11 months ago, I suddenly lost my corporate job (very well paid). It came completely out of the blue, and I suddenly found myself devoid of the rather large income that I had enjoyed for many years. I was convinced that I would find a new job fairly quickly, so I didn’t make any lifestyle changes. I had some savings and I thought I could rely on that until a new position came along.
I didn’t tell my family and friends about my changed circumstances, because I thought I could keep things going and then surprise everyone with the news that I had found a bigger and better position and change jobs.
I continued to live my life as usual, going out to dinner with friends, buying expensive Christmas and birthday gifts for my loved ones, and enjoying occasional girl trips to places like Mexico and the Bahamas.
But now, I’ve found myself in a terrifying position where all my savings are gone, my credit card bills are huge, and I’m too mortified to tell anyone, let alone ask for help.
If I don’t do something soon, I’ll be on the verge of bankruptcy, but I can’t face the thought of suddenly abandoning my way of life.
Of, financially distressed
Dear Jane, I lost my job but refused to cut back; Now I am on the verge of bankruptcy and I don’t know how to tell my family and friends.
Dear financially distressed,
A friend recently told me that he had been speaking to a financial expert in our town, who revealed that we would be surprised at how many locals we think are rich, who are now struggling. Between the pandemic, job changes, smaller-than-expected bonuses, and the stock market crash, many people are trying to maintain their lifestyle with little more than smoke and mirrors.
The international best-selling author offers sage advice on the hottest topics for DailyMail.com readers in her weekly column Dear Jane, Dying Aunt
All this to tell you that you are not alone. This is happening to millions of people.
The sooner we can get out there and be honest, tell others that things are tough, that we can’t afford something, the sooner we’ll buckle down and the sooner that cloak of shame will fall off. And frankly, if someone treats you differently because you don’t have the money you once did, then we all know they weren’t really friends, and good luck.
I understand how devastating and scary it is to lose not only your job, but potentially your status, but if you are having financial difficulties, you need to stop trying to keep up with the Joneses, because as you have pointed out, bankruptcy is on the horizon and there is no way to hide that. You have to stop pretending everything is fine, stop worrying about what people think, and get yourself out of this mess.
How do you get out? Start thinking about moving to reduce at least some of your bills. If you own your home, you may be able to rent it out and find a smaller rental until you get better. If a corporate job isn’t coming, get yourself a job, any job, whether it’s in a retail store or a coffee shop, to make some money.
Talk to your credit card companies about a financial plan to pay them back, then, financially strapped, cut those things. You need to start living within your means, which means not using credit cards or spending on unnecessary things.
There are apps like Pocket Expense that let you track your spending, set your own budgets, and alert you when you’ve reached your limit.
It’s easy to read your letter and make judgments about your situation, but the fear that our lifestyles will change, the fear that the world will see that we’re not good enough, is the most human of emotions and something we don’t you should be ashamed I suspect that once you start making changes and find a job that isn’t the kind of job you’re used to, but is a job nonetheless, you’ll feel more free than you can imagine right now.
Good luck, DF. I fully hope you fly again.
My husband and I have been married for over 20 years, but it has been eight years since he really kissed me. He has always said that he hates deep tongue kissing, but for the first ten years of our relationship he really tried it because he knew how much he enjoyed it.
Then all of a sudden he just stopped and since that day he has gone as far as to push me away if I try to kiss him like that.
I can’t help but feel like it’s me. What changed so that it is no longer worth trying?
My friends have told me to talk to him about it, but I’m too afraid that bringing it up will make him tell me that everything I’ve been fearing about myself is true.
From, no longer be kissed
Dear free kiss,
Dear Jane Sunday Service
Good God, keeping up with the Joneses is tiring
I know this because I spent many years doing it, and the root of the problem is that I didn’t feel good enough. She was so terrified that other people would see through the perfect veneer to the scared girl hiding below, the girl who knew she wasn’t smart or skinny or pretty enough.
Most of us have similar fears. That’s why we tell stories about how successful we are, even when we’re on the brink of bankruptcy. But when we learn that we are not defined by our jobs, our financial success, or designer labels, we set ourselves free.
Once we’re vulnerable enough to be honest, we attract the right people who will love and support us not for what we have, but for who we are.
You don’t say what it is you’re scared to find out if you talk to your husband, but I guess it’s something like you’re not sexy enough, he’s not attracted to you, you, in short, not being enough for him. Like the previous letter today, this one is also, once you start digging, about shame.
And yet, he’s always been clear about hating deep tongue kissing, which tells me this isn’t about you, but entirely about him. In fact, he has put your needs above his own and has tried very hard to please you.
I suspect that his stopping has nothing to do with you, and more so that after all these years of marriage, he’s shedding the mantle of pretending. We often try on something that we know we don’t like very much, but for a while we do it to please our partner. As time goes by, we feel more comfortable, confident that we are in a strong relationship, and no longer feel the need to pretend. Also, we get lazy.
When I met my husband, we spent the first few summers on his boat. Every time he suggested going out on the boat, he would rush me to jump in. Years later he asked me what was wrong with me, because now I hate going out on the boat. I explained that it wasn’t that he was pretending that I liked boats, but that he was trying it on on me in an attempt to do something that would make him happy. After a few years, I had to confess. I’m just not a boat person. Just as her husband is clearly not a kisser.
But, it is important that you talk about this with him. Not with fear, but calmly and without emotion, in an attempt to try to understand.
And then kiss-free, it can be something you learn to live without. A marriage of 20+ years is a wonderful thing in this day and age, and clearly there are many things about your marriage that have made it successful. Don’t let a little thing like tongue kissing derail him.