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Zinnie and all fincially savvy... need credit advice
April 21, 2004
3:55 pm
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sixfootblonde
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Good job not reaching for that bottle. I am proud of you. You are making wise choices.

🙂

April 22, 2004
2:05 am
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gingerleigh
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Thanks SFB. I had a really good night tonight. I recently auditioned and got into this excellent concert band about 40 miles south of where I live. I rehearse with them on Wednesday nights. It was a fun rehearsal, our concert is in a week and a half, and we sound great. I sit last chair, but who cares? I got in! I was in a foul mood when I went in, but I forced a smile. After a while, it felt good to smile. Funny, when you smile at people, they can't help but smile back. Ha, the conductor even asked me if I wanted to go get a drink after rehearsal with some of the other players, but it felt a little strange the way he asked, sort of a little like a flirtatious thing, which believe me, with as mad as I am at hubby right now, I can NOT handle, so I politely declined. But it felt good. I haven't felt feminine in months. Lately I've been feeling like everyone's neutered puppy they keep dragging around to social functions to make the party interesting rather than a woman. You never know, after a few drinks Ginger might pee on someone's leg. Always entertaining, just make sure you bring newspaper... Tonight was a welcome change, to actually feel like people desired my company rather than feeling sorry for me and inviting me out because I was alone and probably had nothing better to do. I needed it.

It makes me realize the things that I "know" even if I don't believe them sometimes, that no matter what happens, life will go on. Even if I end up divorced and alone again, it's all OK. Hell, I'm married and alone now. How much worse could divorced and alone be? I will always have my music, and wherever I go I am capable of connecting with people.

Anyway, still haven't heard back from husband about his take on all this financial garbage. And for the first time since Friday I'm ok with all of this. Tomorrow I'll probably feel like poop again, but for now, I'll take the sleep and peacefulness while I can get it. Besides, I have a whole year to stew... I'll procrastinate on this one, put off my stewing until tomorrow since I can breathe deeply tonight.

Good night, friends.

April 22, 2004
10:53 am
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sixfootblonde
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You are exactly right GL and like my aunt so wisely told me last year, "everything you'll ever need is right inside of you." Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will always be there. That's an awesome thought since your music and your sense of self is something no one can take from you. What a gift!

Congrats on the audition! I am glad for you. Good to get out of the house and get some sense of fulfillment thru your music. Everything else will come and go but that is truly yours.

I have to say, you are making your way thru this so much better than I think I could. I admire how you are handling the situation you have found yourself in, thru no fault of your own. That's character, girl! 🙂

April 22, 2004
11:00 am
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Zinnie
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Glad to know you are doing O.K. Ginger... I'm afraid I would be on a military transport right now, and he would be fearing me far more then any Iraqi!

I'm beginning to wonder about some of my more violent natures... what is the saying "you can take the girl out of the neighborhood..." you get the point.

But, Ginger, you are handling this well, but I know you realize you have a lot of thinking to do.

Z.

April 22, 2004
12:51 pm
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gingerleigh
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Trust me Zinnie, I've written a fair number of letters to my husband and just saved the drafts rather than sent them. Definitely not the sort of material to send to someone in a war zone. I have been sending him daily email updates on the finances, but didn't hear anything back until this morning, when I got an email from him saying he didn't know what to say, the I was sounding angrier and angrier with each email, and that he never asked for me to clean up his mess. *sigh* He doesn't get that marriage makes his mess into OUR mess. I'm starting to think that he is a ninny. Which is better than thinking that he is just an asshole, but the problems remain. The last email that I had sent him was very short, just saying that I needed him to call me and listen to what I was doing and take an interest and give me some moral support. In his last email, he said he would call me "this morning" which I assume means my morning. He is 11 hours ahead of me.

Oh he laid the guilt trip on me too, that he is already really stressed and here I'm adding more stress, said I'm taking pot shots at him, blah blah blah. Whatever. We'll see if he calls.

Yes indeedy I have much thinking to do. And lucky me, I have lots of time to do it!

SFB, your aunt is a wise lady! And as far as how I'm handling this... I'm really good with practical stuff. Give me a problem, a pen and some paper I can solve it with checklists, deadlines and task assignments. After all, that's my job! What I don't handle well is this emotional stuff. Zin referenced violent tendencies, and I am a fright when I'm angry. Hell hath no fury and all. The only thing that is stopping me from getting on that military transport is the thought that he really is at war, getting shot at, and I don't want my anger to cause him to get hurt or killed and then it's on my head for the rest of my life.

But those angry letters that I'm not going to send sure do help me blow off steam. Who knows? When he gets back, I might demand that he read them, and we'll go from there.

So, I bet he won't call. So far since he's been deployed, he has NEVER called when he said he would. Time will tell... tick.. tock...

April 22, 2004
1:13 pm
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Zinnie
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Don't fall for his guilt trips, just flat out don't do it. You ARE cleaning up his mess, and he is damn lucky to have you doing this for him.

