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Taking a break -- a mistake? (New relationship, visa situation, post-divorce)


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Old 5th March 2019, 9:39 PM   #1
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Taking a break -- a mistake? (New relationship, visa situation, post-divorce)

Hi community,

I'm completely new here and not sure if I handle the platform correctly, Please correct me if I don't -- I have posted my text in "dating" first, but then saw that there is a "break"-section as well, so I'm reposting here ...

I currently live abroad on a temporary visa. I met a wonderful man, we hit it off (at second sight, but then even heavier) and were -- at least I thought so -- moving towards a relationship. However, he always knew that my visa situation was somewhat complicated, and I always knew that he is in the process of divorcing his wife at the moment. They separated about 9 months ago due to her cheating on him, and he doesn't want her back.

Yet, I talked to him pretty early on about my fear of being the rebound relationship, but in fact, he already had a rebound and was now looking for love again, at least that is what he said. So I decided to trust him in that regard, and his behaviour mirrored his sincere interest in me. He treated me like gold, always followed up on our dates, wrote on a daily basis, and when I was absent for a couple of weeks due to travelling, he stayed in constant touch, told me how much he misses me etc. I specifically gave him the chance to "opt out" while I was travelling, because I was aware that I am a somewhat complicated relationship candidate due to the binational constellation. Yet, he said he's still in and wanted to continue with "us".
So, when I came back from my travels, we continued dating, and I looked into further visa options because I would very much like to stay in this new country of mine, that I like a lot. Of course this had also to do with him. So I asked him about whether or not he would like to be a part of my future scenarios not only short-term (= dating while I'm still here anyway), but also long-term (= actively looking for a way to stay together in his country after the visa expires).

He seemed overwhelmed by the perpective of feeling overly responsible for such a big change in my life, as his ex-wife and he always had some issues about her being too dependent on him. I didn't want to pressure him, so I gave him time to think, once more. A week later or so, he got in touch, telling me again that he has strong feelings for me and would like to let them grow and build something, even under the given difficult circumstances, but that he wants to take things slow ... which is, quite honestly, something very unattainable when you know that there is a visa that expires in 4 months.

However, we continued being together, but in the meantime I also was in "pressure cooker mode" as for the visa related issues. I saw a lawyer, found a job to extend my work permit, etc. ... I always included him in my thought processes, and due to the legal situation, also a prospective marriage came up in our conversations. Somewhat understandably, he said he's not there yet. I could feel that it was all a bit too much, the circumstances to heavy, his hesitance still not resolved despite his feelings for me ... it hurt somehow though -- hearing that someone doesn't want to marry you even though they claim to be in love is tough to digest. I am divorced myself, so I wasn't THAT keen on getting married again myself, but if the situation were the other way round, I'd do it simply to enable us being together in one country.


After our last conversation that ended somewhat frustrating, I thought long and hard, and wrote him that I want to release us both from the pressure and take some time for ourselves. That way, I could find out about my visa options without him in the picture, and we could both see what we wanted out of a future/relationship etc. in a month. He responded very lovingly that he agrees with my suggestion, even though he's gonna miss me and has a lot of mixed feelings about me not being as close as before.

A week into that hiatus, I am now realizing that I was in said "pressure cooker mode", and I almost feel like apologizing to him before the "official" end of the break. While I know that my concerns about commitment, my wish to include him into my future planning etc. were legit as well, I've also come to the realization that I must have acted a bit strange in those last weeks. I had a LOT to juggle, and due to past experiences with uncommited men, I was also scared to rely on him prematurely. That's why I wanted to be very frank about my sincere wish to be with him.


In the meantime, I could NOT find a solution for my visa, by the way. And also, just for clarification, we are both from Western countries, so this also not a nasty "marriage market" situation. I am highly educated and not looking for a provider. Also, we're both in our mid-40s, in case that's a useful fact.


