Jim and I were definitely happy when we first got married, but clueless about money and that is ultimately why our marriage failed.
My parents were always going on at me for buying stuff for the house but I wanted it to look nice. I used to look for hours through magazines and try to make my house look like some of the interiors I saw there. We had a load of credit cards and we just spent what we wanted. We loved holidays and we would do daft things like surprise each other with a weekend trip to Paris on Eurostar, or a weekend trip to Dublin. We loved going out with friends. Most of them earned a lot more than we did, but we made sure we kept up with them! I cringe when I think of the money we would spend on a night out.
Eventually the credit cards, the mortgage and all the spending got us into a real financial hole. We started to row about the money situation, although we were both as guilty as each other. It was then that I found I was pregnant. I was only working part time as a receptionist so there was going to be no maternity pay for me. I had a terrible pregnancy and so had to leave the job early anyway as I felt so sick all the time. We were surviving on Jim’s wage from the garage, and handouts from our parents.
By the time Bradley was born, we were barely speaking, and when Brad was just 2 months old we split up. I left the home I had loved and went back to my parents. I felt like such a failure for my marriage, my finances and my education.
I had never thought that worry about money could have such an effect, but it ruined our marriage. We thought we had it all, Jim and I, married with our own home and doing what we liked. I still can’t believe that neither of us thought about what we were doing and how it would catch up with us, despite our parents’ warnings.
We both went bankrupt and my lovely house was repossessed. And now all those friends we used to go out with have disappeared. I barely see Jim now and he has someone new and is not really that interested in seeing Brad. I never see Jim’s family anymore either, even though I would like Brad to know them.
They say that people get married and divorced at a drop of a hat these days but for me it meant more than that and I feel a deep sense of failure that we could not make our marriage work for the sake of our son.
Although it was a relief not to have the constant pestering from the people we owed money to, living with my parents and a baby was not my life’s plan. My parents have been great and supported me to get over this breakup and to get my life back on track. I am so grateful to them.
It is going to take a long time and I still cry sometimes when I think about the happy times that Jim and I had, and how we stupidly threw it all away. I have learned a good lesson and I feel now for the first time in a long time that things might be OK for me, I am back in college getting the qualifications I need, I am meeting new people and living within my means.