Ida Independent is a 48 year old stay-at-home Mom of two children who is now going through a divorce. Ida and her husband had decided early on in their marriage that it was in the best interest of the family if she did not work outside of the home so that you could spend her time concentrating on the children and the family. As a one income family, with no work experience outside of the home since her marriage, Ida was shocked to learn that their financial status had deteriorated to a level that now would require her to find a paying job as soon as possible. Ida had trusted her husband to protect the family financially, but their lack of communication about money played a major role in the derailment of their marriage.
AZ asks: Ida Part 9
AZ asks: Ida, at the end of our last discussion, you were working on your Goals and Objectives which you believe will have a definite impact on your marital status decision. Where are you now on this?
My husband has basically removed himself from our family and all of the financial and emotional issues involved. He does telephone the girls about once or twice a week. The only reason he does this is because his mother and father insisted that if he was going to stay with them— he must at least call the girls. My family and friends keep asking me if he is having an affair. I don’t believe he is but then again, I really don’t feel like I even know him anymore so this could be just one more thing I have been mistaken about.
I have to say that his parents have been very supportive towards us while trying to remain as neutral as possible. They have spent extra time with the girls and this has been so helpful for me and of course the girls love it! They miss the way things used to be. But as wonderful as they are as grandparents, they can’t replace the girls’ Dad and this makes us all very sad.
His parents have strongly encouraged my husband to go to counseling with me or at least by himself. They have finally realized that we have a lot of issues that they were not aware of and that we need professional help in order to get through this. I know they have tried to get him back into our lives but this can only be accomplished if and when he decides this is what he wants. But as of now, he still doesn’t want any part of our old life.
If I have learned just one thing over the past few months is that I have to be as realistic as possible and I can no longer live in a fantasy world no matter how comfortable it made me feel.
I had to ask myself some very difficult questions regarding the state of my marriage and I had to be as honest as possible with my answers.
AZ asks: What were some of the difficult questions you asked yourself about your husband and where your marriage was headed?
I know that everyone has their own specific questions, but these were the ones that were very important to me personally:
- What do I want for my children?
- What do I want for myself?
- Are our goals, values and priorities different now?
- Is there any hope for honest and open communication?
- Will we be able to comprise on important issues like our finances and kids?
- Do the same problems keep resurfacing again and again?
- Is there any mutual respect between the two of us?
- Where do I see myself in five years from now if I stay married?
- What do I envision my life will be like in five years if I go through with a divorce?
- Do I have a solid plan in place if I do divorce?
- Will I be able to cope with the financial and emotional stresses of divorce?
- Has this become such an unhealthy and toxic relationship that is affecting not only me but the kids?
- Is it time for me to file for divorce?
Once I truthfully answered these questions along with a lot of other ones, I actually felt more in control and clear-headed. If my final decision is to divorce, I have to make sure I remain strong and continue to maintain and build my self-esteem and self-respect. I must continue to be honest with myself and not sugar-coat the facts and the situation. I needed to be very realistic about my expectations—and I needed a solid plan.
Was my marriage really over?
To be continued…
Ida Independent is not affiliated with nor endorsed by LPL Financial.