I Divorced My Husband Because I Couldn't Trust Him With My Money

Elle Silver

My husband called me while he was in Arizona with our children. We both typically live in L.A. in separate homes, but he had taken our kids on a trip.

He was calling me to notify me that he only had $25 in his bank account. I felt many things when he told me this.

First, I braced myself for him to ask me for money.

Second, I felt fear. He was with our children. They were traveling in a different state. Did they have enough to eat?

Third, I felt disgusted. Wasn't this just like him...

One of the reasons I divorced him was because he was so terrible with money. He had a phrase he used a lot when we were married and his bank account was empty. "We're on fumes," he'd said.

This was how he'd tell me that we were out of cash and that, for a while, we'd have to "coast"—another one of his favorite phrases.

I'd have to hope there wasn't anything important we needed to buy and no bills that were due. Luckily, I had my own bank account with my own money from my part-time job. When he was "on fumes," I would get us by.

As I was mom to two young children, I stayed home with them and only worked part-time. My husband was unemployed, living off his "disbursement" from his wealthy parents. They gave him a stipend each month from the interest accrued from all their stocks.

But he would still blow through the money quickly. He wasn't looking for a job.

To help him, I allowed him to take out a loan in my name for a business venture. The business venture failed. He defaulted on the loan and put me in debt. I ultimately had to claim bankruptcy.

I was irate that he ruined my credit. I wasn't like my husband. I worked hard and pinched pennies. As I was so frugal, I always had money in the bank. I didn't have a bunch of debt.

Now my credit was in the toilet. My husband continued to spend every penny he earned or was given. "We're flush" was another one of his favorite catchphrases, which meant he had money in the bank. Might as well spend it!

He knew he could because the disbursement would arrive again the next month. If that wasn't enough, he could always ask his dad to cut him a check.

But then his parents finally tired of him constantly depending on them for money. Besides, I was working. They thought I should just foot all the bills while my husband spent another year or so unsuccessfully trying to get a job.

No. I was not going to put up that. I knew that as soon as my husband's "hand-outs" were gone, he would set his sights on my coffers and bleed me dry. Soon, my account would also be "running on fumes." What would we do then?

This was one reason I decided to divorce him. I'm not alone in my decision to divorce over financial concerns.

According to a 2017 survey conducted by Experian, 59% percent of divorced respondents said that finances played "somewhat" of a role in their divorces, while 20% said it played a "big" one. Fifty-four percent said their former spouse spent too much money, which informed their decision to divorce them. Fifty-three percent said they were financially incompatible with their former spouse. Forty-nine percent said their credit got worse during their marriage—which was definitely my case when my husband bankrupted me.

I know it sounds terrible that I divorced my husband because I didn't want to share my money with him. But it wouldn't have been sharing. It would have been him taking advantage of me. All my hard work would have just ended in him wasting my earnings.

I see him doing it to his new wife. She ended up sending him money while they were in Arizona: $800. While I was happy about this, because it meant my children were now safe, I also felt like I dodged a bullet.

That would have been me, sending my ex cash whenever he blew through everything in his own account and was then desperate for a refill.

It’s his new wife's problem now. I just hope my ex is never with our kids when there’s a serious emergency and he doesn’t have money. But I guess he now has a new wife to count on.

You may also be interested in reading: My Ex-Husband Treats His New Wife the Same Way He Did Me: Like His Maid.

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I write about dating, marriage, divorce, family, society, and the city I live in: Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, CA

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