I’m divorced, late-30s, sharing custody of a son, ten, with my ex.
Ours was an arranged marriage of 14 years, but had ups and downs throughout. I’ve always been a loving father and made family (and my marriage) a priority.
But for several years, my ex looked for excuses to escalate small arguments into huge issues and push me towards separation and divorce.
Throughout our marriage, we’ve taken care of each other’s needs, sacrificed things for the other person, and worked towards common goals, like buying our dream home.
I can’t understand why she threw away everything we’ve worked towards all these years.
Now all she wants is every penny she can get from the divorce.
She didn’t ask for any pictures or mementoes from our marriage, but has made sure that every penny she was entitled to was tracked down for the divorce settlement.
Please ask other readers, too: Why money becomes such a huge priority for women (in general), especially post-divorce, and nothing else seems to matter.
Is it the insecurity of the life post-divorce, or the satisfaction of having to make your ex pay? Or something else?
Disgusted by her Behaviour
To readers: I’m sure there’ll be strong responses from both men and women who’ve experienced contentious divorces.
Over the years, through this column, I’ve received as many angry questions from women about tight-fisted ex-husbands who punish them (and their children) through withholding money, as from men about grasping ex-wives.
My own perspective is that divorce usually reflects hurt and disappointment in the marriage.
But only this writer knows whether his wife was pressured into a union she hadn’t wanted, or she later discovered that their personalities didn’t work well together.
Only he knows whether she fought for every penny because she correctly feared he’d not be fair-minded. Or, because she’s always been competitive and mean-spirited.
But no generalizations hold true in the complex factors that are part of a particular couple’s divorce.
I believe it’s something else that leads to a nasty fight over money, post-divorce.
It’s whatever went wrong - in the bed, in the house, in the way you two communicated, and in the way you did not communicate.
Recently, my fiancé’s grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She told us she’s seeking treatment.
She also asked when we’re getting married because she wants to be at our wedding.
We’re currently focused on getting a house and raising our son. We put off the wedding until we’re more financially secure to pay for it.
Now we’ve learned that his grandmother’s not seeking treatment. She says, "It's in God’s hands."
The cancer has already spread and no one’s told us how long she has.
Should I step up and throw a wedding together so she can be present? My fiancé’s very close with her.
We grew up together and I cry just thinking about our beloved "Nina" gone.
I want to see her on my wedding day, dancing with my fiancé and our son.
Offer to arrange a small, inexpensive wedding service for close family only, very soon. Serve a light meal and wedding cake at your own place or a relative’s.
Have music to keep the mood joyous, and encourage dancing, including “Nina.”
Plan the larger celebration (if still wanted) when you’ve met your other needs.
There’s no better expression of your commitment to your fiancé, or to teach your son about family, love, and respect, than to fulfill a beloved grandmother’s wishes before she dies.
FEEDBACK Regarding the 14-year-old girl who feels depressed (Sept. 21):
Reader – “I’d think that in dealing with a young person who feels depressed, that she’d get more help than just your advice in the column – e.g. A help line? A crisis line for teens?”
Ellie – I agree with the reader that young people who feel depressed need as much help as possible, as soon as possible.
This girl had seen a doctor on her own, yet hadn’t confided in her parents. My advice was to open up to them and tell them about the doctor’s referral to a counsellor, so she’d get therapy.
She’d already gone a step further herself. I believe that her parents’ awareness and support is now needed.
I often mention helplines and Kids Help Phone, which includes teens (1-800-668-6868), and which refer callers to counselling help. The reader’s correct that these can always be included again.
Tip of the day:
Hurts, anger, disappointments precede divorce battles over money.