Monday, July 23, 2018

Secrets and Lies 2





I don't know about everyone else, but throughout my life I often seem to be in opportune (or inopportune) places to hear sensitive, scandalous or private information.  No, I'm not eavesdropping, sometimes people will voluntarily reveal information to me- maybe because I'm the only other person around.  Sometimes it is said in such a place that I am unable to avoid overhearing the information.  

Due to the nature of the information I have been made privy to I cannot disclose it to those close to me as it would ruin friendships, working relationships or simply be construed as gossip.  I'm not the type to want to cause drama in the lives of my friends, family or work relationships. So, your beautiful ears (or eyes rather) will get to hear the random secrets and lies that I hear. I figure my blog can act as my stress relief/venting place for all of the craziness I hear. A lot of these stories also provided valuable financial lessons. 

So this is the second installment of this series.  Let's turn to a co-worker I had years ago, named, "Carol".  Carol was an older lady in her late to mid-50s.  She was married and had been married for around 30 years.  She had 2 kids, one daughter and one son (developmentally disabled).  She made around $25,000 a year as a legal assistant.  Her husband made around $200,000 a year, with bonuses.  They lived in a big house on the north side of town.  She would often host parties at her house and brag about her husband (he was handsome, made a lot of money, etc.). They frequently would scout out potential rental properties. 

Her life fell apart quickly, her husband wanted a divorce, he had been cheating on her with a much younger woman (mid-30s). The history is that Carol was the "other woman" when she first met her husband. He left his wife and married Carol.  Also, he apparently cheated on Carol for years when they lived in Miami (years before I met her), but she stayed in the relationship.  He made good money and she grew up poor.  Carol was not involved in the finances and they had separate bank accounts.  Her husband learned that one of the tenants in their rental properties was vacating the property and decided not to rent out the unit.  He took that as an opportunity to announce his intent to get a divorce and tell her to move into that rental property.  She did.  He stayed in the big house and paid the bills until it was sold.  They had several other rental properties to sell-off too.  Carol was angry, of course.  The family had been through much turmoil just a few years before when their developmentally disabled son had gotten into a bad accident and was no longer permitted to drive.  He would sometimes take his father's car and drive, anyways, to hang out with friends about 1.5 hours away.  He later got into some major criminal trouble which resulted in a major police investigation and a raid on their home.  He was arrested and prosecuted. He did not have to go to prison.

After the divorce proceedings began, Carol started telling her co-workers about how horribly her husband had always treated her and how unhappy she was in the marriage.  She started calling her husband at work and showing up at his office.  She eventually got him fired because she was so disruptive.  Her son would call her friends late at night and tell him how drunk she was.  She turned her son against his father.  She had trouble staying on her budget of $25,000 a year.  She kept one of her husband/soon to be ex-husband's credit cards and charged clothing and purses on it.  She would tell anyone who would listen about how her husband kicked her out of their home.   I'll save you all of the awful details, she was a mess.  Ultimately, she had a decent settlement from the divorce, including half of his retirement money, the proceeds from some of her rental properties and she was fine financially. 

I learned a lot from her situation.  Mostly, if I ever married I planned to be involved in the finances.  That way, there would be no surprises.  I also learned that if a relationship does not feel right, then leave.  Don't suffer along for money or other benefits.  I was very young when all of this happened so it was very eyeopening for me. 

I could go on and on about her secrets and lies, but that is enough for now.  Have  you ever had someone tell you private or scandalous information?  How did you react?  What did you do?


8 comments:

  1. Many years ago I had a coworker who told me to very private things. One was that her husband was so close mouthed about their finances that she did not even know what savings they had or how much they still had on their mortgage. After retirement she worked a little for us so she would have a little spending money. She was afraid to ask her husband about the finances.
    The second secret was that one of her relatives had passed for white when my coworker was a child and disappeared from the family. My coworker still missed the relative and wondered if the relative was still alive. Sometimes she came to my desk at lunchtime and we searched obituaries in the areas she thought the relative might have lived, looking for pictures that might match.
    It was heartbreaking, all of it. I never said a word to anybody until today.

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    1. Oh wow, that is incredibly sad! I try to learn something from the crazy stories people tell me. I hope you were able to take something helpful from the situation.

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  2. Whoa, that is a crazy amount of oversharing. I am a teacher, and my colleagues don't overshare, but sometimes the students do. It is a balance between wanting to be a sympathetic ear, and not knowing family business that I don't need to know.

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    1. It really was too much information. I’m not good at politely telling people to stop talking. How do you handle it when students over share? Is there a niice way to get them to stop?

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  3. If I can see that the comments are heading into private territory I will just say, “TMI” which comes across jokingly and she gets the hint, or I will just tell her not to share family business. My difficulty is, as you know, teachers are mandated reporters so I don’t want to discourage a kid that really needs to share something. That’s where knowing the student is super important. Not sure how to handle that with adults. Maybe just laugh it off and tell her to save the story for the reality show and you’ll watch.

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  4. I didn't see it as over sharing; I saw it as her asking for help. I told her that she has every right to know about the finances, that they are her finances too. But I didn't know her husband or anything about their relationship. I couldn't really help at all with the other matter except for offering sympathy.

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