I was talking to someone who came through our department the other day. She was there to observe what we do and we got to talking. The topic of me being divorced came up, as did my new dating life. She asked me which I felt was more important- financial security or emotional well being.
I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a trick question. Looking back over the 20 years I was with Jerry Lee I can see how our marriage wasn’t a great one. We probably had a decent five years but even then there were signs he wasn’t going to be all in. I’ve already written about his reluctance to go to my grandpa’s funeral with me. He didn’t attend my friend’s wedding in Chicago with me. Didn’t go to my class reunion with me. And I’m not quite sure he ever went to my grandparent’s or dad’s house again after we went down to announce our engagement. He was also a no show at my best friend’s wedding, didn’t come to support me when I went skydiving, couldn’t be bothered to take time off of work when my ectopic pregnancy was finally found, and didn’t go to either of my grandmothers’ funerals.
In comparison the Mobster is amazing. He’s a wonderful partner. Not only does the man go to funerals, weddings, and company parties with me he travels 10 1/2 hours to do so! Okay, the funeral was in Virginia but still… my point remains.
I have never felt so loved by a man in my life. He listens to me. He laughs with me. He supports me, encourages me, stands up for me, and is willing to help me in any way possible. He is an all in partner in every way.
Do you prefer the emotional well-being or the financial well-being?
I’ve got a bill sitting on my dining room table from the hospital where my daughter went to the ER. I haven’t even got the courage to open it yet. I wouldn’t blink an eye in my old life (primarily because we had great fucking insurance and it probably would have cost me a $50 co-pay but that’s a rant for another day!).
I used to be able to drop a couple hundred of dollars on my daughter when she said she needed new shorts or a new wardrobe.
I used to be able to buy my son a new game system if I felt like it.
I used to be independent. I lived in my own home. I had furniture and dishes and possessions accumulated throughout over 45 years of living.
Quite honestly, the last eight years or so of our marriage I didn’t have to worry about money much at all, and in that last year I didn’t worry.
Now I worry about money every month.
There have been times when I briefly wished both of my kids were self-sufficient and out on their own because trying to meet their needs was overwhelming to me. I still count down until the day I no longer have to pay over $200 a paycheck to cover them on my insurance. I never did that before.
There are times I don’t know if he’s going to pay spousal support or child support and Picasso needs one thing and Rock Star needs another thing and they all converge on me and I begin to have a mini nervous breakdown. Their needs and even their wants were met without a blink of an eye before.
I always figured we would always be there to help them out if they needed it. Both of them would have college paid for. We would send them money each month while they were away at college. My pipe dream fantasy at one point was to buy enough land where we could build a house and both kids could build their own homes so they would never leave me. My kids and grandkids would all live in close proximity.
It’s a trick question.
I think we all know money doesn’t buy happiness. I think we also know that while it may not guarantee happiness it sure makes life easier.
No matter how happy I am no bank is going to loan me a couple hundred thousand to buy a house. No store is going to let me have groceries based upon a happy relationship. I can’t buy new shoes for my growing son or pay utilities with love.
I’d like to borrow two hundred thousand dollars to buy a house.
You don’t make enough money for us to lend you two hundred thousand dollars.
But I’m really happy!
M’am, that’s not how lending and finance works.
In an ideal world I’d have both. I’d be working a job that made me a shit ton of money and I’d come home each day to the mobster. Or at least I’d have a job where I made enough to support myself and my kids and have some left over.
I’m not stupid. I wouldn’t go back to Jerry Lee for any amount of money. I am far, far happier with the Mobster than I ever was with him.
I’ve already psychoanalyzed myself and decided that all the shopping I did and all the material goods made up for a marriage that was lacking.
I still think it’s a trick question. Would you rather be able to feed your children or be in love?