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Linda's Story

“The first question my boss asked Richard was ‘Does Linda know?’,” explains Linda. “He had to admit that I didn’t. So, part of the agreement was my boss would lend him the money - —but Richard had to tell me.”

Linda’s first reaction to her husband’s confession? Anger. The second overwhelming feeling was guilt: “How did I miss this?”

There hadn’t been any obvious signs of a problem. Yes, money was tight, but it had been for a while. Linda hadn’t seen any of the bills because Richard always looked after the finances. As far as she was concerned, it was business as usual.

In retrospect, she saw things that didn’t add up: Richard’s uncle had died and left them money. The couple bought a car and kept the rest of the money in a joint account. One day, Linda went looking for the statement book and couldn’t find it.

Their finances were in ruins. Her trust in Richard was truly shaken. “The strangest thing for me is I’m not a gambler of any kind,” says Linda. “For me it’s: I worked hard for this and I want to keep it a bit longer. So it kind of blew me away.”

But Linda has always been a practical person, so she didn’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the anger and guilt. “Survival kicked in,” says Linda. “I had to make sure the kids were OK. I just thought ‘This is what we have to do’ and I came up with a plan. I arranged with my boss to take $200 off my paycheque. And I told Richard—we’re going to have to make up the shortfall.”

Once they had a handle on everything and a clear plan of action, they approached the kids and explained it to them.

“Richard’s counsellor said I could come in with him or by myself if I wanted to, but I am used to dealing with things myself, rationalizing it and then get over it.”

In hindsight, Linda sees the benefits of getting help and advises it for spouses now going through what she did. “Don’t feel guilty—don’t let that enter your mind. And if you feel you can’t handle it yourself, get help and use the resources that are available to you.”

Linda's story
Linda’s first reaction to her husband’s confession? Anger. The second overwhelming feeling was guilt.

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