Why I Just Ended a 20 Year Relationship

Normally I’m one of those long-term relationship kind of guys.  Even in high school if I dated someone I typically was going for a long lasting and meaningful relationship (which is apparently not normal and shouldn’t even be anywhere near the radar of a high school age person – in my opinion).  But that sense of commitment is one of the many reasons I believe my marriage will last forever.  Shawna and I are committed people.

When it comes to other forms of loyalty I’ve had to learn to keep my sense of commitment in proper perspective.  Like my first mortgage company – Chase Home Finance.  They gave us a mortgage and helped us re-do our mortgage when we were in financial trouble.  But when it came time to re-finance they didn’t give us the time of day, so I had to leave – after all we had been through together.

Wells Fargo SucksMy most recent disappointment is with Wells Fargo (formerly Wachovia).  I opened my first checking account at Wachovia when I was 14 years old – that was 20 Years Ago!  We’ve been through a lot together.  The only car I ever financed was at Wachovia.  I’ve had checking accounts, savings accounts, credit accounts, and even overdraft accounts at Wachovia over the years.  We always had such a great relationship.

Then Wells Fargo came along.  They treated me like a number, closed my overdraft protection account simply because of my recovering credit score (we were broke at one time, now we’re not), ignoring the fact that we had not needed that credit for years, that we weren’t broke anymore, and that we were putting a lot of money in their bank every month.  Then they started charging fee after fee after fee with ridiculous expectations, as though they wanted to have an exclusive relationship with me (their fees scream “bank only with us or we’ll charge you to death, but we’re not going to give you anything for banking only with us”).  Even I don’t go for pushy or one sided relationships – sense of commitment or not.

So I called Wells Fargo.  As expected they were not willing to waive the fees without expecting me to be more committed to them than they would be to me (wanting me to use my debit card a bunch of times per month so they can earn transaction fees etc).  The guy on the phone was powerless to make any kind of decision to preserve our relationship.  I told him it was ashamed I had to end a 20 year relationship (he sounded not much older than 20 so I’m sure he understood).  At least he wasn’t rude, and I had made it easy by already transferring all the balances.  After 20 years – I closed my accounts.

Do you know anyone who after years and years of marriage they have called it quits?  Does my story with banks describe some of the stories you’ve heard about divorce?  Does any of that hit close to home in your own marriage?  It doesn’t have to be that way.  Don’t act like Wells Fargo.  Marriage isn’t a one sided relationship.  You can’t just take take take for your own personal benefit and never add any value to your spouse or the relationship.  Even if you feel like the one has gives gives gives while your spouse takes takes takes – what have you done to address the issue maturely and productively?  Are you working together to win with money AND marriage?  What do you need to do to keep your marriage account open and healthy?

(I am in no way suggesting money is ever a proper reason for divorce and will never ever suggest such a thing.  I’m merely relating to the hard truth that it IS a reason many choose to divorce and it shouldn’t be that way.)

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