Saturday, February 19, 2005

A little background... just how badly did I mess up my credit in the past? I can't even get a loan from CAPITAL ONE, even though I got the invitation and have had a great record with them for the last couple years.

It's an ugly story and one I'm still trying to work on. When I was married, I tried to buy my wife's happiness. Well, not exactly, but she had a lot of "issues" stemming back from an ugly childhood. Shopping and spending were some sort of release for her. Her mother was unavailable emotionally and always bought the kids nice things. There's a lot more there obviously, but the human brain is amazing thing, the things that generate certain feelings or sensations don't always seem logical, but usually experts can see right through behavior patterns. In any event, my wife would spend money when she was in a "down cycle" and I, wanting to keep her placated would stretch the budget beyond our means and put us in peril. I would try to make sure I was available emotionally to her, but likely didn't know how to handle those moments. She would refuse counseling so shopping was about the only "therapy" that seemed to life the spirits a bit.

We're no longer married. After a while, the shopping wasn't enough to calm the forces inside her and she started other destructive behavior. Eventually it led to the end of our marriage. She continues her poor use of money to this day, and sadly she was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 29. A heartbreaking story all around.

What does this have to do with a financial blog? Well, my weakness in the marriage resulted in late payments, accounts in collection, even a bankruptcy. How could anyone be so stupid and irresponsible with money, you ask? It happens. I take full responsibility for the financial mess I find myself in at this time and I'm trying to make amends. I have only one credit card and a car payment as debt. The interest rates are high. I pay all on time. I pay in advance. I started saving money in the eMM account. It takes time to fix these things. This summer will be two years since the divorce. Emotionally it took me a good year plus to recover. Financially it will likely take a lot longer...


Murray said...

That's a really sad story...makes me wonder if personal finance is even worth worrying about when we could be hit with such devastating news.

Jonathan said...

Thanks for sharing Bruce. It's always good to keep the Big Picture in mind, although it's so easy to get caught up in things. I think you are definitely on the right track though!


Neville said...

It's hard to "blame" anyone in your situation, but in the end it is your responsibility to pick up your pieces. By starting your blog it looks like you are on your way, and I have full confidence that you will restore your credit soon!

Thanks for sharing your personal experience, it must have been tough.

Good to see you posting again.

Anonymous said...

Keep it up! You're doing great. Good things appear when you're not looking for them.

Teri said...

we are imperfect human beings. I didn't think I was overspending and thought I was making some progress on the debts. Then I lost my job and couldn't find another for 13 months. Since my husband had been taking care of the house, we were left with just unemployment and I wound up in a low paying job. We almost lost the house and wound up with a bankruptcy.

We learn, if we're lucky. Sometimes it takes a hard lesson to do that. What matters now is that you are living differently and stand a good chance for a better life.