A Mafia Mom Shares Her Personal Divorce Story
The Big Kaboom: Divorce is typically a long and complicated process. Divorce touches many aspects and is not just a legal matter. There are a multitude of things to consider — before, during and after. So if divorce is on your mind, personal education and empowerment is the first key and crucial step before you call an attorney. Mommy Mafia and The Big Kaboom have teamed up to create an upcoming series of posts to help shed light on some of the most important aspects of divorce, such as: child support, custody, visitation and alimony. In this first post, Mafia Mom, Janet* bravely shares her personal divorce story and the lessons of divorce learned along the way. This is her story in her words, as told to The Big Kaboom.
The white picket fence was long gone. The till death do us part was not to be. The forever was over. This is not the way it was supposed to work out. Mafia Mom Janet looks out the window of her office, thinking back on her divorce. Janet, now 38, divorced from her ex-husband Justin, six years her elder, in 2013. Dating for a year, their daughter was born shortly after the marriage, with a son two years later. But between the births something went wrong. Still, it took Janet another two years from the first thought of divorce until the marriage was over. This is not uncommon; divorce does not happen overnight. Janet and Justin tried to save the marriage, but multiple counseling sessions did not work. It’s been two years, but this successful business owner and mother of two can still remember the divorce process as if it were yesterday.
The Big Kaboom Moment The Big Kaboom Divorce
Janet’s Big Kaboom moment—the realization that the marriage was over—occurred when her daughter was 4 years old. “I knew it was over the day my ex-husband pushed our daughter off the couch after his all night outing.” reflects Janet. This was not Justin’s first bender; he was an alcoholic.
“He actually left the house the night before saying he was going to go get me Shake Shack,” recalls Janet. That was at 8pm in the evening; he showed up at home the next morning at 5am smelling like a brewery. His little girl simply wanted to say “Good Morning” to her Daddy.
Like most alcoholics, Justin was inconsistent in his behaviors and hid things very well, according to Janet. The drinking lead to a lot of fighting in the household, often times in front of the children. Justin normally drank when he could not face his household financial responsibilities. As is the case, money issues contributed significantly to the breakdown of the marriage.
Beyond The Big Kaboom
The divorce was not a bad thing initially, according to Janet. “It felt great for the first year, even better for the second, but then reality set in and it seems to be increasingly overwhelming as my duties as the main provider keep increasing and becoming more demanding.” Granted primary custody, she was paying household expenses, insurance and faced with private schooling costs.
Today, Janet has no relationship with Justin. “My ex refuses to look at me or speak with me. Our only correspondence is through brief texts or emails, most of which he ignores,” laments Janet. To make things worse, Justin is a non-participatory farther. “He has no idea what the kids are doing in school, teacher names, or anything of the sort,” says Janet. “He even refuses to take the kids to social events, such as birthday parties.”
As for the kids, they are still adapting to multiple households and separate parents. Transitioning between homes still poses a challenge due to the young children’s ages and their inability to fully express themselves. Their daughter is currently in counseling even though Justin refuses to sign the consent for her to go. Even so, Janet plows forward, paying for the counseling sessions out of her pocket.
(Divorce) Lessons Learned and Moving On
The daughter of parents who are about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary, Janet never saw herself divorced. In life, we learn from our failures and mistakes. And under most circumstances, a divorce can be easily viewed as a failure. So what did Janet learn from her experience? What one thing does she want to share with Mafia Moms?
“If anyone is considering divorce, think about it long and hard. Talk to someone who has been through it. Seek the help of a psychologist both individually and for marriage counseling,” stresses Janet. Still, in the end, Janet believes that if inconsistent household behaviors negatively impact individuals and children, divorce is an alternative—and many times—the only alternative. Sadly reminiscing, Janet says, “divorce can be ugly and break your spirit and that of your children.”
Given Janet’s circumstances, divorce was the only viable end. But given a divorce do over, what would Janet do differently? “I don’t regret my divorce. I knew I had to get my kids out of that environment. They are and always will be my first priority. I regret not researching and vetting (divorce) attorneys properly.” Two years after the final judgment, Janet is still dealing with legal matters stemming from her divorce. She strongly believes that had she been better prepared and educated going into the divorce, she would have saved time, money and frustration.
Often, people are not prepared for The Big Kaboom: Divorce. We take the mystery out of divorce by providing answers and support with real people and trusted referrals to many types of professionals, including attorneys. We’re not a law firm nor do we provide legal advice, but we know first-hand how the business of divorce works. As a unique, independent, unbiased and experienced service provider, we save clients time and money while reducing the anxiety and frustration so often associated with divorce. For more information about The Big Kaboom, please visit www.thebigkaboom.com or call 305.908.1171.
*Names have been changed for privacy.