In May of 2008 I became a statistic. After supporting my husband through career and life changes for thirty years I heard his chilling demand for a divorce.
For the first time in the marriage I was financially dependent on him, having retired from teaching with a small pension. I had become a licensed realtor to work as his assistant so I was to be unemployed as well as divorced. Since I was 59 and living in Michigan there was every possibility I’d need to live under a bridge. He didn’t care. He wasn’t happy.
He was in charge of our finances 100% and we had three mortgages, a timeshare that demanded ever-increasing yearly fees, and no savings.
But that’s not all. I learned at the first mediation that my name was on $100,000 of unpaid federal taxes on his income. The debts that he listed were mind-numbing. I couldn’t live long enough to pay off half of them.
I found a job in two weeks. Even though I had to dry my tears in the parking lot, I apparently interviewed well. I decided to get my name off as much debt as possible. I filed bankruptcy. I hired a tax attorney. I found an apartment. I took baby steps.
Anticipating the two-year anniversary of that horrible event, my future is bright. I am happily living alone. I am doing things I never would have done before. I am slowly rebuilding my credit rating and I hope to buy a condo in 2011.
I am deeply and enduringly happy and I gladly comfort wives on an online forum who are newly handling their husbands’ midlife crises. I’m proud of the role model I’ve been for my daughter, age 25. Life is good.