My story is somewhat long and complicated but I need some help.
I'm a New Zealand citizen and I entered the US in Feb 2011 on the Visa Waiver Program. I had never been to the US before or travelled alone internationally for that matter. I was visiting my long distance girlfriend of 2 years who I had not yet met in person, she lived in Colorado with her mother who works child welfare for DHS. She insisted that she loved me and wanted me to stay and start a new life with her in the US, so we got married in April 2011 before my 90-day visit expired in May. We were married for 5 weeks before she decided to have an affair with a middle school friend and separated from me May 18. I had accused her of misconduct but her pride prevented her from taken responsibility for her actions. I tried my best to save the relationship but she wouldn't have it. We had an intervention with her family and she agreed to try to make it work if I could find a job. By the end of the week I had illegal employment as a dishwasher, but her promise was superficial and didn't make a difference. I had already cancelled my return flight home upon getting married and my stay had expired. She threatened to involve the police and immigration authorities if I didn't suck it up and leave. This girl had deceived and taken advantage of me and clearly was not mature enough for a committed adult relationship. I had no friends and nowhere to go. I explained the situation to a couple of co-workers and one offered me a couch. I left her house on June 5 and began a 2 years and 7 months journey as a vulnerable out-of-status immigrant in the US. I've been taken advantage of and threatened by several paranoid schizophrenics I thought were friends, had thousands of dollars of property irretrievably stolen from me (Macbook, music recording gear, expensive travel accessories given as xmas presents by family before leaving NZ.) I spent a lot of time homeless, dirty, hungry, exhausted and in pain, unable to find work due to my lack of immigrant status and transport. I've had some odd jobs which have helped me get by temporarily but nothing sustainable.
Jump ahead to the beginning of 2014, I met my current girlfriend and fiancée on January 8 and we have been together since. I have been living with her and she has been supporting me. We're very happy together, best friends, and both agree it's the healthiest relationship either of us have been in. I finalized my divorce from my epic disaster of a first marriage in August. My fiancée and I plan to get married tomorrow.
My mum bought me a plane ticket and I will be flying back to New Zealand this Sunday the 14th. I need to be able to work and be self-sufficient again and to contribute financially to our relationship. I cannot do that in the US, and even if I were to apply for a Green Card, it would cost $1600 which we don't have and have to wait a long time. I can't expect my fiancée to keep supporting me for at least another year. The past 8 months have been tough on her financially, but she's done it because she loves me and wants to take care of me. She even surprised me with a trip to New Mexico for my birthday last week.
Because my circumstances weren't entirely my fault (getting kicked out on the street by the person I loved and married in a strange country with no friends or family and no legal status to work) I need to know how I can waive the 10-year re-entry ban. My fiancée does want to visit me in New Zealand, but there's always a chance she won't be able to adjust and won't want to give up the life she's independently built for herself in Colorado (she moved from Maryland by herself nearly 2 years ago.) We will be married before I leave the US so it will be family-based immigration. New Zealand is also extremely expensive and less developed than the US, so I wouldn't mind moving here permanently if it means I get to be with my wife. I don't think she would be able to adjust to the insanely high cost of living in New Zealand. I'm dreading it myself.
I know people will probably say that I shouldn't leave the country if I want a Green Card, but my mum has already paid $1200 for a non-refundable ticket and my grandmother is terminally ill. I also haven't seen my dad in 8 years and I don't know how long he'll be around, he's had cancer before. I just don't want to have to wait 10 years to come back to the US because an arrogant and dishonest little girl chose to make my life extremely difficult a few years ago.
Also, does anyone know how and when they determine the re-entry ban? Is it when you leave or when you try to come back? Is there a way to slip through the cracks?
Thank you for reading. Please help.