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Thank you for stopping by for another installment in my Divorce and FIRE series.
I have been thrilled with the support and comments shown by my readers to these individuals who have really opened up and shared with us a very traumatic time in their lives.
Every person who has submitted their story has told me that they were touched by the outpouring of comments.
I hope that this inspires others to continue this series by submitting their own tales of divorce.
This submission came from a query on HARO (Help A Reporter Out), a great resource that matches individuals seeking stories on various topics with potential interviewees.
Can you provide a little background about yourself and your subsequent marriage?
I am a 62 year old female.
I had been previously married for 20 years before to an abusive man.
Then I jumped from the frying pan into the gates of hell (I was vulnerable when I met this ex and he knew it).
This [second] marriage was one where it was my brother’s former best friend.
I should have paid attention to the “former” and not married him.
No one liked him but my parents.
At the age of 49 I was subliminally seeking their approval, perhaps.
My mother did not approve of me because I stood up to her controlling me.
When the nurturer in your life does not approve, there is a tendency to end up in a marriage that mirrors that relationship.
I should have paid attention to that.
My father, a psychiatrist, told me his concern was that my second husband would use me financially to make sure that his son from a prior marriage was taken care of.
He also predicted that I would be treated badly.
Should have paid attention to that.
How did you meet?
When I was 12 and playing the piano.
He showed me how to play a chord.
He actually had blood on his hands from hunting with my brother.
I hate hunting!
Should have paid attention to that.
How long did you date?
About 1.5 years
Did you have any children (and if so how old they were at the time of divorce)?
We had no children together.
He had a 16 year old son.
His son tried to “run the bitch” off as he referred to me.
Should have paid attention to that.
No matter how much I did or gave to his son, he stole from me and was unkind.
I didn’t take it personally because he was unkind to everyone and was an animal abuser of the worst kind.
(Will spare you the gory details of things he did)
Should have paid attention to that.
How many years were you married?
Describe your financial outlook during the marriage?
Were you on the same page financially?
He used all my money to allow him to file lawsuits against his family.
He never gave me money or helped me financially.
I worked with him at his appraisal company when I really wanted to go back to school (which I ended up doing when the divorce was filed).
Were you both on track to become financially independent?
I, however, was more on track financially than him.
He needed my money to get his money.
I didn’t know until after we were married, that even BEFORE we were married he sought an attorney to teach him how to co-mingle my money but not his.
I couldn’t pay attention to that because I was unaware of it.
Can you elaborate on what the underlying cause for divorce was?
He got a settlement from his family and asked me to sign a POST nuptial agreement or he would file for divorce.
When I refused to sign the post nuptial agreement or agree to be responsible for half of the tax debt from it, he became even more abusive.
I still wouldn’t do it.
What changes occurred with your spouse that made you realize that divorce was a viable option?
The whole post nuptial fiasco.
How long has it has been since you got divorced?
What was the estimated value of the assets you lost in the divorce?
If possible describe how the marital properties were divided by the court.
It was fair.
Because he was so sneaky and put a mortgage on our debt free home right before he filed for divorce (which is illegal where I live) the judge helped me financially under what the law allowed.
Can you elaborate on the legal costs?
$15,000 out of my pocket.
He had to pay $27,000 more to my attorney when his lies came to light.
His fees were about $250,000.
He spent a fortune on the divorce proceedings as he was highly contentious.
Our 5 year marriage required FOUR years of divorce proceedings because of it.
The main reason for the length of the proceedings was that his lawyer and him kept pushing to get half of my parent’s estate (they were unsuccessful).
What is your current state of financial recovery?
How long did it take you to get back to pre-divorce levels? (Or if you still have not reached that level, estimated time to get back to that level).
Do you have an idea of how your ex is doing financially post divorce?
But he runs through money like water and has been lending money to people who can’t afford to pay him back.
He takes their homes and/or ranches as settlements.
Have you remarried?
Would you consider getting married again and if so what would you do different and what protections would you need to have in place?
My requirement would be someone who is kind like me.
Someone that is good, decent and not abusive
Any pointers to readers to prevent a divorce from happening in the first place or any advice if someone is currently going through a divorce?
Don’t date anyone until you have officially signed the divorce papers from a prior marriage.
