Yesterday afternoon I had a phone conversation with “Liz”. I wrote about her in this post.
She wanted me to relay to you that she is very thankful for all your suggestions. And she now has an appointment with an attorney in one week in order to discuss her options. You all convinced her that that should be her next move.
I recall when I had my first appointment with the divorce attorney. In preparation I had written down a bunch of questions. But in my nervousness I forgot to write down any answers.
By the time I got home, I was so rattled trying to make sure I didn’t let anything slip about where I’d been, that I couldn’t recall much of anything. Then I had to call them back to ask them some of the questions again.
Write Things Down:
Liz is in that place where she is in disbelief. After a decade and a half of what she considered a good/stable marriage, her world feels like it is toppling.
He says he does not have another woman, but then we all know they lie about such things. So I can’t say I’d believe that. Or much of anything he says at this point.
Now A Financial Disadvantage Looms:
He not only cleaned out her accounts. But before that he recently coaxed her into adding his name to the only thing she owned in this world that has real monetary value: a rental property.
It was the house she raised her children in. And it is paid for.
Now she’s learned that she cannot just take his name back off. He owns the house as much as she does I suppose, though I’m no attorney. I see some serious longtime planning on his part here, don’t you?
They have mortgages on two homes. The one they are living in, and one in another state. A family member is living in the house out of state. They are still making payments on both homes.
In our conversation, she said that she has not been working much this year due to a chronic illness. But she is in a profession where I think jobs will not be in short supply.
He is out of town at the moment. So I think she can see the attorney and maybe have a day or so to think about things before he returns.
I asked her if there were any mental issues with him, and she said she didn’t think so. I asked about addiction, and she said no.
So why is he playing this back and forth game where he says he doesn’t want to be married to her. And then turning right around and saying: “But what if I want to marry you again? Will you?”
To me this is either crazy talk or emotional blackmail/abuse. Or perhaps both.
Can you think of any reason why a man, who she’s been married to all these years, suddenly does a complete about face?
Why would he start talking to her like this in the past few months? Saying things like he’d put their nine year old dog to sleep?
Just So You Get A Better Overall Picture (and in no particular order):
- He is not the father of her children.
- Liz is about my age
- She thinks he may be in a lot of debt.
- He is very controlling and tends to follow her everywhere.
- She pays taxes with him.
- Liz learned he recently sent money to another country.
- She says he seems to have no empathy toward others.
Sometimes it takes awhile for us to take off our rose-colored glasses. When you love someone and are committed to them, you don’t always see them in their entirety. It’s like looking in the mirror every day. Change seems gradual.
Why Do We Make Excuses For Them?
I realized my ex had no empathy toward others. Though I saw signs of it earlier in the marriage, I made excuses for him. I don’t know why that very fact alone didn’t scare me half to death.
But I guess I was already afraid of him, so what was one more terrifying aspect of his personality?
I had to get to a point of no return before I was brave enough to set things into motion.
Fear often keeps you from acting in your own self interest.
Growing Up Female:
Why are we women so trusting? Is it a “growing up female” thing?
Certainly I’m not stating that this only happens to women. But it seems to be a prevailing problem that women deal with.
Liz very much appreciates any guidance you might have for her. She is struggling, but now she is determined to start life anew on her own terms.
She has spent the bulk of the last three months crying. Now she’s ready for action.
So let’s help her get there.