TradWife Regrets

Did anyone see this viral TikTok video of the tradwife who regrets her life choices?

“My financial security was dependent on that man being in love with me. I never realized that him liking me or not liking me or finding me sexy… meant whether or not my children would eat.”

Married and had children early in life, she invested wholly in a FW, per her strict Mormon upbringing. Then the whole thing blew up, they divorce, and she finds herself impoverished. Whether that’s because of a lack of financial literacy (the businesses were all in her husband’s name), an absolutely terrible divorce lawyer, or no divorce lawyer, I can’t tell you. But I thought it might make for a good Friday Challenge discussion.

I have no idea if infidelity was a factor in her divorce, but financial vulnerability is a common refrain here. Traditional gender roles suck when it comes to divorce. For guy chumps, you might be paying alimony for those stay-at-home mother years, or to your ex’s household as she’s cohabitating with an affair partner. It’s small comfort if you’re in that shit situation, but at least you have job skills.

For women who sacrificed all as tradwives — following their husbands’ careers or military advancement, staying out of the workforce to be stay-at-home parents, or putting their needs last when it came to education and job training — how’d that investment work out for you?

If you grew up religious, conservative, or during the 1990s “mommy wars” where aspirational stay-at-home mothering was a thing — you bought into a social contract. That you were part of a bigger family team, and it was forever. You were investing in your legacy. Stability for the children! Giving them the BEST.

And then you gave, and the social contract was not honored. What then?

Some of the comments on this viral video conclude divorce isn’t worth it. I believe that divorce from a FW and rebuilding your life is a million times better than the slow death of constant devaluing. Besides which, many FW just abandon.

So, the challenge is: What do you tell your kids, especially daughters, about financial independence? And if you had to rebuild your life after being out of the workforce, tell CN how you did it. There’s a lot of newly chumped folks who could use the inspiration of your mightiness.

TGIF!

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Stepbystep
Stepbystep
23 days ago

Although I wasn’t a trad wife, I now realize that the chump who files needs to weigh the cost of legal advice and trial with potential outcome. My lawyer didn’t even present my options for receiving a more equitable portion of the marital home equity – perhaps she was protecting my retirement funds. I am grateful to have the divorce behind me.

I would tell any person – and especially women – to have their own credit card, at least a part-time job, to participate in budgeting, bill paying and paying taxes. Run a credit check annually. For those chumps who are reluctant to leave, that’s part of your action plan.

susie lee
susie lee
21 days ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

Yep and the truth is even if it is a non trad man or woman; they can flat out steal you blind, or run up so much debt is a short time it financially devastates you.

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
23 days ago

Financial literacy is something that I now take incredibly seriously. I learned some very hard lessons as a result of the “financial creativity” that Ex-Mrs LFTT subjected me to to while we were together and then dealing with the debt that I left our marriage with. I hope that I can help my children learn from my mistakes …. the biggest of which was trusting Ex-Mrs LFTT to run our finances.

Post D-Day (and in an age appropriate way) I was open with our children about the situation that we found ourselves in and why I had to make some of the hard choices that I had to make. I also showed them how the sacrifices that we made then would pay off in the future. I ran and continue to run my finances (income, outgoings and savings) off of a very detailed spreadsheet that ensures that I know where pretty much every penny goes. More importantly, it ensured that I knew when I was going to get out of debt and could start saving towards the house that we now live in. It was a multi-year plan, but all of us could relate to the line on the graph that showed when we would be able to afford the deposit for the kind of house that we wanted. We moved in just under a year ago and it is perfect.

I’ve made sure that all of my children understand budgeting and the need to think long-term, and I have helped them all develop spreadsheets that meet their plans and aspirations. My eldest daughter (now 27) is well on the way to being able to afford the deposit for a small flat as a result of what I have helped her learn.

I would advocate in the strongest terms for parents to ensure that their children are financially literate, and would disagree with anyone who believed that parents should not discuss finances in front of their children.

LFTT

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
19 days ago

I wish my parents had had these discussions with me. I think a lot of it was that they themselves disagreed about finances. From what my mom told me, this was a problem throughout their marriage. She budgeted, paid the bills, balanced the checkbook, and paid the taxes, but my father refused to save money or invest. She said he told her that if we needed more money, he’d go out and make it. When they divorced, about the only community asset my parents had was equity in their house.

I suspect this was a reason why she left him although his drinking and cheating were reasons enough. I think she was concerned about her old age. As it happened, she did quite well for herself. She saved money in an IRA, bought and paid off a house, and ended up retiring with a defined benefit pension. She lived comfortably in retirement for 16 years.

Cal
Cal
21 days ago

LFTT every time I read your comments, how you come on here to share the things you learned in the hardest ways, I am reminded that no matter how bad things look, and are, there is always a way through. Thank you for those reminders.

Leedy
Leedy
23 days ago

LFTT, may I say, again, that you rock! I always read your comments with a lot of interest, and today’s comment once again shows you handled hard times with a kind of parental wisdom and even brilliance that have served your children so well. Hats off to you!

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
23 days ago
Reply to  Leedy

Leedy,

You are too kind; unfortunately much of any wisdom that I do have was earned the hard way in a school of very hard knocks courtesy of Ex-Mrs LFTT. The one thing that I will say about myself is that I don’t often make the same mistake twice.

To go a little further on the point about financial literacy, one thing that I did with the kids was give each of them a budget for their bedrooms in the new house (we got rid of pretty much all of our old furniture when we moved out of our rental) and then let them “project manage” the installation. They knew how much money that they each had to cover beds, mattresses, bedding, bedside tables, desks, shelves, mirrors, plants, artwork and anything else that they needed. They also had to work out the lead times for each of the items and order them at the right time so that they didn’t arrive too early or too late, as well as allow time for them to put any “flatpack” items together. It made moving house and setting up our new home much more fun (and instructive) than it might have otherwise been.

LFTT

Leedy
Leedy
23 days ago

I am literally chuckling. This is so wonderful! What a dad!

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
23 days ago
Reply to  Leedy

Leedy,

It didn’t go entirely smoothly. My son ended up sleeping on a mattress (which he ordered separately from his bed) on the floor for a week because he mixed the lead times up.

LFTT

Leedy
Leedy
23 days ago

Haha that’s pretty good, considering everything! These kids must love you so much.

susie lee
susie lee
23 days ago

Yep, I trusted my ex to do the finances. I was aware in terms of overview, but I didn’t dig into it. I was pretty busy myself. It wasn’t like I was home eating chocolate bon-bon’s (though I do love chocolate).

He was using gobs of money for his own pleasure, unknown to me. I was lucky to get out while we were solvent, though not really any liquid assets. Also, lawyers were affordable then, and I had a good one.

Post D, I managed my money way better than he did, though I had very little. I had the ability to delay gratification, I didn’t gamble etc.

Cam
Cam
23 days ago
Reply to  susie lee

Gosh, I hate the trope of the wife sitting at home eating bon bons. Running a household and raising kids is work!!

susie lee
susie lee
23 days ago
Reply to  Cam

It’s an old one, but to be fair I was never accused of it; but a lot of women were.

Bluewren
Bluewren
23 days ago
Reply to  Cam

Did you not have magical forest creatures that came to do your housework every day?
What about elves that tidied up at night when everyone was asleep?

Cam
Cam
23 days ago
Reply to  Bluewren

It’s seriously crazy to me how society devalues women’s labor.

The New York Times put out an article recently showing women’s unpaid labor (unpaid only!) is worth $10 trillion every year. We literally make the world go yet people will tell us with a straight face that our labor doesn’t merit recognition or fair compensation.

Last edited 23 days ago by Cam
ChumpNoMore
ChumpNoMore
23 days ago
Reply to  Cam

Feminism 101

Cam
Cam
23 days ago
Reply to  ChumpNoMore

Yup.

MaisyL
MaisyL
23 days ago

This resonates with me so strongly, that when my college-age son asked for advice on an assignment for class in which he had to find articles that connected a current social issue to religion, I suggested one on the TradWife movement, which he’d never heard of.

I made enormous sacrifices (gave up a dream job, moved to another country) for my FW, an affluent lawyer. As his career took off into the stratosphere, I cut back on work to take care of the kids. Instead of the career I dreamed of, I taught part time at a junior college (fulfilling work but not my dream). It made sense for the kids! And we were a team – it was all for the family, right?

Cut to my rude awakening when he walked out on me and our three kids under 10 for his first year law associate. Suddenly, HE was the one who had been working hard. It was HIS money. I had FREELOADED long enough. I was fortunately protected by the laws here and am financially stable, but I am no where near the level of financial security I had or expected to have based on the deal we made. These guys just take the ball and go home. I never thought this would happen to me in a million years. But it did.

Last edited 23 days ago by MaisyL
ChumpNoMore
ChumpNoMore
23 days ago
Reply to  MaisyL

That’s so shit and so, so common.

MaisyL
MaisyL
23 days ago
Reply to  MaisyL

I didn’t really answer the question – I’d say don’t ever give up your career entirely. Keep your hand in somewhere. The only thing that gave me a foothold to building myself back up to a rewarding career and allowing me to afford to stay in my home and my neighborhood was that I had always worked a bit, which gave me a network to call on when I needed to re-invest in my career.

susie lee
susie lee
23 days ago
Reply to  MaisyL

I agree. I worked in a grade school cafeteria 5 hours a day, with summers off. This was back when kids had three months off.

It seems such a low level job to many, but since I worked as the cashier, I was able to use my booking skills, to get a job at a bank, parlaying that to get hired by DoD. I also during the child care years took advantage of free enrichment courses offered by our local school system. From there I started taking the occasional business based college class.

Those things helped me a lot.

Always look for opportunities in the community, not just volunteer; but check the local school systems and colleges for free or low cost opportunities. Even if you only break even on a part time job, if the skill set is good, it makes a big difference.

Cam
Cam
23 days ago
Reply to  susie lee

I assume by “booking” you mean “bookkeeping”? Hugely useful skill! I too parlayed odd jobs spent bookkeeping (learned on the fly) into admin work, then a corporate career in marketing.

I have a girlfriend who went from $10 an hour bookkeeping gigs (while crashing couches) into a stable accounting job that let her get an apartment.

Bookkeeping is an easy but valuable skill that doesn’t require certifications, and it opens doors. I highly recommend it to women in tough situations.

susie lee
susie lee
23 days ago
Reply to  Cam

Yep, didn’t see that. It is definitely good for getting a foot in doors.

Cam
Cam
23 days ago
Reply to  MaisyL

“Never give up your career.” YES.

I’d add to this: Keep your own bank account and get your name on all the other assets. If your husband pushes back on this, it’s a red flag. If you’re a team, why wouldn’t he want you on the deed to the house?

Bluewren
Bluewren
23 days ago
Reply to  Cam

Yes- insist on knowing all the financial information and having input and creating the household budget.
Somethings definitely wrong if anyone objects to that.

chumped48
chumped48
23 days ago

I got married about 3 years after I graduated from college with a degree in piano performance. I was working two jobs, basically from 8 am to 9 pm and pulling in more money than FW who barely worked. Fast forward 2 years to having a baby and I was happy to stay home while FW worked- financial abuse became rampant- I was given an “allowance” to pay the household bills- there was never anything left for anything else. (FW always seemed to have money for new clothes for himself- his wealthy father was giving him plenty of money while FW always cried poor to me). This went on- I got a part-time job, but I was 100% responsible for the kids so I always had to schedule my life around things AND pay 100% of child care costs while FW just did whatever he wanted. Just after Dday I applied to graduate school thinking it would allow me to expand on my teaching (adjunct instructor). I was working two jobs, going to grad school, 50% of my income was musician/performance based then the pandemic hit and I lost that income. I started researching nursing school and started some pre-requisite classes in 2022. At this point my divorce was still ongoing. I didn’t know if I would be able to keep my house, or where I could even afford to live and my financial prospects were pretty bleak. Fast forward to today. I’m enrolled in nursing school (I’ll get my RN in 2026), I negotiated a settlement so that alimony lasts till I graduate nursing school. I was able to buy FW out of the house with our retirement funds and STILL have retirement money leftover (also grew my Roth ira during this time so It tripled). By the time I graduate my income will be about what FW was making (per his last disclosure) plus my retirement funds are almost back up to where FWs 401K was at disclosure. My finances are tight right now but all our needs are met and I am planning ahead to when we can have a nice vacation in Germany. NONE of that would have been possible if I had stayed with FW or it hadn’t occurred to me to try a whole new career. I will end up being better off financially than if I had stayed with him- despite his wealthy background- because he spends money like water and I am MUCH SMARTER with money. Exactly TWO YEARS till GRADUATION in my brand new career!!

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
19 days ago
Reply to  chumped48

Seems like a common thread with FWs is that they can’t handle money. I can’t claim to have always handled money wisely, but I learned and did better.

OHFFS
OHFFS
23 days ago
Reply to  chumped48

Wonderful! Well done.

Beawolf
Beawolf
23 days ago

My mother made sure I had the education and was willing to work. She always regretted that she felt like she could not support herself. I ended up being the major breadwinner because FW was lazy and stayed in the same position for 30 years. My daughter grew up with me working hard and making sacrifices. Luckily, she inherited my work ethic and was better in school than I was. She is about to be married and if she has a family, she will keep working too. When I divorced, I ended up with the majority of assets because again, he was too lazy and hired a low cost lawyer who did not advise him well. Ladies, teach your daughters to be self-sufficient. Life is hard, make sure they have a choice of which hard they will have in their lives.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
19 days ago
Reply to  Beawolf

After being a stay at home wife and mom for 14 years, my mom went back to college and then graduate school for her masters degree. She got a job almost immediately after she finished her masters – there was some luck involved there – and worked steadily for 26 years after that until she retired.

My dad had been laid off at one point before this, and she told me much later she realized then that she only had some rusty clerical skills with which to make a living. She decided we could no longer be a one income family. She set an excellent example for me.

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
23 days ago

I was lucky. My mom, god rest her soul, was eons ahead of her time. From the time my sister and I were zygotes she preached that no woman should ever be solely reliant on a man and to keep a foot in the workforce or better your education if you decide to be a SAHM.

