me says that you had previously been trying to contact him while mad and crying….and I’m thinking it was more than one or two phone calls. Stop harassing him. Like I said, if someone doesn’t want to talk to you, they don’t have to.
    2nd thing is “If he really loves me he would be there for me.” Be there for what? To console you because he broke up with you? Consoling you is not his responsibility – he broke up with you, he has not further obligations to you. Or is it, be there for me while I defraud your government???

    I think he was smart to leave you. And if you’re as smart as he is, you’ll hold of on starting any other relationships until you have your citizinship. And if you are honest, you would notify INS that you’re marriage failed, and find a way to become a citizin without getting other people into trouble in the process. I don’t know the laws, but I presume that if your husband got caught lying to the INS about your relationship status, he would probably get into a whole lot of trouble, maybe even spend some time in jail.

    That means that this person was willing to put his freedom on the line to help you. In return, you choose to do things that severely increase the chances of getting caught. If you gave 2 shits about the person who is willing to risk his freedom to help you become a citizin, you would wait to start a relationship with someone else. YOU ARE BEING EXTREMELY SELFISH AND UNGRATEFUL.

  46. feelingroovy says:

    Oh my gosh. Why so much vitriol?! I’m biased, though–I think marriage is a bit of an archaic institution in which the government should have absolutely no involvement.

    If your husband was and still is completely on board with helping to guarantee you a better life for yourself and your family in the United States, you did the right thing. There’s a difference between illegal and immoral, and I believe in doing whatever the hell you can for the sake of your health, happiness, and well-being so long as no one is hurt or deceived.

  47. I cannot give this my full attention today, because I’m not at work (AKA not strapped to my desk) BUT. People marry for different reasons. Some people marry for money. Some people marry for love. Some people marry because, I don’t know, they just turned 30. And think they’ll turn into a pumpkin at age 31. AND THEN…some people marry for citzenship. Yes, it’s fraud, it’s illegal, but–so is running a red light? If the LW & her husband made an agreement like “hey, once you’re a citizen, I’ll get those divorce papers out, mmkay?” then I don’t see the problem. Sorry to be glib, but I can’t get enraged about this aspect of the letter.

    ANYWAY. That’s not to say the LW is a saint. I see a lot of entitlement issues in this letter…& not as much compassion & understanding for the guy in question. I mean, starting a relationship with somebody who is MARRIED tends to pull a lot of doubts into people’s minds, you know? If this guy wrote in & was all “Hey, I just started dating this girl & she told me the other night that she’s married. But it’s okay! She never sees the guy & is planning to get divorced as soon as she becomes a citizen. Anyway, how do I get her to introduce me to her parents?” What would we all say??

    We’d probablyyyyy say that she was spinning him a fairy tale, that she’s still TOTALLY with the husband & just cheating on him, right? (That’s totally what *I* would say, at least). So LW, maybe this guy doesn’t believe your story. Or maybe he’s telling the truth– he doesn’t want you when you’re still someone else’s. Don’t continue harassing him.

    1. WFS

      1. iseeshiny says:


      2. Thirded!

    2. Moneypenny says:

      I’m totally late to the party here, but I totally agree with your comment and I think it’s probably one of the most level-headed ones on here.

  48. I’m gonna throw in my 2 cents here, though I think what was said above covers the majority of what I have to say.
    I agree that this is a moral issue for the bf, not so much a legal issue (though I’m sure that has to bug him somewhere in his thought processes). And even though he gave in at first, not happy but stayed with you does NOT mean he isn’t entitled to change his mind – he is! Overtime I’m sure he thought out this often, always lurking in the back of his head, until he realized that it wasn’t something he could ocntinue to be a part of. Look at SixtyFour’s comment, who was in something similar, and she states that she had a hard time trusting him. It’s very possible that over this time, as much as he cared at you at first, it really started to bother him, and because – bottom line – it IS illegal what you’ve done, the issue of trust became bigger for him than anything else, and that stems into everything else, especially having to admit that, no matter what, you can never be completely since you’re married to someone else.
    I also agree with everyone about how dismissive you are about guys being so serious about marriage EVERY GUY I KNOW (and I have a ton of guy friends) takes marriage in very high regard as something done for love, not for anything else. While guys might appear as dogs or not as invested that’s not true. In fact, every guy I know when they know they’ve found the one are painstaking in making sure they are in the best possible position to get married. Maybe what you’re confusing is that men tend to care very little about WEDDINGS but every guy I’ve known that has gotten married has always wanted to be sure that they are MARRIAGE ready – as in the day-to-day, contributing-to-the-household-wanna-have-kids kind of way. It’s one of the things that drives me nuts about some of my friends who focus so much about the damn wedding then have post wedding blues…but i digress…
    The last thing I want to say is to leave it – and him – alone. If I’ve learned anything about people and men specifically, they need space to think. If you don’t give him that space he is going to shut the door, lock it, throw away the key, and move as far away as possible. Myabe in time you guys can talk about what happened more at length, but right now, get yourself in order, and wait out the next 6-7 months determining who you are and what you want in your next marriage, which I hope WILL be for love.

