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how to become independent of ones spouse

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letitout posted 7/7/2013 17:34 PM

My WH has been out of the country for 3 weeks and I have been feeling rotten about myself for not being able to take care of myself while he is gone. This is what I emailed to him. My question is how do you get out of the trap of being dependent on someone?

Dear Mr letitout,

I just want to say sorry again about my morose mood lately. The main reason is that I am under a lot of stress with things breaking in the house and dealing with the kids. As we talked about, right now I am feeling highly disappointed in myself as a functioning human being. For all of these years I have let you take care of everything that a person needs to know about how to live in this life and Iím poorly equipped to deal with day to day living. I think you did everything because that is your way of taking care of the family, but it has made me completely dependent upon you to live. I am mad, very sad, disappointed, bitter, feel helpless that I have let myself get into this predicament and Iím trying to figure out how I can get out of it.

I donít even know who our cable service is, or who to pay for our lights, what about the cars? You get my point. I am like a baby. I canít believe I let myself get to this point where I am totally dependent upon a another person to do the most basic things.

Iím going to be asking you a lot of questions about the house and money, so youíre going to have to be patient with me. I want to keep a list of all the money that comes in and all that goes out. (note, he had drained our savings on the prostitutes plus had to take out a 3 year loan to cover costs).

Iím going to hire a tutor to help me with the computer. Iím going to go back to school to learn Spanish so I can get a job.

I have thought about taking a job somewhere else and live on my own for a while to kick start me into knowing how to live on my own. DD and I actually discussed this option, and even though she is getting independent she doesn't want me to go this route. She says she still needs me here.

All I know is that I donít want to be dependent on ANYONE. I want to have my own life, my own friends, and my own hobbies, learn who I am. I donít even know who I am. I donít know what I like, dislike, what my passions are. I have lived through you. I found a quote that said ďThe most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apartĒ. Thatís what I need. To have you as my partner but have our own lives also. Does that make sense?

Love, letitout

Ostrich80 posted 7/7/2013 18:53 PM

Minus the unknowing of.bill paying, I'm in the same boat. I am financially dependant and I despise it. I had a job I loved and I chose to stay home when we had babies. Although I know it was something I chose with his blessings, I stuck until I can get back into the workforce. I loved having a job and I was good at it. Although I am financially dependant, he is the one that knows nothing about bills, bank account, hell he prob doesn't even know his ss#. I have kept this family and household running for several yrs. I too don't know who I am or what I want, except one thing, and this is to never have to
rely on another person. I hate this its one of the reasons.I'm still living with this asshole. I am teaching my DD's to get an education, career. and own lives before they even begin to think about M. Some men feel superior when they are the breadwinner, not all of course, but I do feel my ws lost respect for me when he started providing for everything and I lost respect for myself.. this sucks bad. Ow owns her own home and is self sufficient...that doesn't help knowing.

letitout posted 7/7/2013 19:25 PM

I also had a great job that I was good at. We moved from the midwest where all family was to CA where I had nobody, so I became a SAHM. Loved it, but looking back I should have never ever quit working. I didn't know how hard it would be to find a job 10 years later and to face infidelity without a lifeboat.

I do feel my ws lost respect for me when he started providing for everything and I lost respect for myself..

That's also how I feel.

I'm glad you have a handle on the finances. That is on my to do list to learn.

BeautifulEmpty posted 7/7/2013 20:12 PM

I am stuck here too. I always worked but then took time out until each child was around 18 mo old, then would get part time work. When my current husband and I got together, I had an excellent job but I had long term health problems that were getting progressively worse. After our baby was born, I couldn't return to work. I had two businesses but as I got worse, I couldn't manage them so they are gone. I'm totally dependent on him.
I know how to do everything, in part because he's always left everything up to me but its his money that runs the show. We aren't well off so I'm not trying to 'keep a lifestyle' and to be honest, another reason I know how to do so many things is because I couldn't afford to have someone do them for me but his money is the fuel for everything else.
It's maddening to have been brought down to this level and have no options other than to jump anyway and hope I can come up with something for myself and 3 still minor kids. I'm not trying to leave him at this time but I hate having to consider things from this angle. It makes me feel and look less genuine in our attempts to R. R or not, I have to plan as if we weren't...plan B, as it were.
I believe in raising my own children and I don't regret any of it but I hate that I have very little choice if i need to leave, considering the crap hand I've been dealt.
I hate that there are others dealing with this hitch but I'm glad I'm not least, I can hear how others are dealing with it.

sad12008 posted 7/7/2013 20:13 PM


I get the financial dependence thing...that's a hard one when you're a SAHM or SAHD; however, good for you for starting to get smart on the finances and cash flow in the household. That's one thing, fortunately, that I've always handled, but I still have felt the vulnerability of not being the breadwinner. Like others, I'd always had a professional life prior to kids, and even before infidelity raised its ugly head I struggled with that sacrifice on a purely emotional level (aside from a paycheck, think of all the other things one gets from a professional life, such as an element of identity, job reviews, a professional reputation, social interaction, and intellectual stimulation....who wouldn't miss that?!)

Developing a sense of COMPETENCE again could be a turning point for you. I don't mean just knowing who to pay when, but also learning new skills. Stuff breaks in the house? Can you read and follow a recipe? Chances are a lot of the stuff you can tackle yourself. Having a Y chromosome or not has zero bearing on your ability to acquire the necessary information. Between YouTube videos and the all the DIY books out there, one is really empowered these days, with no waiting on some darn repairman!

I'm also in favor of an individual bank account belonging to the BS. It doesn't have to be anything more than a Christmas Club account at a credit union....just something in your name alone that has a few dollars in it that you can add to when possible. I believe in back-up plans, now, and particularly in the case of BSs who've been in that sidecar role relative to family finances.

There are modest ways to make a buck here and there even as a SAHM; I learned of mturk through SI (if I remember it's associated w/amazon) and I also have sold things through cafepress.

Aside from all the above, both spouses in any marriage should be able to pick up the reins should the other suddenly not be there due to deployment, death, or incapacitation. That alone is incentive to be co-captains of your family's ship vs. deck hand to the captain.

Honey, I don't think you owe your WH any "I'm sorry's" at ALL. He's the one that ran your family train off the rails, and pretty damn recently.

I think you're on the right track by getting tech-smart and learning a 2nd language. Keep it up; determination and perseverance are keys to success in any quest.

Ostrich80 posted 7/7/2013 22:39 PM

It's like starting all over but having others depend on you this time. I don't regret being home with my kids but I regret giving up myself. I became disabled after #3 due to RA. I am sunk without ws insurance, my treatment is very expensive. It's a catch 22, with it I can work somewhat but without treatment I will possibly be wheel chair bound before long. It's very depressing as I was a smart girl with ambition. Now I feel old and not very marketable. Sometimes I wonder if he stays because ppl will think he's shit for leaving and that makes me feel worse. I don't want his pity, just his fn insurance then I can eventually take care of myself but it scares the hell out of me to risk losing it. Keeps me frozen and I hate it.

mindisgone posted 7/8/2013 07:02 AM

I agree with all the advice given but also don't forget that keeping someone dependent is also often a form of control.

letitout posted 7/8/2013 09:46 AM

Thanks for all of your stories and replies. I do have a back account in my name only with a little bit of money. But without a job it is hard to add to it, but not impossible.

If I had anything of value I would sell it.

I can't get a job in my profession right now, and looking for other jobs, but without computer skills it is hard, but again probably not impossible, I just have to keep looking.

I had no idea so many of you are in the same boat. I'm going to brush myself off and stand up and deal with this. I wish the best of luck with us all in this journey to independence.

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