**This is a Guest Post by Genworth Financial.  All writings and opinions are my own.  Please see my Disclosure statement for more information.**

As I slowly rebuild my financial picture to the healthy, reliable level I need to support me and my three daughters, I often think back to what I could have done differently in my marriage to protect myself in the first place.

Before I met my ex-husband, I had money in the back, a retirement plan, no debt and a secure financial future.  Well, relationships can do funny things to a bank account and it all starts with the line, ‘Sure, you can move in with me!”


I owned my house when I let my ex-husband move in so my first mistake was not asking him to help with the mortgage.  So while I paid for everything, he learned that his financial responsibility was null.  And by the time I got up the courage to ask him to contribute to the household, he was already used to the current status and getting help out of him was  difficult.  In retrospect, I should have never let him move in without a solid financial plan!  I wish I had read 8 Tips for Protecting Your Finances Before You Move In With Someone.  

I sure would have done things differently!  I would have had a solid budget before he moved in, kept separate checking accounts that my money would be secure in, required that he contribute a certain amount to the household from day 1 and never wavered on it.  I would have even created a lease agreement for him to sign that would legally stand up in court if he did not comply.  All very unromantic, but I am SOO in love, things that we women need to do to take care of us.  All of the things that would have protected me from myself and my assets that I had at that time.  Instead, I slowly depleted my assets to support him even though I knew better!

Now, as I recover and am happy to say – recovering faster than I thought I would – I am determined not to fall in that trap again – not that I am anywhere near even ready to date!  But I have children and their future expenses to save for, pets and life to pay for and a nest egg to build for myself.  I even watched this awesome video about Overcoming Planning Anxiety to help me think of things in the future that I might need to deal with as my parents age.

Life has a way of throwing curve balls when you least expect it.  In my opinion, at least, protecting yourself now against the possible financial pitfalls of a new relationship, the “oh but he is the love of my life” lackluster financial decisions that can ruin your financial nest egg – like mine did – and planning for a future that you can not see just yet, are all ways to be at bat when that curve ball comes!

Get the help you need at Genworth.com and make your financial future more important than his clothes in your closet!

**This is a Guest Post by Genworth Financial.  All writings and opinions are my own.  Please see my Disclosure statement for more information.**