Though both Harold and I had made big mistakes, I was the one primarily who had brought us to the point of financial and emotional ruin. I knew what had to happen. I needed to start making major financial contributions to our marriage partnership. I had made far too many withdrawals. I went back to work.

Because I earned my real estate license, I was able to combine property management with sales, providing a steady income plus commissions. It was a good thing, too, because Harold decided he needed to stay home for a while.

What an amazing turn of events. We immediately eliminated all day care costs. Two little boys got to spend huge amounts of time with their dad who also took over many of the household tasks. It was awkward at first, but I adapted. Being scared witless was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. I was willing to try anything.

We had to learn frugality–a new concept for me. It didn’t come naturally by any means. But we were shocked at how much we could cut back.

Slowly we began to communicate. We began to know each other on a level we’d not known before. We had to hang on to each other, there we no one else who understood what we were going through. We were just too embarrassed and ashamed to reach out.

At the same time we had to learn frugality–a new concept for me. It didn’t come naturally by any means. But we were shocked at how much we could cut back. The most amazing thing is that no one, including the kids, really noticed our scaled-back standard of living. It just goes to show that others are not nearly as impressed by our artificial lifestyles as we think they are.

Gradually, we reversed our spending habits, we began to get out of debt and our drastically reduced living requirements became our way of life. Things went so well that in 1985 we were able to go into business for ourselves in a more practical and sensible way. With backgrounds in banking and real estate we opened our own industrial real estate company.

By that time we had struggled through 10 years of financial recovery. We didn’t have a good master plan, but still by this time we had paid back the major portion of the debt; and things were going reasonably well. I was becoming impatient and began looking for a way I could bring fresh new excitement into my life and at the same time make enough additional income to get rid of the debt once and for all.

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