Freedom on the Horizon

Just under two years ago, one of my roommates came home from Colorado with tales of bad behavior and shenanigans. In a sense, I furnished the means by which it all happened. I allowed the ex to bring in a roommate who hailed from Colorado, and I allowed my ex to talk me into buying a new Jeep, which she decided made her a Colorado person. And I was the only person working, so she could pack up and go anywhere she wanted anytime she wanted while I stayed home and worked to pay the bills. It’s really a sweet deal if you think about it.

Turns out, however, those tales were true and confirmed (even getting a Facebook message from a complete stranger in Colorado), and it wasn’t long before I was getting divorced. I was in such a reality distortion field at the time, I ended up with a very bad deal financially. I didn’t really put up much of a fight, I just wanted it to be over as quickly as possible. My house was ransacked and left so picked clean on moving day, the ex came inside and said “wow, it looks like this place has been robbed,” to which my great friend Geoff replied “it has been.” He was so angry he literally stormed out and couldn’t bring himself to come back.

I had made the mistake of keeping roommates during those last few months between divorce filing and the move-out-day. One of them borrowed thousands of dollars and then quickly left town without a word, following the ex to Colorado. Ironic, since she had been the person to report the shenanigans that precipitated the divorce in the first place. Clearly her loyalties were confused. That was another expensive lesson for me, piled on top of the divorce settlement. I thought about doing small claims after she dodged me for 12 months, but honestly, it’s her Karma, not mine.

During the whirlwind of awful stuff that was happening, I met Nicole. Without a doubt, the best day of my life. And she knew of all of the drama was happening and agreed to bear with me.

The divorce settlement. So bad. Essentially since my ex had been fired from her paying job and failed to work for the two years leading up to the divorce, the courts see her as a financial victim in a divorce. They want each party to maintain the same “lifestyle.” This was originally set up to protect stay at home moms, but a nasty side effect is it gives advantage to people who choose not to work because they’d rather goof off. Anyhow, I digress. There were several compelling reasons to settle out of court, which I will not detail here.

In the end, the settlement will cost me more than $100,000. She’s actually taking well over half of my take-home income. I hate the impact it has on the new family, where we are limited in what we can do and save because of my past.

With the clear head that comes from being far removed from that ugly day-to-day situation, I can see now just how badly I got taken to the cleaners. And I can’t really say that I’m bitter about it. Pragmatically, I know I got screwed hard. Emotionally, I have absolutely zilch invested. I was furious for about the first year, and Nicole basically told me to “suck it up, buttercup.” One of her favorite phrases. Her point being, sending that money every month is a small price to pay for the wonderful life I now have. I can’t disagree.

I’m very grateful to now have a supportive wife, who in addition to being beautiful and kind, is also a hard-working professional, a responsible adult, and an all around amazing person. Our goal is to have all of this settlement nonsense paid off before our little Nugget arrives in October. It will be a stretch, but will be such a good feeling. Freedom!

Who knows, once it’s all finalized maybe I’ll write an expose’. 🙂 But probably not.