I’ve been separated from my husband for three years, haven’t seen him in two, and his stuff is still in my house. During our marriage, I found out he failed to pay our mortgage when I saw a letter that said our house was scheduled for auction. I had a part in our marriage ending and blame myself. But he stopped paying the mortgage before the things I did. He also has our tax documents for 2008 and 2009 and has not filed, despite letters from me and the tax agencies. What can I do to change this? And what should I do with his stuff? He lives happily in another state with his Internet girlfriend. I might sound stupid, but I’m not. I’m just overwhelmed by everything on my plate.
When problems seem more complicated than you can handle, it’s normal to feel crushed. Begin healing by releasing your fears. Cry or rant, alone or with a trusted friend. But don’t wallow for more than two or three days. If you do, you will miss your unique opportunity for transformation.
That’s because every experience of feeling overwhelmed by life is an invitation. You are being called to shed your perceived limitations and rise into a more powerful, capable and wise version of yourself. So rather than nurturing stress about the mess your ex-husband left you, focus on the reality that you are more powerful than any of your problems.
Take a few baby steps toward empowerment. Send your ex-husband a registered letter notifying him of your intention to engage in a little “spring cleaning.” State that you plan to donate some of your community property to charity if he does not make other arrangements by a specific date. Set a date and time for the items to be picked up that is three weeks from the date of the letter. Cleave to that date and time. If you receive no response, send another letter. After that, donate what you no longer need and send your ex-husband the receipt from the charity so he can claim the tax deduction, if he chooses to file.
Since you do want to file back taxes but lack proper documents, get professional help. Someone like Marybea Varvel at www.houseofnumbers.net can guide you through the thicket of paperwork and legalities necessary to put things right. You might also consider contacting a divorce attorney. You’ve been waiting too long for things to change. It’s time to take action.
My former manager was a real jerk to his female employees. However, he was friendly and kind to our customers, male and female. The problem is that I always run into customers who knew him. They enjoy reminiscing about him, and I really have to work hard to keep silent. I want to say, “He was a racist, sexist asshole,” but I don’t. What should I say? People always look at me as if they are expecting a confirmation of their beliefs in his sainthood.
Why change a good thing? It’s admirable to maintain silence while someone you don’t admire is being praised. And it’s not unusual for people to have a public face (saintly), and a private face (jerk). If you share your experiences as proof that your former boss is racist or sexist, it’s likely that people will label you a jerk. On the other hand, if someone asks you directly what you thought of him, provide an honest answer, but avoid name-calling. Try: “He had a good rapport with our customers,” or “I am enjoying our current management team a lot.” Be honest, without threatening your job. The effort to open people’s eyes to the range of your former manager’s behavior is not worth the potential fallout.