Being a white collar wife means that you are constantly readjusting your life to accommodate the ever changing landscape of everyday living within the confines of what I call, "the white collar crime machine". Each stage of the process, (and it is a very long process), brings with it new challenges. In the beginning you must endure the excruciating wait as the slow wheels of justice can take years just to get to the indictment phase. Then there is the constant wonder of how long your husband's sentence will be. What will become of your family while he's away? Can your marriage survive a long separation, especially under such dire circumstances? How will you live without your loved one emotionally as well as financially? Why did this happen? How could he do this? How will my children survive the sins of their father? There are no easy answers for any of these questions but every step of the way wives must keep the faith that all is not lost. They must also learn to normalize a very abnormal and fluid existence for the sake of their family.
Most living organisms learn to adapt to their ever changing environment no matter how inhospitable as a means of survival. White collar wives are no different. It's hard enough to have to adapt to the expected gradual changes of life but white collar wives must adjust to frequent and nearly uninhabitable shifts in their lives without warning. With each shift comes more normalizing as they must right their ship with every pounding wave that threatens to send their family to the bottom of the sea. The struggle to stay upright is as constant as it is brutal. It is financially and emotionally draining on all family members. What once was an existence of comfort and security and the ability to depend on a future of "normal shifts" has now become a never ending nightmare that you can never awake from. Each phase of the white collar crime machine brings with it another set of seemingly insurmountable circumstances that must be dealt with and normalized. As each phase becomes a part of your life it gets blended into all of the other parts that have come before it. This then becomes "the new normal" which really is nothing more than an unrecognizable mess you now call your life.
Most white collar wives have become adept at the legal process and our knowledge could rival any trained paralegal on the planet. From grand juries to plea deals to prison protocol, white collar wives are experts in their decidedly unchosen field of study. But that and a dime won't buy us a cup of coffee. This knowledge does, however, help other white collar wives who are new to the white collar crime machine and is shared in The Secret Lives of White Collar Wives. This closed face book group continues to grow in number and the supportive nature of the group helps white collar wives to no longer feel alone.
There are thousands of white collar wives in need of support all over the world. I know this because I hear from them regularly. White collar crime isn't something that one deals with and then it is gone. It is a life sentence for every family member of just getting through to the next phase and then living with the aftermath for the rest of your life. There is no escape. There is only the next new normal.
I am a former White Collar Wife writing about my experience of recovery.
- I began blogging on the subject of white collar wives after experiencing the devastating consequences of my, (former), husband's financial crime. My goal was to reach other women who are suffering or have suffered as I did so that they wouldn't have to walk this dark and uncertain path alone. The blog also serves to educate the public regarding the stigma wives and families face as a result of guilt by association. The truth is that wives and children are the FIRST victims of many white collar crimes as a result of the acute breach of trust and ensuing financial ruin that is brought upon them by a man whose primary obligation is to protect his family. As a result of the positive response to my blog essays I created a private on-line support group, The Secret Lives of White Collar Wives. The purpose of the group is to provide a safe and private place of acceptance and empowerment. Our community continues to grow both nationally as well as internationally. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a private screening into the group. (A request made directly to the group page will not be accepted).
In addition to my advocacy work on behalf of white collar wives and families I have developed a lecture on ethics in the workplace. I urge all who are serious about compliance and risk to contact me for a compelling hour of "Truth and Consequences: Easy Money Isn't Easy" from a new voice with a new perspective on enforcement. Humans are vulnerable to many temptations and too often fail to consider the dire consequences one bad decision can have on their and their families lives.