Wedding Woes

Some laws are made to be broken.

Dear Prudence,

My partner and I are almost a year into the relationship, and they recently admitted they were previously married but now divorced (everything happened before I met them). Now, I have nothing against dating divorced people. But the reason my partner was previously married was not for love, but to secure a green card! Sponsorship arrangements through their work didn’t work out. Faced with getting kicked out of the country, my partner somehow found an agency, paid a ton of cash, and was connected with a citizen to marry and subsequently divorce. My partner has no regrets, and said they did what they had to do given the situation. Other than this, they work hard, pay taxes, and have been a great partner overall! Technically, this is a victimless crime—there is no limit on marriage green cards, so they didn’t take anyone’s spot, unlike a work visa. Yet, something in my law-abiding self just feels uneasy about it. It’s not like I can talk about this to anyone since I’ve been sworn to secrecy. Please give me some perspective! Is this a dealbreaker?

Re: Some laws are made to be broken.

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    The act isn’t a deal breaker to me. But did you not talk about your past when you were getting to know them?  That should come up once you realized you were serious. 

    short+sassy
  • I would tell SO you feel uncomfortable about the lying they did but I wouldn't call it a deal breaker.
    If they hadn't done that, they wouldn't have met LW

    It's in the past. If you're unable to get over/through it I would keep the conversation going. Work through it together.
  • This isn’t a dealbreaker for me, but everyone gets to make that decision for themselves. Talk to them about how you feel. But if it’s too much for you, leave but keep their secret. 
    STARMOON44short+sassy
  • I'd be more taken aback that you've known them for a year and they never told you they'd been married before. I agree with @CharmedPam that this should've been discussed once you guys were serious. 

    But as for it being a green card marriage, you need to remember that the immigration system in this country is very, very broken, and for a lot of people, that's the only way they're able to stay here. Please try to understand and don't be hard on your partner about it.
    image
  • IMO it’d be worse if LW’s SO faked a loving marriage with someone just for the green card, and then divorced the ex once they had the card.  If an agency set it up, and the ex-spouse knew the scenario going in, what’s wrong with that?  America makes it too darn hard to become a citizen anyway.  
    MesmrEwe
  • ei34 said:
    IMO it’d be worse if LW’s SO faked a loving marriage with someone just for the green card, and then divorced the ex once they had the card.  If an agency set it up, and the ex-spouse knew the scenario going in, what’s wrong with that?  America makes it too darn hard to become a citizen anyway.  
    This makes me wonder if the SO's ex was cool with situation too ...
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    ei34 said:
    IMO it’d be worse if LW’s SO faked a loving marriage with someone just for the green card, and then divorced the ex once they had the card.  If an agency set it up, and the ex-spouse knew the scenario going in, what’s wrong with that?  America makes it too darn hard to become a citizen anyway.  
    This makes me wonder if the SO's ex was cool with situation too ...
    I read it like that.  Like a “business deal”

    MesmrEwe
  • ei34 said:
    IMO it’d be worse if LW’s SO faked a loving marriage with someone just for the green card, and then divorced the ex once they had the card.  If an agency set it up, and the ex-spouse knew the scenario going in, what’s wrong with that?  America makes it too darn hard to become a citizen anyway.  
    This makes me wonder if the SO's ex was cool with situation too ...
    The LW described it as “my partner...was connected with a citizen to marry and subsequently divorce”. Which I read as both parties knowing what they were signing up for?  
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think the only thing I'd be concerned about is that this wasn't mentioned for a year. 

    short+sassy
  • The green card marriage wouldn't be a deal breaker for me.  However, dating them for a year and not telling me at all that they had previously been married would be.  I could even understand not going into the specifics of the arrangement until much later on and after they could trust me with their secret.

    But, in the very beginning, how did this work when the subject of "have you ever been married before" came up?  I'm guessing a bold-faced lie was told by their SO.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I wouldn't call this a deal breaker. My H kind of did this, although not as cut and dried as going through an agency to find someone. He married his ex because her visa was running out and she had no other options. They were dating, but would never have considered getting married outside of the immigration piece.

    I understand why LW is upset to just now be hearing about this, but I also understand why the partner would want to keep that information close to the vest. Even in the case of an unjust law, you don't want to go around spreading your illegal acts. Especially in the case of a transactional marriage, I could see where they wouldn't see it as something LW needed to know early on. It's not like there's emotional baggage or financial entanglement with the former spouse. 

    The immigration system in this country is broken and often very cruel. LW needs to learn that everything is not just black and white, but I guess if it's a deal breaker for them, so be it. 
    banana468mrsconn23charlotte989875ei34
  • Yeah, in this situation I can see why it's not brought up early-on.  There's a lot that can be a concern both for the spouse and for the partner. 
  • I think LW's partner had reason to not bring it up to LW right away and look at LW's reaction to this news.  LW needs to accept this or break up with their partner.  Their partner has trusted them with extremely personal information in an effort to bring them closer together and LW is making this a huge deal when in reality, it's a settled matter that has no effect on their relationship today. If the partner was going to get 'caught' for this, it would have likely happened during the previous marriage and green card process.

    Partner has the green card and clearly, getting divorced didn't affect their status.  They're not asking LW to do anything illegal themselves. Replace "getting married to get a green card" with "I used to deal large quantities of drugs" or "I shoplifted all the time in my past", and partner never got caught and/or faced legal consequences.  Would LW feel like they were harboring some big secret with that knowledge? 
    VarunaTT
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards