Separation is brutal no matter what, but having to add the government into the mix makes everything so much more unpleasant.
In the grand scheme of things, my divorce has been mild in comparison to the horror stories I’ve heard. To start, we never had kids or bought a home together. These two things alone take the separation from a 10 to about a 5 on the Richter scale of emotional upheaval.
The thing that no one really tells you about divorce is this: You will lose WAY more money than you ever planned for or expected.
So many things add up in the aftermath of divorce. There are mediator/lawyer fees, relocation costs, and court fees and that’s before you even get to the brutality of asset allocation. Then, once you have hashed out all of the legal bullshit, you still have to deal with the psychological effects. You’ll need to add therapy, a gym membership, highlights, alcohol (if you’re into that), and a copious amount of Kindle downloads with titles like ‘The Optimists Guide to Divorce’.
It’s not pretty.
I thought I was doing OK financially. I didn’t have any extra money, that’s not what I’m talking about, but I was scraping enough together each month to cover my expenses and still buy groceries.
Then taxes happened.
We filed for divorce 2 months before tax season and decided to file jointly for one last year. What I didn’t realize was that my husband’s salary bumped us into a higher tax bracket and I ended up owing nearly double what I had planned for.
Sitting here writing this, I have exactly $738 in my bank account.
I am a writer without a steady income stream. Fuckity fuck fuck.
Here’s what I want you to take from this: When you’re the one walking away from a marriage, you will be tempted to try to pay off your guilt. This doesn’t work. It doesn’t go away no matter how much money you throw his or her way. All it does is put you in financial ruin. You will end up guilt ridden AND broke.
Please know that, over time, you will find little ways to forgive yourself and those tiny acts of forgiveness will add up to something resembling self love.
Don’t give away more than you should just because you’re guilty. Give yourself a foundation to actually live the life you’re fighting for.
Your happiness ripples much farther than your ruin.