Dumped after 24-hour-marriage

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    This is going to sound desperate but I could really use some help. I met my American boyfriend in my country and since the beginning I was aware he was depressed for several years (and also sexually abused by his brother). I fell in love so deeply I asked him to marry me so he could stay in my country. He was always scared of how things were moving fast but we never knew what could happen since his life has gone on slow mode for longer than it was supposed to. He didn’t have a job, a house, literally anything. I had him and paid for whatever I could but he still struggled being in a relationship with me. When I started to let him go, he would always come back.

    He eventually went back to the States. We managed to be in a long distance relationship while he was looking for a job. Despite the insecure people that we were, it felt we were falling in love even fonder. After 2 months that he left, I took my backpack and landed in American territory to see him and meet his family. Everything went fine until he dropped me at the airport saying I didn’t take care of myself (meaning I was fat). Back to my country in tears, he apologized and made me believe he just wanted me to be healthy so we could have a longer life. Time passed and I was still hurt, so the fights kept coming. He got a job as an intern and was heading his way to his 30th birthday. I helped him all along including what he was supposed to say during the job interview. Jealousy took over when we both agreed that his boss was all over him. I was always upfront about my insecurities and that I’m a jealous person, I wanted to be honest with him since the beginning because I truly believe that accepting your worst is a way to healing, and I did for some time with him until he made sure that I wasn’t his type, demanding in sutil ways that I should lose weight – I’m 5’1″ and when I met him I was 119. I did lose weight and became a lot more active (which was okay to me because I always wanted that lifestyle). I started climbing, biking, hitting the gym. Even though I didn’t have any muscles at all, now I am 94 pounds and very happy and healthier.

    He turned 30 and I managed to buy a last-minute flight ticket to surprise him. I knocked on his door and we were the happiest we’ve ever been. I made sure he had his first birthday party and invited friends and family. He felt so loved he finally said “when do we get married?”. But until then, he had no job security and was also going back to weed – hardcore. Back to my country, we had to make a decision. Long distance relationship was not on the table, a sponsorship was almost impossible for me and we only had a chance in New Zealand (where I managed to get a Visa prior to meeting him). NZ was soon off the table since he was doing fine at work. After several tense days and months, we decided to give it a try: I left my job, my house, I donated EVERYTHING I had and moved in with him. Because he couldn’t take pressure so well, I told him I would go to New Zealand first and make sure to validate my Visa in case things didn’t end well between us. He felt hurt at first because I contemplated he wouldn’t take care of me and abandon me with no plan B. I finally moved in with him and we were waiting his internship to become a full-time employment so we could marry each other and live happily ever after.

    Things did not go well. Because I had nothing to do, I was now the one deeply depressed. Not only depressed, I was feeling trapped in a situation where I thought wouldn’t become a marriage. Because I was in the country as a tourist, I couldn’t work. I couldn’t drive for the longest time (and we were not living in a place like NYC). I didn’t have freedom at all to be who I am and couldn’t even invest on studying, going out, working out because I needed to save the rest of the money that was left with me. I just became a vegetable, a zombie, lost in sadness and screaming for freedom. He knew we only had one choice and when the time came and even his family interfered, he said he couldn’t do it. From that point on, we would go on and off every single day. I couldn’t fly anywhere without his financial support (that we agree he would help because I did my part investing as well when he didn’t have a job – and even when he had). I found out he was on Tinder ever since we met. And more and more lies would surface little by little. He wanted to marry me as friends but wanted to keep it a secret from everybody else (including his coworkers). He also couldn’t think of the possibility of me going out with other guys. He wanted to make things right but didn’t know how to fix it. It was clear once again that I couldn’t give him what he wanted: he wanted fake boobs, pierced nipples, big butt, nails done, daily dirty sex, different hairstyle, that I should love one sport at least, that I stopped being an “old lady”. He wanted someone active – even though he would spend the whole weekend getting drunk, watching TV shows and playing video games. But he wanted me to be a princess, a lady, and a total slut whenever he wanted on a daily basis.

    When I finally purchased my tickets, I called him to say I was leaving for good. He always asked me not to leave without telling him or while he was at work. He left his job immediately and I asked him to take me to a lake I always wanted to go (but he always said no). It was cold but sunny. We cried our hearts out. He said he understood how much effort I put into the relationship, how I did everything for us and how little he offered me back. He said he breaks the hearts of the people who love him but he now wanted to change that. Because of his abuse, he finds it hard to love without anger and pain. He then fell on one knee and proposed to me right there. Took me to the courthouse and we signed the marriage license. We rushed home, had a wonderful end of the day. I dressed up in my 18-dollar white dress and we headed to his family to surprise them (the uncle and aunt who gave us all the support). I still have the pictures and I think we looked happy.

