Saturday, November 5, 2016

Letter to my finace's ex

I am so over my fiance's ex and all her drama, insatiable greed and insecurity. Most recently, I am tired of her bringing up issues she thinks belong to him but are actually mine (my car, vacation expenditures, and home projects). Here is a letter I wrote her last month that, in some ways, I would really like to send. But wondering how much it really matters and pretty convinced she's not worth it. (Her name has been changed to one her older daughter used to lie/cover up her her being in town about a year ago).

Angie,                                                                                                                    October 5, 2016

Some errors in understanding have come to my attention that, although I owe you no explanation for anything, I want to correct, as you have brought them up more than once in completely inappropriate (court) and irrelevant (your phone conversation with my man in September) places.

First, you are clearly upset about some vacations he and I have taken. I have no problem letting you know that I paid for our flight to/from Puerto Rico (and then some, as we had an issue with our return date and I had to pay for the return tickets twice). I have also bought plane tickets for other vacations, and will continue to do so for future vacations as necessary. I do this because I am not in the strained financial situation he is in, and I want to travel, but naturally do not want to do so without him. Contrary to what you seem to believe (per your comment on the phone), he is not “living in luxury.” It is me that can and wants to afford the trips. Fortunately, not everyone has created a divorce like you have - my ex and I parted fairly amicably and with assets, and I often use them for travel. It is something I love to do, and I want to experience everything with my best friend. I don’t know where so many peoples’ notion came from that the man has to pay for everything, and it is probably what your assumption is based on. However, I am financially capable and stable, and have no problem paying for things that are a priority to me. That being said, not all vacations cost a lot. The other vacation you complained about was a trip to MN. That, too, was mostly an expense covered by me, because we stayed with my family. Therefore, we had no accommodation fees and our food expenses were the same as they would have been had we stayed home. Only gas was an expense over and above what it would have been had we not gone, not unlike your trips you take to visit your family. Our vacation to MN was trip that your daughter benefited from and enjoyed as well. However, since our vacations are so upsetting to you, I have no problem making a change and going from now on at times when she is not with us. I suggest a change for you also. If you have such an issue with our vacations being, as you say, “spread all over the internet how much love and fun” we have, then I suggest you stop searching for them.

Secondly, about the car. I bought the Subaru from my man back in 2013. I still owe thousands on it, and it is my name on the title. If he and I were to break up today, that car would stay with me and the van he bought is what he would leave with. So yes, you were right when you said in court that the “2011 Subaru Legacy is sitting in his driveway!” Because it is mine, it will continue to show up in pictures you (or anyone you enlist to do it for you) take of my house. The Toyota I owned before the Subaru I gave to your son free of charge because he needed a better-working vehicle.

Third, you mentioned house “renovations” in court. I would hardly call a new fence (or any of the other smallish projects done since I bought the house) renovations, but if that’s the word you’d like to use, I can accommodate that. I am so, so lucky to have my man here to fix things, but he is not paying for the renovations. I received a settlement from my title company for negligence on their part, so they are the ones paying for that.

As I said, I know I do not owe you an explanation for any of this, but I felt it necessary for a number of reasons: 1) You seem to think these things are keeping money from your daughter, which we know is errant, as child support payments have always been made. 2) As I mentioned above, to bring up things that I pay for and my financial expenditures in court sessions and phone calls that should only be about your and your ex's finances is unnecessary and makes you appear uninformed, which, of course, you are. 3) You have been assuming things, and we both know what happens when one assumes.

Also, from one divorced woman to another, I wish to express to you that I know how difficult divorce is. Unlike you, when I divorced, I hadn’t worked in ten years and didn’t know a lot about making it on my own. When I went back to work full-time, I made eleven dollars an hour and had to move back in with my parents. When my first job came along that I could actually “survive” on, I was making so little there were times I had less than $10 in my account at the end of pay-periods. I lived like that for a year and a half. I had to dip into my assets occasionally, but mostly I did without, as I prefer to live off my wages and not use savings unless it’s an emergency (or travel, as is now obvious - though I did no traveling until my next job afforded me more leeway). During that time my boys and I ate things like rice and beans a lot, and did a lot of free activities like hiking.

Last year you made a comment on one of your Sworn Financial Statements for the court that you were living at poverty level. I’d like you to know that at the time you made that statement, you were making 4 times what I was making as a teacher (and I was still saving a little). Perhaps it would behoove you to visit a financial planner, for your assessment of "poverty level" seems to come from your lack of ability to live within your means. As you know, child support is not based on what it takes to raise a child, but on what each parent earns. I get much less for two children than you get for one. What you receive in child support for your daughter each month is more than adequate to feed and clothe her. All the expenses on top of those necessities - her sports, private education, horse riding lessons, your new truck and closing on a $375,000 home in July - those are your expenses. You complained a couple times on the phone to your ex that he “never once considered your struggles.” But you left him (for which I cannot thank you enough)! The moment you walked out that door, they became your struggles. Own them. It is not his responsibility to worry about your bills; he and I have our own to be concerned with. On a personal note, my ex husband and I used a mediator for our divorce, and what I got, I got. I have never, as you repeatedly do, asked/taken him back to court for more money, accused him of taking everything, or complained to him about my situation. I left. I put myself in that situation, beans and rice and all. I encourage you to find someone else to care about your bills if that is a need of yours. And now that you have been paid in full for the arrears*, you must be feeling quite a bit more financially stable. You should celebrate somehow. Maybe take a vacation.

*Because of an error made by the court regarding child support, my man owed her money, which was recently paid to her in full.

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