I didn’t always listen to her but fortunately that one stuck. I got married while in college and insisted that I would finish my degree. I dropped to part time since we also had children young but I finished shy of my 30th birthday. I also insisted that I go back to work when the kiddos were in middle school. I had to start at the entry level but I moved around a little until I found a good fit with lots of growth potential. Ex FW didn’t love it because he liked that I depended on him. I didn’t care.

About 13 years later he cheated. By then I had worked my way to making a good salary and I had been investing the max in my 401 k because of the lost years on my resume. It took me a couple of years to pull the trigger on the divorce but that was only because of sunk costs of a 23 year marriage. My kids were adults so I didn’t need child support and though I was entitled to modest alimony I didn’t want it. I cut the cord completely and completely blocked him from my life. Haven’t had an email, text message or phone call in almost a decade. A very blissful decade at that. I am pretty comfortable and I continue to grow my career. I also got my MS after my divorce.

I don’t have daughters but if you do, tell them to keep a foot in the workforce or finish or better their education. 2. Don’t take their husband’s name because taking yours back can be a costly pain in the neck and don’t co-mingle finances! This advice is sound because no matter the circumstances our lives can change with every breath we take. It’s good to be prepared.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
19 days ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

Even if you’re not divorced, people can die or be disabled to the point where you have to be the sole breadwinner. Best to have a Plan B and be prepared. That’s also a reason why both names should be on assets and both parties should be on top of finances.

Ginger_Superpowers
Ginger_Superpowers
23 days ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

One of the best things I did when I married Asshat in 1993, was keep my last name. Fast forward to 2019, one year after our divorce final, and the Big White Wedding occurs, with 54 year old Asshat marrying 52 year old never married HoWorker/Wife. She became Mrs. Asshat. It just made me laugh!

Ruby Gained A Life
Ruby Gained A Life
23 days ago

When I married the first time, in 1978, changing your name was the thing and divorce was relatively rare. I changed my name. I was divorced 3 years later after discovering multiple other women. When I remarried, I didn’t want to change my name, but he insisted. It was very important to him. So I changed my name. He turned out to be a controlling, abusive asshat who attempted to murder me. (And a Jesus cheater.)

Do NOT change your name, even if your fiancé insists. In fact, insisting is probably a big, fat, flapping red flag that I should have heeded.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
23 days ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

Amen. Do NOT change your name. I

2xchump
2xchump
23 days ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

I cut all ties to my#2 cheater and declined alimony as he was going to fight that and it would all go to my lawyer. I dropped any connection at all. If you change your name during the divorce process like i did, the cost is not bad considering your win. Never ever mingle retirement funds.My retirement guy was insisting I do this for better rates,my cheater wanted all the info too but I did not break down to these men’s demand.Keep as much as possible in your own name for financial support. As soon as you file, ask.your lawyer how to protect all assets. My cheater went right to the bank.and withdrew cash from our joint account. They could decimate your funds to pay for your divorce and survival needs…think smart

ChumpDchump
ChumpDchump
23 days ago

Is financial literacy the relevant issue? To me, it seems like the relevant issue is self-worth and ethical living, which is very often privileged. It’s easier to “do the right thing” when you aren’t afraid of where your next meal or paycheck is coming from. There is more than one strategy for obtaining financial security. A person can obtain financial security by finding a financially secure person and suborning themselves to them (e.g., tradwife/marry Jeff Bezos), or they can attempt to obtain financial security by applying whatever ragged gifts were given them, or maybe they won the cosmic lottery and inherited wealth, etc. and so on. If one suborns themselves to another, they will very often find themselves in a position of having to choose between abuse or poverty.

If your choices are abuse or poverty, then each path is offering hardship. Your choices, then, come down to self-worth and ethical living with financial hardship on the one hand, or financial security (maybe?!) with abuse and humiliation on the other. This is not a fair choice to make. Heck, I have a great job and I still took a massive financial hit after getting a divorce.

In sum, teaching your children, particularly girls, about financial literacy is not just a practical decision, but a moral one. In my mind, teaching my daughters that they should marry young, forego their own career goals, have many babies at a young age, and obey their husband is just as much a form of child abuse as asking them to fetch a switch off the tree.    

2xchump
2xchump
23 days ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

Wow!! ☝️

AdmiralChump
AdmiralChump
23 days ago

I’ve always had my own career, so I am fortunate enough I probably will never go broke. But I spent 15 years supporting my ex-wife, helping her build her own career, literally doing her homework for her throughout 2 of her 3 advanced degrees. Then when she finally started making real money she decided to spend 3 months having sex with some loser in various parking lots. That’s thousands of hours I could have spent doing literally anything else, that I dedicated to what was supposed to be OUR financial security. I guess the silver lining is I don’t have to pay her alimony or child support, (we have 50/50 custody) but that was still a massive time investment i’ll never get back.

2xchump
2xchump
23 days ago
Reply to  AdmiralChump

Both cheaters left as soon as they had good jobs…I supported them both until that moment. This leaving when secure makes me feel like a mommy being used…but I did love with my heart. Just thought everyone did.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
19 days ago
Reply to  2xchump

You got used, all right. Just like the poor woman in that video did. She was exploited which was enabled by her religion.

I’ve never had anybody try to pull this kind of financial exploitation on me…so far.

Last edited 19 days ago by Daughterofachump
NotAnymore
NotAnymore
23 days ago
Reply to  AdmiralChump

There is a special suck to being both the breadwinner and the chump. My husband was constantly un or under employed. Went to college for decades without ever getting a degree. Let me do EVERYTHING, all of the parenting, planning, cooking, etc, while he stirred up drama. Somehow, HE was the unhappy one, which I’ll never understand.

The injustice of having to pay him kept me stuck from filing for many years. Eventually, I looked at it as the price of my freedom.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
23 days ago
Reply to  NotAnymore

NotAnymore,

That’s a really tough one. I can only guess that your freedom is worth every dime.

Being a Chump means being served any number of shit sandwiches, and having to pay the FW is a doozy to try to swallow.

It’s funny because I know we aren’t competing for “who has it the worst”? We are all here to support each other. And my story is as sucky as the next. But I do sometimes see certain situations and think “well at least that particular shit sandwich isn’t on my plate.” Not paying the FW and not having the AP still in the picture, around my kids are two things that I am so grateful for.

I send all the strength to those Chumps that are dealing with that and are still blasting towards “Tuesday”.

The most mundane of cheating is still so unbelievably hurtful, even without all the extra horrors that I have seen Chumps go through. And yet, so many people, who haven’t experienced it don’t think it is a big deal.

Thank god for the support here and the work Tracy does to change that narrative. It is so incredibly important!

Orlando
Orlando
23 days ago

I didn’t work fully, but part-time throughout the marriage…so like this woman in this Dear Abby column, I got derision & scorn from my ex for “taking” money from him after the divorce. As if my part-time job was enough to support me & three kids!!! My ex worked on my three kids so hard that all three initially didn’t want to talk or have anything to do with me….if I kept “taking” money from their “poor” dad. My two boys have come around, but my daughter is still estranged from me. I work full-time now but his financial escapades will forever taint my financial future. If I could have a do-over, I would put my financial security in my own hands, not someone else’s.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2024/04/25/dear-abby-punished-for-accepting-alimony/amp/

OHFFS
OHFFS
23 days ago
Reply to  Orlando

That evil, vicious mofo, alienating your children away from you like that.

Leedy
Leedy
23 days ago
Reply to  OHFFS

Yes, “evil’ is the word. Parental alienation happens all the time, but it is a nefarious thing to do, not just to your ex but to the kids.

Reading Lass
Reading Lass
23 days ago

I will never get tired of this story. My solicitor, 50 something, and invested in a collaborative approach according to the firm’s website, asked me what I thought a fair settlement would be. I said half the house and whatever an actuarial report of the pensions said I should have. She said that was fair enough but she didn’t like to show her hand during initial negotiations so when she wrote to Ex’s solicitors she would tip the scales slightly in my favour.

Ex and his internet solicitor were so outraged by this they initiated court proceedings and demanded the house be put on the market immediately. My solicitor wrote back asking how their client expected her client to find somewhere to live without knowing what funds would be available. About a year later Ex threw in the towel and deigned to use an established local solicitor with actual premises in our town.

Ex went on a week long negotiating course as part of his career development! I am sure he knew about cheeky, but not outrageous, openings to negotiations.

Adelante
Adelante
23 days ago

My mother, a public school teacher who divorced my Mormon-raised father after 30 years of marriage, impressed on me from the time I was in junior high school that every woman should be able to earn her own living and have her own bank account. She loved having her own money and the independence it brought her, and I grew up with her example.

I earned an Ivy League PhD and was a professor (English and Women’s Studies) for thirty years before retiring. I passed on my mother’s message to my women students.

2xchump
2xchump
23 days ago

Here are some Chump stats I found on google about the % of reconciliation after divorce for those crying for that …..and then to my comments on daughters and staying home and work.
10-15 reconcile after divorce..
6% remarry
30% of 6% redivorce…..Then…Divorce Drops Woman income 41 %
Men 21%
Poverty for woman and children after divorce or abandonment is staggering. Woman who do the worst ..SAHM, those that had no job or career before they were left. The worst if just High school no college and no job..just a man..who by the way..is a terrible retirement plan. I read stories. My mom who was a SAHM due to a heart condition beat into my head the need for A career NO MATTER WHAT. .My dad was devoted but violent and we lived in fear he could leave us and we’d be destitute. But he never did. So all three of my moms daughters were pushed through college even though neither parent had degrees. So all of us were finally divorced and we had to work and we all survived. My sister got zero child support when her well paid husband left his newborn and 5 year old for the pastors wife 15 years older than him. Moved to Oregon and enjoyed the rest of his life. No karma. My little sis married her divorce attorney but he knew how to keep his money even with 2 kids. Kept her in court after divorce and tried to reduce his support all the time.
I told my own daughter who watched me lose 2 cheaters, to get educated and work no matter what. She did though she married a dry alcoholic..and had 3 children one after the other. Still I pray she has watched me and learned sad but valuable lessons. My take on this is – EXPECT THE BEST but PLAN FOR THE WORSR… and trust no one with your finances or your life. Your name on everything
Have a beautiful weekend

Cam
Cam
23 days ago
Reply to  2xchump

My aunt’s ex left a note on the kitchen counter for her and the kids. That’s how she found out he was leaving for his mistress.

He spent the next 10 years dragging her in and out of court and never paid a dime in child support. Literally quit a lucrative executive career (earning half a million a year) so he’d look poor on paper and shacked up at his whore’s penthouse, while his kids froze in the wintertime when the power went out. Pretty sure the stress contributed to my aunt’s early death.

That’s just one story, I’ve got others. I’ve known way too many women who were left destitute and unable to feed their kids when their husband walked out the door. Always have your own money!

ChumpNoMore
ChumpNoMore
23 days ago
Reply to  Cam

That poor woman. What an utter POS.

Cam
Cam
23 days ago
Reply to  ChumpNoMore

Honestly, my cousins told me information after her death that indicates my aunt was the other woman in her ex’s previous marriage. I now have very complicated feelings over my aunt’s memory and reserve the bulk of my sympathy for my cousins (the children she and her ex traumatized with their selfishness).

Just more proof cheaters don’t change, and other women are only winning a booby prize.

ChumpNoMore
ChumpNoMore
23 days ago
Reply to  Cam

FWs will be FWs and they really are no prize.

ChumpDchump
ChumpDchump
23 days ago
Reply to  2xchump

I hate to agree that “trust no one” is a healthy life lesson … but it really, really is. Sad, but true. You and I have both witnessed fathers walk away from their wife and kids without a care in the world, and apparently there was no amount of primal familial bond, or even a fear of God and Hell that would dissuade them. And if you can’t trust your own parent to piss on your head if your hair were on fire, then who can you trust?

ChumpNoMore
ChumpNoMore
23 days ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

Ah, that will account for my lifelong issues with the opposite sex then!!!!!

2xchump
2xchump
23 days ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

Trust yourself, your gut and always be prepared for the worst. Not only divorce or abandonment but death head injury, stroke loss of jobs, mental illness that is progressive and the cost of staying with an abuser if we so choose Woman are impoverished and left to care for kids ALONE. That is criminal and so are the billions uncollected in child support.a crime of our court system and social justice. But if the country doesn’t help us, we as woman
Must!

Cam
Cam
23 days ago

I’ve been following her story on TikTok for a while and can confirm her ex was cheating on her… with a teenage escort. The girl was 18 years old and a homeless foster kid living on the street.

This poor lady only found out when this girl called her, not knowing she was the wife. The girl thought she was the fuckwit’s new sugar baby.

OHFFS
OHFFS
23 days ago
Reply to  Cam

Gross! Naturally, he’s a the kind of disgusting rapey pig who would take advantage of desperate young girl. Even knowing that, I’d wager people are still blaming her for not being sexy enough, submissive enough or whatever, especially people who follow a conservative, male dominated religion. The truth about those kind of communities is that women are not even considered full human beings and men are not called to account for the things they do to women. These communities claim they value the tradwives who adhere to their teachings, but they only value the services the women provide, and they don’t even place a high value on that.

Last edited 23 days ago by OHFFS
Cam
Cam
23 days ago
Reply to  OHFFS

Yeah, her Tiktok goes deep into how the Mormon community abuses women: the misogyny, the victim blaming, the tradwife-to-poverty pipeline.

If a community truly values women, it’ll emphasize their empowerment (politically, financially, standing in the community). That’s where the rubber meets the road, and most communities fail.

Cam
Cam
23 days ago

As to Tracy’s question about what do you tell your daughters about financial independence… I will share what I told my mother at 10-years old: “Women aren’t free until they control their own money.”

Out of the mouths of babes. I credit reading a lot of YA feminist novels at that age, and catching my mother hiding cash in my sock drawer when she was thinking about leaving my (very abusive) father.

