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Should I end my long-distance marriage before I move?

We have been in a relationship for a decade, but I’m not attracted to him. I think I underestimated how much physical attraction matters.

Love Letters

Q. Hi Meredith,

I have been in a relationship with my partner for 10 years, since I was 18, and I married him a year and a half ago (no ceremony, just the paper). But we have been, and still are to this day, in a long-distance relationship. I live in Europe and he lives in the States. We meet about three times a year, spending roughly three to four months together in total. We are waiting for my spouse visa so that I can relocate to where he is so we can finally move in together.

We have a good friendship, making the other laugh until one can’t breathe. The communication part is just great. But . . . I am really not attracted to this man at all. I wanted to save this relationship and married him because I believed that physical attraction is just sheer lust, fleeting feelings, or something unessential. I think I underestimated it too much.

I have denied its importance for a long time, but now I believe that without a basic physical attraction, a long-term relationship is not sustainable — at least for me. Here comes my question: Knowing that I will be unhappy in this relationship, would it be wiser to end this marriage BEFORE I relocate to the United States, before we buy a house and make financial commitments — or should I give this marriage a chance because maybe I am feeling this way because we are not physically together? Maybe it could work out once we actually live together?


I would appreciate a set of fresh eyes on this matter.

– Underestimated

A. “Would it be wiser to end this marriage BEFORE I relocate to the United States, before we buy a house and make financial commitments?”


Spend the next long visit unraveling this relationship. If that visit won’t be happening for months, get on FaceTime and talk about your feelings.


The distance isn’t the one thing in the way of physical attraction. You do get months with him every year, and it sounds like being deprived of him doesn’t make things any more exciting when you finally get together.

Also, you met him when you were a teenager. Young love can last, but in many cases it evolves into friendship or a nice memory. He’s important to you, but that doesn’t mean he’s supposed to be a romantic partner forever.

Attraction is a priority for you. There is nothing wrong with wanting passion, especially if you haven’t had much of it. You sound ready for new experiences, and you’re at a great age — and in a great place — to try.

A separation wouldn’t be overwhelmingly complicated. The emotional part of a breakup would be difficult — it’ll hurt — but you know that’s the answer. It’s about having the courage to say it and believing that the bigger betrayal might be pretending with him, and keeping him in the dark about your feelings for the rest of your life.

– Meredith


Divorce now. Quit wasting your life on this dream lover and get a real one. A local one. One whose clothes you want to rip off when he comes home at night. Every night, not once every four months. A marriage without passion is a business arrangement at best. PRONE2XS


The real question is why you decided to get married at the eight-year mark when you obviously had all the information contained in your letter. AUNTTIGGYWINK

Yes, break up and please break up before you come to the States. Don’t make this guy feel like you both are starting a new chapter in your lives only to then break up with him. JSMUS

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