Every Girl Needs

  1.  You need a secret stash of money.  Sadly, it can’t be in a bank or investment account, because you will have to report that on your taxes, or when you apply for a mortgage, or when you buy a car, or whatever.  This is a stash of money that your partner does not know about.  Women in my mother’s generation used to shave a little bit off the “grocery allowance” that their husbands gave them.  It’s the money you will use to get away from him if he’s abusive, to pay for an abortion if he gets you pregnant, to help out your sister when he says, “No, she should have stayed with her abusive boyfriend.”  In the end, he’ll die before you and you can use the money for a lovely headstone and perpetual flowers.
  2. Don’t let him take that picture and don’t you take it and send it to him.  Yes, I know.  We’re all pretty modern and sophisticated.  He says that if you really love him and really trust him, you’ll let him do it.  Say no.  There is literally no way that this ends well and, someday — when you are applying for the divorce you just know right now will never happen, when you go through the break up that you just know right now is impossible, when you are trying to start a business, or run for office, or to get a loan that right now you know would never be necessary — someday you will not be sick to your stomach when those pictures don’t surface.
  3. Make him explain it to you before you sign it.  The more he insists that you just sign the tax return, loan application, mortgage, etc. the more you need to insist that he (or his accountant, lawyers, partner, etc.) explain ever single figure to you.  With my abusive ex-husband, I used to keep saying, “Sorry to be so stupid, but I don’t understand.  What is this figure?”  Eventually, they may decide to do it without you, which is better, or to just not do it (better still).  But do not sign what you don’t understand, can’t verify, aren’t able to corroborate.  I know.  You love him.  He would never compromise you.  He wants you to show that you “trust him.”  If all of that were true, he’d satisfy you before asking you to sign.
  4. When he insists that if you just “trusted him” you’d send him those pictures, sign that form, transfer those funds, etc., and you can’t hold out, agree, but only if he’ll show that he “trusts you” by giving you the password to his bank account.  After all, fair is fair.  You’re going to trust him with a picture that could get you fired, get custody of your kids taken from you, make it impossible for you to run for office.  So he should trust you with his bank account.  If you’re going to trust that he won’t get mad, or get drunk and brag to his friends, or make a mistake when he hits send, well, then, he should be willing to trust the same for you.  If he’s unwilling, well, then, so are you.
  5. How fast could you put your hands on your passport, on cash, on your mortgage, on your health insurance manual and cards, on the deed to your house, on you last joint tax return?  Is there a reason why you and a girlfriend can’t store those for each other in an easily-to-grab redweld?  Look, of course, you’re right.  He loves you and you’ll never need these.  All the more reason why it should be simple for you to stash these with a sister, girlfriend, lawyer.

9 responses to “Every Girl Needs

  1. Meredith Sterling

    I made sure with my ex-husband that I was the one who ‘paid the bills’ — just wrote out the checks, etc.; we both earned the money. But, when I needed to leave him, he’d become so complacent and entitled that someone was taking care of this little housekeeping chore for him, that I could neatly divide the accounts and open another one in my name only and then and only then (with the county sheriff’s phone # memorized) did I tell him good-bye… Loved this article. It is all Truth.

  2. More women need to know to do this. My mom’s generation and before did, but women these days don’t seem to.

  3. I’ve lived alone now for many years but I still live like this. I still have a secret stash of cash, I can get my important paperwork in a flash & all my other important paperwork & photos are on flashdrive & can be slipped into my pocket. It’s not fleeing a man I’m thinking about now; it’s if the house is on fire. I’m always prepared. It’s a kind of PTSD.

  4. Reblogged this on silverapplequeen and commented:

  5. Yes. We owed a small newspaper jointly, and my name was on a lot of stuff as the responsible party. His wasn’t. It took me years to pay off the IRS and other creditors.I’m older and wiser now—for one thing, I’m not married and won’t be again.

  6. Sorry, that’s *owned*, not *owed*. (Could have sworn I proofread this!)

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