I had to rebuild from scratch in my 30s after Fuckwit blew up my life. I read personal finance books and started acting on them – taking any job I could find, paying down debt, and started saving every dollar I could. I read about investing and how the stock market worked, and learned the biggest factor to generating wealth isn’t picking stocks, it’s investing early and letting time do its thing.

Also, leverage is a superpower. You have to do whatever it takes to survive in the moment, of course, but over the long term, it pays to think about what you need to do to leverage yourself. Do you have any contacts? Do you have a network? I worked double shifts waiting tables for a few years but made time to join a mastermind group and network. I met incredible people that way and eventually worked my way into a corporate career. As soon as I could, I opened a 401(k) and bought index funds and let them grow.

Leverage for other people might mean a valuable certification or degree that translates into a good job, getting rid of bad debt, learning how to invest, starting a side business, getting your kids into a good school (on scholarship if you can), etc.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
19 days ago
Reply to  Cam

We also need to legally control our own bodies. I know this may not be a popular opinion to post here, but, we do.

Chump Lady, if you feel you need to delete this comment, I’ll understand.

Cam
Cam
19 days ago

Your statement is 100% factually correct. If people have a problem with the truth, this forum is probably not for them.

susie lee
susie lee
23 days ago

I would tell anyone who wants to stay home with her/his children. Fine, but make a legal document that protects you, not for support for the rest of your life, but for guaranteed monies to get on your feet, be it temp support as you build skills, or extra money for school etc.

I still believe a parent staying with their children is not only noble, but really good for the child; but it does not mean working and using child care is wrong either.

My step son is the stay at home dad and thankfully, his girls are older now, so he is working part time and gaining skills to re-enter the workforce as soon as they youngest is just a few years older.

Cam
Cam
23 days ago
Reply to  susie lee

I’d also caution women not to make outrageous sacrifices for their husband’s career, without offsetting it in some way that benefits her, like money put in escrow upfront for YOUR education, savings, or to start a business. Your name goes jointly on all the assets. If you’re a stay at home mom, you also need to be compensated in some way for the work you’re doing. My dad paid my mom a wage into her own account, and that didn’t include the joint money used to actually run the household.

Don’t even consider moving or leaving your job if you’re not even married to him. No wife treatment at girlfriend wages. If you’re meant to be together, he’ll want you to finish your degree or move up at work.

This is totally antithetical to a lot of people’s belief systems. (“Of course I’d sacrifice for my partner! We’re a team! We love each other!”) Sure, until you realize you’re the only one with the team player mindset. Nobody expects to get into a car accident either, right? But if you do, thank God for insurance.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
23 days ago
Reply to  Cam

I’d also say that unless your parents are toxic or difficult, beware of moving far away from family or other support network if you plan to have kids just to chase a spouse’s career dream.

Cam
Cam
23 days ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Yes!!

Irrelevant
Irrelevant
23 days ago

How did I climb out of the nightmarish financial hole he left me in? Through sheer will and determination—and mostly because I woke each day with my stomach lining bleeding from all the churning it did throughout the night. I knew that if I didn’t keep focusing on how to overcome the financial hurdles, I wouldn’t survive. And for me, that survival instinct was one of the best of the worst kind of motivators.

I was 58, disabled, a full-time caregiver for a parent in my home, and completely reliant on FW for the majority of my income by the time the dday shit hit the fan. We’d been together for 40 years by then. We had some debt, our business was suffering, and our meager savings were gone (thanks to FW). I’d only been out of the career workforce for a couple of years by the time everything imploded, and considering my age, my caregiving situation, and my physical limitations—I had no ungodly idea how I’d survive on my own.

Essentially, I bartered with a family member across the country to take my mother and I in—into a tiny apartment built off the family farm where I grew up. I learned how to cut a million corners so that her small pension could keep us afloat. It didn’t cover everything so I bartered some more (mostly to cover a part of the small rent), sold a lot of stuff, and borrowed what I could, just to get us through the first year.

Along the way I also got us both on as many social services as I could find—which helped reduce some of the living costs just enough for me to start putting a few pennies towards my portion of the debt. I filed for disability (a 4+ year battle as it turned out), and got myself on a state program that pays a small stipend to caregivers willing to keep their elder in home vs. a nursing facility. Every cent of that (and it wasn’t much), went towards debt so I could lower my monthly overhead.

I had a ticking clock of my mother’s advanced age and declining health hanging over my head. I had to stabilize my finances before she passed away and the 2 sources of house income went away along with her.

Sometime at the start of my 3rd year, Covid came. It didn’t change my lifestyle much because I was essentially a shut in anyway…but the relief checks (for 2), coupled with finally getting a small part of the equity from the sale of the marital home, helped me pay off the remainder of my debt.

I chose to remain on a shoestring budget so that I could start saving a little (and it was little, but felt so freaking good!). During that time, I also stumbled on an idea for starting a small business I could run from home—and that’s what I did. It’s a little quirky, and the income is only seasonal, but it made a HUGE impact in both my headspace, and my bottom line.

I lost my mother a year ago, but in the 6 years she was here with me—I became completely debt free, managed to sock away halfway decent savings, made one investment, and am still here…in the tiny apartment with a thriving summer business and managing to get by on social security. The shoestring budget remains, but the landlord has given me the option to keep the apartment indefinitely at an even lower rate than the cheap rate I was paying before because they love having me here. So, what used to feel like a claustrophobic’s worst nightmare, has now become my greatest source of peace and solace. I’m staying put. I love it here, and I’ve learned to love the new smaller life that came with it.

PS I’m also still choosing to stay single. Never thought I’d learn to love being on my own as much as I do, but here I am embracing the hell out of it and not feeling pressed to change it anytime soon.

Leedy
Leedy
23 days ago
Reply to  Irrelevant

I admire you too, not just for your mightiness but for whatever inner strength enabled you to grab onto your new life with your sense of love and openness intact. Very inspiring.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
23 days ago
Reply to  Irrelevant

I admire you so much. So mighty and brave. I love that you started your own business! And it’s wonderful that you were able to access social services. It’s why I’m happy to pay taxes! We never know when we will need a safety net.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
23 days ago
Reply to  Irrelevant

Irrelevant,

You are MIGHTY. I hope other Chumps, especially new ones that stumble across this blog, see this and see that they can do it too. That must have been so incredibly scary but you did it.

OHFFS
OHFFS
23 days ago
Reply to  Irrelevant

I loved your story. Such mightiness! So sorry to hear about your mom. I bet she would be very proud of how far you came on your own.

2xchump
2xchump
23 days ago
Reply to  Irrelevant

Your story is incredible!!!

Irrelevant
Irrelevant
23 days ago
Reply to  2xchump

It didn’t feel that way…at least in a good way, but sometimes I pinch myself that I made my way through it all. Life on the ‘other side’ sure is rewarding in more ways than I can count. Thanks for the solidarity of commenting 🙂

2xchump
2xchump
23 days ago
Reply to  Irrelevant

We don’t know how mighty we are. We only see the part of how we were fooled and stupid and LOVED WITH OUR WHOLE HEART. OK we get that now but we cannot suck up that blame of being human.

Irrelevant
Irrelevant
23 days ago
Reply to  2xchump

I felt all those things at the start, but I focused so much on the survival side of the equation, I pretty much shelved everything but the tears for the first year. That’s probably one of the many reasons it took me until the end of year 3 to start feeling reliably decent, and year 5 to feel really good again.

2xchump
2xchump
23 days ago
Reply to  Irrelevant

I want to keep loving ..but not for men to get involved with..but people..like you..we’ve been through the wringer and can still stand tall. I intend to stop being ashamed and start saying how proud 👏 I am of how far I’ve come!

Irrelevant
Irrelevant
23 days ago
Reply to  Irrelevant

I should also add that I was never a frivolous spender, but I wasn’t as responsible with money as I could have been. Striking out on my own changed all that in a very big way. I am super responsible and meticulous about money matters now. And it has served me extremely well.

I was taught by my father at a very young age (ironic considering his history, but that’s another story) to always be as financially independent as possible. While my marriage took place in an era where it was common to co-mingle all the finances–I still made sure that everything we had together was in both our names, and anything that was mine, was only in my name. These 2 things made everything much cleaner when it came time to divide. I wish he were alive to thank, but I’m sure he’s watching with a smile on his face.

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
23 days ago

I don’t know if I will get to have kids at this point-my FW claimed she could not but given all of the other lies I don’t know if I believe that anymore in that domain. Or if that ship has sailed.

That being said-to my (theoretical) daughter or any children, I would want to promote financial independence/intelligence and finding a life partner with same. My FW was definitely a “project” type that I had to build up and had no sense in that department(I recognize this to be one of a myriad of mistakes, but love makes us dumb.) I am definitely not making my financial/life goals because I prioritized getting her “up to speed” and boy am I ever paying for that decision. I will be oversharing about my FW until the vacuum decay of the universe so I am more than happy to share that as a social story to whatever children are unfortunate enough to be mine.

Moreover though? Finish the education, build a career, find independent happiness and then join with somebody that has done the same and not make her dad’s mistake by not finding someone with congruent values.

Rarity
Rarity
23 days ago

I watched the video and I feel this so much. My story is a bit odd since I was an evangelical Christian married to a Mormon, but I did what both religions said I was “supposed” to do. Got married at 21 after saving sex for marriage, got a college degree “just in case,” then stayed home with our child. Didn’t have a full-time job for approximately 8 of the 11 years that we were married. Tried to focus on being there for our disabled older child.

Then my husband cheated and effectively abandoned me in the middle of my second pregnancy, and I had to get a job at 7 months pregnant.

Re-entering the workforce was almost impossible, especially with a disabled kid in tow. (Did you know that daycares are pretty much allowed to tell you that they won’t take your disabled kid? I actually called the local kids-with-disabilities center and asked how on earth I was supposed to go back to work as a single mom when my kid was disabled and no daycare center would take her. How do families with kids with disabilities do it, I asked? “They pretty much all have someone who stays home and takes care of the child,” I was told. In other words, get f***ed single moms with disabled kids.)

And the response from the religious conservatives? Did they rush to open their wallets to help me? Point me to some charities that would pay for my housing or my childcare? Comfort me and give me emotional support?

lol no. They said the whole thing was my fault because I should have married more carefully. They refuse to acknowledge the existence of charismatic liars, probably because if they taught people how to recognize charismatic liars, their members would spot them in the ranks of their leadership and flee.

The local Mormon bishop literally invited me to apply for help from the bishop’s storehouse, then when I took him up on it and applied, he told me to go apply for help from everyone else FIRST and then he would send the Relief Society President over to look through my cupboards and maybe *then* he might send me some food. It was ridiculous. And this is one of the religions that most heavily pushes for women to become tradwives.

If religious conservatives actually cared about “tradwives,” they would form charitable networks to provide substantial financial aid to “tradwives” whose marriages have gone south so that those women can continue to remain at home with their kids. “Oh, your husband abandoned you and is evading alimony and child support? We’re sorry to hear that. Here’s an 80K annual stipend to help you get by until your kids are grown.”

That they don’t do that tells you everything you need to know about their true values. They don’t care about “tradwives,” they don’t think women have a divine destiny to raise children unto the Lord and nurture the nuclear family, they just care about having bangmaids and nannies on demand. When a man stops wanting us, they see no further use for us.

I 100% urge all women to stay in the workforce, build a career, and retain the potential for financial independence regardless of marital status.

Cam
Cam
23 days ago
Reply to  Rarity

I was raised Catholic and it irks me that religious communities know well women’s value, they just feel entitled to us and what we provide and don’t believe we deserve any recompense.

I no longer trust religious folks who preach family values if they don’t support better social safety protections for single moms and families in distress.

Rarity
Rarity
23 days ago
Reply to  Cam

Seriously. They act like what moms and wives do has no value, like we’re just sitting around on our butts leeching off of hardworking men who are the earners and breadwinners and makers and shapers of the world.

Last I checked, surrogates get paid $50K-$120K per pregnancy, part-time housekeepers get paid $40K, and au pairs make around $28K. The roles “tradwives” perform have monetary value, they just don’t want to pay up or acknowledge our worth. And they sure as heck don’t want to give us anything resembling a safety net.

OHFFS
OHFFS
23 days ago
Reply to  Rarity

“They refuse to acknowledge the existence of charismatic liars, probably because if they taught people how to recognize charismatic liars, their members would spot them in the ranks of their leadership and flee.”

Absolutely, and of course they don’t care about tradwives. Wives are treated as appliances in any male dominated religion or culture. They sell you a bill of goods based on their alleged respect for motherhood and concern for children, but it’s pure horse hockey.

2xchump
2xchump
23 days ago
Reply to  Rarity

Yes yes yes.from my cheater experiences,men in the church band together in an invisible way.we chumps scare them…first we are now single and their wives get worried, second they may have basement lives too and get ansty with guilt, and money is needed. I know there are good men but all the Elders and Pastors sided secretly and behind closed door gatherings sided with my cheater because he said I refused to have sex with him. He told EVERYONE HE SAW that one. That won the day. It’s a sad sad stand on your own story. We must be prepared no matter what.

Rarity
Rarity
23 days ago
Reply to  2xchump

“I know there are good men but all the Elders and Pastors sided secretly and behind closed door gatherings sided with my cheater because he said I refused to have sex with him. He told EVERYONE HE SAW that one.”

I’m sorry if this is TMI but my sex drive was higher than my XH’s and I literally had sex with him at least once a week our entire marriage, with him being the one who didn’t want it more. The only exceptions were (1) when I was postpartum, and (2) I probably only had sex with him every 1-2 months during the year my mother was dying of pancreatic cancer. That was it. Other than those life events, the dude literally got sex on demand for ten years straight, at least once a week, and could have had it more if he’d wanted it.

Now he tells people that I frequently withheld sex from him. I can’t even with these guys (and the men and women who believe their dumb lies).

Cam
Cam
23 days ago
Reply to  Rarity

He was just looking for a reason to blame you so he could justify abusing and abandoning you. What a pig.

And anybody who believes him is an idiot.

