GUILT BY ASSOCIATION
Guilt by association is a common occurrence among white collar wives. Being married to or divorced from a white collar criminal means that to some degree, whether real or imagined, we have a target on our backs. What the public doesn’t understand is that we are victims too. The lives we led were filled with lies and betrayal. And not only do we have to endure the heartache of this betrayal and the legal ramifications of our husband’s criminal actions, we also have to manage the pain and suffering of our children.
Most women have no idea of their husband’s criminal activity but they and their families have to endure the grueling process of the legal system. There are investigations to get through, grand juries and indictments, criminal trials or plea deals and ultimately, in most cases, incarceration. Our lives have been pulled out from under us. In many cases we lose our homes, friends and the life we spent years building. And as if all of that isn’t enough we have to be scrutinized by the public. We didn’t ask for any of it and while we aren’t the ones going to prison we have to suffer the consequences and pay a very high price ourselves because the man we are/were married to has proven to be a menace to society. And if the crime deprived anyone of their pension or caused individuals extreme financial hardship we feel the guilt because the person who perpetrated the crime was someone we trusted ourselves. We feel bad about it and are helpless to do anything to make amends financially or otherwise.
If you suffer from guilt by association you are not alone. With time comes healing and as you forge a new life and become stronger in your own sense of self your feelings of guilt will begin to subside.