Forming relationships always brings the risk of heartbreak, but Patricia Hancocks, a 64-year-old mother of three from Thurnby Lodge, Leicester, England, fears her brief marriage might have been a scam for a visa.
Hancocks met 29-year-old Mondher Mezni of Tunisia on the dating website Tagged. "Even over the Internet I could feel the chemistry,” she told Leicester Mercury. "I hadn't had a relationship for ages, and wasn't looking for love but there was just something about him. Pretty soon we were speaking online five times a week."
She says he showered her with compliments and the conversations were the highlight of her day. "When he asked me to go out and visit him I jumped at the chance."
Still, Hancocks hadn’t been completely honest with Mezni — she had not told him she was in a wheelchair due to osteoarthritis. "But I needn't have worried. The first thing he told me was that I was beautiful. He couldn't speak much English, but we used a translation app on his phone,” she said.
After the two-week visit to Menzi in Tunisia, she saved up until she could see him again. “Five days into my next visit we were having coffee when Mondher told me that we were getting married,” she said, reports the Mirror.
“By now I’d fallen for him hook, line and sinker, so of course I accepted. My first marriage had ended 25 years ago. I never thought I’d be a bride again. We organized the wedding for just three weeks’ time.”
The last-minute wedding was expensive — Hancocks said she only ate toast and butter so she could pay for their November 2012 nuptials. A week later, they returned to the U.K.
"I worked on getting Mondher a visa, and eight months later I managed to secure him a visitor visa. It was only temporary but I couldn't wait to live properly as husband and wife. For the first week, life was perfect. We were still in the honeymoon period," she said. "But then he started to act differently. The chores, sex and compliments all dried up, he said it was like living in a prison."
Two weeks later, he packed his belongings and moved to Portsmouth. Hancocks was devastated.
Six months later, Mondher allegedly asked Hancocks for money, but she refused. “He broke my heart. I wouldn’t let him break my bank balance, too. Though, in all honesty, I’ve spent thousands on flights, gifts and the wedding."
She's working on getting her life back on track and hasn't seen her husband for more than a year. “We’re still married, but I’m slowly saving up for a divorce.”
Mezni is now back in Tunisia, reports the Mirror, and disputes Hancock’s allegations. “I want to forget this problem with my wife,” he told Mirror. “I married her and when I moved to the U.K. I respected her.”
He added: “She never gave me a visa. At first I was happy living with my wife, I cleaned, (vacuumed) and did the washing up. But she scared me, so I left to a different town to go and work.”
Image Credit: Patricia Hancocks via Leicester Mercury