Elsie_
Elsie_
23 days ago
Reply to  Rarity

Yes, my ex’s family (very conservative) blamed me completely for our breakup. He spent hours building that case with them. I knew within weeks that the family was going to gang up on me with as much guilt as they could muster, and they did. They completely took his side and told me repeatedly how disappointed God was with me. After I finally got my head together and refused reconciliation, I ended up having to end it with his family. He had a history of addiction and documented mental health issues that they refused to consider as reasons for why I didn’t want to reconcile, even going so far as to insist that THEY were my ex’s best counselors and that I didn’t have enough faith.

Thankfully, I found my way and don’t regret the divorce at all. I reworked some of my theology and largely keep conservative Christianity at arm’s length. I still attend church and involved in local ministry, but I choose my terms now.

Last I knew he was with a woman that was vastly different than the family standards, and they were trying to put together their false image of him as a pious victim and who he has chosen to pair up with since. I knew that was where this would end up all along.

Rarity
Rarity
23 days ago
Reply to  Elsie_

I’m glad you were able to make faith work for you on your own terms. There is a *lot* conservative Christians are getting wrong right now, but I hate to see people throw the Christian baby out with the churchianity bathwater.

My ex’s Mormon family acted like him marrying a non-Mormon was the worst thing ever. They took his side in several key ways over the years. They have five kids, all raised in conservative Mormonism, four of whom went to Mormon universities (two or three graduated). Here’s how that turned out:

  1. The youngest separated from her husband while his father was critically ill with COVID in order to explore her bisexuality. Her estranged husband later died of COVID himself at age 36. To my knowledge she no longer attends or believes.
  2. The second youngest fled from the Missionary Training Center in Provo after getting railroaded into serving a mission by his parents. He is now a famous YouTuber. To my knowledge he no longer attends or believes.
  3. I don’t know the faith status of the middle child, but his wife recently announced her bisexual polyamorous engagement to another woman on social media, so I can’t imagine being an active Mormon is going well, if it’s going at all.
  4. My XH had a shifting sea of sexual partners post-divorce. He is now, in Mormon parlance, a licked cupcake many times over, and has been shacked up with a woman 10 years his junior for several years now. He probably believes but no longer attends or practices.
  5. My XH’s identical twin is, to my knowledge, attending and believing. He has been married over twenty years now. (I happen to adore his wife.)

Meanwhile, I’m getting a PhD in church history and periodically preach and teach at my church. I’ve only ever been monogamous and never cheated on anyone. Seems like their son could have done a lot worse than me, and by Mormon moral standards, most of their kids *are* doing a lot worse than me. (To their credit, my ex-in-laws seem to be fostering good relationships with most of their kids despite not approving of their life choices, and while I’ve checked out of their family drama, I do wish everyone well.)

Elsie_
Elsie_
23 days ago
Reply to  Rarity

Thanks for the encouragement. Certainly, these very rule-based, rigid faith systems don’t hold up under pressure unless there’s a huge amount of denial and fakery.

I don’t live anymore in the “pray it away” culture. I read widely and hang out with people from a variety of economic classes and Christian traditions. My kids and I went to therapy, and I still take a light antidepressant. I have my beliefs and convictions, but don’t look down on people who view things differently. My KJV Bibles are long gone. I wear pants to church in the winter (LOL).

I went to church Sunday very tired because one of my adult kids who live with me left on a business trip at 2am. Being a mom, I woke up when he left. I got up to go to church, figuring I’d bail when I felt like it because I was tired. And sure enough, two people talked to me at coffee that got on my nerves. One of them used the “pray it away” phrase with me when I said that I was having a rough time with my allergies. Nah. I need to go home, take an anti-histamine, and take a nap. So I did.

Rarity
Rarity
23 days ago
Reply to  Elsie_

Are you me? 🤣 Except I even wear jeans with holes in them to church sometimes.

I’m not denying that God answers prayers, but I would have gone for the anti-histamine and nap, too.

Elsie_
Elsie_
23 days ago
Reply to  Rarity

And “pray it away” lady has told me several times that she STILL prays that my ex will come back so that we can get married again. I always say as I walk away, “Thank you, but I don’t quite see it that way.”

Her marriage is a mess, and she has nothing to do because her kids are all grown. She’s a busybody. Poor soul!

ChumpDchump
ChumpDchump
23 days ago
Reply to  Rarity

They had to blame you. Blaming the victim allows people to maintain a false sense of control over a chaotic word. To admit that the things that happened to you could just as easily happen to them would shatter their worldview and send them into an existential tailspin. They would have to acknowledge that all the things they thought were true were utter BS.

Winnie
Winnie
21 days ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

Absolutely. Without getting into details, I had to disclose my ex’s misconduct to my boss because it implicated my job. My boss is an extremely smug, conservative Catholic, and his sense of superiority about my situation, the way he clearly thinks my life is a reality TV show and his life is perfect because he followed all the “rules,” is corrosive to my sense of well-being.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
19 days ago
Reply to  Winnie

Until it happens to him. I’m not wishing it on him, but sadly, cheating is awfully common.

OHFFS
OHFFS
23 days ago
Reply to  ChumpDchump

Plus, it wouldn’t happen to them, not the same way. They are men in a male dominated community. If their wives cheated, the wives would be banished without a cent. When a husband cheats, they’re all nudge nudge wink wink boys will be boys and the chump is the one left without a cent.

Elsie_
Elsie_
23 days ago
Reply to  OHFFS

Yes, the “boys will be boys” club is real. My ex told me that “if” he cheated during our long-distance separation, it would be my fault. One of his siblings told me the same. As if I could fly over several thousand miles in an instant and unzip his pants for him? Aren’t we all adults here that can control ourselves?

NotAnymore
NotAnymore
23 days ago

This story hit home for me as I work with people in the LDS community. One recently told me his 16 year old daughter’s plan is to “marry a rich man with a big ranch and a lot of horses.” He is all for it, partially because I can tell he doesn’t really think women are capable of anything else.

In many of these fundamentalist enclaves of America the cultural misogyny is baked in from childhood, and constantly reinforced by everyone around them. I can only hope messages like this one reach his daughter over TikTok or Instagram.

We desperately need to teach conservative young women that an education and a career will protect you better from predators than pepper-spray on your keychain.

Elsie_
Elsie_
23 days ago
Reply to  NotAnymore

Yes, the cultural misogyny is rife in fundamentalist circles. I heard it from my ex’s family, and still run into it at times at my church. You know, women cannot possibly be in charge of a family because they are too emotional. And there I am, having navigated a complex, high-conflict divorce. My investments are doing well, and I bought a house post-divorce. I’m a top-notch professional educator. My adult kids are doing just fine.

My son watched the whole mess in our family go down, and told me a month ago that if he marries, he wants a partner in life like his mom. He wants someone he can discuss complex issues with and who he can trust to make appropriate decisions without him as needed. There you go.

Rarity
Rarity
23 days ago
Reply to  NotAnymore

In college in Utah I literally knew women who were working the register at Wal-Mart and other minimum-wage jobs in their 50s and 60s because their “celestial prince” never came for them. If they’re happy doing that, cool, but I thought it was sad that they never seriously pursued a career or something to be passionate about in life because they were so sure they were going to be tradwives. (It was probably in their patriarchal blessings…)

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
23 days ago
Reply to  NotAnymore

” his 16 year old daughter’s plan is to ‘marry a rich man with a big ranch and a lot of horses’.”

That will work out well….

NotAnymore
NotAnymore
23 days ago

I think it’s also important to note in the Mormon/LDS faith marriage is for “all time and eternity.” You are supposedly becoming permanent family on earth and in celestial heaven FOREVER. I am sure divorce hits super hard when you were sold that line.

Rarity
Rarity
23 days ago
Reply to  NotAnymore

That and when you get divorced, they don’t automatically cancel the sealing. She mentioned having a new “partner;” that and the swearing suggests she’s no longer LDS. They might give a woman a sealing clearance if she’s active LDS and getting re-married to a new LDS partner, but getting one when you re-marry to someone who isn’t active LDS takes a special request.

Which is all to say, as far as LDS theology is concerned, she’s probably still “married in heaven” to the alimony-evading dipshit.

2xchump
2xchump
23 days ago
Reply to  NotAnymore

I’d have to file again in heaven..just saying…don’t want those cheating
boys that close to me even past the pearly gates. Nope!!

Elsie_
Elsie_
23 days ago

Yes, I was pretty much trad wife, also homeschooling our kids K-12. I gave up a prestigious career, thinking that family was my calling. I did work part-time in a professional capacity, glad that I could help with the bills. I figured I also could take over as a breadwinner if something happened to my husband because he had a multitude of health problems.

After years with divorce on the table (his favorite threat), we split after he retired and the youngest graduated. He said that I contributed NOTHING to his life and told his attorney that I sponged off of him our entire marriage. Thankfully, we settled, and no custody issues because the kids were in college. Because my ex was retired and had a generous pension that we split, there was no alimony per state guidelines.

During the divorce, I told myself that I have this great background and will be fine. Nope. They weren’t hiring people in their late fifties who only worked part-time for twenty years. I hired a career coach who specialized in older job hunters and applied for over 500 jobs using her techniques. I also went back to school and got a technical certificate. I networked like crazy as well. I got a lot of interviews — whoo-hoo! I had recruiters who were pushing my resume. All will be well!

Time after time, my age came up as well as twenty years of part-time work. I made it to the top 2-3 many times, but never got an offer. NEVER.

So I sucked it up, and approached all the companies that turned me down, offering to do work as an independent contractor. At the same time, I continued my part-time gigs and eventually got the pension split. The kids worked and got college mostly paid for. I worked crazy hours to make it. Finally, I closed my business and took Social Security. I’m semi-retired, just working one part-time job.

I loved being with my kids. Not having custody issues was best for them and made the crazy divorce better. Unlike some, I had my own credit cards and paid the bills/did the taxes, so I was prepared in some ways. I had some experience with attorneys and real estate.

I have very mixed feelings about the tradwife movement (of course). And of course I thought divorce would never happen to me, but there was no path forward with my ex. None.

tallgrass
tallgrass
23 days ago

I was a trad wife, who side hustled to fill in the huge gaps in the household budget with any work that didn’t interfere with my responsibilities with children’s schedules, laundry, cooking and house cleaning. I side hustled a college degree with no support from my family and then wasn’t unable to use my degree because I could not commit to a second “boss.” I tried so many times and it always ended in me quitting or getting fired.

What I would like to add is that now that I am 65, my years of holding myself down to be seen as less than him (I was the one with earning power, brain, highly paid job skills), now my sketchy work history is still more than claiming half of his social security (being divorced from a long-term marriage.) None of this makes sense until you actually reach your older years and have to go through the process to determine what you’re going to have to retire on for the rest of your life. My future is forever capped by his lousy, lazy work ethic.

He had zero ambition. Never cared that we didn’t have family health insurance. Never sought out jobs with benefits or higher pay. I accepted that and respected that he had tradesman level skills. I honored his “smarts” that were different than my smarts so he wouldn’t pout or get angry if my accomplishments were noticed. I championed that he was doing great in supporting his family and I hid the horrible week by week juggling and pain I went through to make it work. I always showed the children how families can live on modest income and still be happy and healthy – how much better this was because we had each other instead of money.

And then, THE JOKE WAS ON ME! The reason he had such horrible paying jobs was because his first priority was his ability to serve his wandering dick! He did an abrupt, out of the blue discard after 40 years of marriage and waltzed off with the latest schmoopie he was doing in the closets at work.

I fought and got half of his low-wage retirement account from the job that I got for him 20 years earlier. Now, I’m buying back half the house that I had paid off in 40 years of marriage by saving every penny. His social security, which I am entitled to draw on because we were married so long…….well it’s pitiful. It’s less than my social security which is based on a few good years of employment over a 40 year history.

He was a low vibing, lazy schmuck, who needed a high quality woman to puff up his ego so he could stand on her shoulders and control her, pounding his chest to show the world how great he was.

I’ve lost 40 years of earning power that can’t be recovered. I was so stupid. I never saw it coming. I sacrificed myself for decades. And then he pulled the final stunt of walking away. It’s criminal.

Rarity
Rarity
23 days ago
Reply to  tallgrass

Thanks for sharing your story, Tallgrass.

Isn’t if funny how insecure they are?

My ex and I were friends with a writer who has since become quite famous, and my ex was always claiming he was going to make it big like this guy. I quietly started working on a moody, atmospheric horror novel. He found out what I was working on and demanded it become “our” project. I eventually caved into his whining and manipulations, and he filled the project with his terrible ideas until I abandoned it.

I now have actual publishers interested in my (nonfiction) dissertation work. I’m working on a short horror story for the first time since college; I may try to publish it somewhere. And I’m working a job with PTO and good benefits (he made fun of me when I got this job a decade ago). Meanwhile, he’s financially destitute and was just whining to me that he can’t do visitation as agreed upon because he’s never had a job with PTO.

I firmly expect that he is going to be a disaster at retirement age (like your ex). If he never remarries, it wouldn’t surprise me if he wound up drawing spouse Social Security from me because it will probably be better than his retirement Social Security.

Anyhow, anti-tradwives unite! Let us raise a voice of warning to the younger generation!

2xchump
2xchump
23 days ago
Reply to  tallgrass

Tallgrass,He could have been smart and ate cake forever, keeping you in the dark forever…so you would still be there for his prostate surgery, ED, and dementia later. Listen, every second without a lying cheat is gravy at any age. Yes I supported 2 men until they were successful, yes my divorce was final at age 70…BUT I DONT HAVE TO.LIVE WITH A USER CREEP ONE SECOND LONGER!! It is heaven to be solo. I don’t care how stupid I was, I loved with my whole heart. I thank God every day…as I shop at dollar store…and live in a 600 Sq foot retirement apartment..I thank God I am ALONE! I am so happy.

Mehitable
Mehitable
23 days ago

I have really mixed feelings here and I may not be able to describe them well. It’s obvious that a woman who completely depends on her husband financially and resource wise could be putting herself and her kids in real danger – as we see all the time. As I saw in my own family as my mother stayed with my father partly out of fear of his violence, but also because she didn’t know how to raise a child on her own financially. Not back in the 50s/60s. THIS IS A LEGITIMATE FEAR/CONCERN.

