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A story of financial infidelity – Divorced Catholic Dads

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Sep 01

A story of financial infidelity

A reader of the web site and blog sent me the email below.  I attempted to reply to him, but the email was incorrect and I was unable to reach him for permission to move the discussion to the blog.  However, I thought it was a story readers would benefit from, so I have changed his name and a detail or two to protect his identity:

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Dave,

I am Catholic and I am divorcing my wife of ten years due to lies, what I consider fraud, and now bankruptcy due to her many financial infidelities.
 
I am currently saddled with all household bills with no contribution from my ex-wife. On some months the outgoing bills and expenses exceed my income and I have had to rely on family members to cover the budget gaps during recent months. My ex-wife refuses to pay any bills associated with the household even though she does produce and income from part time work. Since keeping a roof over our head for the sake of my daughter is the number one priority, my income is put toward the household bills first (i.e. mortgages, utilities, food, etc.) Additionally, the household bills consume all my income and I do not have additional funds to put toward my ex-wifes debt repayment currently. I do make monthly payments on our joint credit card which is all that I have the bandwidth for at this time.

My ex-wife has shown a history of spendthrift behavior, deceit, and extremely high hidden credit card balances relative to our earnings. This behavior began during our first year of marriage when my ex-wife squandered almost $10K of wedding money that was given to us by our families. This misfortune was further compounded when at the same time, my ex-wife ran up an additional $8.5K of hidden credit card debt. All of these expenditures took place without my knowledge or consent. By the time I found out it was too late. I stepped in to clean up the mess; we patched up our marriage and moved on with the mutual understanding that this was not the way to run a household.

This behavior pattern repeated itself three years later when my ex-wife ran up another $12K in hidden credit card debt. Again, these expenditures took place without my knowledge or consent. The mail was hidden from me and calls from bill collectors were deleted from the answering machine. Out of a commitment to make the marriage work, I stepped in again, putting forth all manner of initiatives and solutions to pay down the debt and clean up our damaged credit. My ex-wife and I patched up the trust that was lost in our marriage and moved on. I sincerely wanted to make this marriage work. I was promised by my ex-wife that something like this would never happen again, especially since we were planning to have children. We both agreed that lies, irresponsibility, and self-inflicted financial hardship would be a suboptimal environment to raise a family.

Three years later, my ex-wife continued her negative contribution to the marriage by initiating another $46K of hidden credit card debt. Some of which began just before my daughter was born but really commenced just after my ex-wife quit her job that year. So much so, that there is not even sufficient household income to repay the minimum balances. Additionally, $5K of reserve fund savings went to pay off the initial past due card balances beginning last fall, when I first learned of these debts. This coincides with the time when my ex-wife up left with my daughter for three weeks to stay with her parents. During this time, about $1,600 was withdrawn by my ex-wife from my daughter’s bank UGMA account to cover additional hidden credit card balances. There is now a $1.73 left in this account for my daughter’s college savings. A $500 gift check, given to my daughter from my Godmother, was also cashed and spent by my ex-wife without my knowledge after I was repeatedly told that it was lost.

She duped me three times in our ten year marriage. Each time with a promise to change and that it would never happen again. I bailed us out of it each time, and when enough time went by and I let my guard down, she did it again. This third and final time I am forced to file bankruptcy, attempt to sell my house in a down market (all offers have been less than I paid for the home), my credit is ruined because she put my name on some of the cards which she never intended to pay, and to forfeit all of the sweat equity that I put into this home over the past four years of back breaking renovations that were done on nights and weekends after my 60 hour work week.

I know that this site is geared toward Dad’s who have been left. However, I just wanted to let you know that there are catholic dad’s out there like me who hung in there and tried in earnest to make it work but opted out after years betrayal and deceipt.

Thanks,

Joe

 

1 comment

  1. Dave

    Joe,

    My heart goes out to you. Your story is a real tragedy. And you will be in my heart and prayer intentions as of this day.

    I do not have any wisdom of my own for you except that as corny as it sounds, I am 100% convinced from my own experience that God, in the Person of Jesus Christ, is both heartbroken for you and at the same time wants to give you the grace necessary to hear how He wants you to move forward, and HE does want to bring you (and your family) healing. He is the answer to your dilemmas, I know from my own life.

    You cannot change your wife, only she can make the decision to change what is clearly disordered behavior. And I think she needs to find Jesus and meet Him to know what His view of her situation is. Just pray for her like you never have. God wants her salvation as well as yours.

    I also know that Jesus can work miracles in impossible situations – I have seen it too many times not to believe that. How He does that in your situation, and what those miracles will be is something only you will discover. This is a time to let your faith be tested and grow spiritually – live your faith as never before, even as you go down whatever path He directs you on. Just make VERY SURE He is directing your path and then you will know peace even in the midst of pain.

    I would tell you too that as I say elsewhere on my site, probably the thing that completely changed me and my life were the Volumes from the web site, http://www.directionforourtimes.com . I could not more strongly urge you to purchase, or in your case, download the pdf versions and print them. In particular, I would go to the booklets, 3 of which I have attached, and at a minimum, Volumes 1 and 2. I took the messages they contain and prayed into them morning and evening because I was in such turmoil and they spoke to my heart loud and clear. They revolutionized my spiritual life and therefore my life.

    May God bless you and your family.

    Dave

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