05
Feb

The Third Time’s A Charm And Other Surprising Statistics- Why Marriage May Not Be For Everyone…

With “Singles Awareness Day” right around the corner, I was on a call with my former Coffield Unit Bride who cancelled last February. 

Apparently, she’s had a change of heart? I’m as shocked as you are. Could it be the Cupids arrow drew her back to the Fiancée she decided was “too much work” a year ago? 

Your guess is as good as mine. I have no idea what’s going to happen but, I’m prepared for her another “last minute” change of heart. Marrying an inmate isn’t an easy choice for anyone. 

I was pretty surprised last year about my Bride cancelling her Coffield Wedding but, after a lengthy phone call with her, understood why she had decided to spend her Valentines Day single rather than married to an inmate who attempted to control her money from behind prison walls. 

Personally, I was never sad being single. The fact is that most of my adult life has been spent married or going through a divorce. Being single was the best thing that ever happened to me. I finally had time to spend with my sister, son and nieces. 

After my first divorce, I waited years to remarry. Once bitten, twice shy. I was married for ten years and spent another five years fighting for custody of my son. 

My second marriage started out great. He was not only kind to my son but also quite generous to me. For the first time in my entire life, everything was first class. From limos to the airport to five star resorts, the sky was the limit but, I refused to quit my “day job.” Why? I didn’t trust anyone and wanted my own credit cards and checking account that’s why. 

After my first divorce, I learned that not establishing my own credit was a mistake on my part. I had never bought anything on my own that wasn’t paid for in cash.  

My first marriage car payments were too expensive for me to afford going through my first divorce that I gave my first husband my car back. Paying two attorneys for five years of my custody battle was killing me. No offense to all of my attorney friends but, if there’s a greedy attorney, I’ve hired them. 

The best advice I can give anyone is to get a receipt for anything you “give” to an attorney. One of my attorneys kept my wedding ring and another room furniture, jewelry and furs right out of my home but failed to tell the judge that she had been compensated. If I sound tainted, there are valid reasons.  

I didn’t think attempting to buy my own car during the divorce would be a problem. But, I lacked established credit.

To overcome the issue of a down payment and money I didn’t have because my attorneys were milking me dry, I bartered one of my Mink coats for the down payment. After all, it was Christmas and who didn’t want a Mink coat under the tree? 

There was a button for an A/C but, by June, I would learn that my Geo Storm didn’t have ah A/C. For nearly four years, I made my payments early and struggled through Texas summers. 

Buying a car that wasn’t a clunker on my own was a big deal to me back then. I didn’t need a Mink coat in Texas and since I was a clothing model, I had two more at home. 

I’ve been bartering most of my life. No money? No problem? Everything is worth something to someone most of the time. I knew those furs would come in handy and, I was right. 

My twin sister and I are so good at “flipping stuff for profit” that we created The Pawning Planners together. We take trades and flip em at Texas Twins Treasures. 

When you “grow up poor,” you count every penny. After struggling to even buy my own car during my first divorce, I was far from anxious to divorce my second husband but, infidelity and tax evasion were the main reasons that I “once again” headed to the courthouse. I was melancholy about this decision. 

Giving up the luxury lifestyle I had become accustomed to along with vacation homes wasn’t easy for someone like me who knew abject poverty. 

When I married my second husband, I was driving the second car I had bought for myself. It was a Ford Taurus and it had an actual air conditioner. My son and I were thrilled about finally having an A/C. 

Buying myself two new cars in five years was a big deal to me and although my latest car wasn’t a Mercedes, it was new and I was proud of it. 

My second had husband decided that my new car “wasn’t good enough. I will get you a better car that’s luxurious.” Like an idiot, I signed over the title to my husband’s nephew and began driving a shiny new Cadillac but…it wouldn’t be mine. 

I’d realize the grey Cadillac was financed in my second husband’s name when I filed for my second divorce but, my second new car was long gone by then. 

My first marriage was fraught with violence. It took me ten years to leave because I had nowhere to go. Also, although I worked, my first husband controlled my money deposited into our joint checking account. I couldn’t run because I couldn’t get to my own money to run with. 

There’s a reason I refused to quit working during my second marriage and the reason was my first marriage. I wasn’t giving up my income or the credit cards I had fought so hard to have in my wallet but, my moronic decision to believe that my second husband had bought me a new Cadillac in exchange for my shiny new Taurus would be a pipe dream. 

I’m a survivor. But, anything I’ve learned was the hard way. I’ve trusted the wrong people to do the right thing throughout my life and it’s always cost me money. 