BUT….I think the problem is societal. Women SHOULD be able to stay home and raise their own children – if they want to – and I think most women would like to do this, and possibly work part time while the kids are in school. This needs to be actively supported by society’s policies and these woman also have to have avenue back into schooling/training and the work force. Personally, I don’t believe in day care, nursery school, nannies, or any of that bullshit – children need to bond to specific individuals at very young ages (before 6-7) and I attribute a lot of the fuckedupedness of kids now to those kind of group rearing situations at early ages. CHILDREN BELONG IN FAMILIES. Hell, I don’t even support public schools any more because they seem to be the nexus of a lot of social problems and so many teach basic education very poorly. I think the real problem here is that society does not support families and the things that strengthen families. For example, abandoning a wife and child should not be possible in our society – it should not only be frowned upon…IT SHOULD HAVE JAIL TIME. And women who have this happen to them should be publicly and financially supported until we can get hubby to make some money from cracking rocks or whatever. On the other side, women who commit paternity fraud (this just came up yesterday in a post) SHOULD ALSO GO TO JAIL. We need to start bringing back old attitudes towards adultery, promiscuity, abandonment, paternity fraud, alienation of affection, etc. We need to SHUN people who engage in harmful activities like this – APs should be shunned if not prosecuted for alienation of affection. If we did the things – in actions – that support families and protect women and children in families, these issues would take care of themselves, we wouldn’t need ideas like TradWives – women would naturally stay home to whatever extent they want, to take care of their children, with their husbands, based on a working and socially supported model. Of course, this should also work in situations where the husband is the SAHF and wife goes out to work (and why can’t we do more work AT HOME!)

We don’t do the things that actually support and encourage families anymore and what we see now is a result of 60+ years of disastrous, failed social policies that promote promiscuity, immaturity, irresponsibility, and individual “happiness” over taking care of your damned family! People should NOT be allowed to just abandon their families – and even make new ones – with NO SOCIAL OR LEGAL CONSEQUENCES. But too many people are afraid to make “judgments” and so society collapses as a result.

HunnyBadger
HunnyBadger
21 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

I agree 100%, especially with “is a result of 60+ years of disastrous, failed social policies that promote promiscuity, immaturity, irresponsibility, and individual “happiness” over taking care of your damned family!”

I suspect few people ever stop long enough to take note of this.

People and marriages failed and families fell apart since the beginning of time, but not with the numbers and volume of today’s western world. (Both of my grandmothers were abandoned and left to be single mothers in the Great Depression). 60+ years ago, our society became arrogant enough to think it deserved to divest itself of proven survival concepts: that families should remain intact, personal ‘happiness and fulfillment’ are not something we are entitled to, and that children need to be raised by those who are personally invested in their survival and growth.

Without going into the immorality of the Sexual Revolution, actual laws were written that made it easier to divorce so that no one was unduly burdened and the court didn’t need to listen to arguments on justice and fairplay. Want to cheat on your wife and run off with your mistress? Cool, just sign these forms and you, the mistress, your ex-wife and nine children can move forward without a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo. No one… and I mean no one… looked at the long term ramifications of a system that made marriages easily disposable.

And since then, despite having the statistics on poverty and troubles, no one has tried to change the laws to be more equitable.

For the male Chumps here, this has swung full circle back to you: your wives did what they did because society winked at them and said “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” None of you caused your wives to cheat or leave you, you have merely inherited the problems caused by earlier men, (yes, men), who overturned well-tested common sense in favor or momentary gratification. Everyone is free to victimize their own family without serious repercussions.

I have lived it all. I’ve raised (still raising) six kids, worked part time and full time, helped run my first husband’s family business, moved against my will to follow my husbands’ careers, stayed home because we wanted the kids raised by family. I loved being a tradwife, it is truly my calling…. But I can tell you right now that I wish I had tweaked my plans for the possibility that my FW might eventually betray everything he said he believed in. Although I am surviving, almost miraculously, the sheer stress of it will kill me.

My grown sons don’t disparage traditional wife-ing/mothering, but the wisest of them said to me, “A Man is Not A Financial Plan.”

If I could go back and do certain things over, I would never…. never never NEVER… give up my career or independence for a man. 60+ years of re-engineering society has made it nearly impossible to count on the safety and security of the family unit.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
19 days ago
Reply to  HunnyBadger

Where I differ with you is that I don’t think we could ever “count on the safety and security of the family unit.” Lots of men abandoned their families and ran off with other women, and the abandoned wives had to get by somehow. If they were lucky, they had family to help them. If not, they may have had to turn to prostitution.

And I think no fault divorce has gotten a lot of women – and probably men – out of abusive marriages. As to whether that’s better than the way the laws were before…Idk. Someone should study that. But I don’t think anyone should have to be married if they don’t want to be. That makes marriage a form of slavery.

Last edited 19 days ago by Daughterofachump
Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
22 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

I stayed home for ten years with my kids because I knew in my heart it was the best thing for them and it was financially possible thanks to my husband’s income. In 2021 he decided that he didn’t want to pay for me and his kids any more and he left. He sends no money at all and hasn’t for years, he sends perfunctory two-sentence emails that say “I love you” every few weeks to the minor child in order to paper his parental alienation allegations, and he has smeared my reputation so that even some of my childhood friends shun me. It is hard to pay for groceries and gas and I have learned to swallow my pride and ask creditors to wait for payment. My kids haven’t seen a dentist in years, I can’t afford to get them haircuts. I can only get minimum-wage jobs and the income doesn’t cut it. Everything I had went to a lawyer who bled me dry for a year even though I started telling her after a few months that my resources were running out. Everyone said ” get a good lawyer”. More terrible advice. I have met quite a few family law practitioners in the three years since my husband abandoned us and not one of them has been kind or helpful. Everything they tell you is wrong!!

Mehitable
Mehitable
19 days ago
Reply to  Chumpty Dumpty

Your husband should BE IN JAIL. People who abuse and neglect their families like this and abandon them and don’t pay for the kids – SHOULD BE IN JAIL. There used to be a legal term called DESERTION and we need to bring this back.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
19 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Mehitable, thanks for saying that, it makes me feel better!

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
22 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

100%

OutButNotDown
OutButNotDown
22 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Thank you for this!

Elsie_
Elsie_
23 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

That’s why I have mixed feelings about this. My kids clearly thrived with a SAHM, and we could afford that. I kept our lives in order and made sure we saved for retirement.

But when we split, it could have been very, very bad. I was very resourceful and proactive. We had a church that helped us in some areas. We remained on my ex’s insurance for quite a while until the divorce settled, and we got the therapy we needed because it was cheap. I found out about an informal food bank with no requirements that kept us going when I needed it. Both kids worked and beat the bushes for college financial aid.

Some of my kids’ friends have married in the last five years, and many of the women have become tradwives, even one that doesn’t have kids yet. I keep my mouth shut, but oh, I hope that works out for them. My kids know my thoughts on that. I will pay for prenups for them as well, but neither has dated much. We’ll see.

Bluewren
Bluewren
23 days ago

Well, Ballbag McGee had a good little trad wife and mother for our kids – I worked part time from when they were young for ‘extras’ but what we did was focused on him and his police officer career.
When he was busted cheating yet again, he screwed me over in the settlement which I didn’t have then mental strength to challenge . No separate accounts and he controlled the finances.
I was on welfare when the kids were younger and slowly worked my way off that.
Dickhead McCluggage had a lot of hidden debt and would never reveal any financial information.
I paid his debt down when I discovered it because I’m allergic to debt and wanted a clean slate.
He had a bad habit of wrecking his cars and would take mine rather than repair them which limited my work options since we lived rurally.
I was back in his home country last week seeing my lawyers to sign court papers and I went to what was our home to collect some more of my things- what happened during that visit is another story but he did mention he was sick of me ‘bludging’ off him for years and pretending I couldn’t work.
Just lovely.
Absolutely ascertain your financial independence, always have your own account and if you have any suspicion at all that they’re a financial disaster zone and you’re already deep into it- have an account they can’t access for extra insurance.
It’s a hard lesson to learn that some just can’t and shouldn’t be trusted with your future.

susie lee
susie lee
23 days ago
Reply to  Bluewren

Well, Ballbag McGee had a good little trad wife and mother for our kids – I worked part time from when they were young for ‘extras’ but what we did was focused on him and his police officer career.

Same here, including PO.

I was fortunate that he left after our son was fully emancipated. I was working at a minimum wage job, but it was full time and I had promotion potential. So, I worked part time, until I got a promotion to a job that had a lot of overtime available. That helped.

What happens to young mothers with children horrifies me. Yes, I know it can happen to men, but there is not doubt women are generally the ones left in poverty most times, especially when young children are involved.

SWGM
SWGM
23 days ago

My XFIL did this to my XMIL, cheated on her after she had been out of the workforce for years homeschooling their kids. That makes her unquestioning support of her two cheating FW sons all the more galling to me.

I never left my job, but my FW’s inability to keep a job for more than a year kept us from buying a home and kept me going back to school. I’m finally in a position to apply to PA school at age 36, and as soon as it was sinking in that he would have to support me for a change, he dipped. Fortunately we have no children, always kept our finances separate, and he gave up any claim to my retirement account. My parents had to help me dig out of the hole, but I’m doing much better on my own now that I know all the ins and outs. His financial fuckery is entirely his own problem now.

OHFFS
OHFFS
23 days ago

I personally found the good daycare and nursery school were wonderful for my kids. My youngest is disabled and went to a special nursery school for therapeutic reasons, then later to a special primary school. She improved so much from that and still looks back on those years with great fondness. I was a single mom for a while with my oldest, up until I married FW. I had found a fantastic daycare that helped her with her ADD. Both my kids are ADD, and being at home all the time was never going to be the best solution for them. They needed more structure and more stimulation. I do not buy that having a traditional SAHM is always best for kids. Women need to stop feeling guilty over not being able to provide that. I think it’s a bill of goods sold by male dominated religions/cultures for the very reason of keeping women at men’s mercy. With a FW who has no mercy, or any type of abuser, you don’t stand a chance under such a system. You will not be rewarded by a traditionalist community for any of the sacrifices of your independence that you make. It’s a con, a way to consolidate male power. In most cases you’ll be callously tossed aside by your community just as you were by the FW.

Last edited 23 days ago by OHFFS
ChumpNoMore
ChumpNoMore
23 days ago
Reply to  OHFFS

I couldn’t agree more. I was much more damaged in the first six years of my life living with both parents, one of whom was a raging, violent bully than in the subsequent years of living with mum who was a working single parent. We were just fine (other than the poverty, homelessness and mum’s mental health issues – thanks dad) because we weren’t living in terror every day. Also as a totally exCatholic, my take on patriarchal Christianity is acerbic to say the least.

Viktoria
Viktoria
23 days ago

Yes, this was me. Back in the 80s (and generations prior) though it was not called “Trad wife”, it was just “wife”…..

Same thing though. I’m still processing this and my deep regrets on this topic. But as far as the Friday challenge, yes I’ve admonished my daughters to get a college education, a career, and their own apartment, and their own money, and keep their money separate, and get a prenup. And learn all you can about domestic abuse, coercive control, sexual coercion, power-over imbalances, secret sexual basements, infidelity as abuse (not a “marriage issue”), controlling/manipulative men, and (to use some Christianese here) the difference between what they now call Egalitarian marriage VS Complementarian marriage. Stat!

ChumpNoMore
ChumpNoMore
23 days ago

My mother fled my insanely violent father when I was six. This was around 1963 and there was nothing in the way of social security in those days (I am English) so mum worked from that moment onwards. It was unbelievably tough as she definitely had PTSD, had zero qualifications (WW2 got in the way of that) and we were homeless for 4 years. She started out as a cleaner in a department story and eventually got a low level office job that she loved. Bit by bit things got better and mum worked all the way to retirement. As an observant child I witnessed all this and I knew that I would always work for my living.
Fast forward to the FW/Schmoopie bomb drop when I was 59 and I was at least in the position of owning half of all marital assets, being in a job, having qualifications and transferable skills for the future and a teacher’s pension that complements my state pension. I am forever grateful to my mother for having the courage to leave a violent FW, for working her arse off to put a roof over our heads and to be a great role model for independence and hard work.

ChumpNoMore
ChumpNoMore
23 days ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Thank you Tracy. I will show your reply to her. She’s 92 now and still going strong. Also, you rock Ms Schorn !

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
23 days ago

Don’t let love or romance or what other people say cloud your judgment. Financially, open your eyes and pay attention.
For daughters.

  1. Don’t cohabit with a partner who is not fully committed to you. You’re engaged? And you’ve talked finances thoroughly? Then consider it. But don’t just move in because it’s cheap, it’s convenient, it feels adult and you get regular sex.
  2. Don’t get involved with a person in financial trouble or who is struggling to pay child support or just got evicted or doesn’t pay his taxes. Let them work out their problems, get solvent, and then invite you out to dinner. In other words, don’t be a financial rescuer.
  3. Who pays is a difficult issue these days. For women, it’s important to know that a partner (and especially a male one) is willing to take you out to dinner and a movie or buy the ice cream cone. For men, it’s important to know that the person you’re dating is not a selfish user. So pay attention to reciprocity but also be aware of signs that someone doesn’t like to spend money.
  4. Never marry someone who won’t work or can’t hold a job.
  5. Married couples should have full disclosure and discussion about money. Lots of times, money issues are a proxy for power struggles. It’s best to know before you marry if the other party doesn’t like disclosure or in controlling about money or doesn’t like to make joint decisions. (Run for the hills…)
  6. Always have your own checking or savings. Put proportional amounts in a joint account for bill paying. Each partner should have a savings account and put money it in every payday. And having a joint account for emergencies is very important.
  7. Keep all financial documents (paper) in a fireproof box that also includes all the account numbers and passwords for bank, investment and property accounts.
  8. Learn to drive and own your own vehicle, in your own name.
  9. If you have kids, both of you should have term life insurance.
  10. If you step out of the labor market to raise kids, don’t do that for more than 5 years. And while you are out of the market, you should be adding money to your retirement fund.
  11. And if you are out of the labor market to raise kids, continue to network. Do a conference once a year, take a course, write for a business publication, start online education to change careers. Have lunch with your former co-workers. This is where having a partner invested in your career as well as their will pay off because you’ll need support to do this.

