A credit card

I’m learning that feeling secure is a funny, fickle thing. Once there is a betrayal like infidelity, all it takes is for the wind to blow wrong, and your security feels threatened – no matter how good things seem to be.

My husband and I have been talking about buying a home. This isn’t a new desire, we owned one before, but when he left the military in 2011, life took a different path. We left our home behind, states away, and entrusted it to renters. Sadly, that didn’t last long. And, eventually, despite our efforts, we lost the home to foreclosure. It was a long, messy, complicated, and frustrating situation. We worked endlessly with the bank, lenders, rental agencies…but, we didn’t get the outcome we wanted.

Such is life, I’ve learned.

We’ve since started to save again, preparing ourselves for when we can purchase a home again. It’s exciting, and a bit nerve wracking. I cannot wait to have a place to call my own once more, to slather paint on the walls that I like, and have more freedom to add my own touch.

A piece of mail came the other day, one that excited my husband. A credit card.

My stomach quickly tangled itself in knots. My husband hasn’t always been good with money. He used credit cards to help fuel unhealthy behaviors, not just sexual in nature, and then left me pinching pennies to buy groceries. Just the sight of the card made me nervous.

His idea was simple. Use it for one or two small, necessary purchases each month, pay it off immediately. Slowly build our credit back up. It was advice given from a realtor. It makes sense.

It also makes my skin crawl in fear.

It is linked to our bank account, which sends me a text message any time he spends money. And so, that credit card is in open view. Nothing can be hidden. Nothing sneaky can occur. We made a small gasoline purchase on it yesterday, and within moments, my phone beeped. A text, confirmation of what was spent. A safety net.

But still, I felt uneasy. It has been a reminder of what was. I’ve tried to encourage my own self – even this can be new. But, I dislike the feeling of being asked to trust. I can feel myself wanting to grasp for control.

I don’t feel entirely confident in this approach yet. Maybe it will take time. Will it be helpful, if we’re wise and careful? Sure. We have no other debts, we pay on nothing else each month. But, I don’t like it. It comes with too many memories of what was, old patterns and habits. Old struggles, and a marriage I never want to go back to.

I guess I still have a lot of bottled up fears, and wounds. I’m working through them as they come.

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