This long-distance marriage is a sickening sham
I have been married 22 years now, with three children. My wife moved to work in the US and it’ has now been 11 years of a distance marriage. The initial plan was that she move there first then I follow with the children. However, due to circumstances beyond my control, it has been impossible for me or the children to get visas.
All the years she has been out there, we have not been communicating as a married couple should. She calls once a month or sometimes after two months. There have been no email or SMS.
When I call her, she does not pick the phone and when she does she cuts me short and promises to call back when she is free, but it can take weeks before she does that. If I send her an email or SMS, the same thing happens. I have talked to her on several occasions about this and she promises to change, but never does.
She has visited us only three times in the 11 years she has been away. I have raised my concerns and worries about our marriage. I have asked her several times that we seek help from friends, family, our pastor, or even a professional counsellor, but she opposes this, saying that God is there and He will show us the way.
Occasionally she helps me financially by sending money to assist in paying school fees for the children, who are now teenagers. They have grown up without the love and care of their mother and it makes me sad when they talk on the phone. It is as if they are talking to an aunt, that connection between a mother and her children is not there.
Mr Kitoto, I am totally confused. I really do not know what she wants in this marriage. She claims to love me and the children and that she is looking forward to when we will be reunited as a family, but this lack of communication makes me so angry that sometimes I do not feel like talking to her when she calls.
The worst part is that the extended family believes we are a happy couple and that we work closely. I feel as though she is just buying time and then one day she will drop the bombshell on me.
Am I wasting my time with her? I need a wife, someone I can talk to and share my achievements, sorrows, and happiness with. Please advise.
Let me start by saying that I really empathise with your situation. I also wish to commend you for remaining there for your children. It is gratifying to know that after 11 years, they are doing well in school. Therefore, take heart, there is something good you have accomplished. Let this positive aspect be your encouragement.
I am not in a position to know the agreement the two of you had when she left for the US. I can only speak on account of the little information I have. It looks like you both tried to have the whole family in the US, but this failed.
I would not mourn over that but rather go back to the original understanding the two of you had at the beginning. Working in America is not easy, considering working hours, conditions, and stress levels of that society. Maybe this is what has made communication difficult.
But I feel your relationship, after 22 years of marriage, seems to have some other problems that are not
clearly coming out. To communicate once or so in two months and not frequently participate in the education of the children is worrying.
Personally, I am not an advocate of long distance relationships of this nature. They seem to create more problems than benefits.