While it seems that some women have found that the aftermath of a sudden move to divorce by a “runaway husband” can be liberating, I want to know - what does a woman do if he’s also trying to hurt his ex-wife and leave her destitute because she wouldn't bow down to him?
Get legal advice, fast. Talk to your accountant and bank manager to get informed on all aspects of how a divorce can affect you financially and what moves you can make to protect yourself and your holdings.
Take charge of whatever you can - secure your own finances, note what assets you owned jointly, pursue a search of anything you feel is missing, etc.
But also focus on inner resolve to get through this period with your health and self-confidence to face the future intact. Add this to your list of positive thoughts: any husband who’d try to leave his is ex-wife destitute is a person you want to be free of emotionally, as well as physically. That’s liberating.
Readers’ Commentary Regarding the woman who wrote about her husband becoming secretive about his computer (June 8):
“I was early to the idea of meeting people online. It happened in 1996 at a bridge game site where you could chat. I was sure I was in love before I ever met him. I’d left a marriage where the love was gone, so was definitely looking for love! I fell hard.
“After a year of our meeting every other week (he lived in another city), he moved in with me and my daughter. After three days, I entered the room where he had his computer on and he immediately shut it down. I’d suspected that he was “distracted” when on his computer, but ignored all the signs. This event was a turning point.
“I told him to either turn it on again in my presence or leave. He chose the former, and there were a bunch of messages flashing at him.
“After he opened three, I knew what was going on. He was looking for a LOT of love – more than I could supply, apparently. Many women were messaging him with outpourings of love, passion, etc. He had a major internet addiction.
“He said I was the only “real” love and the rest didn’t mean anything. But he’d lied to me. When we’d been living apart there were many times when he became very quiet online when we could have chatted.
“He’d lied/covered up what he was doing – of course he was returning messages from the many women he was stringing along.
“But then, in my house. I asked him to leave that night and he did.
“I received some great counselling over the next several months. In my mid-40s, I thought that was it for me. But I met the love of my life through a mutual friend a few months later and we’ve been very happily married all this time.
“The great learning for me was that trust can be totally broken but a person can rebuild.... it’s about trusting myself again.
“I agree with your recommendations to the woman who wrote in. I fear that the outcome for her could be similar to mine.
“My message to her is simply to get to the bottom of things and know that, with help, you’ll be able to rebuild – maybe with him, maybe not. Either way, it’s good that you’ve become aware!”
FEEDBACK Regarding collaborative practice in family law (June 15):
Reader – “I would strongly suggest that couples determine what they agree on and document it before consulting a lawyer as it will save them time and money.
“For example, whether the house will be sold, if not who will live in it; sharing time with children at holidays, school months, summer, etc.; how to split costs until divorce (my ex and I did this proportional to our incomes until the house was sold); what to do with assets, e.g., who gets what from the house, will they take a portion of the other’s pension or not, etc.
“The more you agree on this and communicate it to your lawyer, the less time you will waste. If you don’t, your lawyer may start with a boiler-plate separation agreement that will have to be altered which will take time and expense for both spouses.”
Tip of the day:
A sudden break-up calls for actively securing your parenting and legal/financial rights and strengthening determination/self-confidence for a better future.