Like I said, sadly this would have happened anyway - if he was in Iraq or stateside. He is actually catching a lucky break being gone because I have a feeling you are similar to me in that "just tell me the truth, and we can work on it." But, he didn't. He lied, omitted, and it's far worse than you ever thought.

I give you credit for not letting him really have it because of where he is, for that you deserve a pat on the back. But, at the same time, don't fall for his guilt trip tactics. Sorry, he made this mess himself.

Z.

April 22, 2004
2:33 pm
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gingerleigh
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Hmph... 11:33AM... 27 more minutes until it isn't morning any more. Have a feeling I'm about to be let down... again...

April 22, 2004
3:00 pm
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gingerleigh
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Noontime. No call. What an asshole.

April 22, 2004
3:45 pm
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Anonymous
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Sorry I don't have anything to say about how to fix the problem your husband left you with. I'm just writing something because I can relate to some things that your husband did. I wonder if there isn't such a thing as a money-phobia. If there is, then I think I have it.

I feel sick every time I think about money and having to manage a budget. My fear and resistance keep me locked in a cycle of paycheck-to-paycheck living. I have caused problems for others, family and my kids, because of this fear I have.

I see where it would make sense to just talk about it to someone besides my therapist, but it seems like I get yelled at and end up feeling worse when I'm honest.

I know it is still wrong not to tell someone, especially if you are married. I also know that even if it's wrong, I would rather live with the fear than the shaming.

Ren'ai

April 22, 2004
3:50 pm
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gingerleigh
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Hi Ren'ai. What you wrote sounds so much like what my husband writes in certain paragraphs... how ashamed he is, how he feels like a kid. What I can't get through to him is that the only thing he has to be ashamed of is the lying and evading he is doing, how he has eroded my trust to the point where I don't know if it can be rebuilt.

I salute you for being adult enough to look at your feelings and recognize that you are scared, and admit that you don't know what is out there. Progress can't be made until we accept reality. And that is something my husband has repeatedly refused to do...

April 22, 2004
3:58 pm
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Anonymous
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Something else hard is that most of the people in my life sit on the sidelines and wait for me to prove I'm trying before they have anything supportive to offer. I am not talking about giving me money, either. I feel happy and proud when I have a money problem and I manage to take care of it on my own. It doesn't happen very often but it does happen. Having people give me money to solve a problem makes it easier for me to continue living in fear. It also allows them to have power over me and the choices I make. Talk about frightening!

I am trying, in my own way, to work up the courage to face down this monster. I think most of the people in my life won't believe it until they see me sitting on top of a savings account with a couple of thousand dollars in it, though.

Ren'ai

April 22, 2004
10:59 pm
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gingerleigh
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Well, I feel better now... I had an aha moment. I had asked my father in law for help, and so far he has been worthless. He didn't check on the one thing that I asked, nor has he offered to lend me the money I need and let me pay him back over the next few months. To add insult to injury, he acted like I was some sort of a slacker because I don't have money in my savings to pay for this stuff. So, whatever. I have a better understanding of why my husband is the way he is. If every time he went to his father for help as a kid he was made to feel ashamed for needing help, I can definitely see why he quit asking, and started employing other defense techniques to get through daily life (denial, evasion, lying...)

This father in law... he has told me over and over again, "if you need anything, just call..." and whenever I do call, he leaves me out in the cold. Some help. His advice was for me to get a lawyer to get some financial protection advice. And when I sarcastically reminded him that I didn't have any money, he just told me that it would be money well spent. What a fuck-stick.

Anyway, my mother in law has told me that relations are strained between my husband and his father, but even more so between my husband's sister and her father. She won't even talk to him. Now I'm starting to see why. This is helping me have a little bit of understanding for why my husband does what he does, and at least that understanding is softening my anger a little bit and making it easier to breathe. Nothing quite so exhausting as being angry.

I still think he's an asshole for not calling though. And he's still a liar, and it's going to take a lot to get my trust back. But at least the anger flare has died down a bit.

April 22, 2004
11:02 pm
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Alena
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GL,

Here's how I see this...havent' you always been the responsible one?? Hasn't he always been the irresponsible one?? Just because you married him didn't make him all of a sudden responsible, especially because the two of you have spent so little time together as a responsible married couple. Nothing about your marriage was "normal" from the start, no?

