No visa links, no marriage

All Woman

Dear Counsellor,

I need counselling for a relationship break-up. I was about to get married to a man but we broke up as he had lied to me regarding a visa issue. Just before marriage I discovered that there was no way that he could take me to the United States. Should I have gone ahead with the marriage?

There are several marriage arrangements that are tied to the acquisition of legal status in another country and increasingly there are instances of stop-and-go moments. In your case the wedding was called off because you discovered that your partner was dishonest regarding his ability or intention to fulfil a visa promise.

I'm not sure of the details of your situation, but I assume that the gentleman befriended you with the understanding that he could have you living in the US legally via marriage. You would have jumped at this once in a lifetime opportunity to secure a better life for yourself and your family.

Sadly, there are too many cases of these relationships that go south as there is no element of love except love for the material and personal benefits that can accrue. So if the guy comes from “foreign” and promises a life of bliss overseas, without doing the requisite homework, many young women in particular fall prey to this “live happily ever after” relationship arrangement. On some occasions the new wife is left waiting indefinitely back home while the husband is overseas “working on the papers”.

You indicated that you need counselling for a relationship break-up, but you probably need counselling around self-esteem and a sense of direction for your life. Did you engage in any form of premarital counselling to determine your level of readiness for marriage to this gentleman, or was it more a matter of convenience and desperation on your part. Too many women are quick to abandon common sense and become preoccupied with the novelty of new relationships that when the guy publicly presents a diamond engagement ring and proposes marriage, they gleefully accept.

It is good that you were able to detect that your almost-husband did not have good intentions and was probably intent on leading you down the wrong path. Had you not made the early discovery you would have had the ring but not the man, waiting indefinitely for the papers.

Sometimes in a state of euphoria we either miss or ignore the blatant red flags that the other person is dishonest, and most times misrepresent the facts. It is always a good idea to have someone who is not so invested in the relationship point out the inconsistencies and open your eyes to the reality that you are missing.

Spend some time to reflect on your motivation for getting married and let it not be because you only want a foreign stay. If another person comes bearing gifts and makes you an offer you believe will be foolish to refuse, think twice before you make any commitment. Remember, if something appears too good to be true, it is worthwhile doing some background checks before you commit.

Take care of yourself.

Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to or Check out his work on and his Facebook page at




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