DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: Let’s start this off with I screwed up… I screwed up massively. I’m 23, I got married a year and half ago to a man from the US and I’m from Canada. The distance was always an issue but we made due. Meaning he lead me on to believe he was moving until 6 months ago. Then I began the prep work from me to move to him. He started ignoring me, literately no answer to texts, phones or messages. And being shoved away like that, I ended up doing the unthinkable. I cheated.
Then I made it even worse, I told my husband. So he completely ignored me. I ended up showing up at his doorstep. Everything was rocky. Good then bad, back and forth. Eventually, he decided that me being there a week was enough time for us to try again, he wants to send me on my way to “see how he feels without me” It’s been a month, I think that it should have been enough time to come to some answer.
On top of all this, the guy I cheated with wants some sort of relationship and I haven’t exactly made it clear that I don’t want that, but I have made it clear who comes first (My husband). So Dr. NerdLove… What the frig do I do?
The Other, Other Woman
DEAR THE OTHER, OTHER WOMAN: I have a lot of questions, starting with “you got married while still long distance?” How the hell was THAT going to work?
Not that it matters, honestly because, well, I hate to say it, TOO, but you’ve got your answer right in front of you: you end things.
This, I hate to say, was not a relationship that was ever going to go the distance. Leaving aside the whole “got married while still living separately” part — which is still leaving me with questions — you were in a long-distance relationship a guy who clearly wasn’t trustworthy. LDRs are difficult enough in and of themselves, but you were in one with a guy who made all sorts of promises to move to be with you, and clearly never intended to.
Then, once you started making concrete plans to pull up stakes and immigrating to the US, he went radio silent on you.
I’m sorry, but that really should’ve been the sign that nothing was right here. A guy who makes promises that he never intends to keep and who ices you out when you take the initiative to fulfill those promises is a guy who is demonstrably NOT marriage material… or any kind of material really.
Maybe landfill material. If you compost him properly first.
Quite frankly, I’m not terribly surprised that you cheated, and honestly, I think it was justified. I’m willing to give you a pass on that, even if I think you should’ve just dumped him so hard his grandparents divorced retroactively.
Hell, I’m not even that surprised that you told him. Let’s be honest, just you, me and the entire Internet: you really just wanted to get some sort of reaction out of him. But unfortunately, the reaction you got was… nothing. Which, again, is not a good indicator of the long-term viability of this relationship. Anger, hurt, confusion… any of these would at least have been a sign that he cared, at least a little. But instead, he just continued to ignore you.
Showing up on his doorstep made sure he couldn’t ignore you but it didn’t solve anything, did it?
Now, do you know why?
I hate to say it, but the cold hard truth is that your relationship’s already over and it’s been over for a while.
(STILL not getting past the whole “got married while living separately in separate countries” thing. Was this a drunken quickie-wedding with Elvis in Vegas?)
The only reason why it’s been hard to accept that this is over — and has been over for quite some time — is because your hubby just doesn’t seem to have the balls to actually take steps like, say, hiring a lawyer or actually filing for divorce. Maybe he was hoping that you would do the work for him. Maybe he doesn’t think your marriage is “real”. Maybe he seemed to be under the impression that a citizen’s divorce is a thing and if he just pretends you’re not there, it’ll take kick in.
In the end, what he’s thinking doesn’t make a lick of difference because it all comes down to a fundamental truth: he’s a douchebag. The best thing you can do right now is to do yourself a favor and hire a good divorce lawyer who is experienced in international marriages. Hell, maybe you can get the whole thing annulled and then YOU can pretend it never happened and shove this entire incident down the memory hole. Because, quite frankly, forgetting you were ever involved with this guy in the first place is the treatment he deserves. He tried to ignore you, you forget he ever existed in the first place. Seems fair to me.
Just don’t make the mistake of running back to your man on the side either. He may have caught feelings for you, but that’s no better. He’s not a potential relationship, he’s the tool you were using to try to get a reaction out of your husband.
Take some time off from relationships, recover, see what your legal options are when it comes to whether you can (or even want to) stay in the states versus heading back to Canada.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, email@example.com