Red Responds: She Stood by Him. Now She Wants Out!

Dana in West Palm Beach writes:

I’m a mother of two boys that I love very dearly and I’m stuck in a marriage of 15 years that I wanted out of the last 8 years, where something would happen and I would put it on hold. My husband ran around with a woman most of our married life. It cost him everything. He lost his business of 22 years, our real estate properties and had to file bankruptcy. He also had his life threatened and was on the verge of suicide.

I stood by him and helped him through all of it for our children, now that I want out of the marriage he is doing everything to hurt me. I lost my job right before the holidays and have been living on my credit cards to survive and pay the mortgage, bills and feed the kids. He claims he has no money to support two households and that I better get a job! I’ve been on a few interviews and applied for dozens of jobs but nothing has come through, I’m almost out of money for my attorney which then I won’t have legal representation. I’m afraid of losing my home which is the last investment we have! And the stress is taking a toll on my health! I just don’t understand the purpose and am afraid of the future. Please give me some insight on what to do or what’s ahead.

Dear Dana,

You are in a very tight spot, and there is no quick or easy way out. However, as bleak as things seem right now, it won’t be this way forever.

Unfortunately, the job market is slow, and extremely competitive at the moment. While I do see you getting a job this June, it is just that – a job. While it may not be what you want to do, it will be a paycheck, which is definitely a step in the right direction. From what I can see, it looks like a customer service position. The atmosphere is decent, so that is a plus, but the pay isn’t quite the income you are used to generating. Just keep in mind, it is only temporary, something to hold you over until you get a position that is more in line with your abilities. You should be working in your field once again this fall.

You survived your marriage, and I have no doubt that you will survive your divorce. This man can only hurt you as much as you let him. It is time for you to stop trying to fight fair. It isn’t, and never has, been the best tactic for dealing with your husband.

Your husband doesn’t have the cashflow, or desire, to support two households. Don’t look to or count on him for much relief or support. Anything you get from him will be hard won. He comes through as rather lazy and as a person who looks for the easy road. He isn’t the best example of a man, and believes he owes you nothing. He isn’t going to make the divorce process an easy one. You may want to level with your attorney about your circumstances – it’s time to start applying pressure to move things forward, even if that movement is only an emergency hearing for child support.

Even though it will definitely be a blow to your ego, check with your state to see what kind of assistance you qualify for. There is something available to you, even if it is only enough to keep food on the table. Every little bit helps. You are in hard times, and it will get worse before it gets better.

I wish I saw things differently, but holding on to your home is going to prove to be a struggle. Not impossible, but definitely a significant challenge. You may have to face the possibility of bankruptcy in order to keep it. Your current credit situation is working against you for refinancing options, but you probably should anyways. This is something you will have to decide for yourself, just how badly you want to hold on to your home.

All of this would be so much easier for you to handle if you had a tangible reason for why things have gone so wrong. This isn’t bad karma, this isn’t the Universe smacking you with some kind of payback. All it boils down to is bad timing because of a bad economy. While it changes nothing, try and take some comfort knowing that you aren’t alone. So many people are in similar situations right now.

All you can do is more of what you have been doing. Maintain things as best you can, keep looking for work, and keep the faith that things can only get better – because they will.

I know it may not seem like it now, but you will have peace and happiness in your life. Possibly for the very first time. While you are in dire straights now, a day will come when you will look back and wonder how you made it through.

Brightest Blessings!
Ext. 9226

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