Mutually Assured Destruction

This phrase is often used in war movies and political dramas, and is a political strategy adhered to by most countries.  It means that if either side continues, both sides are assured devastating consequences.   The idea is meant to prevent further aggression.  Who knew  I would agree to a path that will lead to mutually assured destruction for my spouse and myself, yet here I go.

Background if you aren’t aware……. I was given a ridiculously low “settlement offer” last Friday. My initial reaction was “oh well, I gave this a shot, I’ll skulk away and try to live on next to nothing each month”.   The more I got to thinking about it though, the angrier I got.  I live, and will continue to live, in the same community as my spouse and his new GF, and the lawyers are suggesting that I accept a life of financial ruin while he continues to eat out, vacation 4 times a year, pay for his Cadillac.  And I said No.

I told my lawyer that there are only 2 possible outcomes.  1 is that I will walk away with enough money to buy a townhouse in our school district and a monthly alimony that covers my expenses, or 2- we both go bankrupt fighting over it.  I think this qualifies as Mutually Assured Destruction, don’t you?

I’ve been pondering why I’m taking such a drastic stance.  Throughout our entire marriage I’ve gone out of my way to do the prudent thing financially.  I even went as far as overlooking his many dalliances, in an effort to protect our family unit.  I was frugal, I did without, and I was extremely deliberate in my attempts to keep our family together and solvent.  It was my life’s mission.

I guess in the end, this is why I am now willing to throw it all away.  I failed.  I did not keep my family together.  My financial prudence, my compliant nature and my willingness to accept whatever my spouse wanted to throw at me failed to keep us together.  So if that behavior didn’t work for me for the past 25 years, why would I repeat it now?   Further, if I repeat it now I am sentencing myself to a lifetime of this behavior, because it will be all I can afford.

It took 25 years but I now understand that sometimes the only acceptable outcome is Mutually Assured Destruction, and this is one of those times.   The only way for me to begin anew is to burn us to ground.  At that point I will be able to rise from the ashes of our life and start over.

 

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3 thoughts on “Mutually Assured Destruction

  1. I don’t blame you one little bit! I completely understand the mindset of: If I’m going down I’m taking you with me. I’m right there with ya. STBX is pulling all kinds of nonsense. I may end up left with nothing but I’m going to make sure he’s got even less once we’re done. Mutually assured destruction for the win!

    I just read something today about how we are so used to making our needs so small; we feel like we are doing something wrong when we stick up for ourselves and ask for what we deserve. I’m sure your STBX will be shocked when you don’t take his pitiful offer.

    I’ve also been told not to settle. This person I was talking to said they almost always fold and will sign off on your demands because they don’t want to have to go before a judge and have all their behavior documented on the record. I don’t know how accurate that is but that’s pretty much where I am. And lawyers aren’t always right. I’ve heard stories where people were told they wouldn’t ever get what they were asking for but they went ahead and took it before a judge anyway and they won. It doesn’t hurt to ask (but it does cost an arm and a leg!). Good luck to you.

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  2. As long as you have no conscious you can get away with anything! My stbx is selling our business for peanuts & claiming he can’t find an equivalent job. I thought about just giving in but honestly, I need to change myself and start standing up for myself. We have little to fight over so it will all be gone. Oh well!

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  3. What are your options? What did the lawyers say? Have you hired a forensic accountant? I was in the same stance as you. I was going to fight till the end. But once I got the forensic accountant and he explained that because of me commingling my assets, I was going to lose almost half of my savings. So I relented. It would be pointless to have the boys full custody and not have a dime to spend on them…it killed me, but I had to weigh things and choose my battles…I hate these laws. And I hate how ppl can get away with it. My ex quit his job just to spite me and not pay child support! Idiot

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