Should I contact him and just "act normal" again? I'm afraid he's still too scared to be hurt in any way due to his marriage ending in a disaster for him, and that my background makes him refrain from a relationship despite the strong feelings we have for one another ... So I wondered if some reassurance is what he needs? Or shall I just wait if he ever gets in touch again, trusting that a man who's sincerely interested in a relationship will pursue me, no matter the "worldly problems" like visa etc.? Or, as a third option, shall I just wait till I'm past the stress of everything and try to reapproach him in a relaxed mood in a month or two? (Remember, in the worst case, I have to leave the country in 4 months.)

I am so confused. I know that I would really like to be with him and that I can see a future with him, that is for sure. What can I do? His past and my unvertain visa future seem to be in our way ... And yet I think that love should be able to overcome those issues, shouldn't it -- after all, there are many binational couples? There are no kids involved, we're both freelancers, and we are GREAT together.
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Old 6th March 2019, 8:48 AM   #2
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First I don't believe in "breaks" There is no such thing as a time out from a relationship. You are either together or you are broken up.

That said, I think this step back did you a world of good. At minimum you realized that your immigration issues needed to be separate from your love life. Tell him you have now found a path that you are walking on the visa front & you will simply let the love stuff evolve naturally. Seriously, stop including him in the decision making process & take marriage off the table.

Go back to being normal.
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Old 6th March 2019, 11:17 AM   #3
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Dear Donnivain,

thanks for your reply, and your reassurance that I took the right step.

We weren't really officially a couple, you know, more in the inbetween-stage.
I wanted to make him a factor in my migration matters, that was all I'm asking for. He was overwhelmed by it.

How can I go back to normal? After all, it was ME who told him that we should reconsider in a month or two. And as I wrote, I have NOT found a solution on the visa. I would like to stay in this country, but there is no easily attainable option.


So once I get back in touch, I would have to tell him that I can't stay. And would have to ask him if he would consider long-distance ... My feeling is thoughthat he will feel overwhelmed by that, too. Maybe he is just overwhelmed by any kind of "complication" at the moment due to his divorce?

I am sorry, but right now, I am sobbing hard. I miss him like crazy, and I know I haven't been a great version of myself lately due to all the stress. I think the mere fact that I am not from here makes me the impersonation of "pressure", you know?
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Old 6th March 2019, 11:39 AM   #4
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Just tell him what I said. You took a step back. You recognize that your immigration & your love life are separate for now & you are sorry for putting that on him. Then ask him on a date to do something fun. On the date talk about anything other then your immigration & your relationship status.
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Old 6th March 2019, 1:07 PM   #5
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So I just did what you said, dear D0nnivain. I called him, and he was in a terrible state.

And confirmed that he is not over his divorce. That he likes me a lot, but needs time for himself.

I was a tough cookie and let him go with minimum fanfare -- thanked him and wished him a lot of healing. At least I have clarity now ...

Now I can do nothing but continue sobbing. But I thank you a lot for your support, at least I was brave enough to get in touch, apologize and tell him that I miss him.
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Old 6th March 2019, 1:44 PM   #6
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I'm sorry.

Tears are cathartic & this is a loss of a sort because you liked him. But now you are free to make the choices about your living situation that suit you without having to blend somebody else in there.

It also sounds like you were as gracious as possible to him.
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Old 6th March 2019, 1:59 PM   #7
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Thank you, that is a great consolation.

Yes, I was gracious with him. I love him as a person, and I want him to heal. Also, I want to be loved unapologetically as well, and I shouldn't have to compete against an invisible third person. Of course I wish he wouldn't have fast-forwarded things in the beginning to make me trust him only to pull back now, but I've learned the hard way already that men only rarely have clarity about why they are dating.

He also just wrote me that "maybe, our paths will cross again in the future". Seems he is really shaken as well.

But I will move on, also date other people as soon as possible to get a feeling for my other options, as I really wish to find love again in my life. I know that at least I am actually over my divorce, and emotionally available.

Last edited by Carla2000; 6th March 2019 at 2:08 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 8th March 2019, 9:52 AM   #8
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I don't know if anybody is still reading here, but it's a few days into that breakup now and I am devastated.

I feel used as the "rebound". I'm not contacting him or anything, but I cared genuinely about him and it hurts SO much to just be a means to an end. I can't stop crying, even though it hasn't been long that we were together.

What can I do to feel better?
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