An open letter to anyone who can’t marry the person they love

Dear Reader,

If you are reading this letter, you likely are in a situation where you can’t marry the person you love with all of your heart.

This is undoubtedly a difficult position to find yourself in, and you have all of my empathy.

When you truly love someone, your heart yearns to spend your life with them.

Yet, laws and customs can make it difficult to marry the person you love – this is undoubtedly painful.

As one who has also been in a situation where circumstances have prohibited me from being with the person I love, let me take a moment to offer my condolences.

I count myself lucky as this division was only temporary in my case, but that doesn’t change the fact that these months of being forcefully separated from my love were by far the most difficult of my entire life so far.

Before I say anything else, it’s important that you know that you are not alone in your situation – many people live out their lives this way, loving someone passionately but unable to fully be with that person due to law or custom.

Now: the reasons for this situation are versatile – perhaps you are from different countries, cultures, religions, maybe your family doesn’t approve – the fact is, it doesn’t matter why you can’t marry them, the only thing that’s relevant is that you are likely feeling heartbroken right now.

It’s not easy to find someone you truly connect with on a deep level, so when you do, but can’t actually marry them, it feels terribly unfair.

Your heart feels broken, and the pain can be unbearable.

I can only assure you that this is sadly a very common phenomenon, and finding yourself in this situation is not a reflection on you or your love – it’s just how life sometimes plays out.

Understanding that there is no way that you could have changed this current outcome might be of little help, I know.

The thing is, religions and cultures are dynamic entities and change with time – what was once forbidden may eventually become accepted and even encouraged.

This little sliver of hope may help you cope a little with what has happened to you.

However, there is a chance that your situation will not improve on its own, and in that case there really only are two options out there for you.

The first one being acceptance.

Accepting the situation

Accepting that you are in a situation where marriage to this person you love is simply impossible is not easy. It may very well be one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to go through.

However, if you are certain that there is no other way for you at this time, it is the only way to ensure you can find happiness at a later point in life.

You see, heartbreak is terrible, especially when it is caused by factors unrelated to your relationship.

But the one thing that is for certain is that with time and acceptance, you can heal from this.

Someday, you can love again and find happiness.

I know that right now, the thought of ever loving somebody else seems impossible, revolting even.

But if you truly commit yourself to accepting this fate of letting go of the person you love, you will eventually get to a place where you will be able to move on.

It might take a long time, but do not doubt yourself in this situation.

Accept it, and you will get there.

Of course, there is always the chance that this person will stay in the back of your mind as “the one who got away”, many people deal with that, marriage troubles or not.

They found someone they loved years ago and something made them split up, even though in their hearts they believed they were perfect for one another.

Now, does that mean that all these people who have someone “who got away” are unhappy in their new relationships?

Not at all. You see, you can love someone and let them go.

Accepting your current situation is the right choice if you know that it will make you and your partner happier in the long-term.

Let’s be honest – having to fight for your marriage or having to cut off family or loved ones because of it will always put a strain on your relationship.

If you make the choice that it is better to live separate lives, then it is possible to find happiness with someone else.

One common misconception people have is that as soon as you let this person go, you need to stop loving them, but that’s not true.

You can find new people to love, new partners to cherish, and still keep that person close to your heart, loving them from a distance.

This is the one condolence I can offer you: no matter what you choose, your love can be eternal, even if you split up.

If you truly believe at your core that you are both better off accepting your fate and splitting up, then that is the most loving decision you can make in that moment.

But I’m sure you’re wondering what the second option is that I mentioned earlier.

Fighting for your love

Now, if accepting that the person you love is really not the person you can marry is too difficult for you, I am afraid the second option is what you must go for: a change of circumstances.

Simply put, the second option is to fight for your right to be with the person you love – even if it seems hopeless at times, there is always a chance that you’ll win in the end.

You may be pleasantly surprised as laws and customs change with time, or even if they don’t, you may manage to circumvent them in some way.

This can either mean forcing a cultural shift to allow your marriage to happen or moving somewhere else where the law allows it to happen.

Now, a word of caution: this option, although seemingly easier while being head over heels in love with your partner, might turn out to be the more challenging solution in the long-term.

Fighting for your love is a much more difficult, painful and dangerous road than simply accepting the status quo.

You will have to alter your life drastically to make this happen – you may have to move cities, perhaps countries, and you might have to even cut people out of your life that are important to you.

This is not an easy path by any means, but it is an option.

The thing is, unless you are 100% certain that this is the person you are meant to be with without any doubt, and you’ve let enough time pass to come out of the honeymoon phase and experience real life with them on a deeper level, then you should really think hard about taking this road.

The thing is, there is probably a lot on the line (which is why you are in this difficult position in the first place), so if this ends up not being the right person for you, you risk losing connections that are truly important in your life.

Now, on a more positive note – I do believe that if it is true love and you know that you will be better off together than apart, then love can surmount any struggle.

It may be difficult, but you could technically find a way to push past the obstacles and find happiness with them.

As I mentioned earlier, this comes with sacrifices, and I guess at this point it is up to you to choose what to give up on – the thing holding you back from being with your partner, or being with your partner.

Being faced with a decision like this is unbelievably difficult, and I can assure you, you might never feel like you undoubtedly made the right choice, because both roads have their advantages and disadvantages.

But either way, you go about it, it will eventually work itself out. And there is always the possibility that things will get better than you ever imagine them being.

The one thing to keep in mind before burning any bridges is to give it a little bit of time.

See how things are without marrying your partner, give it some time before completely giving up on something crucial in your life.

The thing is, I do believe that there are people out there that are “meant for us”, but I don’t believe in a single soulmate.

That being said, you might have found your soulmate and it might hurt like hell to have to let them go, but if you choose this path, there will be other people who will fit into your life perfectly.

There is no right or wrong decision here, and unfortunately, apart from offering you this tiny speck of advice, I can’t tell you what to do.

What is the right choice for one person will not be the right path for someone else.

You will have to dig deep and listen to what you know is right in your heart – whether that’s acceptance and letting go, or fighting for your love and finding a way.

One thing is for certain – both these paths offer the chance of being happy, you are not condemned to a life of sadness and desperation due to your situation.

Whatever path you choose will be right for you, and I promise that once you’ve made a choice, you will be able to build happiness for yourself again.

I hope that, if anything, this letter has offered you some condolence, a sense of not being alone, and most of all, a sense of hope.

This difficult time will pass and one day you will look back at it, understanding why this struggle was necessary in order to get you to where you are meant to be.

Feel free to reach out if you need to talk or share your experiences.

With much love,


Picture of Anna Scheucher

Anna Scheucher

Freelance writer specializing in holistic health, wellness, and psychology. Check out my blog to find out more!

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