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by Abigail Van Buren

American Abroad Wants To Return Home, But Worries His Same-Sex Partner Won't Be Able To Join

DEAR ABBY: I moved to Australia 10 years ago. It has been a fantastic adventure, but I feel drawn home. Complicating things is the fact that I have a same-sex Australian partner. Because gay marriage is not federally recognized in the United States, he has no possibility of legally emigrating there. His skills are not sufficient.

To move back to the U.S. would destroy my home, which is a happy one. On the other hand, I come from a large, close family and my parents are entering their 70s. I miss my family and my culture every day, and feel torn between my family in the U.S. and my partner in Australia.

I have felt this way for a few years. I feel unable to settle down and start living or feel comfortable in my life until I work this out. The thought of not being around my family in the long term is unbearable. The thought of leaving my partner is equally painful. I have tried in vain to find an answer and feel overwhelmed. Help! -- TRANS-PACIFIC READER

DEAR TRANS-PACIFIC: I don't know your financial situation, but why must this be an "either/or" situation? You're happily settled in a beautiful country and enjoying a loving relationship. I assume you also have a well-paying job.

Your dilemma might be solved by visiting your parents more often, particularly since their health is still good. If that changes, you could return to the U.S. for a more extended period. Until the laws in the U.S. regarding same-sex marriage change, that's what you will have to do unless you're willing to sacrifice your relationship.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Marriage & Divorce | Sex & Gender