Marriage

My Husband Kept a Life Insurance Policy on Me

The danger of blindly trusting the one we love

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Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse on Unsplash

Looking back, all three things are correct.

But love convinces you people aren’t often what they are.

I look at the legal documents in front of me. Scribbled in my husband’s handwriting are two lines, “Husband no life insurance. Colleen Term Policy.”

I am still married and several years into a divorce. My husband refuses to hire an attorney. Says he is too broke. He is playing ruthless divorce games. Enough to make me afraid of him at times.

I read and re-read his words. Any residual tears dry to anger. For the first time in several years, I am too furious to be frightened of him. How could I have been so stupid?!

I call the insurance company.

I ask about my husband’s policy. They say they can’t provide me with information. They will only give me the date it was canceled.

I ask about my policy. Again, they state they cannot provide me with any information. But this is my policy I tell them. That’s when they inform me my husband is not only the beneficiary but the policyholder.

Here is the troubling timeline.

In 2009 we are married and having problems. I have been fighting to get my husband out of the house to separate. This is the year he cancels his life insurance. I ultimately retain an attorney in 2013. He continues to keep coverage on me until 2015.

My husband keeps a life insurance policy on me for six years. This includes the first several years I attempt to divorce him. Six years past when he has a policy on himself.

I text my husband.

I ask him when he canceled his life insurance.

He says he can’t remember for sure. He thinks it was 2009, the year our business suffered a big financial collapse.

I ask why, as the primary income provider, would he cancel his policy but continue to keep one on me.

His answer makes no sense. He says it’s because he would have to write a check for his policy and mine is just auto-debited each month.

I am furious. I think at this point I am madder at myself.

I have spent years trying to save my marriage. With a man, I now know, is far more calculating than I could have imagined.

By this time, he’s canceled my policy. I think that’s why he’s even willing to text me back. I’m guessing someone let him know it wouldn’t look too good. Finalizing a divorce, with life insurance on your wife and none for yourself.

Not that he can dispute it, these are facts.

The dates the insurance company gave me. The screenshots I saved from our text exchange. There is no denying his actions.

The private investigator worries. In his profession, this is a serious red flag. One which means my husband could be capable of almost anything.

While I was married I didn’t fear my husband. It was more a nagging doubt I had those last few years before I hired a lawyer. His alarming lack of empathy was unsettling the more it became apparent.

In the divorce process; however, I did have true moments of fear.

It’s hard not to be afraid of someone who is operating so far outside of societal boundaries.

But I also knew my husband.

I knew the way his mind worked. I definitely underestimated a diagnosed narcissist. But I had been with him long enough to have a pretty good idea of his thought process.

We owned a personal residence and two investment properties. My husband’s life insurance policy was close to two million dollars. He once told me, “If you leave me, I will make sure there is no money and you will work for the rest of your life.”

Once he realized I was done with the marital suffering, he decided he didn’t want me to get any of what he deemed ‘his money.’

I’m certain that is why he canceled his life insurance. I’m also equally certain he kept the policy on me because he believed he deserved it should anything happen. Money for his aggravation.

What I find distressing, is in 2009, we had three children under the age of sixteen. My husband was the primary income earner. I stayed home with our children. Had something happened we would have been homeless. I would have been none the wiser. I had zero knowledge he had discontinued his policy.

I’m not sure what is worse.

A man who would leave his children with nothing to make sure his wife gets nothing. Or a man who is calculated enough to pay a life insurance policy on his wife so that he gets something.

I had blindly trusted this man. One who had only been watching out for himself, not even his own children.

This was the beginning of the unraveling of his many lies.

Not long after I found out about the insurance, an IRS caseworker knocked on my front door.

As president of our company, I asked for the 1099’s and the adjusted gross. There had been no financial collapse. We had made more money than we had ever made in 2009. We had also sold one of the investment properties.

There was plenty of money.

My husband made a conscious decision to no longer pay his life insurance.

Mine is a cautionary tale.

I was responsible for the finances for more than half of our marriage. I had a solid understanding of our financial lives.

And then I gave the bills up because my husband suddenly wanted them.

It was the year I told him I was unhappy and lonely being married to him.

When I signed that new insurance policy on myself, it never occurred to me my husband had made himself both the policyholder and the beneficiary. Nor that he would soon cancel his own coverage.

He had begun paying the bills, was increasing his policy, and changing insurance companies.

Why did I sign without even reading it?

These are the things we often do while married. Even throughout marriage problems. Because we meet someone when we are nineteen-years-old. A good Catholic schoolboy, grade school through college.

And because we don’t think that way.

Because we aren’t worried.

We are trusting.

We are stupid.

Written by

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

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