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How do I get past the financial ruin?

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gardens64 posted 11/26/2013 16:14 PM

I'm really struggling with this right now. I can accept my WH is a broken person and that I need to move on. What I can't accept is that I feel so cheated with regards to finances. Years ago, I gave up graduate school in a very lucrative position to stay with my WH. I've been staying at home with my small children.

Now I am not only having to start at a ridiculously low salary, if I can even find a job, I can't recapture that career or earning potential. I have to focus on retirement now, it would be too many years out of school, too much time away from kids. The career I picked, while debt free, is not very lucrative.

I am so angry that this is going to be the rest of my life. How do I get past this? Any tips?

7yrsflushed posted 11/26/2013 20:20 PM

I don't know your story but getting past the emotional part of it is tough. I was the primary breadwinner in my family but I passed up advancement opportunities in my company because my STBXWW didn't want to leave the area. I basically stalled out my career when it was truly on an upswing and will basically be stuck in middle management forever. It took time and many many hours in the gym releasing anger and frustration for me. I felt and sometimes still feel like I had 10 years of my life stolen. I try to focus on the positives in the NOW these days though. I love my kids and my life is actually pretty decent. Not where I wanted it to be but my priorities are different now and I get to make ALL the decisions by myself.

If you are in the process of divorce make sure you get those lost years in money back from your WS in the form of spousal support and whatever else an attorney may be able to get for you. It doesn't replace what we lost but it doesn't hurt to get a leg up on the next phase of your life.

Don't know if this helped any but I wish you the best and remember the rest of your life is what you make it. You get to define your future on your terms now. It may take a while to work through the anger but you will get there.

gardens64 posted 11/26/2013 20:37 PM

Thanks for your message. I'll try to get what spousal support I can but my WH has been under-earning for a while now. Instead of working on his own business he had an affair

Focusing on the positives is a good idea. I try to keep a daily journal of that. I just feel so isolated in this area with friends and family. Everyone else I know is doing well financially and it is humiliating to be "the poor one". I've always been so frugal so it is very hard for me to be in this situation.

Ashland13 posted 11/27/2013 12:05 PM

This is something I face now too, Gardens.

If it helps any, I'm trying to get a handle on things like monthly expenses and then breaking it down more-weekly expenses and then daily expenses.

Everything we do and buy is strictly budgeted.

It's not easy to separate it from emotions, so something that helped me was to not think about money at all when I get emotional. I do the stop sign in my head thing and take a break...a walk, work on a hobby, play with kids, but switch gears.

I kick myself because years ago I did have some money and I loaned it. It came back but is gone. Do you know the person is now a millionaire, and his gf is also, has au pairs, a cook, a maid...while we suffer financially. I think of this daily in my more difficult moments and have to flush it out of my head.

I am in a position where I cannot work right now and possibly not for some time. So I know some of what you may feel and hope you can work on it a little at a time. It helps me get a better perspective. I, too, stay at home with small children and what I would earn equals the child care costs, so how to figure that, I don't know.

I do wish you luck and as people tell me, this chapter too, will close someday.

cmego posted 11/27/2013 12:28 PM

I was the same way, gave up a career to follow ex around the country. I spent large amounts of my inheritance on these big houses ex wanted. Well, when I found out he was gay, it was a huge blow. The anger I had that he wasted so much money is one of the things that took the longest to let go.

Now, I just don't dwell on it. I can't change it. I have a good settlement through the D, and I just…can't stay in that angry place.

I am back in school now and working on a new career and just take it one day at a time.

We can't wish the money back.

nutmegkitty posted 11/27/2013 12:39 PM

I hear you on the anger. I don't have any great tips on dealing with it except to just breathe through the waves of it when they come. Also, perhaps focusing on what you CAN control about your finances.

It's not easy, I know. I had to give up a shit ton of my 401K to the ex, and boy howdy it still makes me livid when I think of it.

phmh posted 11/27/2013 12:55 PM

I'm another one who can relate, though the specifics are different.

I put my XWH through medical school and was supposed to be able to no longer work a demanding job, until he cheated.

It's hard to give up the dream of what you thought your life would be (and what it had been to date) and what it's going to be.

Like 7years, I worked out a lot -- running, yoga, weights. I also took up painting (creative outlets help, too!)

I focused on me and not on what could have been -- sure I don't have as much money as I would have had I stayed married, but I am much happier than I was. I read a ton of books on happiness and internalized that it's so much more than money.

I think one of the hardest things for me with this is that it completely shattered my worldview. I used to believe that if you were a good person and did things "right" (good grades, college, treated people well) then good things would happen to you. And while I still do believe that to a certain extent, it's more apparent to me than ever that luck plays a huge role in life, and it's up to us to make the best of whatever situation we find ourselves in.

I try to focus on the positives in my life, and realize how good things really are. Reading the paper can help with this, and there were many days in the beginning when I would remind myself, "at least a guy who thought he was a zombie didn't try to eat your face today. At least you weren't the victim of a deadly home invasion," etc. I don't think that comparison is healthy, and once I got healthier, I no longer needed to do this, but it certainly helped when I was feeling sorry for myself in the beginning.

(((gardens))) You'll get through this!

Jayne Doe posted 11/27/2013 14:14 PM

I think this is something that many of us go thru.

We all had plans for our financial future. We all gave up alot.

When almost ex and I went thru mediation, the mediator said that together we were quite comfortable, but when you break it up, it's tough.

You've just got to look on the bright side.
I'm on a tight budget now, when I haven't had to be on one for decades. But I will tell you this - there is a sense of empowerment of being able to do it on your own. And you will. You'll adjust, you'll budget, and your little splurges will mean all that much more.

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