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: I would like to pick up where we left off the last time. You had just found out that you home was being foreclosed…then what happened?
It took me a few days just to calm down so I could start thinking clearly. I felt like I had been blindsided. During this time, I tried to remind myself that there are always two sides to any story—I was holding my breath and hoping that ours would be the story with the happy ending.
The one thing I knew for sure was in order to get through this we had to be completely honest with each other and stop hiding things—not only about our financial situation but about our lives together. We had to communicate on an equal level if we stood any chance at making it through this. But, it takes two to talk and my soon-to-be-ex was doing everything possible to avoid not only me but even the girls. There was no screaming or yelling…there was just dead silence. The more he avoided the family, the worse the tension got. I tried to put up a good front for the kids, but I could see it was taking its own toll on them both emotionally and physically. The more I tried to reach out and talk with him…the further and further he pulled away.
A few days after being met in the driveway with foreclosure papers my youngest, who has suffered from asthma since she was a baby, had a severe attack one afternoon after coming home from school. She was having a terrible time breathing and her inhaler just wasn’t working… so I took her to the closet Emergency Room. As I was completing the forms, I handed my insurance card to the admission coordinator. It seemed to be taking a little longer than it should have, but finally she returned with an uncomfortable look on her face. With her eyes lowered, she told me that our family health insurance had lapsed about 3 weeks ago and we were no longer covered under the policy, but that they would be happy to work out a payment plan. I thanked her for her help, but wondered to myself if we even had money to make payments. There was no denying it—we were in real trouble.
AZ asks: What did you do next?
Well, once my daughter was taken care of and I had her tucked into bed for the evening, I approached my husband again when he finally came home. I told him what had happened and that our health insurance had been cancelled. I told him we had to talk about this and figure out a way to work through it because we were obviously in serious financial trouble. I told him that we were in this for “richer or poorer” and together we could make things right, but I needed to know the whole truth…not just things he wanted me to hear. I had to know exactly where we stood. I told him that there were plenty of resources out there that could help us work through this if we just pulled together as a team. We could get counseling. We could get help from a financial planner. We could get legal advice and tax help. And, I would try hard to find a job to help out.
AZ asks: How did he respond?
…he walked away without ever looking back.
To Be Continued…..