Divorce Stories

Since I have all this time on my hands I’ve decided to share some of an interesting/disturbing/disgusting incident surrounding this divorce process.

It was right around the time that I was finally prepared to tell my spouse that it was time to end our marriage. I had made an appointment with our long-time financial planner so that we could get our taxes prepared- close to the end of March it must have been.

I sat down and before anything else, told him that we had agreed to divorce. The man nearly became unhinged. Now this was a person who had come well recommended years ago. We began our relationship with him when both of my parents passed away within a few months of each other and there was inherited money that needed to be dealt with.

We have kept that relationship going for 20 years or so and have had no complaints about how our money has been managed, or how he has helped us navigate through things like college student loan issues for our kids as they all moved through higher ed. This person has always been soft-spoken, knowledgeable, sort of nerdy, definitely focused on facts, and never pushy about any decisions we have made.

I’m not sure that I can even begin to describe the person who presented himself to me on that day in March. It was not the man I had known for 20 years. I understand and acknowledge concern. I comprehend shock over the news that I had just shared. I can even accept, to some degree on his part, a sense of disappointment or failure that the future we had been growing was going to undergo a significant change. I am still in disbelief that I became the victim of a tirade for most of that tax appointment.

I listened to him tell me, over and over, how he had seen the lives of clients fall apart after divorce, how the process would be contentious; how it would be a struggle at best; how it would go on for a year or more; how no matter what we may believe there would always be something that would come up to cause disagreement or even open warfare.

He stressed, almost vehemently, just how much attorney’s set out to line their own pockets, caring little for their clients, and how they clearly delighted in pitting party against party in a divorce.

He felt the need to assure me, repeatedly, that there would not be enough money to live. I assume he was speaking about me (rather than us) with that comment because of the fact that I no longer work and my spouse has an income.

He felt the need to tell me the story of his own parents horrid marriage…tell me 4 times that they were married for over 50 years and readily admit that the marriage should have ended decades earlier…except that they would never have been able to live. They stayed married, living in separate areas of their home until his mother died.

He liked to stress that line, “you won’t be able to live” along with his constant observation that “I’ve seen this so many times” or that “it always happens this way.”

He shared the horror stories of just how much healthcare would cost me each month, based of course on the fact that he supports a family of 4 and that I had only 3 choices of plans. It made no matter to him that neither of those facts applied to me.

He encouraged, between the dire warnings, that my spouse and I go to counseling. Again, it was no interest to him that with each cajoling plea to seek guidance I stressed that we both clearly know our own mind and our decision would not change.

Intermixed throughout all of this was the clear insinuation that I would do myself a great favor if I simply settled in for the long haul, forgot about my own happiness and needs and rode out the rest of my marriage until, like his parents, one of us passed on. He even, without any subtlety or grace, noted that my only alternative was to find myself “someone with money to take care of me.”

**I must inject a note to my dear blogger pal Alice at this point– calm down dear. I have ranted and raged over this man enough for both of us since this day happened. I am almost to the point that I can find a pitiful sense of amusement in the story now. Don’t waste your time or energy.

I had a rather bad cold that day, so I think that much of what he was spouting off about actually didn’t faze me at the time, or I was just more focused on trying to breathe and not cough myself out of the chair. Believe me, I heard his words, over and over, but it wasn’t until the drive home that they actually began to sink in.

A few times during the 45 minute appointment I remember looking at him incredulously. I asked him at one point, after the 3rd time around with his parents story, if he was honestly telling me that I had two choices: stick it out and be miserable for 30 more years, or find myself a cardboard box to live under the local overpass. After a shrug, and likely his interjection of one of his favorite ‘you can’t live on that amount’ replies, I clearly remember telling him I would gladly choose the box.

The irony of that meeting is evident in the fact that nothing that he predicted, at least so far, has come to fruition. We discussed, agreed, moved forward, continue to make progress without lawyers sucking our money from us or being involved at all, have made quite equitable decisions that will allow us both to live, not in a box, but between walls and with a roof, and remain amicable.

I have had to have email contact with him a few times since that day. I remain coolly detached, ask my question, and move ahead. Today in fact, in a reply to me, he managed to throw in one of his favorite statements when answering my question- the one about how he’s seen it happen before, so many times.

My amateur psychology degree tells me that there’s something underlying these reactions. There are some deeper issues here that this man cannot move beyond, that this man must project on to others. Or perhaps he was just a misogynistic horse’s ass all along…

I have to admit that I find myself feeling rather smug during those moments when I can share with him in an email just how easy this process has been, just how smoothly we are moving ahead, just how things like his dire prediction of an $800+ health insurance bill per month will actually be a mere $25 per month- all thanks to my spouse candidly and openly reminding me that I can take advantage of the fact that I am still covered by the military healthcare system, and will be for life.

The best day, I predict, is yet to come. That will be the day when all of this is over and I walk into his office for the last time. I plan to leave him a small cardboard box and perhaps a tarp as my final goodbye gesture prior to firing him as my CPA.

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8 thoughts on “Divorce Stories”

  1. Yay for prevailing! I’m with you, Ally, and Alice – it’s his stuff. Makes me sad for other women, who might have come to him in a similar situation. And who may not have been as well equipped as you to overrule his objections.

    Back when I was divorcing my first husband, naturally, word got around at work. My supervisor, nicest, mildest mannered guy, milque-toast would describe him, too – gave me a negative review at the annual performance evaluation meeting with the other supervisors. One of the other managers, a friend, confided to me that my boss was dealing with his own issues and I shouldn’t take it personally. Well, OK. But what about my work review?? I managed to transfer out of that office to a new town, so I didn’t have to worry to long about that little hiccup.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess we can never really predict what might set someone else off, especially based off of what are often only surface impressions and interactions. I can admit to understanding it, but that doesn’t make it easier to be the victim of.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “My amateur psychology degree tells me that there’s something underlying these reactions.”

    My English major degree tells me the same thing! You hit a nerve with this guy, and he had to mansplain the ways of the world to you. Or at least his ways of the world. What an experience!

    I’m sorry you went through this, but I’ve found that uptight numbers people often cannot deal with things they did not anticipate. It scares them to their core to think that they aren’t all-knowing. What an experience. Did I say that already?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was incredibly weird to watch someone melt down right before your eyes. I was as unprepared for that as he seemed to be with my news. Definitely wasn’t the reaction I anticipated, nor needed at that moment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha!! I do love your interjection to me! Not to disappoint but my reaction was not to take over raging on your behalf [tho if you had seemed like that would help, you know I’m always your gal!]. My thoughts went more in the direction of your own: this man has some seriously untended-to baggage, cuz ain’t none of that response about you. I mean, was that line about “there won’t be enough to live” used as a stick in his childhood home to keep his mother from leaving? Or something similar? Whatever it was, sounds like some old, old, OLD developmental injury musta just got triggered.

    Regardless: yes, totally unprofessional and inappropriate. And no doubt quite upsetting to sit through while on the receiving end!

    I, for one, can’t wait to hear how your life unfolds post-divorce…

    Liked by 2 people

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