AZ asks: Ida-Part 2
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 she 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, let’s pick up where we left off. How did the money issues go downhill so quickly without you realizing what was going on?
In the beginning, there were just little things that deep down I now know didn’t quite add up. We started having a few checks bouncing off and on for insufficient funds. My husband said it was a computer error and this type of thing happens all of the time and it was no big deal. Then one night we were having a family dinner out and his credit card was denied. He said he had forgotten that he had decided to cancel this particular card so that he could use another one that would allow us to collect travel miles. At the time, I thought that these things could be possibly and once again I stuck my head in the sand.
AZ asks: Can you describe any instance that really stands out in your mind?
Oh boy, can I! There was one major event that I will never forget and it ended up being the turning point in our marriage. I had just picked up the girls from school and was pulling into our driveway. I noticed a car parked in front of our home and a man at my front door holding a file that would change all of our lives.
I was officially being served foreclosure papers on our family home because of non-payment on our first and second mortgage loan. Apparently, my husband had taken out a second mortgage to keep up with his other business loans he had been struggling to pay. He had been borrowing money from one source in order to pay off another.
I am so embarrassed to even say this out loud, but I didn’t know we had a second mortgage. Believe me, it gets even worse. My signature was actually on the mortgage forms. Yes, I had signed them, but I had never read or asked exactly what I was signing. He always would say things like just sign it…I have it covered or we are fine…so don’t worry about it. In hindsight, I know it sounds crazy, but even though there was a part of me that worried about the way he was handling of our finances, it was easier for me just to keep telling myself that he knew what he was doing and that he would make the right decisions and take care of everything.
AZ asks: What happened next?
Of course, I cried and cried and had one of the biggest pity parties ever! Poor me! How could he do this to me? How could he do this to our children? What is going to happen?
Finally, when I was all cried out and I had to admit to myself that I was just as much at fault for where we had ended up as he was. You know that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that something isn’t wasn’t quite right—I admit to hearing that voice—but I choose to stick my head in the sand…I didn’t want to make any waves and it was just plain easier.
I had to start taking control of my life not only for myself, but for my children. My biggest worry right now was the thought of what else I didn’t know about.
I knew I was probably in for a lot more surprises and I was right.
To be continued…
Ida Independent is not affiliated with nor endorsed by LPL Financial.