Hi. My name is Sam. I’m 51 years old. I was married for 20 years. After our kids were born I became a stay-at-hom mom and my now ex-husband began climbing the corporate ladder.
My daughter participated in competitive gymnastics, not an inexpensive sport. Towards the end we were paying over $600 a month for 6 months out of the year and over $300 a month for the remaining six months for her sport, plus travel expenses for out of state meets. Don’t even get me started on what I paid for new leos, grips, and miscellaneous supplies.
My son played hockey. Not quite as expensive as gymnastics because he didn’t do travel league, but still not a cheap sport. His last year I spent over $400 on equipment for him because he had outgrown all of his old stuff. Before that he regularly played baseball, soccer, and even enrolled in karate.
I could shop for clothes and toys and make-up for my kids whenever I wanted, without having to consider a budget. It wasn’t unusual for me to take my daughter on a shopping spree once or twice a year. If they needed new clothes I could easily go out and drop $200 at a single store in order to stock up.
The last year of our marriage I lived in a 4000 sq. ft. home where my kids had their own rooms and their own bathrooms. We even put a pool in our backyard.
We could go back out to Utah and to Indiana to visit friends and family. I could afford to take my kids and do fun things with them. It wasn’t uncommon for us to have season passes to the amusement park and water park every summer. I took my kids on vacation. I made sure they had everything they needed and most of what they wanted. I rarely worried about money and could afford to be generous to friends and family. And then… I got divorced.
I lost pretty much everything when that happened- my house, my furniture, 90% of my belongings, my children’s emotional security, my financial security. I didn’t even get to remain in the same city. My kids and I had to sell off everything, vacate the family home, and move 600 miles away in with my mom. That was a mere two years after he moved us two thousand miles across the country for his “dream job”.
Five years after finding out about his affair, almost 3 years after the divorce, I’m still struggling and he and the OWife are doing great. Pulling in over $14,000 a month together. Living in houses just like we used to do. In fact, the first one they moved into together could have been an exact replica of the one he left behind in Virginia. At least from the outside.
I made a vow after this happened to me that I would never be financially dependent upon a man again. This is actually kind of funny because I’m still financially dependent on the ex in the form of the spousal support he is supposed to pay me. Nonetheless, my vow was that I would never be financially dependent on another man again. Losing everything and being forced to move away from the place that I called home (even if I didn’t particularly love it there) almost killed me the last time. Most of my friends who went through a divorce right around the same time as I did have no idea what it’s like to go through your entire home and put price tags on almost everything you own. They have no idea what it’s like to have to leave the family home. They have no idea what it’s like to have to tell your kids that we are once again moving and I’m going to be uprooting them from their friends, their sports, and their schools all over again. I cannot do it a second time.
I believe we’ve covered all of this before so you may be wondering why on earth I’m writing about it again. That’s a very good question, and one that deserves an answer. I’ll do my best, although it’s going to be a circumbendibus story.