I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. You love him, you know you do, he did most of this stuff a long time ago, you will both get through this financial thing, sorry it's all on you right now. He is acting like a little boy (what else is new?) with the guilt trip thing, it's his defensiveness coming out..what else can he say in defense?? Pretty much nothing..
Take it easy,it will all work out, you are a smart chick and you do love him and he does love you...you can't possibly judge your marriage so far, it's been anything BUT a marriage. YOu knew he was going to go, and for a long time, you have to wait to be "normal".....he's in Iraq...Iraq..shit...with people maybe shooting at him....damn, can you imagine that? You love him, go ahead and vent, unless you find out that it's a way to get out of this financial mess, don't seriously consider divorce...okay?? YOu're just upset and being forced to deal with stuff you would never have gotten yourself into....(((Gin))))

April 23, 2004
12:01 am
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gingerleigh
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Yes. I need to keep my eye back on the bigger picture. Getting shot at by bullets is a lot more permanent than getting shot at by creditors. Money is probably the least of his worries while he is there. It just leaves me with that "what about me?" thing going on. I probably sound like the asshole, raving that he didn't call when he said he would when he is in Iraq for heaven's sake. I can see the absurdity in it. But again, there is still that "what about me" stuff. I want someone to care for me. I can be Miss Responsible Smarty Pants all day, but at night, all I ask is 10 minutes of curling up in someone's arms and feeling safe and protected. That feeling is impossible to put a price on.

I don't want him to defend his actions. I just want him to listen to me and support me.

Thanks for the really level advice, Alena. This has truly been anything but a normal marriage!

April 23, 2004
10:15 am
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Zinnie
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Ginger,

I hate to be the person to bring this up, and feel free to tell me to stuff it. But, growing up Military, this is something we did see, actually my Dad has a whole chapter of stories about this.

Do you think he married you to qualify for higher benefits/pay from the Military?

Z.

(feeling like a shit for asking)

April 23, 2004
12:38 pm
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gingerleigh
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Don't feel like a shit, Zinnie, and I'm definitely not going to tell you to stuff it. We got married quickly for a variety of reasons. The biggest practical reason we got married before he left was so that I could be the primary point of contact while he was gone. Girlfriends and fiancees don't qualify. It needs to be a spouse or a blood relative. The biggest non-practical reason I think for both of us is that our lives just felt turned upside down, and we wanted something stable that we could count on and know that we could return to when his deployment was over. Sounds kind of lame, but it was important, still is.

Being married, as you know from your military backgroun, does bring extra money with deployment. It gets marked as separation pay and basic housing allowance on the LES statement. That money goes into an account with both our names on it. It's a perk, but I don't think that's why he married me. I think he married me because he loved me and couldn't imagine growing old with anyone else. I honestly don't think he thought of me as a free ride or someone to come in and rescue him and take care of him. This is someone who does not ask for help from anyone, and would rather run down the path to self-destruction than ask for help.

He did finally call last night about midnight and we had a good talk. He was mortified that I was paying all of his bills. And he was very suspicious at first, wanting to know why suddenly we were being hit with all of these court orders now when things were quiet for years. A light bulb went off in my head, and I said, "OK, please be honest... do you file your taxes each year?" and he was quiet, and said, "No. I always claim zero, I have no interest-earning accounts as you know, and I usually don't bother with the refund. I know I should, but it's worth the refund money to me not to have to go through all that hassle." Sure enough, when I did our taxes this year, he was entitled to a refund as well. But now that I've filed, suddenly his new address and phone number is back in the system, and that's how the military exchange found out how to get their money back. And from there, once I started digging, I stirred up a bee's nest.

So after about 5 minutes of defensiveness and shame, he finally said, "Thank you. I never wanted to bring anything onto you. It's not fair to you. This is my responsibility, and I'm sorry that you are having to deal with it." And when I heard that, it was the one thing I needed to hear, and I didn't even know I needed to hear it. A simple thank you.

I mentioned my ex who I paid off so much for. Never once did he say thank you. I've been carrying around that resentment for years, and with just those two words it helped me to let go of so much.

So I feel better today than I have in a long time. I'm still working through the car repo settlement, but that's now been reduced to a problem and I have my paper and pens and checklists out and I can fix that. Now that I'm not clouded over with fears and emotional distress. It's so much easier to cope with.

And I didn't even have any wine last night either.

April 23, 2004
2:05 pm
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Anonymous
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I know I would be mortified and grateful at the same time to have someone help me out the way you are helping your husband. I'm glad he thanked you because you deserve it.

Ren'ai

April 23, 2004
2:07 pm
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Zinnie
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I'm glad he finally said thank you. Now that you have that out of the way, perhaps you can move forward.

Yes, he will have to work at gaining your trust back that is understandable. But, hopefully now he knows that he can be honest and up front with you and that you will work together as a team in accomplishing things.

Z.

April 23, 2004
2:20 pm
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sixfootblonde
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What a difference a day makes, huh? I'm glad he is owning up to his responsibility. Now the two of you can be a team working towards the common goal.

Now you will be able to enjoy your weekend better too, huh?

April 23, 2004
4:19 pm
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gingerleigh
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Absolutely. I feel like a big dark cloud has been lifted.

April 23, 2004
7:41 pm
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Alena
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I'm glad you heard from him and I'm glad he made you feel better about it all.....you just never know what another sunrise is gonna bring...lots of hugs kiddo..

April 26, 2004
1:54 pm
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I would like to hear from anyone willing, "How do you keep your finances in order?" Especially from people who feel pretty stretched financially but manage to "unstretch".

I'm tired of all the damn stress! I need a starting point!!!

Ren'ai

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