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The $200,000 Secret I Kept From My Wife
(AND HOW I SURVIVED THE BIG REVEAL)
This month, I want to use this space to tell you just how much I love my wonderful wife, Marjorie. She has been my valentine for 22 years, and that’s saying something because it takes a special woman to stay with me for even a week! Not only does she have enduring love, but she has real allegiance. And I’m not just saying that — I have proof. In a nutshell, here’s how I know my wife believes in me: When she found out (after our marriage, I might add) that I was nearly $200,000 in debt, she didn’t run screaming for the exit. I’ll never forget the conversation. On a Saturday afternoon about six months after Marjorie and I tied the knot, she went out to get the mail. I was relaxing in the family room, and when she came back with the stack of envelopes, she headed into the kitchen. Seconds later, she yelled, “Carmen! Who is Sallie Mae, and why does she say you owe her $72,000?” Well, Sallie Mae was the corporation in charge of my student loans. Until that moment, I’d justified keeping my debt quiet by telling myself that it had never come up in conversation, so I hadn’t exactly lied about it. But now, I knew the jig was up. I’d thought I could get away with it, but she’d nailed me! Deciding
offhand comedy was my best course of action, I popped my head into the kitchen and said, “Honey, that’s ridiculous. I don’t owe Sallie Mae $72,000.” Marjorie said, “Well, thank goodness!” and looked relieved until I followed up with, “It’s actually much more than that!” She nearly fell over in shock. What came next was the first difficult conversation of our marriage. I thought I was done for, but I have to give Marjorie credit. She didn’t scream, cry, or get upset. Instead, she calmly asked me, “How are you going to deal with this?” At that moment, I knew she was in it for the long haul. I told her my plan, she made sure I followed through, and that was the last we spoke about the matter. That was just one of many times in my life when I realized I’d made an amazing decision and married a truly wonderful woman. about that debt or thrown the fact that I deceived her in my face during a fight. In fact, we’ve never even had a full-blown fight — looking back, I can only come up with two small arguments in the last 22 years. When I asked Marjorie years later why she didn’t divorce me on the spot when the debt came out, she said, “You had earning potential, and I had faith in In the years since the bomb dropped, Marjorie has never harassed me
you. I knew you’d pay it back as quickly as possible. Plus, I made an investment in you when we got married.” Truth be told, had the shoe been on the other foot, I don’t know how I would have reacted. She made the difficult conversation easy, and I’ll be forever grateful for that. So, on that note, happy Valentine’s Day to my wonderful wife! Marjorie, we’ve come all the way from negative $200,000 to here. P.S. To be perfectly honest, I’m keeping one more secret from my wife. Recently, another woman came into my life, and she’s competing with Marjorie for prime real estate in my heart. Her name is Konnor, and she’s the sweetest granddaughter a guy could have. Marjorie, I love you, but Konnor is my honey, and I’m her man!
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