When it comes to money, women have been trained to accept less, to want less, and to expect less. It’s changing, of course, but it’s still a significant issue. On top of that, or maybe because of that, women feel deeply ashamed when they struggle, financially. It can be even more problematic if you’ve become financially dependent on your soon-to-be-ex.
When I left my marriage I was clear in my decision. At the same time, I was in deep doo-doo, financially. I had lost my ambition – and enthusiasm – for my previous business coaching solo entrepreneurs. My client base was dwindling and I just couldn’t resurrect it. My mojo was at an all time low.
After I moved out, I returned to a community where I had a strong network of friends. Then I watched myself give my services away to a few of those friends. They were my BFF’s after all. How could I ask them for money? In truth I’d stopped believing in my worth. It was easier to give my expertise away than push through my extreme reluctance to ask for fair payment.
And then it hit me. I had put myself in debt, energetically. My friends were benefiting from my help while I remained stuck.
How It Happened
Several years prior I “decided” I didn’t need money, or not as much anyway.
I didn’t realize what was happening at the time, but the downturn started when I basically abandoned my own business and joined a man in his. Joining him wasn’t “the” issue. But it did slowly erode my expectations regarding money and earning. He pretended money didn’t matter to him, then complained about his financial situation when it came time to pay me. He wasn’t paying me all that much to begin with, but I felt badly for him and he asked me to take less. And I accepted it!!! I had devalued my needs for his benefit.
All the while I gave my heart, my talents and my energy to helping him grow his business.
He said we were partners, but I knew better.
I knew he was manipulating me and I allowed it.
Due to the support I received from my husband, I could pretend it was Ok. What did I need more money for?
Then illness came knocking at my door and woke my ass up. I was forced to see how much I was giving in exchange for what I received in return. So I gave notice and quit.
By then I was sunk. The hole was dark and deep.
I had allowed my circumstances to train my brain to settle for less.
I write this now, and I’m embarrassed all over again. Did I really allow that? Did I really think that? What’s more, what a burden I placed on my ex. He was okay with the arrangement since he had the resources. And he was willing. But still!
I decided to STOP being “such a good friend.” No more giving my time, energy and intellectual capital away. I committed to attending to my needs, my concerns, and my own business endeavors. I committed to becoming self-supporting once again.
I have work to do in the world, and more life to live. I’m betting you do too.
Financial dependence acts like weight around your ankles.
It makes you potentially susceptible to accepting less than you deserve.
What’s more, it requires you to remain tied to your ex financially.
This is why I tell women, yes, appreciate spousal support if you’re receiving it, but don’t let that be your resting place. No doubt, it helps you get through the initial shock phase, but it’s not an empowering long-term plan. If he goes down, you do too.
Why not free both of you?
Become your own security.
I can show you how. It starts with my Monthly Cash Flow Planner. When you see where you are you can make informed, real life decisions.
If you are ready to take charge of your own security, and financial future, contact me to set up a time to talk.
~~~ What about you? ~~~
Did you see yourself in any part of my story?
If you’re receiving spousal support, does it feel good or do you, like me, recognize the downside?
If so, have you addressed it? How did you address it ?
Are you ready to change your story, to take charge of your financial future now?