I made the mistake of dating my second ex WHILE I was still going through my first divorce.
Even though my first ex and I were LEGALLY separated, my marriage to him was officially not dissolved.
You need to grieve the loss of one marriage before moving on to the next otherwise you will be vulnerable like I was.
Any unexpected surprises during or after the divorce proceedings?
Many years later, after my mother had passed away, I discovered that he had tried to get her to sign all of her assets over to him making him the sole beneficiary of a trust.
Her attorney advised her against it, and I am glad she paid attention to that!
What impact did the marriage/divorce have on your overall financial journey?
It was a great teacher.
It was hard work to remain pure, ambitious and non-cynical.
Anything else you would like to share that was not touched upon?
Pay attention to your feelings.
If something makes you feel bad at any point when you are dating, listen to your instincts.
Pay attention to your family and friends who will tell you things that you may not want to believe.
Don’t overlook a bad temper or things like women or men bashing jokes.
Pay attention to how you feel about yourself when you are with that person.
If you, or someone you know, would like to submit a Divorce and FIRE story, I would love to hear from you.
You can remain anonymous unless you specifically give permission to reveal your identity.
I have created an outline of some of the topics you might want to consider elaborating on in your submission.
If you are in search of financial help, please consider enlisting the service of any of the sponsors of this blog who I feel are part of the “good guys and gals of finance.”
Even a steadfast DIY’er can sometimes gain benefit from the occasional professional input.
NOTE: The website XRAYVSN contains affiliate links and thus receives compensation whenever a purchase through these links is made (at no further cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Although these proceeds help keep this site going they do not have any bearing on the reviews of any products I endorse which are from my own honest experiences. Thank you- XRAYVSN
Heartbreaking story, but I’m encouraged to see you emerge stronger and resilient.
Appreciate you stopping by and showing support CD. Yeah this particular story really was heart wrenching.
I am still digging out from the financial hole that divorce left behind (3 years for me). The process took me one year, but only because that was as long as the state would allow him to delay. However, my daughter is healing and I have hope for the first time in a long time. Money isn’t everything, but how someone treats it is a good indicator of other things. I should have paid attention to how Mr. Wonderful tried to cheat everyone and take shortcuts. How could I not think he would eventually treat me this way, too? As… Read more »
I am so sorry you had to go through that as well. My divorce was the absolute lowest point in my life. Lost my daughter for 6 years before she was finally rightfully returned to me (https://xrayvsn.com/2018/05/15/i-have-pretty-much-made-every-mistake-in-the-book-part-iii-2/).
I hope you climb out of that financial hole and rebuild a happy life. It takes time but it is worth it to get rid of someone toxic in your life. Best of luck!
I relate to your tragedy on a single most important point; twice divorced. It’s such a shame for me and I constantly think of myself as a failure…it is a relief to know I’m not alone … truly is…
I’m sorry you had a bad experience as well. I had the same mentality for about 2 yrs after divorce but soon picked myself up and in a much happier place. Wishing you the same
It is often said that divorce is the most expensive choice anyone can make. But that’s not true, marrying the wrong person is the most expensive choice because it will lead to divorce or unhappiness in life. And it is no area of life to be smug about just because you might have chosen wisely, it is much more likely that you just got lucky. I know I did. I can only hope this cautionary tale will help others avoid needless suffering.
Very true. Being married and staying married to the wrong person is far more emotionally and financially damaging than a divorce. I guarantee you if I had stayed married I would be no where near where I am financially or emotionally. The wrong person is like an anchor pulling you down in every facet of life. Divorce is like ripping the bandaid off, much better to go through brief than prolonged pain
No one wins as these things fall apart…except the lawyers I guess.
Thanks for OP for sharing. Very moving story.
Yeah the lawyers can definitely make out in contentious divorces. Mine and my ex’s certainly did.
I think my ex’s lawyer even encouraged it so she can bill more
Thank you for being open with your story. We think of lotteries as just playing the regular scratch off tickets we buy at gas stations. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Having the right partner navigate through life with you is worth more than any amount of money in the world.
Appreciate the comment. Yes the right partner is worth his or her weight in gold.
If you are not on the same page, financial or otherwise, you can never make true progress