It’s not like I wasn’t willing to participate in all of this. I taught piano lessons. I worked temporary jobs, dabbled in crafts and other efforts to earn money. But it was never enough for me. Without fail, in time I would start using the cards again. Like touching the first domino the others would fall. Within a couple of years we’d be right back where we were with the credit cards maxed out, our finances in shambles. But now the equity loans, too.

Riding a financial roller coaster ride became our way of life. I became a master at hiding, juggling and manipulating my husband and our creditors.

Riding a financial roller coaster ride became our way of life. We’d run everything up then scramble to find a way to refinance, calm things down for a while then head right back to where we’d been and higher. I became a master at hiding, juggling and manipulating my husband and our creditors.

Harold’s career with the bank was going well. By all bank standards his future was bright. But not by my standards. I thought he deserved so much more. He simply did not make enough money and given the banking industry, I doubted if he ever would. And I told him so. I didn’t trust him to be the leader in our marriage. He needed my intervention. There were so many areas I believed he could improve. I took him on as an improvement project. I “encouraged” him to think about a new career, something that would pay us what he was worth. I nagged and pleaded. He resisted. I suggested and directed. He withdrew. I wouldn’t give up.

We were the quintessential financially mismatched couple. I spent to feel good and to prove that I could, to prove to myself that we were not poor. His inclination was to not spend to make sure we didn’t become poor. Despite all of our differences and the horrible financial strain on our marriage, he never gave up on me. Neither of us ever left, not even for a day, a fact I can only contribute to the mercy of God and the undying commitment of my husband. A lesser man might have and with good reason.

In my heart I was sure that prosperity and incredible wealth were right around the next bend. I had to believe that for my life to make any sense. My job, I determined, was to find it and to just hold on by any means until I did. And I knew I could change my husband’s mind so that he would be as driven as I to be successful.

Just as I’d planned I found it. Prosperity, wealth. Well, at least the promise for how we could be prosperous and wealthy.

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