What’s love got to do with it?


Dear Violet,

My uncle left me a large sum of money when he passed away last year. My husband is not aware of the inheritance, and my uncle made sure it was placed in a secure trust for me and me only, no claims can be brought by my husband, (grown) children or siblings. Likewise my parents are prevented from any claims on the trust.

This is a very large amount for my family, as we are a two income family, and our current household income (after 24 years of marriage) is under $65k per year, with only about $4,000 in savings. No retirement, nor investments, and we do not own our home, still owing about $78,000 in mortgage. The inheritance left was $10.5 million dollars, with $5 million available immediately and the rest to be paid over the next 20 years (at 2.25 million, estimated, per year in annuity). The upfront amount is in an account that I have not yet touched.

Violet, I thought I loved my life and my husband, but I have not said a word to this man that I married in the last year about the money. I am, instead, thinking about leaving him, divorcing and then making my children small deposits to make sure they are safe, but not spoiled, and then just living my own life. Next month I will get the first yearly annuity payment and I know I need to decide before then what my choice will be. I am realizing that perhaps I value the lifestyle this money can bring to me, and me alone, much more than my relationship.

My question to you is, since my husband worked two jobs to pay my way through college years ago, and helped me raise my two children from my first marriage should I give him a small sum, along with my children, or should I make a clean cut and walk away with my own good fortune? I do love him, but if he hasn’t saved more money is that really on me?

Looking for advice,

My name is the one on the bank account

Dear My name,

If I understand your letter correctly, you are asking me if I believe you should compensate a good man for taking care of you and your children for over 21 years, one who worked several jobs to see that you had an education and a good home life, putting himself and his needs last?

OK, honestly, I believe you should be thinking a little more clearly before tossing aside an individual who by your own letter has treated you well. A man who has been steadfast and who put yours needs before his own. As there was no mention of any mistreatment or selfishness on the part of your husband, at all, you clearly are the one who is selfish in this scenario.

While I would never want anyone to stay in an unhappy relationship, nor would I want anyone to be married to someone who doesn’t appreciate them (I mean your husband in this example) I do believe you should be up front, honest and financially generous to your soon to be ex husband if you choose to leave.

Since you are writing to me from Texas, I believe you could be held liable under community property, though the inheritance itself falls outside this type ruling, good kindness does not fall outside this understanding. In other words, while the law would not give him the money, a kind jury might.

Since you (believe that you) want to be single, by all means move forward with that decision. However I believe you should leave your long supporting spouse comfortable when you do so, at the least securing his home, his vehicle and a nice retirement.

Think twice before throwing back a great catch,


Dear Violet is a relationship advice column, covering both domestic relationships and familial relationships, as well as friendships. If you have something you want to get advice about, write in and get a third party, no ax to grind perspective. Welcome to Violet’s world. Send questions, comments or concerns attention: Ask Violet c/o Gonzales Inquirer at publisher@gonzalesinquirer.com.