Being made an involuntary sister wife was enough.
I had patiently been waiting for him to follow through with his agreement. The last I had heard about the status of the cash-out was that it would be available in December, 2010.
It was now April, 2011.
Suddenly, I wanted the money. I was legally entitled to it. Deep down, I knew it would be another battle, but I was willing to fight – just once again – for what I wanted. I was tired of being nice.
I emailed him, asking what was going on. He responded, and wondered why I was after his money. It had nothing to do with me. I had done absolutely nothing to earn it, even theoretically.
I was furious. I was not going to be made to look like a greedy ex-wife. At best, I would come away with $10,000.00.
It’s standard in a divorce, I replied. That is all. Nothing personal. I’m not interested in you or your life.
He told me I’d get the money. He was just having trouble with one account.
I’d just like to see the checks in the mail, I wrote back, trying (unsuccessfully) to conceal my heightened emotion.
I hardly believe that accounting departments are dragging this out. This divorce could have been over MONTHS and MONTHS ago had it not been for, well, your laziness. Please give me a weekly update on the progress of it all. Please mail me a copy of the letter. I am tired of asking, but I will keep doing it. Just get it done. Finish it. Hallelujah, free at LAST!!!!!!
He responded, telling me that we were, actually, divorced. He had gotten the papers in the mail.
I know!!!!! It’s the most amazing thing ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Too bad you got married four months too early. High fives to the sister wives!!!!!
He did not respond further. I half-hoped that he had laughed at my sarcasm, too. (I mean, COME ON. How much more ridiculous could this circus get?)
A week later, I got word that he would be mailing my half of the proceeds.
To my surprise, I did receive the check in the mail. He even included the balances on the accounts. I was elated; overjoyed. I kindly thanked him. It was finally over. I couldn’t believe it, really, so I double-checked the paperwork. Sure enough, there was one account missing. Two, actually — but one barely held $1,000.00. I decided it wasn’t worth the fight.
Still, my heart sank. A couple thousand dollars more was at stake. I needed that money. I most definitely had earned it, even theoretically.
Adrenaline and anger overtook me. I had a little bit of downtime at work, so I decided to engage the “enemy” again. We re-assumed our battle stations, and shelled out piercing, quick dialogue.
Spoke with a woman from (your retirement company) today, I wrote, calmly. There isn’t a good reason why the (last) account is taking so long. Please get on it. It is — again — beyond time for this to be done. Make it happen. I know you can. I would appreciate it if you would please acknowledge that you received (this) email.
He had gotten it.
That wasn’t so hard, was it? So, are you working on it?
He asked me to not talk to him that way. He had just sent me a check for a lot of money, and, yes, he was on it.
Look, I just want this to be over with. As I have said before, I want you out of my life. You have dragged every single possible part of this divorce out as long as you possibly could. It doesn’t take six months to cash out a retirement.
I don’t trust you, I don’t believe you, and I certainly do not respect you. Just follow through to your end of the agreement like a man. Thanks so much.
(Or, as some would say, “Money talks, and bullshit walks.”)
And then, he basically told me to, well, fuck off.
But, no, I will not “fuck off”. This is a binding, legal document, which you are obligated to fulfill. If you’d like to not keep hearing from me I can hire a lawyer to ride your ass, but then that will cost you more money in the long run. Your choice.
No need to get pissy. Just get the money. End of story. End of a long, long story.
I finished typing the last sentence, quite proud of the Spinal Tap reference, my attempt to appeal to his emotions, and my ability to hold back at least some anger.