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GARY’S STORY

My wife found plastic and became creative with it. If we had the slightest tiff about her spending she would take the next day off work and go on an immense shopping spree.

 

Clothes, bags, shoes, jewellery, perfume, makeup, hairdos and expensive meals all found a way to get more of my wife’s attention than I got. She also bought a good deal of the same for my young adopted (hers from previous marriages) daughters – even the five year old was wobbling around on little high heels and had dangly earrings hanging from her pierced ears, and other baubles in other places – did I mention the ankle chain?  She would toss a tantrum if she could not change her clothes several times a day (the young daughter not the wife), and would try on many outfits before deciding on the ‘required look’ – the discarded clothing being left on the bedroom floor: for the maid to put away? We didn’t have one!

The other, twelve year old, daughter found food. Boy she packed it away and didn’t pause for breath. Everything in sight she ate and still couldn’t wait for meal times. She was fat as butter and kept growing out of her clothes before she had any wear out of them. She behaved in such a way as to make our going out for meals or people coming over to us extremely embarrassing. At least, I was embarrassed. The wife and young daughter just laughed at the fat child’s antics and encouraged her to be pig like – often calling her Miss Piggy. My family and friends just cleared their throats and looked the other way but eventually they made excuses and so I thankfully stopped inviting them.

The wife’s spending escalated and when I chastised her for this she became verbally abusive. The bills rolled in, I got deeper into debt and, for the first time in my life I started worrying about my financial situation. We bickered, we squabbled, we fell out lots, and then things got downright nasty between the wife and me.

One day we were really arguing – shouting, getting heated and maybe a little swearing for emphasis. Anyway, we were standing up facing each other across the table (where the bills and accounts were spread out) and she just took a swing at me.  I was gob-smacked. I couldn’t believe she would resort to violence. I caught hold of her wrist to stop her from doing more damage to my face and she accused me of assaulting her!

I took away her credit cards – and mine, which had found their way into her handbag – and cut them up and cancelled them. I felt better after that because I thought we were safe now – the spending had been stopped. Clearly my wife gets up earlier than I do! She was creatively deceitful and it was quite a while before I caught on to this new game of hers. It was the same story all over again; I confronted her, she became verbally abusive and physically violent – a real hissy fit. Anyway, I cut up the plastic once again and we settled down to normal.

It might be a good idea to mention at this point that I owned several properties – a house and a couple of townhouses and, in order to deal with the mountain of debt caused by my wife, I’d sold one townhouse and used the proceeds to defray the financial disaster she had created.

After a very short time I saw new clothes entering the house again. No-one said anything about it but the daughters were sporting several new outfits and there were more clothes in their cupboards and drawers; and the wife’s cupboards and drawers also boasted additional wear – I’d become an expert on the contents of the cupboards and drawers in my house. It wasn’t long before the clothing stores and the credit houses started to phone, wanting funds. I didn’t have to be a genius to figure that my wife had opened new lines of credit in her previous married names.

Then I began to see the real nature of the beast but still I hesitated because I loved my wife and didn’t want to do anything too serious about it. We had a terrible fight and she ran out of the house – I heard her drive off but this had happened so many times in the past that I just sat and tried to watch the sport on the television. It was only a little while later when she called me to come and collect her because she’d prangued the car and it wouldn’t move, that I realised she taken my car.

My rather nice and classy car was briefly between insurance companies and she’d had an accident that would cost me a fortune. My wife was fine, worse for wear from the wine she’d been drinking before our fight but otherwise perfectly well. When I arrived in her dirty, filthy, banged up commuter, she screaming at me for not warning her about ‘that bend’ and for not getting to her sooner, and …I switched off.

The point I’m making is that I had to lose all my properties, my cars, and every material thing I ever held dear, I also almost lost the respect of my family, friends and colleagues; when I finally got really close to losing the house we lived in and certainly had to rent out the garden cottage for extra revenue, my wife left me. But she and the girls continued to live at my expense.

My Attorney brought order, sanity and even humour back into my life where none remained. There wasn’t even any loss of face during the proceedings. If only I’d gone to him sooner. Now, months after the divorce,  I still keep in touch with him and his Office. Not only did they not judge me, but also they went the extra mile to ensure I was ‘hanging in there’ and that my self esteem was returning.

 

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