Money Kept MeTrapped in a Marriage

How financial abuse stole my freedom

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But I do leave — believing this will free my children from a bad situation.

Or perhaps I should say ‘I try to leave.’

Sheriff’s deputies knock on our door with warrants in debt.

“When are you going to decide you love the children more than you hate me?”

They realize there were zero financial issues before their mother retained an attorney. They understand two adults not getting along. Yet it is impossible to understand how their father is willing to hurt them to hurt their mother.

He takes out credit cards in my name. He forges my name on documents and loans. He ruins my credit. He threatens bankruptcy. He refuses to hire an attorney — says he is too broke. He says all of our retirement and savings are gone and his income drastically lowered.

As sinister as this is, remember the emotional and financial abuser sees the world through a twisted lens.

And perhaps most importantly, that twice we made a joint decision for me to step away from my income. Once in our twenties to build a business and again to raise our children.

Call me crazy. Call me foolish. Call me trusting. Call me naive. But in a million years it never occurred to me that the ‘great’ guy I met in Catholic college at nineteen had been lying to me throughout the years of our marital troubles.

And being a stay at home mother, unfortunately, made me more vulnerable to this type of abuse.

The alimony I did receive was nowhere near what it should have been. The self-employed can alter their income to achieve this more easily than most.

National Relationship Columnist, Freelance Journalist & Former Business Columnist. All Shapes of Love — #WomanResurrected colleen.sheehy.orme@gmail.com

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