For sons: If you marry a woman, remember that she’s not a combination of incubator, house cleaner, and sex partner. If for no other reason, you want her to be financially savvy and informed, because if something happens to you, she’s now the decider. You are not the Master of the Universe. You are an equal partner. Use financial discussion as a way to build trust in your marriage and to help both of you avoid living beyond your means.

Ruby Gained A Life
Ruby Gained A Life
23 days ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

“Don’t be a financial rescuer!” All 11 of your points are valuable, but this is the point that slammed me right up alongside the head. If I’d taken this one point to heart when I was 20, I’d be living a whole lot better now. That said, I’m doing a lot better than many women I know. I always had my own job, my own car, my own bank accounts, and my own retirement accounts. But I did marry men (more than one) who couldn’t hold a job or who did work but spent more than they earned.

Cam
Cam
23 days ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Fantastic list. I’ll add to this: Never build another person. Beware people who haven’t launched (especially as they’re getting older), or who are a mess and always seem to be in need of rescue.

Don’t invest in potential. Invest in who they are right now. If they don’t have their act together, don’t assume they will down the road.

walkbymyself
walkbymyself
23 days ago

I wasn’t a traditional wife, but my husband so undermined my career in a million different ways that I really ended up with the worst of both worlds. He early on articulated a rule that whoever earned more money had the right to get their way if we disagreed on an important decision. For example, our daughter wanted to get her ears pierced when she was around 9. FW told her “no” without even asking me my opinion, but it was all ok because he earned more money.

The decisions we made cemented my inferior earnings, since he decided it was only fair to him that I should do “more” of the housework and childcare (“more” in this case meaning “all”).

My daughter saw this play out first hand. She sees now where we are financially, and she realizes how he used his control over “our” resources to cripple me financially. He even boasted to her about how he undervalued the house he received in our settlement, just to screw me out of a decent retirement.

walkbymyself
walkbymyself
23 days ago

Actually, let me add this to my other post.

I wasn’t interested in being a tradwife. But, my husband was a really mistrustful and suspicious person, always suspecting women of ripping off men.

He never accused me personally, but I wanted to let him know that I was a trustworthy person, so I was always really, really diligent about allowing him full and absolutely unsupervised access to all money. I let him handle everything. If I needed to write checks from the joint account, I always sent him an e-mail detailing what I was doing and why.

He never did any of this for me. I never asked him to clear his expenses with me — I never even asked to see credit card statements or bank statements. I did this because I wanted to prove to him that he could trust me. I didn’t understand that the real issue was his projecting his own dishonesty onto me.

Out bank statements were sent to his office, since for the first two years if marriage we ended up living overseas.

I wanted him to know how much I trusted him, and how little I had to hide, so I would sign my paychecks and hand them to him.

It was only after our daughter was going off for a semester overseas that I went with her to the bank to get some accounts squared away, and the branch manager offered to set me up with the cellphone app. Believe it or not, I never saw my own bank statements until that happened, and I didn’t even glance at the account until after D-day. I was stunned and horrified at all the money he was taking out, even as he was scolding me for overspending.

In the divorce process, he was finally forced to turn over all bank records to me, and it turns out he had a separate account that he was direct-depositing his pay into. From this, he would only transfer 60% to the joint account. I assumed that the direct deposits into the joint account were always his full pay, but he was stealiing.

In California, the whole amount was community property. So this meant that over the course of 24 years, he really stole a lot of money.

I went into mediation with ALL this in writing: the bank statements themselves in originlas, plus summarized in an excel spreadsheet I’d prepared for the judge. He treated me like a crazy delusional woman, and told me that no judge would ever award me that money back; they wouldn’t even look at the proof I was offering. He told me that at most a judge would give me one victory and offset it with an equivalent valued victory to my husband.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
22 days ago
Reply to  walkbymyself

I just went to court representing myself against my husband’s lawyer, who has parroted my husband’s false allegations for years to harass me and construct a false narrative about me. Thanks to my husband’s refusal to produce documents — he “trickle produces” — and repeated false accusations and stonewalling, my resources for a lawyer were exhausted years ago.

With the help of a legal clinic, I filed a request to have the court compel my husband, who makes at least $150K /year, contribute money for child support as an emergency measure, since I am stuck in limbo with no divorce settlement and no funds to pay for a lawyer to finish the divorce. The judge agreed with my husband’s lawyer that since he pays the mortgage on the house and the electricity bill, he doesn’t need to contribute anything else. That means tuition, food, clothes, gas and car repairs, vet bills — everything is up to me to cover.

The whole sorry episode, of me walking into the courtroom, listening to his lawyer, standing up and saying how broke I was and how urgently I needed financial relief, the judge pronouncing that my situation wasn’t urgent — never mind our cell phones were cut off, never mind that I no longer have access to a credit card or a bank — took probably around fifteen minutes. I held my head up and walked out of the courtroom while the lawyers sitting in the room stared at me. I felt as though I’d been attacked. Deeply humiliating. And my husband watched it all from a tv screen mounted high in the courtroom, from God-knows-where, since he refuses to tell us where he is. While his lawyer insisted my and my kids needs weren’t urgent, and the irritated judge slapped away my request, that took months to put in. The legal clinic had told me they were fairly confident I would get it, since the case seemed egregious.

My husband hasn’t sent a dime for his children for many many months. And he owes $5000.00 on the electricity bill. (I hope it doesn’t get cut off.) He just lies to his lawyer that he is paying it and she repeats what he says. He also pays the mortgage months late or not at all.

None of it matters. The person who wins in court is the person who has the most money, and the other person will get screwed. And family court and the RIC see children the same way my husband sees his children. Purely in financial terms. It’s utter BS that they care about the kids. For him, spending money on them is a waste. For the lawyers and therapists and mediators and counselors, the love for children by their parents is monetized. The only difference between them and my husband is that my husband wants to use my love for my kids to frighten and intimidate me. I have yet to meet one RIC person who authentically cared and wasn’t playing a game with themselves with mental gymnastics, contorting themselves to help my husband, the aggressor and payer, while pretending to have empathy for my situation.

Last edited 22 days ago by Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
18 days ago
Reply to  Chumpty Dumpty

My husband’s lawyer is a professional gaslighter. She’ll say whatever he wants in exchange for $300/hr or however much he’s paying her. She gets thousands to make his gaslighting “official” and enter his false narrative into court records, while he doesn’t contribute a dime for his kids’ groceries. Now, he is personality-disordered — but what is she? What kind of person goes home at night after abusing their professional standing to harm and impoverish a family and sleeps soundly??

weedfree
weedfree
23 days ago
Reply to  walkbymyself

I was married to that variety of ning nong. Operating under a fake phantom budget for about 20 years. I hope you came out of it with an adequate settlement.

susie lee
susie lee
23 days ago
Reply to  walkbymyself

I hope you didn’t take his word for it. Many folks have proven that untrue.

walkbymyself
walkbymyself
23 days ago
Reply to  susie lee

I ended up with a really bad deal and only 24 hours to back out of it. I have learned not to beat myself up, but the moral of the story is, too many judges out there think cheating is just No Big Deal.

susie lee
susie lee
23 days ago
Reply to  walkbymyself

That should never have happened.

I had a lawyer and he leveraged the info I had, to get me some time and the best I could get out of the situation. We didn’t have to go to court, which I am grateful for.

weedfree
weedfree
23 days ago

Ergh i could rant for decades about financial abuse. One of the findings in this report was that the issue wasn’t literacy, but control (since financial abuse occurs across educational and socio-economic groups):
https://apo.org.au/node/41025

ETA actually not sure that finding was in the report, but my colleague who wrote it said that was the upshot- no matter how literate you are, if the intent is power and control you are vulnerable to economic abuse

Last edited 23 days ago by weedfree
Conchobara
Conchobara
23 days ago

During my marriage I 100% trusted my husband with our finances only to find out after DDay that the equivalent of my salary (or 1/3 of our total household income) went to supporting his second life. He had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in under a decade, carried secret credit cards, took the equity from our house during a refinance to pay “our” bills, and instead paid off $80k in his secret credit card debt (and at DDay he was at $80k in credit card debt–just on those two cards–again). He cashed out ALL of our joint investments. Nothing of tremendous value but probably $60k in total.

During our marriage, he spent a lot of time convincing me that I couldn’t be trusted with money. That I was too irresponsible and a spendthrift, while he was responsible and trustworthy. When we first got together, he was very good with money, but when things went off the rails, it turned out his child mistress was living a much nicer life than me. He was putting her up in hotels for 3-4 days at a stretch, almost every week, and had an Uber account that she used when he wasn’t with her to go shopping and out to eat. He took her on vacations when our daughter and I were visiting family and he was supposed to be working. They were going out to $200-$300 dinners while I endured lectures for overspending at Target.

We were always just “scraping by” financially, according to him. I had to take on more and more freelance work on top of my full-time job to help make up the difference between what we owed and what we made. He, of course, makes twice what I do but only works/worked 3 days/week as a nurse while I worked 7 days/week, 18 hrs/day. He refused to take any extra shifts because I “didn’t understand how hard his job is.”

We’ve been separated for almost 18 months (he’s dragging his feet on the divorce). I’m amazed how much farther my salary goes when it’s not being siphoned off to support one of his APs (I’ve found evidence for at least 5), but especially the child mistress turned “girlfriend” who lives a standard of life I certainly never did. I have an excel spreadsheet that I follow carefully to track spending. I check my bank account daily and cut a lot of things like streaming services and “extras.” I got new insurance for the car and condo, a new, less costly cellular carrier, eliminated cable, and changed where I shop for food to save money. I’m much more aware of where every dollar goes, which is much easier when I’m the one managing it. And I’m still able to do some fun things with my daughter by carefully observing my spending and saving.

I will NEVER again allow someone else to control my money. And I will teach my daughter the same. I will encourage her to be careful and start investing early. I have already started teaching her how to comparison shop and look for bargains. I’ve introduced her to how house brands for food stack up against the name brands but save a lot of money when you do it consistently.

If I ever cohabitate/marry again (doubtful), I will have a prenup and I will not combine my money with someone else. I alone will own my condo; nobody else’s name is going on the deed because if things go badly a second time, I will need my home. Being trusting and empathetic is a good thing, but not at the expense of your livelihood. Know everything about your finances; don’t wait until you’re 48 and scared about how you will even support yourself and your child/ren.

Last edited 23 days ago by Conchobara
Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
19 days ago
Reply to  Conchobara

My God. What an egregious case of financial abuse.

Cam
Cam
23 days ago
Reply to  Conchobara

PLEASE tell me you have a lawyer (not DIYing or mediating this) and a forensic accountant so you can get the money he stole back in the divorce.

Conchobara
Conchobara
23 days ago
Reply to  Cam

I do have a lawyer. I couldn’t afford the forensic accountant but if all goes well (fingers crossed) I’ll get the big things I really want: the house, primary custody and CS/SS. He’a already agreed to the house and custody, it’s the money that he’s balking at. Because of course he is. All FWs seem to care about is money.

susie lee
susie lee
23 days ago
Reply to  Conchobara

My lawyer said we could hire a forensic accountant, but it would likely cost more than it would net me, given available assets. But, he was able to use the info he had to work a decent deal for me, and he got me one year with the fw paying my bills, so that helped me recoup some of his whore money.

Legal help was not as expensive back then as it is now. But sometimes you have to get the help.

Conchobara
Conchobara
23 days ago
Reply to  susie lee

That was what my lawyer said, too. He has so much hidden and so much was done in cash that we’ll never be able to track. I decided to go after what really mattered to me and am hopeful it will work out.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
19 days ago
Reply to  Conchobara

“…so much was done in cash” Huh. I find myself wondering if your FW engaged in some kind of tax evasion.

Cam
Cam
22 days ago
Reply to  Conchobara

If he’s wracked up any debts, make sure he gets that too.

You may not have a paper trail for everything he stole, but take full advantage of every scrap of paperwork you can get like credit reports.

susie lee
susie lee
22 days ago
Reply to  Conchobara

I ran a credit check on him (you did it by mail back then) there were no obvious bank accounts, but he put us in so much debt that my best asset aside from a tiny apartment size house fully paid for, was that he took over all the debt. He likely made enough to compensate for that by selling the properties we owned, but not enough for me to spend time messing with it or stressing over it.

Conchobara
Conchobara
23 days ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Oh, yes! That’s why I’m getting the house outright. He has no hope of repaying me that kind of money.

Where we can’t agree is he thinks he should get to determine child support and not pay any alimony. Bzzz, wrong! My lawyer actually laughed and said he will pay what the state says he will pay. He makes over $150k and is claiming he can’t afford child support and alimony beyond what he has decided is fair (roughly half of what the state says). We were married for 17 years (will be 18 soon since we’re still legally married), so he’s not getting out of alimony.

Magnolia
Magnolia
23 days ago

Both of my grandmothers, one in Quebec/Northern Ontario, the other in Guyana, left abusive husbands and both were under 30 with six kids. My mom’s mom was able to go back to her parents; my father’s mom was not, and my Dad and sibs basically raised themselves while she worked 3 jobs (they did not wish for their father to come back, though).

So I had the example of both these two grans growing old on their own in subsidized housing, not interested in finding a man at all. When I was young I thought it sad. Now I get it. My mom learned to take care of herself and my Dad learned how to find a woman who would take care of him. Mom taught me to take care of myself (and others) financially. I’ve always lived within my means and saved.

I’ve been on my own twenty years, since my first two live-in artsy boyfriends abused me financially in ways similar to what my Dad did with my mom (i.e. he could be frustrated at work, quit jobs, try arts entrepreneurship and fail, splurge on impulse purchases, hide money; she could have the 9-5, pay the bills and do the budget, do the housework, have no time for her own arts practice, and keep the roof over our heads).