    Next day, he woke me up in a loving way, calling me wifey and Mrs. He asked me several times to cancel my flight tickest because I was supposed to fly the same day. I said I didn’t want a party for the ceremony, because of all the stress we went through, that moment should be ours and only. I arranged someone to make it official and it was going to be me, him and the judge by the same lake. He agreed with a happy face, also relieved I wouldn’t put him under even more stress of sharing vows in front of our big family. By the end of the day, he got depressed and started provoking with situations that would get me upset. When he noticed he was failing, he then started liking pictures of hot girls on Instagram on purpose. I confronted him calmly, saying that behavior didn’t match the magical moment we had the day before. He then said he wasn’t happy with me, he couldn’t fake it or force it anymore. I went over his phone and he had print screens from Tinder with women wanting explicit sex. He tried to convince me he was sending them to his best friend and I said he was lying because all he did send to his best friend was the most absurd awful things about me and how I am a bad bitch.

    I left the same day. Half of my things are still in the house that I decorated myself, that made it look like a home. I couldn’t make it no NZ anymore due to little money. He didn’t help me financially like he said he would. I’m back living with my mom (I’ve been independent for 10 years). I lost my chance of going to NZ. Within a week, it was my 30th birthday and he never contacted me.

    It’s Christmas, I’m miserable. I have no friends in town (it’s been 10 years since I left). I have no money at all and my mom (the strongest woman I know) is heartbroken watching me die alive. My friends are supportive but I can’t put this pressure on them as well. I lost everything and I don’t know what to do: and how is it possible that I miss him so much? How is it possible that I want him back? How can I move on like this?

    I need help. I really do. I’m also not American so I don’t know how American guys deal with all this. I’m still hoping he will come back but after 3 weeks, I don’t think he will. Did he ever love me? Was I so blind?


    Dear ragatanga:

    I feel very sad reading your story. I wish it had a happy, Christmassy ending, as it is Christmas Eve here (USA), a “happily ever after” ending.

    I am speechless, really. I will take a break and come back to your story.



    30-years-old and nothing to show for it. Depressed, scared of relationships, mentally abusive and a Tinder cheater. This is a typical profile of an American millennial man-child. I’m very sorry that you’re going through this at the time when you’re supposed to be festive and happy. But it sounds to me like you dodged a bullet. You didn’t lose anything. In fact, you gained self-respect and a lesson to learn. You have yourself, your mom and the support of your friends. Yes, you will miss him and i don’t know why. This is the mystery of human nature. We tend to give our attention to those who wronged us the most. I know this time is very difficult, but if I could suggest anything it would be to try to enjoy the holidays and the time spent with your mom. As the last few days of the year tick away, it is a good time to turn to the next page and start your new year fresh.

    Adam P

    My sympathies to you during this holiday season. As an American man I can’t speak on behalf the entire nation, but truth be told in a way people are the “same” throughout the world. You met an American guy, the same could have happened with a Canadian, British, etc. man. When it comes to emotions such as unconditional love and feelings, men including myself have trouble expressing them. I really do wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happier New Year.
    As for the best way to cope and handle the stress of the holidays especially with today being Christmas would be to have a day dedicated to yourself. I would not normally recommend it, but since it seems you have already hit rock bottom. Before you start your recovery and self improvement I would say indulge in your favorite activities. You know unleash that stress on a carton of ice cream or cookies and enjoy the time watching your favorite movies. Afterwards, I would recommend reading the book 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It is worth investing the time learning from your mistakes and improving your future.
    Seasons Greetings
    Thank you and Take Care


    Dear ragatanga:

    I read your post only once, yesterday. Thought about it this early morning. This is my understanding of what happened:

    The man you are describing has a very critical voice in his head, that “inner critic”, and abusive inner critic, giving him commentary about how inferior he is, less than others, inadequate, wrong, etc.

    In the relationship with you, his inner critic projected itself into you, giving him commentary about how you are inferior, less than others, inadequate, etc., and so, by association, indicating that he (for being with you) is those things, inferior, etc.

    At times, when his inner critic was quiet, he was able to love you and be loved by you. You got to see the loving part of him and you still miss that loving part of him. Unfortunately, the inner critic didn’t give him much rest, and soon enough started commenting, again, in his head, something like: “look who you are with- if you were worthy, you would be with a thinner, prettier, smarter, etc., woman.

    This is why he was so, so critical of you, why he wanted perfection- so to stop the commentary.

    And so, to feel better, he had to reject you, expel you from his life. He can’t expel that voice in his head, that inner critic, but he can expel you.

    I hope you learn from this experience, that as loving as you are and can be to a man, you are no match to the voices in a man’s head, and there is nothing you can do to silence those voices. Silencing those voices take hard work over a long period of time in competent psychotherapy. It takes the person being willing to do that hard work, with a whole lot of patience.

    I hope that you … start from the beginning. When all looks so grim, it is a time to start anew. Hope you post again.



    Dear Anita,

    You brought to tears with such thoughtful insight. Everything you said makes perfect sense and it felt like I was reading his mind through your words. He was not only sexually but also mentally abused by his older brother. The guilt he felt for several years has only been released a year ago. He’s been struggling with self-identity ever since and as a result, he developed mixed feelings towards his brother: he wants to be better than his abuser, always competing to become the “better son”. All his life he was on the spotlight by his brother, who would bring him down in front of everyone. His anxiety and constant comparison lead him to a deep and dangerous depression, suicidal even. Just recently he mentioned how much he hated his brother that if he ever asked for forgiveness, he would ask him to break up with his girlfriend: a stunning woman, pretty much his type. The whole conflict didn’t make any sense wether he has mixed feelings towards his brother or his girlfriend, or even if his anger is so deep he wants his brother to be miserable and not himself.

