Friday, April 12
“You are not going to like this email, and I don't like writing it, especially after your kindness to me this week about my problems,” JB wrote. “I really appreciated that and it made writing this note more difficult.
“I have been giving our agreement a lot of thought since the aborted hearing this week. I feel I have no choice but to ask that we renegotiate the maintenance portion. I know I have already signed it and understandably you consider this a done deal. However, the judge has asked that I testify to my ability to afford the maintenance I have agreed to pay. If I were to answer him honestly right now I would have to say no, I cannot afford it, alt (sic) least not without getting a second job. I could be wrong but my guess is without my cooperation he will ask for changes to the agreement and the divorce will be further delayed.
“Post-divorce I will have few meaningful assets (old car, very little cash, a small share of a crumbling cottage, a diminished retirement account). I am only minimally contributing to my 401K at this stage. I need another $1,000 per month to be able to meet my monthly financial obligations, buy groceries and have some modest amount left over for miscellaneous expenses, like Tom's activities, or taking him bowling or out for pizza when we are together. Or getting my car fixed. I don't want him to dread coming here because we can never afford to do anything. I don't want to have to tell you I can't afford to pay for Tom's voice lessons or medical bills.
“If you agree to this, I am willing extend (sic) the maintenance period to 6 years. That makes it close to a wash in total dollar terms. . . I think it's in our common interest for us to work something out now so that on the April 24 date I can tell the judge everything is OK. Right now I am not willing to do that.”
I was frozen with nausea. JB sent a second email.
“Later I will email you my monthly budget. When I get home Weds. I will email copy (sic) of recent pay stubs and my bills. I hope we can see this from each others' POV and work out a more fair agreement while making the fewest possible changes to the existing deal.”
JB robbed our 401K. He stole our buyout money. He ran up large amounts of secret debt. He’s a liar. He’s a cheat. I have no idea if I’m going to land on my feet or ass. I’ve unintentionally lost 10 pounds. People keep telling me I’m too skinny. I probably look half crazy. I feel half crazy. Jason is right. There are reasons the divorce didn’t go through. I don’t know what they are, but I’m going to do the next right thing that gets put in front of me to do and trust that all will be well. The Universe has this. I’m staying out of its way.