When the bubble bursts and you start to fall. When we first married, my husband was buying into what he thought was a thriving business. The person he was buying it from was a close family member.
The kind you would instinctively assume would have your back no matter what. 6 years later we discovered that was not true.
We got married and lived in a small apartment in a not so marvelous part of the city but it was within our budget.
At this stage the family member discussed selling the business with my husband. I probably should have given my opinion then but it was a family business and I didn’t want to later be told ‘It’s your fault xyz’. They kept the business and my husband was often told to buy things through this business for our private life.
Shortly after our first year of marriage we moved to a rented house in a better suburb. We had been trying at this stage to have a baby for about a year, with no success.
My husband was then convinced by the family member to buy us a house, as the rented house was no longer safe. The foundation was sinking.
We discussed options and costs and were told not to worry, we can use the money from the business, they would just increase *John’s salary to cover the costs.
I was working for a busy GP practice. I had to resign during my last year of fertility treatment as I was always to sick from the hormones to work.
It took us 5 years and R 250 000 to have our first child, *Joseph was born in 1996. Around this time I discovered that the business my husband was buying in to was actually going into debt. I had stopped working and was now a full time mom.
In 1997, the bubble burst, big time. The business went into liquidation, we nearly lost our house as my husband was listed as one of the business partners and our house was a cc, with him as a partner. I also discovered that I was pregnant with child number 2. *Joseph was 9 months old at the time.
My husband went into voluntary liquidation. The family member managed to make sure his house was safe. Thankfully a good friend in the legal business helped us move the house from a CC to my name. We have an ANC marriage contract so everything, the house and 2 cars were put under my name.
The first thing I did was find temporary work as a receptionist, no one wants to hire a pregnant woman. My husband eventually found a job when I was 32 weeks into my pregnancy. He held that job for the next 4 years, it was an NGO and the politics eventually got to him.
As I have said previously my husband is a nice guy, he is no good at politics. He had to go to the CCMA, he won his case and this kept us going for the 3 months it took for him to find a new job.
My new baby, a girl this time, *Shirley, came with me to a flexible job I had found doing data capture. She was 2 weeks old when I started there.
When she was 4 months old, she started at a creche and I found full time work back at my old boss.
In the space of 6 years we went from having no money worries, to almost losing everything we had.
This was not the last time this trusted family member nearly cost us everything, we are still not recovered.
*A reminder that names have been changed and pictures are free images from WP*