Man drains fam­ily sav­ings to fund fail­ing en­ter­prise

The Washington Times Daily - - LIFE - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN

DEAR ABBY: My hus­band of 23 years, “Ger­ald,” quit his job to start his own law firm. He told me about it only after he had quit. I have tried to be sup­port­ive, but seven months down the line, he has spent all our “rainy day” cash and earned only one pay­check. We have two teenagers, one who will be go­ing to col­lege in a year.

I took a high-pay­ing job a year ago to help pay down our mort­gage and fund our son’s col­lege ex­penses. Ger­ald claimed the bonus money he re­ceived when he quit his old job be­longed to him to fund the new ven­ture.

He’s now say­ing that seven months is too lit­tle time to make any huge de­ci­sions, but we are now go­ing to start liq­ui­dat­ing our 401(k)s. This is where I draw the line. He needs to get a job. I have worked ev­ery year of our mar­riage and never quit.

I feel like I’m liv­ing with a self­ish stranger who calls me a “money-hun­gry stereo­typ­i­cal fe­male” when I ask when he’ll get paid. Is it time for me to take off the rose­c­ol­ored glasses and file for di­vorce? — STUCK IN HIS MIDLIFE CRI­SIS

DEAR STUCK: Your hus­band should have dis­cussed his ca­reer change with you be­fore he quit the law firm. Do NOT al­low him to push you into tak­ing money from your 401(k). Be­cause your hus­band hasn’t yet reached re­tire­ment age, when he liq­ui­dates his, there will be a penalty for early with­drawal. Con­sult an at­tor­ney — other than your hus­band — about what your next steps should be to pro­tect your­self and your chil­dren be­cause your spouse does not ap­pear to be mak­ing ra­tio­nal de­ci­sions.

DEAR ABBY: I am writ­ing in re­sponse to the let­ter from “Lov­ing Grand­daugh­ter” on July 2, who was ask­ing for ways to pre­pare for the even­tual pass­ing of her grand­par­ents, with whom she is very close.

A way to help her cope with her pre­ma­ture grief would be to take time to sit down with her grand­par­ents and video a per­sonal in­ter­view with them. This “In­ter­view With a Loved One” pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to cap­ture her fa­vorite sto­ries and mem­o­ries as told by her grand­par­ents in their own words. She might even hear some sur­pris­ing new sto­ries as well!

We started do­ing this with my grand­fa­ther when he was first di­ag­nosed with Alzheimer’s dis­ease, be­fore he started los­ing his mem­ory. After he fi­nally suc­cumbed, go­ing back to his in­ter­views was a great way for our fam­ily to re­mem­ber him in the way that he would have wanted to be re­mem­bered. — JES­SICA IN MIS­SOURI

DEAR JES­SICA: That’s a won­der­ful sug­ges­tion, one that I know will be ap­pre­ci­ated by many of my read­ers. Thank you!

DEAR ABBY: How do I in­tro­duce my un­mar­ried daugh­ter’s baby daddy? Can’t say “hus­band,” and can’t say “part­ner” since gays have claimed that word. So how do you de­fine that new role? -- I’D LIKE YOU TO MEET …

DEAR MEET: When you in­tro­duce your grand­child’s daddy, use his name and say, “This is ‘John,’ ‘Jes­sica’s’ part­ner.” The term is not used ex­clu­sively by LGBT peo­ple, but by straight cou­ples as well.

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