    He said he loved me deeply and that I deserve someone who will give what I deserve: marriage, family, stable life. He said he only wanted these things with me but something was missing and it was all physical. He couldn’t stop his urges, he described himself as a sex freak and he really needed someone as freak as he is (a beautiful body and extreme sex experiences). I believe that all of this became too much for him to handle: accept reality or fantasy. I think he chose fantasy, at least for a while. The hardest part is that not only I lost everything, I also lost my self-esteem. I feel ugly and unwanted, undesirable. A random person offered me a job as a stripper and when I told him the news he made sure to warn me it’s not a big deal, that it didn’t mean I was hot, because stripper are usually trashy (so I was trashy and not hot material). Whenever I had the attention of other men, he would make sure to bring me down by saying I should move on with them because I matched more with those guys than him. What I though it was jealousy, maybe it was him just pushing me away because he couldn’t stand me anymore – and I swear to God I’m not ugly, I came with a fun package in my personality so dating was never too hard for me, even not being the hottest girl but being the petite cute girl with a great sense of humor and positivity.

    I think I will agree with your point of view and try to focus my mind on “it wasn’t entirely my fault”. I did fail with him because I couldn’t make him a better person, and I admit it was also too much pressure on me to carry that responsibility (even his family was hoping I would fix him – he didn’t even know the difference between credit and debit card). He became more mature but on the way he also found out he deserves someone better looking than me. I hope he does and that he treats her well but what I can’t seem to move on is how in the world I will trust another man not to leave me because I’m not his type (and that’s the third time it happens). How in the world I will be free from the memory of getting a man on one knee and proposing without being scared he will dump me 24 hours later. As far as I’m concerned, the marriage license is up to 60 more days and my biggest fear is that he will come back (and how do I forgive, can I forgive, how should we move on), or he won’t ever come back (and then my self-esteem will fight this battle of uncertainty for a couple more months).

    I deleted all our history but he still kept them. I accidentally called him and he never called back (I swear to God it was an accident, it always happens to me). I have the chance to date other guys right now without even using Tinder, but I’m so heartbroken I fear I will break down in tears with no reason at all during the date. I want to move on but my heart is stupid and still wants him back, still wants to heal his pain. I am extremely empathetic to his pain and I can’t help but to feel even more depressed that I couldn’t make his life better, real and free from all those obsessive thoughts he had. He did say I made him feel better but like you said, his inner voices might be louder now. When he said he wasn’t happy with me, I said he wasn’t happy with anybody else. He agreed and said he needs to find happiness on his own and that he couldn’t also make me happy, that I should be happy by my own. It seems that I would always have to be the stronger person, but whenever I had my moments, he wouldn’t be able to take care of me. That itself doesn’t sound right in a fair relationship, I guess.

    I’m just a pile of sadness and hopeless dreams. I feel homeless and unloved. I do feel like I’m not worthy of love, at all. Because if someone who once claimed to love me and die with me, never to abandon me, had the guts to send me away in such a heartless, careless and cold way, it’s probably my fault, I must be a horrible person and I probably deserved all that. They say karma is real, maybe I am paying for that now. Maybe I did make him a horrible person and my perspective on all this is just entirely wrong. I don’t know anymore.


    Dear ragatanga:

    His experience with his brother was extremely powerful in his life, imprinted in his brain in many pathways, expressing themselves in many behaviors that harm him and others, you, in this case.

    The experiences with his brother, the sexual/ mental abuse are imprinted in his brain. You cannot possibly, could not and cannot undo those pathways, untangle the knots there. It is simply not possible for you. Even a professional, competent, hardest working therapist cannot accomplish this without his willingness and hard, long term work.

    There is a point of difference between a person who was abused and that same person becoming abusive to another. He was abused by his brother and at the least, neglected by the rest of his family. They didn’t see his pain, or didn’t care to ask why he looked so scared and sad as a child, day after day, year after year.

    And then, he abused you.

    The first part, him being an abused child, deserves nothing but empathy. The second part, him abusing you (and he did) is a different story.

    In the relationship between you and him, you are the one deserving the empathy. Not him. Having empathy for him, for HIS pain, for his misfortune, will keep you stuck. What will mobilize you is having empathy for YOU.

    I don’t think there is a single individual in the world (is there, I wonder) who was not abused before becoming abusive. The fact that he was abused did not give him the right to abuse you. And abuse you he did. He was cruel to you.

    This man you feel this empathy for, he is a dangerous man. He hurt you deeply and terribly and he will hurt others. Withdraw your empathy from him, and direct it toward yourself. Every time you find yourself feeling sorry for him, please re-direct your feelings of empathy toward yourself, and feel sorry for how badly you were mistreated.

    This self empathy, well deserved, will make it possible for you to detect abuse early next relationship; to evaluate a man correctly, and trust the man who is worthy of your trust.

    Post anytime.


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