I came to this country in January of 2005 to visit my father; a week latter at a party with friends of the family I met my husband; he was a very shy, but very sweet person and we became inseparable and started dating.
Although I was here only to visit, he soon started asking me to stay and asked me to marry him. I was surprised but I said yes and I was the happiest woman alive! It is after all every girl’s dream.
We didn’t have much going for us as I soon was to discover; he didn’t have a job and suffered from social anxiety disorder, but I believed in his promises about change and about being willing to do everything necessary to build a better life for us; and so we began preparing for the wedding. It was a simple ceremony in April, but beautiful and full of meaning, our family’s where present, my mother flew in from Portugal and so family and friends came together to celebrate our union. He didn’t have any money, so my family and I pulled together and we paid for the wedding. I wasn’t thrilled with the situation but I thought it would all soon fall into place and love would conquer all.
Soon after the wedding I began to realize that it wasn’t going to be easy at all to live with him. The day after our wedding he took of and left me at my family’s house and went to a friend’s house without me.
I had to take care of all contacts to find us an apartment and take care of bills, etc. because of his illness; he would not go into public places “because there where to many people there” and so I had the burden of taking care of all daily situations and all related immigration process that was necessary.
We rented a small apartment and started our lives together.
It was a long process, with him in and out of jobs, going to court for DUI and loosing his license, and me waiting for a work permit to be able to start working. Meanwhile I had to count on the support of my father and my family to keep us at float.
We would have altercations every time he had to go to a job interview or some place public or when we needed to discuss something important that needed to be taken care of because he would get very agitated and verbally abusive and would end up hurting my feelings and leaving. All his money would be spent on liquor and cigarettes and financially I could never depend on him. I wanted us to have a joint bank account but when we went to the local bank to open one, they informed us that it wasn’t possible for him to open an account because he had an outstanding negative balance on a previous account from over one year ago (prior to our marriage) because of a bounced check, that he had never taken care of. I was mortified and embarrassed by this situation and from there on handled all financial matters myself, in fear of discovering any other problems from his past; life was already difficult enough.
But I was determined to be supportive and to help him turn his life around, so we could have our life from there on. And with a lot of patience I kept trying to build a better life for us. I tried to convince him to go get help for his problems but he would again get very angry with me and verbally abusive and never got the evaluation or help he needed. And unfortunately, his behavior never changed, and after 13 long moths of marriage I left him. Sad, brokenhearted, exhausted and with no choice but to try a life on my own.
I had sold all that I owned in Portugal to be able to support us here, so going back was not an option, because honestly I didn’t even have money for the plane ticket.
Once again I relied on my family and moved to New Hampshire closer to a city, to have more opportunities of work.
And I have lived and worked in NH ever since.
I worked as a waitress for most of the time and then I got a part time job as a Portuguese interpreter with a local agency.
A few months ago I got into a car accident, someone hit my car from behind, I was not at fault but I injured my back and I am currently undergoing treatment.
I had to leave my job as a server because of it and today I am only working as an interpreter and translator.
I work on District and Superior Courts, Jails, Public Defenders Offices, Police Departments, Hospitals, Clinics and private businesses.
I have managed to build a good name for myself and the agency I represent and love being involved in helping my community. I am also in training for legal and medical interpretation to improve my skills and my performance as a professional.
I have translated a Domestic Violence brochure for a local Police Department donating half of the total cost of it.
I pay my taxes and have never asked for help from the government to pay any of my expenses.
I never had any problems with the law, in any area.
I am filling for divorce from my husband now; I have not done it sooner because I didn’t have money. Money has always been tight for me, living alone and having to pay for every expense on my own.
In one month I have to apply to remove the conditions on my green card and I want this affidavit to be part of my application so I can explain my story and what happened and why my marriage ended. Also to explain why I deserve to stay in this country, because I am a hard working and law respecting person and I am involved in the community and I pay all my taxes. And I like my life here and I have worked so hard to get to where I am at right now, I would love to be able to stay and follow all the possibilities my future holds.
And believe me, I tried, but a marriage cannot work when only one side is interested in making it succeed and the other wants to continue as a single person and is ill and refuses to get help and treatment. I have heard that my husband has been arrested again for DUI since we separated.