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My fiance is in debt, was married previously and isn't making any real efforts to be with me

Tagged as: Dating, Family, Long distance, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (13 September 2017) 4 Answers - (Newest, 14 September 2017)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

Hello everyone. I need advice on my situation. I will try to make it as short and concise as I can.

I am in my early 30's. With a bachelor's degree. Currently in between jobs, but have a job offer in the US. I am awaiting my immigration petition from my hospital. No kids, never married. No debt except for a mortgage in my home country.

My fiance is 8 years my senior. Divorced, and is currently paying child support for his 2 kids. He's going back to school to get a bachelors degree, and now works making just over 30K/year on top of his retirement from the military.

We have been together for almost 4 years. Long story short, we got engaged and finally came up with a possible date of a wedding, after what seems like a lot of coaxing and ultimatums from me. He says he loves me and wants to be with me and I somehow believe him. I love him and want to be with him, and he's the reason why I decided to make a move to the US.

When I left my last job, he agreed he was going to cover my mortgage and take care of me. I believed him and trusted his decision, since I no longer want to be away from him.

Recently, things has gotten a little tense because of immigration timeline, money and me being unhappy with unemployement. The original plan of getting married this year did not push through because of finances. He said he miscalculated and thought he could do it. Now he is asking for 4 more months to save up, so we can get married and have me migrate to the US as his spouse which is faster than my hospital's petition. I personally want to start working the soonest so I can help him financially as my salary offer is twice his current pay.

He usually shuts down and that's another frustration I have, however tonight I finally got him to talk. He opened up about his 5-digit credit card debt and getting this card cancelled. I found out that this accumulated over the years which he admittedly spent on "random things"-- drinks, going out etc; and it's just after this conversation that what his mother kept telling me finally made sense, that I need to watch him on money matters. It doesn't make sense to me how one collects such amount of debt from a credit card, because I would always pay mine in full every month.

Right now, I need to go back to my home country since I cannot overstay my visa here in the US. He wants me to give him 4 months to save up so we can get married and start my papers, and in my head the last 6 months wasted, plus the 4 months and plane tickets, on top of the months of me still unemployed while waiting on my permanent residency, just adds more strain on his/our finances. What I gather from tonight's conversation is that he did not plan things but only wanted me to be near him.

I understand that I should know him well given the duration of our relationship, and I do love him that's why I chose to be with him. However, lately I cant help but think if this man I love doesn't even the most basic planning skill, and can barely communicate with me about important things. But what mostly bothers me is the fact that he has this much debt, and how it will affect me and our life together IF and when we do get married. I do believe in love and don't want to sound materialistic, but reality is money issues has impact on relationships and the life we build with our partners.

I feel guilty for considering to just leave for good and just move on with my life, but I am also torn because I love him. I am also already in my 30's and I feel its somewhat late to start over again and meet someone new, if I want to get married and start my own family, yet sometimes i fantasize being with someone who does not have any baggage such as child support. Also, there's my mortgage that I can barely pay now since he is helping me with it. I can go back to work but it will be in countries that is not very appealing since jobs at home are very limited.

I don't know what to do.

View related questions: debt, divorce, engaged, fiance, military, money, move on, wedding

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (14 September 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntYour relationship has been based on a lie. He is in a lot of debt, still won't tell you exactly how much but he still wants you to trust him and marry him. I personally couldn't take all that on along with him paying for two children. I get you love him really I do, but are you prepared to take on all this? Once you are married it will be your debt to pay off as well. Don't settle with him because you feel you are running out off time, because it could be the biggest mistake off your life.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (13 September 2017):

Honeypie agony auntI totally get you. It must be frustrating. BUT this is where you are at and since neither of you can change the past YOU have to consider YOUR future and what YOU want. And what is realistic.

So for now, FOCUS on what YOU need to do for YOU.

At 32, your life isn't over nor is there NO chance to find a suitable partner. You found ONE good man (albeit his sucks and realism and finances but otherwise a good man) so you CAN find another. HALF the worlds population is male.

If you aren't sure if this guy is IT for you or not, then I strongly suggest you put that on hold.

If you decide he IS for you, then you two need to make a realistic plan for how to move forward.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (13 September 2017):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Hi honeypie, thank you for your advice.

He did not want to tell me the exact amount of his debt. I agree that we should have brought up money issues years ago. We were together for half of our relationship until he had to come back home to the US.

Before I left my job, he kept asking me to move here. We talked about this, and he did say he can cover all expenses, and I believed him. I blindly trusted him this time, since he would always complain how I never listen and trust his judgment. Only to now realize that it has always been good when I come in and put in my insight.

What my hospital is sponsoring me for is a work-based immigrant visa which could take years, and we wanted to be together the soonest. But your are right, he was living in a fantasy world and could not see realistically how much it takes to do that-- these things I have told him before but he always accuse me of being negative.

With regards to my mortgage, I have been paying this for years now, and this is one big worry I had told him before agreeing to leave my job. Also, when I was working I was able to go back home and visit my family every 6 months so somehow I had that sorted out.

Being at the age I am now, Im 32. I dont know if I can still meet someone new, date, and still be able to start my own family and have my own kids. Somehow I feel like I wasted many years on something that turns out to be a sham. Its very disheartening.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (13 September 2017):

Honeypie agony auntHe might not even be able to sponsor you with his low income and high debt ratio. Maybe that is why he feels knocking the credit card debt down could help.

5-digit credit card debt is very vague. Is it 10,000 or 90,000? Again it pertains to my original statement about sponsorship. You don't get an automatic pass in immigration because you are married. He needs to be able to PROVE that he can take care of you once you move to the USA. Whether you have a job or not.

Personally? You two should have had this sorted BEFORE you gave up your job and moved across the world. And I say this because I have been in a "similar" situation and I am European (Danish) and married an American.

Why did you guys not go the fiancee visa route? Yes, it can take longer but that only gives YOU the advantage of SOME kind of security.

Or get your work visa set up, move to the USA (if this is where you want to live) be SELF SUFFICIENT (and date him) if YOU feel that there is a basis for marriage and life together THEN you can consider marriage.

It seems to me that he isn't being very realistic. And neither are you. I think him paying your mortgage is (sorry) ridiculous. This is YOUR debt. If he has 2 kids he needs to take care off (child-support) and a credit card that needs to be paid off WHAT is he supposed to live on? It's NOT like the retired military members get is all that large.

I think the BEST thing you can do is GET a job (wherever you want to be and are able to work) and save up. If you plan to move to the USA maybe NOT having a mortgage in another country (that you can't afford) is not the wisest idea.

But what it all comes down to is this. YOU have to listen to your head right now. What you have learned from staying with him for 6 months have shown you several things. ONE of them is that he is BAD with money. That won't likely change. He is also bad with planning and thinking ahead. And thinking about how it all AFFECTS you.

So, in short, IS this REALLY the guy for you? You can CARE deeply for someone and realize they are NOT going to be a good match for you.

It seems like he likes the FANTASY of being with you but in reality, he can't afford it. Not now and not 4 months down the road. Unless he has his kids turning 18 in less than 4 months he will STILL have child support to pay which ( I bet) is a large chunk of his income. Can he then afford MORE kids (with you) anytime soon also?

This is a very hard situation for you. As you GAVE UP your livelihood on a fantasy. What about your family? Are you really sure you want to live so far away from them?

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