One easy way to be better prepared than Yours Truly

I’m not going to lament the mistakes I made but I’ll share with you so that you don’t have to fall into the same trap.

When I was completely clueless about being cheated on, it made sense to trust in my marriage and believe when my husband said that I didn’t have to worry about money, I didn’t have to work much due to being ill, and it was agreed upon together that it was best for our daughter if I stayed at home with her. I trusted my husband more than myself. We’ll never get divorced, I thought. Little did I know that my husband started an affair with a co-worker (let’s just call her ho-ho for short) right after our daughter was born. She was also married and they intended to keep it as an affair only. Until ho-ho got divorced and my husband decided to divorce me as well so that they could be together, at which point he was still denying having someone else. He was just unhappy in our marriage! I proceeded to bend over backwards trying to think of all the ways I could make life easier on him and better myself as a wife.

Silly me, I thought I could make it all better. How could I, as I had nothing to do with him cheating in the first place. As it turns out, cheaters cheat because they feel they are above the rules that apply to others. They know the moral codes and right and wrong, they just don’t care. They feel they are special and entitled to things they would never allow to others. My cheater was very conscious of his feelings being hurt and he knew how to talk in order to sound like an upright person.

I found myself in a situation where I was chronically ill, thus unemployable, with an education in fine arts, and with a child who needed me a lot. I didn’t have a plan because I never thought I’d need one in a million years.

I had gotten a small inheritance after my mother passed away tragically, and I made a little money from my art.
I thought about what else I could do to make some money, and I started a small business and learned new skills to do it better. I decided to become super smart with the money I made.

After living apart some time, my husband suddenly decided he didn’t want to divorce after all. I was mentally ready to let him go, so of course he couldn’t allow that! I took him back. I decided that I wasn’t going to live expecting things to go wrong again. I wanted to trust him even though he had proved himself untrustworthy and capable of being cruel to me. I guess it was also easier on me to not live in a state of constant hyper vigilance.

I never was very good with money. I kept working on my business because I was into it, but I didn’t intentionally prepare like I would have, had I known that our marriage would fall apart after all a few years later. (But had I known that, I wouldn’t have taken him back in the first place.. )

So my advice is this: If you are trying to reconcile with a cheater -even if you think you are really sure he has changed and you will be one of the rare couples can stay happily married after infidelity – please, please cover your back. Take charge of your own finances. Ask for a post-nup stating what will happen if you end up divorcing anyway. (If the cheater is so sure he won’t cheat again, he should have no problem signing a post-nup!)

I don’t deal very well with stress. Okay, stress is terrible for me and it aggravates my illnesses and makes me anxious and miserable. It does not propel me forward. My business has made some money and I was able to buy the tiny apartment I’m renting out. In the divorce I’m keeping my business and the apartment and some land, which I have plans to sell and buy something else that will generate income instead of just sit there. I’m better off now than the first time he filed for divorce. I’d be even better off had I been less careless with money during our reconciliation (or “wreckonciliation” in chumped-speak.)

I like my little business and even though I’m not totally against selling it at some point, I now use it to make some money and because the work I do is something I enjoy. What I’m focusing on is arranging things so that I can only work as many hours as I want to, and I don’t have to do the kind of work I hate doing but concentrate what little energy I have for the creative side of my business. As long as I feel like my work is fun, and I make more money with my business than it takes to run it, I’m all good with it. But it by no means identifies me.

My daughter has an expensive hobby (without which we also wouldn’t need a car), so her dad who makes a lot of money, pays a good child support which covers her hobby and a large part of her other expenses. She is luckily quite anti-materialistic! I have started a stock portfolio for her and I try to teach her about handling personal finances in a way that she can be financially independent early on.

My expenses are rent, food, phone and internet, insurances and pet food for our cats. I sew and knit most of our clothes. We rarely eat out, perhaps once a month we get take-out pizza and once a month I see a friend for coffee or lunch. Sometimes it’s not even that often. I invite friends over and I visit them. The company is important, not where we are at.
I don’t drink alcohol (I’m not an absolutist and I may have a glass of wine with dinner when visiting family if I’m not driving but I don’t go out to “party”) and my work is pretty much my hobby as well. Which works out nice, if it makes some money it’s great, and if it doesn’t I had fun doing it!!
I don’t have a TV as I don’t watch it. And there is some free stuff to watch on the internet anyway. I rarely go to movies. I usually get a few tickets for Christmas so I never spend money on that either.
I have low energy due to my illness and I love quiet times at home, knitting, reading, taking a nap, walking to the beach nearby.. I don’t need a lot of money. So I came to realize that after some shuffling of assets, I am financially free now. And I’m finally free from an abusive relationship.

I’m digressing now, but my point is this: Be prepared! Start working towards independence, it will not hurt and may be extremely useful. It will help you feel in charge of your life in any case.
Having enough money allows you to walk out of an abusive relationship more easily or quit a job you hate. Money buys you freedom, and that is the greatest thing you can buy with it.
Right now, my daughter is home on a school holiday (and last week she was home on thursday and friday due to having a cold). Yesterday we baked together, She doesn’t have to be home alone when she is sick or on a holiday, nor do we need to go on expensive vacations to enjoy ourselves.

I chose to stay with her when she was younger, and I want to continue to spend time with her and swend her off to school in the morning and most days be there to welcome her home. I could have been smarter about my finances earlier, but hindsight is 20/20. I’m still thankful for all the things I DID do and the things I chose NOT to spend money on even though I have been much too careless with my money. There are a couple of things that pretty much saved me from spending everything – stay tuned and I will talk about those things and what to do if you are like me who has always had money “burn holes” in their pockets -meaning that it’s been very difficult to hold on to my money for any significant period of time!

Published by Miss Guided

Chumped, dumped, ground to the ground, picked myself up and got up with my head held high, fierce and independent woman, I am finally free.

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