I have been dating a guy from Pakistan for about 4months. We are both head over heels crazy for each other. He always avoided having me around his family, though. I had asked about it before, but last night I finally confronted him and asked if he's ashamed of me or if it's a cultural thing. He admitted he is MARRIED! He says it was an arranged marriage, has only been about a year, and that he wants a divorce. The thing is, I am also married but separated and was open with him from the beginning. I'm hurt because he lied. I told him that I can't talk to him until/if he gets the divorce. He said that he really does want one, that he hates his culture, and that he will talk to me soon. He says he has never connected with anyone like he does with me and that he will never forgive himself for lying. I know I'm doing the right thing, but I was wondering if you have any advice on where to go from here? My gut says that he won't get a divorce but I'm worried that I will be waiting anyway. I didn't want to jump in to anything serious, but I think I did already and now I'm hurting.
The cultural aspects of this situation make it especially complicated. Despite his feelings about his culture, the fact that he went through with the arranged marriage tells me that it is important to him on some level, even if he disagrees. But culture isn’t the only issue here. The fact that you admitted you are separated and he didn’t tell you from the start that he was married is more an honesty issue than anything else. Whether he gets a divorce or not, I think you’ve done the right thing for yourself by drawing a line in the sand.
But that doesn’t make it hurt any less, I know. As good as our intentions may be to keep things casual, hearts don’t always play the game by the rules. You’re falling in love or you’ve fallen in love and that complicates the situation. So, without knowing anything about him or his background other than what you’ve shared, I would suggest giving yourself (and him) a little time before moving on or moving away. Maybe this is just another typical case of infidelity and he’s not going to divorce his wife. Of maybe, its possible that what he’s told you is true…he married her, going along with things that were arranged by others, but after meeting you realized that things could be different. He could choose love.
I’m a romantic and I believe in personal freedom so I hope, for his sake, that he chooses what will make him feel happy and content in his life. But I’ll try to ground this with a little realism. Don’t wait forever. It’s ok to feel hurt by his lying to you because that was not acceptable. And you’ve had to do something very hard by breaking things off until he makes a decision, so let yourself hurt so you can heal. But maybe wait a bit and see what happens. Culture is a very strong influencing factor and it may be that he sticks with his marriage because he isn’t really prepared to turn away from tradition. But he may also choose a different path.
In the meantime, it sounds like you’ve got your own relationship to make decisions about so I suggest using this time to think about what you really want to do…how you want to move forward. If you give yourself the time and space to think honestly about your own life and how you want it to play out, you’ll be able to make decisions about what comes next with more information and with more confidence.
Spend some time on doing things that make you feel good and healthy.
Don't be shy! Say what's on your mind and get a good dose of perspective in return.