Hi Chump Lady,
I was hoping for a little advice. My very narcissistic husband and I separated back in 2008. We did the dance for years after, while living apart, with him cheating the whole time yet also continually trying to keep me there for cake. Ah, if only I had known this was a thing, I would have been one million times better off. But in my unaware little mind, he was still trying.
I finally put my foot down a little more back in 2012 and so have had very limited contact with him over the past couple years. No divorce (I signed twice, he signed zero times…he really wants to keep hope of cake alive and I, being a chump, have let that linger). In the meantime, his wealth has increased a lot. When we separated our incomes were similar. Now his income is way larger than mine. As I look at taking the final step to sever and force him to sign the papers I am wondering — should I step back into the fray and try to wrangle some money out of him?
Our current terms (the paperwork has to be refreshed but if I kept it the exact same) say that we split without money going either way. No kids, no shared assets anymore. Done. But I can’t help but think that maybe I am still being a chump and that for all the years of torture I endured, I should get something from this man who is now much better off than me financially. I still make a very good salary, he just skyrocketed.
For a while I thought I should just let it all go and do whatever it took to free myself of this last tie to him. However he has stirred my ire by contacting me more lately, trying to come on to me, and I find out that he’s living with the OW now. And of course telling me he’s not seeing a soul. He’s been pulling this same crap for 5 years+ now and now she’s in the position I was in. She probably thinks he’s divorced.
What do you think? Let it go or get what I (might) deserve under the law?
Thanks again, Lady!
Well, this is really a question for your lawyer, and I am but a chump. But you asked my opinion so… I am of two minds on this — if asking for a larger settlement is something you’re entitled to by law and would be relatively simple to obtain, then go for it. The financial balance has now tipped in his favor, and he may be inclined to pay you off now that he’s moved in with his OW, having lined up his next sucker.
But that’s assuming he is a rational player. He’s not. He’s a cake eater, and with cake eaters, the point of the whole game is to keep cake alive. All the options, none of the consequences. He didn’t sign the divorce settlement when it was very advantageous for him to do so, so why would he sign it now, when there would be greater financial costs to him?
But really, Jane, who cares what he may or may not do. What do YOU want? Aren’t you ready to be free of this idiot? As my husband the trial lawyer likes to say, “Some money is just too expensive.” If fighting for a larger settlement keeps you stuck in his orbit more years — wouldn’t you rather have your sanity sooner and just walk away? You’ve already wasted 5 years of your life on this nut. It may be you’d spend more in legal fees than a larger settlement is worth. Or maybe not. Only your lawyer can advise you on this. (But realize, they’re inclined to prefer the option that has more billable hours.)
It may be the case that you’re in for a fight either way. He’s a nut and he wants cake. If you’ve got to battle him to divorce him, then the money is leverage. I will go away for this price. Depose the OW — that ought to be a shocker if she doesn’t know he’s still married. That may get settlement talks moving.
My biggest worry for you Jane, is that you’ve spent 5 years being financially vulnerable to this idiot. You’re still married, which means any debts he runs up are yours. He may be siphoning money off. Just because he has a large salary does not mean he’s responsible with his income. He could be fucking you over 7 ways to Sunday. People who will cheat on you are perfectly capable of financial infidelity as well. You need to divorce to protect yourself. Right now he is spending marital resources on co-habitating with his mistress. Sounds like you earn a good living. Spend some of your resources on a forensic accountant and do the books for the last 5 years. You’ll need that information in your divorce proceedings. My bet is he hasn’t been a good steward to your financial well-being. Any monies spent on an affair can be asked for in a divorce. Get that number.
It might also be the case that you’ve got a lame lawyer. You’ve drawn this thing up twice. You need someone who will really fight that battle, now that you’re ready to fight for yourself at last. Good luck! Report back and let us know how you’re doing.