  49. Sue Jones says:

    I dated one guy when I was in my 20’s and in grad school who married his ex-girlfriend who was Scandinavian so she could stay here in the US. Then they lived together in a group household (with her boyfriend). It was always clear that they were no longer together. I admired that he was generous enough to do that for her and apparently it worked out well for all parties involved. Because there was really nothing in it for him, not even money… then later a Swedish guy that I had crushed on but was seeing another woman asked me to marry him – for the green card – and I thought “Damn! You won’t sleep with me, but you want to marry me???” I politely refused. Then later I dated a guy who married his French girlfriend “so she could get a green card” , but apparently she thought that they were really married, and they were, but he was a douchebag and misled me about their relationship so that I would think they were breaking up and he could sleep with me. It was so confusing. Well at least nobody proposed to me again until my husband . This was half a lifetime ago and I imagine that they have gotten more strict about this sort of thing…

    1. Sue Jones says:

      Dating in Seattle in my 20’s…. what a NIGHTMARE!!!!! DW, where were you then????? Oh, right, you were about 10 years old….

  50. stilgar666 says:

    LW, when I read your letter I hear this: “Why won’t everyone in the world support my irrational and entitled lifestyle?”

    The truth of the matter is you are not worth it.

  51. It’ll be probably preaching to the crowd, but here goes:

    1. It is genuinely insulting that you married this guy just for the Green Card. I understand why you would do this, since you came to the US being so young and all. Unfortunately, things like that just give fodder to the anti-inmigration advocates out there and generally making it harder for people that are looking for legal inmigration through legitimate marriage.

    2. It is completely OK for your ex-bf to break up with you because of your murky situation. It is likely that it took him a while to realize how uncomfortable that made him, so it would be logical and valid for him to dump you at any point in your relationship after he was aware of this.

    3. It is stupid for you to post things like this on FB or DW, for that matter. It is easily traceable, and USCIS can get a hold of you this way.

    4. Last, but not least: Once you get your initial 2-yr green card, you can apply for the 10-yr one even if you’re divorced. Honey, read up before you mess up (further).

  52. Avatar photo The Validationer says:

    Dear Married for Citizenship,

    One day, he will look back on your relationship and realize how differently his life could have turned out.

    The Validationer

  53. My point is that if she takes marriage that lightly, then why would the BF think that she will take a marriage to him seriously. If she finds something better a little later, will she give him the big heave-ho, too?
    It would also be interesting to talk to the sham husband and find out what HE thinks of all this. There are stories out there of guys who are saps and get in marraiges with women who see them not as a spouse, but only as a ticket to citizenship.

  54. katielenn says:

    I think he made a fortunate escape….

  55. It is sad that because of the Bush Administration and what it did to our economy, especially to women, this lady had to resort to fraud and a crime to better her life, and know has to pay for it emotionally. Under the criminal Bush, women were subjugated in ways we haven’t seen since the 1800’s, while money were paid way more for the same work. Yet, now the Republicans say blame the black man for all your problems, because that is how them darkies are. A vote for Romney is a vote for Bush and a vote to force women into unwanted marriages like this lady and unwanted children.

    1. My mind boggles at the thought process that produced this comment in relation to this article. Wow.

  56. This woman should be turned over to immigration. What she is doing is called immigration fraud and is punishable by upto 5 years in jail and expulsion. I don’t care where you are from, however, I do care about whether or not you are here legally. This woman is defrauding the system and is culpable of a felony. Furthermore, she is taking the place of someone who wants to be here legally. Who will follow our laws…

    1. Sue Jones says:

      I just love it when angry white male right-wing wack jobs show up on DW….

  57. I’ll skip all the politics and boil it down to this – you told him you were married. And you also were keeping him a secret from your mother, and I’m assuming the rest of your family. If I were him, I would have concluded that your husband wasn’t as out of the picture as you said, and that you were having an affair. I would have dropped you in a hot second.

  58. I don’t think his problem was that you were married, though it is certainly valid enough to justify his decision. I’m guessing he has the same problem I would apon learning that the girl you are dating has used a relationship with another man in order to extract something of value.
    This year it’s: “Oh no baby! I never loved my first husband! I only ever married him so the government would give me a visa when I divorced him!”
    Next year it’s: “Oh no baby! I never loved my second husband! I only married him so the government would force him to pay me alimony after I divorced him!”
    The year after it’s: “Oh no baby! I never loved my third husband! I only married him so the government would give me his house, car, boat and superannuation when I divorced him!”

    And to top it all off (emphasis mine):
    “I hope he contacts me again and realizes HIS MISTAKES… How can I have him see IT’S NOT RIGHT TO WALK AWAY FROM ME like this? IF HE CANNOT STAND WITH ME during this stressful period how can we deal with more issues later on? Will he just walk away to protect HIS HEART?”

    It’s all his fault, his mistakes. He could not stand by her when SHE was feeling stressed, it’s selfish of him to protect himself. He has done wrong, he is not allowed to leave.

    THAT my friends, is narcissism. If you see it, run.

  59. I was in the same situation when I started seeing my current partner. I was married, although we were not together anymore. The divorce took a while to save up for, find an attorney, paperwork and what not. It took 2 years after we broke up to be final. My current partner was upset when I told him I was still married, but since he knew I was not with the ex, he got over it pretty quickly.

    I’d say your dude definitely has other issues that he’s not talking about.

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