One of my worst relationships happened in my 30s, while I was in school and when I finally dated the kind of guy who bought me nice dinners, flew me places, gave me expensive gifts. I was so bowled over at actually having a guy pay for something. I felt proud to be the choice of this very materially wealthy man. But I soon learned what I might have learned earlier if I’d been more tradwife material, that is, that my *inability* to meet him financially (rather than my ability to rescue him) was part of his attraction to me. That he wanted control. That the price of being a trophy is to freeze oneself into whatever statuesque pose he wants. That there is no luxe weekend getaway that is worth the price of one’s entire dignity. Of course, he had many women in the wings who felt otherwise and were heavily pick-me dancing.

I broke that off, got my degree and job, and came to CL after a couple more artsy-type guys showed me I still haven’t broken my habit of entertaining soft-boi men who distribute sensitive-guy ways to other women “friends” who “need their help” and whose courtship of me is their strategy to a meal ticket.

My early training from my mom (and the example from my folks’ marriage) meant that I decided I was going to fund my own life, and particularly fund my own arts practice. I’m now a prof, just turned 50, and have a lot of time to write and travel. I expect to pay off my house within the next three years (assuming my university stays financially viable). Dating-while-financially-independent is the way to go; I will never be seduced by fancy dinners again. Coming to CL is how I’m working on my emotional independence, so I don’t get seduced by grifters who have perfected a performance of shoulder-to-cry on.

I love how this site is a beautiful example of writing in a social justice space (we’re changing the narrative to recognize that cheating is abuse!). My financial “independence” allows me to do feminist and anti-oppressive work. The food and music and warmth shared in my home expresses my desire for joy for everyone. It is no small thing to be a Black femme with a free voice (right, Grandma?). Ideally I wish we could all be financially independent from the neocolonial-military-industrial-complex; I mean, I’m as hooked into the capitalism as anyone else. But I dream of love and care in a society that is genuinely about each individual’s dignity and growth and power within community, whether interpersonally with partners or structurally in how we organize our policies to support women, parents, elders, the disabled, poor, addicted, etc.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
22 days ago
Reply to  Magnolia

I second your wish to see change in the current neocolonial-military-industrial state of things. I think the latter tends to make people meaner for lack of a better word. My personal theory is that, the more neoliberal a society is and the fewer safety nets, the more “neoCalvinist” it will be and people will predictably treat each other worse. I read an interesting study that even the super rich are more miserable in cultures with bigger divides between rich and poor. And it’s no wonder. The stench of injustice can’t be contained and everyone ends up breathing that fetid air.

I don’t believe any human society will ever achieve some Utopia given our species’ evolution. Maintaining a civil society is a Sisyphean feat requiring constant vigilance and dedication. But from my experience living in other cultures, I know that certain key changes to social organization can make a really big difference in the basic fabric of life and how people treat each other at the very least. For instance, I’ve noticed that countries with free healthcare, free higher education and better safety nets for the poor just seem to be kinder in a very general sense. That doesn’t mean assholes, bigotry, misogyny and classism won’t exist but, if you do run into bullshit, it’s much easier to find social and even tactical support.

Magnolia
Magnolia
22 days ago

You’re right. I’m Canadian. I love visiting y’all south of the border. But after visiting more than a half dozen times, I’ve noticed that it doesn’t take long (like less than 48 hours, and it doesn’t matter if I’m in Buffalo, Boston, LA, Seattle, New Orleans) to really feel in my bones the we-rich-don’t-give-a-fuck-about-you-poor, get-your-money-or-die energy that is in the American air, in comparison to the Canadian vibe of everyone knowing that if we’re hurt or sick, we can just go to the hospital. There’s still lots to push for re social-justice-wise here, and health care accessibility has become very strained, but you’re right, there’s a sense of basic safety and respect for wellbeing here that I hope one day Americans can organize for each other.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
21 days ago
Reply to  Magnolia

Neoliberalism has been fatal to the “social fabric.” As starving artists, my parents were the masters of cheap travel and vacations and loved rambling road trips when I was a kid. We went everywhere and I kept up the tradition as a student and crossed the country coast to coast seven times before age 21. But the country where you could do that and still have amazing social encounters seems to be in a coma if not completely dead at this point.

In any case, I can say with certainty that the “social fabric” in the US has radically changed. In the past, there were always places where people were generally dicks (Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, lol) but there used to be places where you could regularly encounter actual human beings. But no more. Sort of like every highway/freeway has become a visual carbon copy of every other highway with the same gas stations and strip malls, etc., it seems like everything has become rather uniformly dickish. If, on my travels, I ever manage to find anyone expansive and open-hearted in the US these days (like the people my kids and I run into every single day in so-called third world) they’re always pretty politically sophisticated and have consciously decided (against the grain) to be this way.

Also, it’s not just the rich acting like assholes. Regardless of arguments over whether Steinbeck actually said this, I think it’s true that even people who are financially struggling in the US often act like frustrated millionaires and this is the reason why socialism never took root.

Elsie_
Elsie_
23 days ago
Reply to  Magnolia

I do a lot of volunteer work with women in what I like to call “tough spots,” whether it’s abuse, divorce, addiction, homelessness, or a combination. It’s with a local ministry that is spot-on. I have several other “old lady” friends who got me into that, and it’s so healing to meet people where they are and just love them.

Last night one of the younger gals we’ve worked with for several years told me about all of her recent achievements (learning to drive, getting off cigarettes/pot) and how she wants to give back now as a leader, so I gave her several tasks to complete during our regular meeting. She did SO well. That’s why we do what we do.

EZ
EZ
23 days ago
Reply to  Magnolia

my *inability* to meet him financially (rather than my ability to rescue him) was part of his attraction to me. That he wanted control. That the price of being a trophy is to freeze oneself into whatever statuesque pose he wants.

Oh my goodness. This is a huge insight for me. FW#1 was financially incompetent and when he left I had no money left. This made me perfect bait for FW#2 who was so generous with his money (until he started cheating).

And now I understand why he started cheating when I started earning more than him. I thought that by paying for more things as my income increased I was finally “contributing” to the family. Alongside my promotions at work, I also started asking for him to reciprocate on childcare and housework so I could continue to climb the ladder.

Nah, that was too hard for him. Much easier to groom a vulnerable junior staffer who looked up to him. He also got her fired for “inappropriate behaviour”, so even easier to control her. It’s just too hard to make women grateful for him if they have money of their own.

Never again. I earn my own money. I live within my means. I don’t miss the fancy dinners.

weedfree
weedfree
22 days ago
Reply to  EZ

I disavowed myself of financial autonomy to the extent I didn’t even take any notice of how much I was paid (I don’t entirely blame myself for this now after unpacking the layers of almost 3 decades of financial control, plus all that other shit they do to keep you distracted). In any event I had to print off a payslip for something FW wanted to do (a whole other story but I think he wanted to borrow against equity in the house to do God knows what, but it wouldn’t have benefited me) and I commented to FW that I was now on a good wage (close to his). He just stared at the payslip for ages, I had no idea why but now I see how it was a threat. He knew i could leave even though the penny hadn’t dropped for me.

EZ
EZ
22 days ago
Reply to  weedfree

These things only make sense when you know what to look for, don’t they? You are 100% not to blame. How could you have realised at the time? You would have to be a FW to think like one. Only a highly disordered person looks for methods to control others.

ChumpQueen
ChumpQueen
23 days ago

My XFW left me (on Christmas) for a millionaire trust fund baby. I had a master’s degree, but I had followed him on his career path and forfeited mine. I was an adjunct instructor for 7 years, then a SAHM for 7 years. When he left, I was 52. He moved on to the country club lifestyle, and I took a job as a teacher in a residency program. I taught in the daytime and went to school at night until I got my teaching license. And teaching at a Title 1 high school is grueling. I work in the rural south, so my pay isn’t a living wage, and my scrawny alimony payments run out next year. (That’s right, I couldn’t hire a decent lawyer because he had all the money and refused to give me any. Sure that’s illegal, but I didn’t have a decent lawyer to fight for me.) So, I get to work until I’m 70 and retire on 1/2 of his social security plus whatever tiny pension I get.

My daughter was 12 when he left, and she watched all of this happen. I’ve told her many times to never, ever give up her career because it’s the only thing she can rely on. She’s 19 now, in college and majoring in STEM with a 4.0 GPA. She wants to go to graduate school and be a robotics engineer. She witnessed too much to ever follow in my footsteps. Between that and the tons of feminist theory I taught her, she’s pretty sharp about relationships. So, at least something good happened from all this injustice. I look forward to watching her career grow.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
23 days ago

I don’t have kids yet, so take this as you will, but…

I don’t mind if someone wants to be a stay-at-home homemaker. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s very much a job in its own right. In fact, for various reasons (family medical issues, etc), that may be necessary. But your spouse with the income should be giving you an allowance that ISN’T just for the household that you can keep in a personal account. You are working for your family – cleaning and caring for the home, caring for the kids, budgeting, cooking, and any other home activities. You should be treated as if you contribute equally, because you do!

I think so much of it comes from the lack of respect for fem labor. I recently read a blog post about the historical inaccuracy of so much “girlboss” literature acting like you can’t work in skirts. There’s a lot to unpack: the fact that many cultures had skirt and dress-like garments for men, how it’s much easier to sew a skirt or tunic, and how women and femmes, historically, worked their asses off, skirt or no, because everyone had to. But it’s a lot easier to deny the contributions of women and femmes if you deny their ability to work for whatever stupid reason (in this case, clothing). This, still, is only one tiny facet of the problem. There’s the commonplace jokes made about how women-majority or women-associated jobs are useless (childcare, hairdressers, secretaries – the book “Bullshit Jobs” has a great section on this, although it may be a bit too political for me to recommend to everyone), and just… there’s so much to unpack there. Misogyny is so prevalent in our society, it’s immensely draining.

If you’re a SAHM, SAHD, SAHP – explain to your partner that you are working, and therefore, should be compensated. And if they don’t want to share the resources? One, I wouldn’t trust them as a spouse, because any good partner would hear you explain how you put in the work and want to show appreciation and view what you’re asking as completely reasonable, but two, start working outside the home, and see how quickly they change their tune when they see the cost of childcare and cleaning services, and have to start pitching in to help.

I would also say to please at least get some experience working outside the home first, before you’re anyone’s SAHP. Also, remember that you can put in non-paid work on resumes. If you volunteer, list what you do and what skills you use on your resume!

It doesn’t surprise me, though, that the men who say they want a ~tradwife~ are willing to withhold needs from the family based on how they’re feeling. Any man who uses the term ~tradwife~ to describe an ideal partner unironically doesn’t want a wife. They want a bangmaid. Immature at best, malevolent most likely. I feel so sorry for this woman – she’s clearly been used and abused by a misogynist piece of shit, with no guards in place to protect her. My heart goes out to her.

susie lee
susie lee
22 days ago

Yes, the trad-wife term is one I don’t like. I am not offended, I am proud of the work I did and the sacrifices I made for my son. My ex wasn’t worthy, but my son was. Are men who stay home called untrad-dads. Ha, it does have a ring to it.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
21 days ago
Reply to  susie lee

UNTRAD-DADS. I love it! Untradads.

And you should be proud of your work! You did the right thing! Your ex did not, and that’s on him – nothing to ever blame yourself for.

Cam
Cam
22 days ago

I agree with all of this.

I mentioned this elsewhere in this thread: My dad paid my mom a wage for staying home, which went into her own bank account. And that didn’t include the money he gave her just to upkeep the home. I think that should be the gold standard for stay at home moms. Staying home is a valid choice, but women need to be compensated for it and have better legal protections in case things go south.

As you so eloquently pointed out, I think the key difference between staying at home and the tradwife idea is the latter is a misogynistic fantasy where the woman is an appliance. It costs money to keep a wife home! Most men can’t afford it and think they deserve a slave.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
21 days ago
Reply to  Cam

I’m glad your dad paid your mom – it was the right thing to do! Hopefully the rest of their marriage was happy and healthy?

Yeah, the legal protections just aren’t there, and it makes the choice much more riskier than it should be. I don’t know where to begin, though, with what changes would need to be done to the legislation.

Cam
Cam
21 days ago

> Hopefully the rest of their marriage was happy and healthy?

It’s complicated.

It literally took another 20 years of him consistently going to therapy before he stopped being so verbally abusive and grew some emotional intelligence. My parents’ marriage these days is good, and he’s since developed good relationships with all his kids, but it doesn’t make up for the years of trauma he inflicted on us.

I’m glad we have a good relationship today, but we both have a lot of regrets, and he was paying for my therapy sessions for a long time. Least he could do.

And my dad is one of the unicorns. Even he acknowledges how rare it is for abusers to change and very pointedly tells his daughters to leave crap men because they’re a horrible investment.

Re legislation: Guaranteed enforcement for collecting child support, asset splits in divorce, fair renumeration for stay at home parents, closing the gender wage gap. Right now legislators in America can’t even agree that women are entitled to lifesaving medical care in an emergency.

Also, we need better social safety nets like paid family leave, paid childcare, and livable wages. Nearly half of single mom households live below the poverty line because America’s current social safety net is a joke.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
20 days ago
Reply to  Cam

Oh, definitely, all those are good base starts for legislation. Especially the social safety nets. A livable wage would be good for everyone – and would probably mean more families in general. It’s basically the main thing stopping me from having my own kids.

And that does sound complicated. I’m glad things are better now, though. That does make me happy for you and your family!

