I married my husband after two years into the relationship. We've now been married for two years.
I sponsored him and his daughter for permanent residence here. They’re from the Caribbean, born and raised there. His daughter, 13, has only been here two months.
I’m realizing that I made a mistake by marrying and sponsoring him. Four months into the marriage, he made plans with a female friend to come with us on a date without telling me first.
I thought he understood but he doesn’t. He makes plans and has discussions with female friends before asking me.
He keeps suggesting that we hang out with his single woman friend, but I said I'm uncomfortable. This regularly becomes an argument.
He always defends the women, says there’s no romantic feelings and no problem.
He never seems interested in us hanging out with his male friends.
Anyone from his country is an instant friend (especially female) and their feelings and wants appear more important than mine.
We saw a marriage counsellor but he told her the same things and she told me privately to leave him and not waste my money.
I feel like he’s lied about how close he is with female friends. He doesn't think we need further counselling and won’t pay if we go.
My family encourages me to stay with him. But I’m unsure if it’s worth my time and unsure how to leave.
End of my Rope
It’s a tough call since several futures are involved here - yours, his and his daughter’s.
A few more counselling visits on your own might clear your thoughts.
Consider, too, whether your husband simply hasn’t acquired the relationship norm here - that a wife doesn’t always want to hang out with her husband’s female friends.
BUT, if you believe that he’s committed to being close with other women, without regard for your feelings, then you’ll probably decide on that basis.
If so, be aware of what the immigration laws dictate if a sponsor removes support from the permanent residency agreement.
I’m not saying that you’re “stuck” with this husband and his daughter, just that you should check out the consequences of your decision and how to proceed.
In Canada, either spouse may apply for a divorce, but you must prove that your marriage has broken down and that you’ve arranged for the support of any children.
In the United States, divorce of a sponsored spouse is somewhat more complicated, especially if immigration authorities believe the person married to obtain permanent residency.
FEEDBACK Regarding the husband who’s annoyed that when he returns home after work, his wife’s always preoccupied watching TV until they meet for dinner together with their daughter (June 17):
Reader #1 – “Consider that his wife needs some “me-time” to decompress after work, so she watches “mindless” TV.
“Presumably, she’s emotionally available when their daughter joins them for dinner. Maybe he just needs to give her space. He sounds needy and also entitled to his wife’s attention when it suits him, not her.”
Reader #2 – “My mother, a member of the Order of Canada, used to play solitaire after supper for a half-hour, and I sometimes found her asleep on the living room sofa when I got home from school.
“My father had no trouble understanding that. The wife of your letter-writer is, as my mother was, clearing her head, and his blindness to that simple truth leaves me nonplussed.”
I married at 23, had my daughter at 24. My husband was 10 years older than me, a workaholic, sexually remote.
At 30, I met a fun-loving man several times at the park where our children played. I fell hard.
Eventually, we arranged to meet at a hotel. I was very excited beforehand but the reality felt sordid. I was ashamed.
I told no one, eventually divorced my husband, and married a wonderful man four years ago.
Should I tell him about this one-hour stand? I never met up with that man again.
There’s no gain here for anyone by telling your current husband. You might think it’ll relieve your conscience but it may ruin your relationship.
Instead, you could talk to a counsellor or your faith leader to deal with guilt feelings.
As for your ex, he withdrew emotionally from you, leaving you, as a young wife, frustrated and lonely.
Enjoy the present and future.
Tip of the day:
When your feelings over a spouse’s opposite-sex friendships are ignored, try counselling on your own before a complicated divorce.