A distraught wife who came home to an empty house and maxed-out credit cards realised her American husband had left her one day after his Australian partner visa was approved.
Isabelle Glastonbury, now 31, met Michael* in Dallas in 2015, and quickly fell head over heels in love with the charismatic and charming Texan.
After a whirlwind engagement one year later, the pair relocated from the United States to Australia together in 2018.
The couple married in a fairytale wedding at the Boathouse in Palm Beach, the bill of more than $50,000 generously paid by her parents.
But her newlywed happiness turned to heartbreak following an evening of dinner and drinks to celebrate Michael’s visa approval in January 2021, 2 years and 4 months after applying, the fee also funded by her mum and dad.
‘I got home and literally 90 per cent of his stuff had disappeared,’ Isabelle told Daily Mail Australia.
Isabelle (pictured) married Michael* in an intimate wedding in Palm Beach in 2018
Isabelle returned home to an empty apartment in 2021 after her husband’s spousal visa was approved
‘I had this sinking feeling,’ she recalled.
‘I tried logging into our immigration accounts, I had been locked out of everything, my credit cards were maxed-out, and I was blocked on his phone, none of my calls or messages going through.’
For over a month Isabelle was in the dark as to why Michael, now 29, had suddenly disappeared without any explanation.
‘He ghosted everyone – all of our mutual friends, the best man from our wedding and his own family, no-one knew where he was.’
But in hindsight the months leading up to discovering her husband had disappeared were concerning, she said.
‘He had become distant and started disappearing at night, I felt like I was married to a complete stranger.’
The former couple tied the knot in a fairytale wedding at The Boathouse in Palm Beach
Isabella’s parents paid more than $50,000 for her wedding to Michael, only for him to vanish after his Australian visa was granted
Isabelle claimed that in the days prior to ghosting her Michael had said he wanted them to relocate to Queensland, buy a home and start a family.
‘I don’t know what his plan was, none of it made sense,’ she says.
‘I think we got married, he got over it and was too chickensh*t to say anything to my face but just wanted to stay in Australia.’
According to Isabelle, The Department of Immigration and Border Protection did little to reject Michael’s visa after he vanished, a $10,000 expense her parents covered when the couple first moved to Sydney.
‘So many people reported him to immigration and nothing happened,’ she said.
‘I have such a problem with the visa situation, literally people can leave and have no repercussions or be forced to have any accountability.’
It’s been over a year since the former couple officially divorced and Isabelle hasn’t seen or spoken to Michael since their brief meetup in February 2021 where he gave her the vague explanation that he ‘had to be single’.
Isabelle and her high school sweetheart Max welcomed baby Mason three months on
‘Just the other day my friend told me Michael got married again – almost a year to the day we officially divorced.’
‘He was my best friend, my ride or die. He fooled everyone, including me.’
Isabelle has also moved on, rekindling her relationship with her high school sweetheart and best friend Max, with the couple welcoming baby Mason three months ago.
‘I’m in a good place, I’ve wanted to share my story for awhile now because you never think it’ll happen to you until it does,’ she said.
And her advice for others?
‘Don’t be blind, because I’m sure I could have seen the signs before this happened and I just ignored it, you never really know who you’re sleeping next to.’