Dear Ms. Vicki,
I have a serious problem that I need your advice about because it's tearing up my marriage: I've been married for almost three years to my husband. He's a 1st sergeant with almost 18 years in the Army.
He was previously married for 13 years to a mean woman who wasn't very supportive to his career at all. They had two children together, and the children live with their mother in Texas. I didn't break up their marriage but, honestly, we were dating and became very serious before his divorce.
His wife at the time became quite angry and jealous when she found out about our relationship because I am much younger and prettier than she is. She's in her 40s and I'm 28.
So this is my first question to you: Why are older women so intimidated and jealous of younger women? After all, Ms. Vicki, if they were doing what they should be doing to take care of their man, he wouldn't leave them for a younger woman.
The second problem I wanted to discuss with you is about my husband's pay. His wife and kids are getting so much of his money in alimony and child support that he doesn't have the money to take care of me and my children. This is getting depressing because I believed I was marrying a man with rank and that the rank would equal privilege.
The only thing I'm getting is stress and worry from trying to make it from the 1st to the 15th of every month while his ex-wife and kids are living the high life off his money. Plus, Ms. Vicki, she has a job. She's a GS11 or 12 supposedly. How can my husband get his child support and alimony changed?
Signed, Almost on Welfare
Well hello, Young Pretty Wife on Welfare,
I can't say that I'm sorry to hear about your recent struggles, but I do have some words of wisdom to share with you. You should listen to some old R&B music and the blues that my mother used to play. A Johnny Taylor song called "It's Cheaper to Keep Her" comes to mind.
Of course, as a child I didn't understand what the song was about but I remember learning the words and singing along every time I heard it. Your husband has probably learned that "it's cheaper to keep her". Meaning, he should have stayed married to his first wife because it doesn't sound like he could afford a divorce.
Here's one verse that reminds me of your situation: I know you think the grass is greener way over on the other side, when that judge give you that dirty look, you may as well put your money in Momma's pocketbook. That's why it's cheaper to keep her. Cost too much to leave her alone, yeah I know it's cheaper to keep her, yeah. Cause you gonna pay some alimony if you leave home, I tell y'all, it's cheaper to keep her. All the fellas know what I'm talking about.
Sounds familiar, huh? Second, his children have every right to be taken care of financially by their father. It's his obligation. If his ex-wife has a job, good for her. Guess what? The judge awarded her alimony. Her pay from her job, her alimony and child support is none of your business.
Third, why don't you get a job? I know a lot of pretty young women who work. I'm one of them and you can be, too.
Fourth, where is your baby daddy and why isn't he paying you child support? That's who you should be inquiring about, not your husband's ex-wife and children.
Fifth, Girl, ain't nobody jealous because you are young and pretty ... and broke, I might add. Forty is the new 20, and 50 is the new 30. Older women don't have to try and live their lives through the eyes of a 20-year-old.
Listen, I get it: You thought you were "marrying up." You wanted to be taken care of, and you wanted rank and privilege. My issue is with your entitlement attitude. We don't owe you anything because you're young and pretty. My grandmother used to say: "If you give a dance, you've got to pay the band." Looks like you started dancing way too early to some music you didn't understand.
Good luck with it! Ms. Vicki