Because I had agreed to sign over my Taurus, I now had no car of my own. 

I decided to go to the Cadillac dealership my “loaner Cadillac” was serviced at and apply for a job. I needed three things, a car, a job and insurance. 

Every “job” is a self portrait of a person who does it. Autograph your work with excellence.

Leaving the job at Texas Patios that I had worked for twelve years that would never pay my bills. No, I didn’t feel guilty about my loyalty. Why? Because I had sold millions of dollars in merchandise. 

I made plenty of money for my former employer and due to my commission cut, had struggled for years to pay my bills. 

I was the top salesperson every year I worked at Texas Patios and after my first year, my commission was cut “because I was earning more than the managers.” 

FYI, for all of my other “female friends”  out there who feel the need to be loyal to an employer who isn’t loyal to you- snap out of it. 

Change is frightening but, if you can’t pay your bills, move on. I wish I had years ago but, fear kept me from changing jobs. 

Looking back, my life experiences gave me far more education than I ever learned in school. 

What I should have done was quit when my commission was cut but, change terrified me and going through a custody battle required stability. Changing jobs isn’t a good idea for anyone in a custody battle. But, if you cannot make ends meet, you need to leave. 

Working my day job at Texas Patios for all of those years, I also worked part time jobs at night and on my days off to supplement my income prior to marrying my second husband. 

By the time I married again, my second husband wanted me to quit working but, I went part time at Texas Patios instead and quit my other “bill paying” part time jobs that were necessary for me to keep prior to my second marriage. 

Sure, it appeared to everyone else that my continuing to work was unnecessary but, I had trust issues and chose to travel with my second husband and continue working at Texas Patios while driving that shiny new “wedding present” Cadillac. 

After six years of my second marriage, I just couldn’t take anymore surprises. I was working one of the most lucrative jobs I’ve ever had at Cadillac and, I was far from broke. I put my earnings into a separate account. I didn’t “mix” my money with my second husband. My first husband had taught me not to ever do that again. 

Cadillac provided a demo and free gasoline. I didn’t need the shiny silver car my husband had handed me the keys to so, it sat in the garage. 

I had always assumed that if my job at Cadillac didn’t pan out, at least I had the new Cadillac my second husband had “given me” and wouldn’t have to try and buy another car. 

For me, the car waiting patiently was a “getaway car.” It gave me security but, it was false security. 
My first few months at Cadillac, I was up against the “old dogs.” They’d worked there for years and already had established clients. Being the only female on the sakes floor wasn’t easy but, I’m not a quitter. 

I decided to start my own advertising campaign at Cadillac.  

In order for me to find my own clients, I would need to be creative so, I hired a photographer and used my modeling background to run my own ads in Country clubs. I even coordinated my evening gowns with the cars I pitched month to month. Those ads paid off. 

The “old dogs” laughed but, they weren’t laughing long. I was so busy that I only worked by appointment. I wasn’t afraid to “think outside the box.” Survivors never are. 

It’s a “sink or swim world” and I was swimming for the freedom of paying my son’s private school and providing us a home in a nice area. I wasn’t working to make friends. I was working to make money. 

I can sell anything IF I BELIEVE IN THE PRODUCT. I’ve been the top salesperson in any industry one ever worked in because I’m willing to not only work harder but also, smarter. 

My referral business has always been a priceless commodity. People who had bought patio furniture or furs from me also bought Cadillac’s. 

Relationships are essential to success. I have never treated a client like a number. 

I was direct marketing the people who could afford $60k-110k on an XLR or DTS. Six months after starting in New Car Sales at Cadillac, I was also a force to be reckoned with and making more money than I ever dreamed possible. 

I had decided my “nest egg” was big enough to finally tell my second husband “he could have his mistress because I was going solo.”

Telling me the “car he had given me in exchange for donating my car to his nephew was in his name and financed” was shocking but, after surprise tax liens and yet another round of mistresses, I should have been more alert or mistrusting. I wasn’t. 

I fought my second husband’s tax liens and… I WON. Nothing was in my name. This shocked my ex because I chose to defend myself. Filing Innocent Spouse was the only way that I could get out from under the umbrella of debt my second husband had created. He lived beyond his means and he also owned a tax consultant business. 

“Negotiating tax liens” was a regular way of doing business for my second husband. I had never had an issue with the IRS and was horrified to find both of our names on tax liens. Although my second husband “promised to take care of it,” I didn’t trust anyone with my future. I also had learned that my second husband had plenty of secrets. 