Mighty Warrior
Mighty Warrior
22 days ago

We had lived in the marital home for 8 years when the ex left. Unbeknown to me, he had rekindled his relationship with his exgf from 30 years previously a couple of years before that. He needed my high earning power to get him on to the property ladder to build up equity in the house (home to me, house to him) for him to share with exgfOW. He refused to let me take on my share of the mortgage payments. However I insisted on paying all bills except the mortgage, plus overpaying a lump sum monthly on the mortgage, and I took out the expensive loan for refurbishment. During the cruel and nasty discard, before I knew about the affair, on two occasions he literally screamed at me in rage that I had ‘contributed nothing to the mortgage/finances for years’. Many months I had paid more than him! And he was, by then, earning about a third more than me keeping his bonuses secret. He knew that this was a dishonest statement. I told him so, calmly, on both occasions. And I thanked the universe that, in this area of our lives at least, I had had the strength of mind not merely to take the path of least resistance but to protect myself financially by not only making the payments for bills etc but also recording them meticulously in a notebook. And boy, did he hate that notebook, constantly saying how it was ‘joyless’. His intentions were crystal clear. Use me to get a mortgage, pay the mortgage himself, then argue that he should have more of the house because I had contributed ‘nothing’ (we were both over 50 when he went off into the sunlit highlands). I foiled that scheme, unknowingly. The sheer brazen calculation and malice of his thinking make me glad to have got out alive! Someone who can manipulate, calculate, and play the long game like that while putting on a face to the outside world, is dangerous! Secrecy with money is a red flag to me now.

Leedy
Leedy
21 days ago
Reply to  Mighty Warrior

How insidious! And yay for that “joyless” notebook!

broken
broken
22 days ago

I’ve been able to support myself. I have four kids and was able to work part-time for a while then back to full-time.
I counsel my daughter and daughter-in-law to never depend on a man financially. Have one if you want one, but don’t “need” one.
I’ve been close to divorce but always knew I would be able to take care of myself if I had to. That is peace of mind that is priceless…no pun intended!

Winnie
Winnie
22 days ago

Hello everyone, I’m new around here, and really appreciating this community. Rather than telling my own story, though, I want to brag a little on my mom’s amazing mightiness.

My parents split when I was very young, back in the early 70s. At one point hey attempted to reconcile, which resulted in my mom getting pregnant with my youngest brother. But they split up again before she gave birth.

My mom was very Catholic and now was alone with 3 little kids and a baby on the way. As if that’s not enough, my oldest brother had leukemia! And my mom was also caring for her own dying mother; I guess her cold and emotionally abusive dad apparently couldn’t or wouldn’t, because grandma moved in with us and my mom was basically providing her hospice care.

Let me pause here to say that for most of my life I had no idea why my parents split. I just remember my mom telling me that sometimes grownups can’t agree on things. I only learned that my dad cheated on her toward the end of her life–she told me as I was waiting with her in the hospital for one of her final surgeries. I think she knew the end was near.

Anyway, I look back at this now and wonder how the hell my mom didn’t just fall apart. But she didn’t. She told me she thought to herself, ok, what kind of job would pay me some actual money, and settled on nursing school. She somehow kept things together while she was in school by the skin of her teeth, and had a nearly 40 year career as a nurse. By the time she died, she had a net worth of about $1.4M, including her paid off house.

She had a few things going for her–one big one is she already had a college degree (she married my dad soon after graduating). We were on food stamps and probably some other assistance too, in the days before welfare “reform.” Her garage sale/thrift shopping skills were unparalleled. And she had a great community of friends. When as a new nurse she worked the night shift, the neighbors kept an eye on the house and we knew we could call on them. I learned just recently in fact that when we were teenagers, one of my mom’s friends maintained a life insurance policy with us and my mom as the beneficiaries. It made me smile and feel nostalgic for that amazing group of women my mom surrounded herself with.

Thanks for letting me share this story. Of course as kids we always loved our mom but it’s only as an adult that I realize how badass she was. (On that note she once, on the way to a movie with some friends, made them pull over so she could break up a fight between several men and gave medical attention to the man who was being beaten. Absolute badass. I miss her so much.)

Ginger_Superpowers
Ginger_Superpowers
22 days ago
Reply to  Winnie

Moms are the best ❤️❤️❤️

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
22 days ago

It makes me uncomfortable that women are shamed for believing that their husbands will not abandon them. We are fed that belief literally from the time we are small children. Personally, I am really mad that so many older people colluded in letting me walk down the aisle in the innocent belief I would be safe and cared for! They knew the truth and they let me walk into a trap. And now that I and my children are abandoned by our husband/father, all those people have turned their backs on us. To be shamed after being brutalized. I unwittingly fed my kids a line, that their father loved them always and no matter what. And I was fed a line and then abandoned by the courts and by my friends and relatives.

Last edited 22 days ago by Chumpty Dumpty
thelongrun
thelongrun
22 days ago

This is weird. I just saw yesterday’s blog posting today, and I just heard about Tradwives for the first time ever today listening to NPR’s It’s Been A Minute, while I was delivering for FedEx.

Everybody should be as financial literate as they can. All my kids seem to have learned that to a greater or lesser extent, but the younger two definitely could use some more work on this. They don’t always seem to grasp that dad works hard to get what he wants, especially after their mother walked out on me and the family.

Women should not be treated unequally. That’s just being a good basic human. Follow the golden rule, and treat others like you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes.

I represent another side to this story, I think (along w/a lot of other male chumps, I’d bet). I was a devoted husband, who burnt out at his high-paying job. When I stopped making the money, I found the FW XW telling me she needed me to find a better job, w/better pay and better hours than the lesser paying job I took in an effort to continue contributing to our family’s survival.

So on top of being in a deep depression about not being able to support our family like I used to, I was being told to snap out of it! And get a better paying job w/less hours needed ASAP so I didn’t hinder my FW XW’s life anymore. There’s nothing like being told that while you’re trying to help support the family, it’s not good enough, so get something better or else. It does WONDERS for your ability to do that, as well as your self-esteem.🙄

Now, I work a job that has long hours, is physically challenging, and yet is frequently very enjoyable and rewarding to me. What changed? Yes, you guessed it! I lost a fuckwit!🤣

I work hard for my money. My kids wish I would work less (6 day weeks and 65 hours per week is my norm. Occasionally I go over 70 hours per week).

But I tell them that unlike their mother, I no longer have anyone to depend on as a partner, financially or otherwise (especially not a rich, asshole former AP🤬). I have to provide for myself, and them, when I can, by my efforts alone.

I think I’m modeling how they should handle themselves. When the time comes, they will get a speech from me about having your own financial accounts in a relationship, so that, God forbid, if they too encounter a fuckwit in a serious relationship, they will have better control of their finances, and not be tied up in a joint account. Oh, and they will get a talk on pre-nups for sure!😁

That they should always be ready to provide for themselves, because you can’t always count on your partner to do all the heavy lifting, financially (unlike their mother, who targets men who she thinks can provide the lifestyle she’d enjoy).

I feel very sorry for this former tradwife. She was sold a crappy life philosophy, to be the almost invisible stay-at-home wife, despite her major contributions to both the family and their various businesses. What a horrible way to raise a person, making them accept so much financial dependence on their partner.

I always truly appreciated the FW XW’s major role in taking care of the kids and our home. Until I stopped making enough money for her, which it seems was enough for her to decide to throw me over and fuck her rich boss, blowing apart two marriages (mirages, I know) and two families.

Now, I truly appreciate hard grey rock, my kids, and living my own best life. And may my FW XW, this poor woman’s FW XH, and all the fuckwits that CN is dealing w/go rot in hell. Life may be hard, but at least I think we all agree it’s so much better without those scum in our lives.

JaelsNails
JaelsNails
22 days ago

I was also basically a trad wife – like this gal I was also raised Mormon and had the importance of my divine role as a womb-having child-raiser pounded into me from the get-go. Never mind that I was high school valedictorian, had a full tuition academic scholarship to college, and had no interest whatsoever in housework or children. Yet, when the time came, I performed my wifely/motherly duties very well. I gave up all my own ambitions to support FW and follow him around the country, help grow his business, raise his three kids. I have basically been an at-home mom for twenty years, and about a year ago I discovered his embezzling (from aforementioned family business) and sex-worker habit. After months of therapy and soul-searching, he was still struggling to decide whether he wanted to be the husband and father he had committed to be twenty-three years ago, or whether getting in touch with his inner self meant choosing the non-monogamous lifestyle. The effects of his soul-searching decisions on his pesky family? Were we even a blip on his soul-searching radar? I am still not sure. I realized that our well-being was never going to be relevant to him, filed for divorce, and got accepted into law school. At-home mama is going to be a lawyer now, and perhaps one day represent other chumps like me.

meanwell
meanwell
21 days ago

It’s been a while since I posted

This topic hurts me to the bone

I came out of a top college. I met my ex in the roaring 80s of Wall Street in New York. I had a good job.

We got married and he immediately insisted we move across the country to Los Angeles and I quit my job
Then moved to Chicago and then we moved to the south then we moved to the Southwest

In the middle of this, I had two children and he worked for a consulting firm that had him gone six days a week

when his personality didn’t allow him to progress in that environment,( nobody liked him / he wasn’t promotrd) he started his own business constantly gone as well.

He was emotionally abusive, and arrogant. I did 100% of the parenting, creating a family and a home and stability. But I never worked in the workforce again he treated our home and our marriage Like a hotel

It wasn’t really a conscious decision for me not to work. It just became the best way to function and we did have financial resources.

Finally After his micro cheating, his online cheating, his porn, and finally his establishing an emotional affair with a coworker i had enough and I divorced him, but I’ve been married almost 30 years

I managed our finances. I had access to all the money. My name was on everything I had excellent divorce attorney and got a good settlement.

I am still missing all those years of a career
And it’s killing me

It’s like a frog and boiling water. You don’t feel it happening until it’s too late.

And have absolutely made sure that my daughter has education and professional skills to walk away from anything

Peregrine
Peregrine
21 days ago

This post resonated with me and I am only now, at age 52, seeing how my needs are most important and giving up my time and money to a man (or family member) who do not reciprocate the kindness is damaging. I was abused as a child and have more clarity about ways I am abusing myself all of these years.
Only now am I putting my needs first, housing, health, activities of enjoyment. I thank goodness I did put the time in and borrowed that money for the graduate degree and persevered even when lovers and family members attempted to sabotage my efforts.
My parents had no idea how to manage money and did not save a dime to help me with college or my future. How can I expect any lessons from them? Only now, over 350 miles away from my family, do I see glimpses of how to be kind to myself.
I was never a married chump, but I spent YEARS of my life giving my time, my precious time, and my money to help lovers and family. I was ghosted and cheated on in return. Like the saying goes: that’s what I get for being nice.
Now, the man who cruelly ghosted me at my most vulnerable time in my life contacts me TWELVE YEARS LATER with a faux pology. My family says, “Well, at least he apologized.” Huh… all the time, all the precious time I freely gave to him to nurse him back to health after almost losing his leg, helping him move his home and business, lugging firewood up stairs so he can be warm, cleaning, cooking, shopping, and putting up with constant negative comments about how I am getting fat and I am mean, and the list goes on.
That man did not want me to continue with college and was so upset when I registered for a bachelor’s degree program. If I had a man in my life, I probably would not have gone to graduate school. I am so thankful for that graduate degree, I am never at a loss for work and my own business is always an option.
While in graduate school, I lived with my sister and was incredibly hurt when it became obvious she was trying to sabotage my attempt. My relationship with her will never be the same because now I see her for the abuser she is.
Better late than never, and I am so grateful I never married and never had children.
All I do is pass the message along, I tell clients they deserve nice things, and I encourage them to have their own bank accounts. I’ve seen many break free from the abuser in their life, and that makes everything I went through worth while.

GrandmaChump
GrandmaChump
21 days ago

Re the TradWife’s story–Trained as she was to listen to male advice, she accepted the interviewer’s judgment as valid and final when he asked her not to apply for jobs at that level again. A better man might have pointed her to the nearest public library, where she could have acquired basic computer skills (and beyond) for free, and any kids could have gone to the kid’s section.

But I think she had plenty of valid experience; she just didn’t know how to present it. I’m a good hand at resume writing; I listen to one’s life story and jot notes, then present that person’s skills in a coordinated skill-based format geared to acquiring a particular job.

People may need outside help to see themselves as actually having led an “upwardly progressive skills” leading to managerial skill. An female executive at one time intentionally did not acquire (or admit) keyboard skills for fear of being consigned to the typing pool. Instead, we could airily say, “I had an assistant who did all that, but I designed and evaluated the reports needed to track the business.”

TradWife gave up too easily. She was too dedicated to being compliant, and that is NOT an executive trait. Fellow chumps, don’t buy her story, and don’t follow her path!

You can do this! If you helped your husband with his business, or volunteered in your community, or raised a passel of kids –you learned skills for dealing with difficult labor/management interactions. You have skills, don’t sell yourself short. Number one skill you need is to learn how to present yourself personally and via resume. Sky’s the limit!

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
19 days ago
Reply to  GrandmaChump

Quite right. She’s been conditioned to defer to male authority figures. Also, what that person said to her was inappropriate in the context of a job interview.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
21 days ago
Reply to  GrandmaChump

uh… no.

susie lee
susie lee
21 days ago

She looks like she is in her 20s.

NoShitCupcakes
NoShitCupcakes
20 days ago

Her name is Jennie Gage according 5o The U.S. Sun, Business Insider and a few other outlets.

I’m a little shocked that no one in her extended family seem to see a problem with what happened to her. Do any of her kids see this as a devastating fucked-up situation?

The stuff of nightmares.

NoShitCupcakes
NoShitCupcakes
20 days ago

He also had at least one affair. Probably more than one.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/trad-wife-got-married-11th-173408867.html

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
19 days ago

When I hear or read stories like this, I’m so, so glad that I decided I wanted to be financially independent when I was a teenager. So. Glad.

I’d really like to know why she got such a bad settlement.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
17 days ago

I’ve been thinking this over, and I’d guess he threatened her with him seeking full custody and never letting her see their children. And she didn’t know that it doesn’t work that way unless the circumstances are exceptional. So he browbeat her into signing a settlement where she walked away with nothing. Because from what she says in the video, everything they had was community property.

From what I know, it doesn’t matter how the assets were titled. Assuming they lived in Arizona, that’s a community property state, and she should have received half and child support. And possibly alimony, depending on state law.

I’d also guess she didn’t have a lawyer. And I bet she thought she had to do what he said during the divorce. This poor woman was brainwashed into obeying men, and she was exploited in an absolutely shocking fashion.