Today I’d like to introduce you to another brave and courageous lady who goes by the name Two Kids and A Fish. Her story is one of escaping domestic violence and doing her best to break the cycle of violence so her daughters don’t suffer the same fate.
Two Kids and a Fish met her sweetheart in high school and they had their first daughter when they were nineteen. They got married at twenty-three and had their second daughter twelve years later. They separated just a few months shy of their seventeenth wedding anniversary in July 2010 when their daughters were twenty-one and nine. Their divorce was final a year ago.
I asked Two Kids and a Fish to talk about how she decided it was finally time to leave her marriage. Here she is:
I think it was December 2009 I had a health scare. My doctor called and said something was off with my blood work. She said it could be cancer and we needed to rule it out. When I told my husband I really got no response. It was just kind of a “hmmm.” It was as if I was bothering him.
He didn’t go with me to any of my tests. Did nothing. Just nothing. In early January I found out that it wasn’t cancer but there was something I needed to take care of it. It was manageable. That is when I said, “OK, I’m out. I’m done.” It was so obvious.
I had already been grieving the marriage. It was becoming clear that our financial situation was horrible, that he had done things I didn’t know and we were going to lose the house. I was willing to let the house go but when it came to my health, I said I need to be alive for my kids.
I had already accepted that he didn’t love me or at least he didn’t love me the way he used to. And I needed out. So I started formulating an exit plan. How am I going to get out of this marriage? What do I need to do?
I started to get as much information on our financial situation as I could. I had never, never in my life before then looked at my credit report without his permission or without looking at it together. I started looking at my different credit reports without him and that was a shocker. There were things on there that I was not aware of and looking at our total debt and just wanting to faint. I just could not believe it.
Some of it was just mental like I’m leaving; this is the year and then trying to figure out where I was going to get the money to move, to get a rental house. I didn’t want to end up on the sofa or the floor of a family member or friend because I felt if I did that I would be tempted just to come back. And I’d already told myself I wasn’t going to be that type of woman who comes back. When I’m gone, I’m gone.
It was hard to get bank statements and paperwork and whatnot from him or to find them because he would keep all those and he wouldn’t share it and we weren’t allowed to get the mail. He wasn’t working so he was always, always home. Even though I was working full time, I was the one that took the girls to school and I was the one who would pick them up most of the time and then still work till seven or eight at night.
His sister came to me and said, “What are you doing? What are you doing with my brother? I love him, he’s my brother but he’s an asshole. And you don’t need to stay with him. And don’t stay with him because of us. You deserve better.” I told her I was afraid of doing it on my own and she said, “You are doing it on your own, you’ve been doing it on your own.”
Then I said to myself, “Oh my God, if his own sister can see this, then who else? And what am I waiting for?” When I told his mother that I had told him that I wanted a divorce she said, “Well, I’ve been waiting for this day. I knew sooner or later it was going to happen and I’ve been waiting. He’s my son and I love him but I don’t know what’s wrong with him. I don’t know why he’s changed and you need to do what you need to do.”
So his entire family was supportive of me.
The reaction of Two Kids and A Fish’s husband to her health scare is what I call the divorce catalyst. I’ve talked to many women who have spent years agonizing over staying married and then a single event brings everything into focus and decision becomes clear. Having that clarity means you’re ready to face the divorce process. It’s a gift. So if you’ve been contemplating divorce and been unable to make up your mind, my advice is not to worry. Something will happen and when it does you’ll know it’s time.
You can find more stories about the divorce catalyst here.
And BTW pulling a credit report is one of the most important steps in gathering financial information.
Did you experience a divorce catalyst?
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