I decided to educate myself to tax law by taking yet another part time job. This time at H&R Block. I have always prepared for my battles. Those tax liens weren’t going to ruin my “hard fought for” credit.  

Thanks to Cadillac, I had a free demo and free gas. Thanks to leaving the job I had kept all those years that wouldn’t pay my bills, I was going to be okay. I wouldn’t own a car but, hey who needs a car payment?

After my second divorce, I didn’t date. I didn’t do anything other than spend time with my family or work. I had no interest in being in love or falling in love with anyone. I liked being alone. I loved it. No one controlled my money. 

“I’ve been down one time. Been down two times. I’m never going back again.”

Lindsey Buckingham 

I didn’t have any surprises anymore. Violence was no longer a part of my life. I stopped living in fear. I became independent and, I loved my life.

No one would ever be unfaithful to me again. No one would ever hit me again either. I enjoyed being single so much that it’s actually surprising that I chose to marry again in my lifetime. But, I did.

Matthew and I have been together for twelve years but, it would be a year after selling him a Cadillac SRX before he invited me to dinner after realizing that “I was pretending to be married.” He was cautious. I wore a wedding ring at all times between marriages. 

I wasn’t “looking for a man.” When I’m at work, I’m working and never went without a wedding ring. I’ve bought a few really nice ones for myself over the years. 

It took Matthew buying me a Crossfire and building me a home to “talk me into marrying him.” I didn’t want to get married. I liked my life. I loved my freedom. 

Late night movies and slumber parties with my twin sister on my days off or road trips were fun and for the first time in my life, I learned that earning enough money to be able to work only one job gave me the time I had never had to spend with my twin sister. I didn’t want to “jinx it.” 

I didn’t want a husband “interfering” with my relationship with my twin sister. It would take time for Matthew to convince me he didn’t want to interfere with my family. 

One year after selling him the SRX, Matthew came back to buy an Escalade. Although he continued to assume that I was happily married, Matthew was about to find out all about my double life. He had told me “your husband must be so proud of you.” I had a photo of my husband and I on my desk as a deterrent just like the wedding ring I had bought myself. I started crying and told the truth about my “faux marriage.” 

I also explained why I was working at Cadillac to have a demo and insurance with a nice income because I was on my own. I told him that I had never dated because I had either been married or crawling through the pain of a divorce and I wasn’t interested in screwing up my life by going into yet another marriage. 

The last thing I wanted was to date anyone. 

Matthew is 12 years older than I am and, he’s patient. A black Crossfire with a cheat title in my name arrived at the dealership a year and a half after I had first met him. 

Not wanting to “owe anyone,” I called him and told him I couldn’t accept such an extravagant gift. He asked me to dinner to discuss it. I invited my twin sister, twin grandnieces, nieces and son to dinner with me. I wanted him to know it was a “package deal.” 

Six months later, Matthew who has been a developer and home builder for nearly 50 years drove me to the house he was building. I thought it was rather large for a single guy and he explained “I’m building this house for your family to come over for slumber parties. Everyone will have their own room and bathroom.” Needless to say, I married him. 

All of these years later, he’s never raised a hand to me. I’ve never had to worry about him having an affair and if something were to happen to him, I doubt I would ever remarry. 

But, marriage is a merger that I broker everyday of the week. How so? I marry couples in exclusive venues. I marry couples in county jails and Prisons. I marry up to 100 couples every year. I also counsel couples I feel may be jumping into the pond without a life raft. I was one of those folks myself not once but, twice. 

Trust is the most priceless commodity in the world and yet, folks fail to realize what a timeless treasure trust is. I wonder if my Coffield Bride is going in “with her eyes wide open?” I will go over this with her long before wedding day. 

To me, clients aren’t numbers. They are people. I would prefer to lose a client than hear about a divorce. 

Single Awareness Day might be depressing for a few folks but, enjoy the time you have to spend solely on yourself. 

Don’t get tied up in a of the “I need a partner” stuff. I didn’t. I loved being single. I loved doing what I wanted when I wanted and by marrying, I didn’t give that up. I’m independent. I have my own credit cards. I pay cash for my cars because I can and I don’t owe anyone anything. If I want to run– I can. This gives me peace of mind. 

My third husband “made a deal” with me when I decided to marry him. The deal? I would have my own car. I would have my own money and credit cards and, if I wanted to leave, he wouldn’t try to stop me. 

All of these years later, that deal still works for not only him but also for my family and I….