I was fortunate to be involved in an amicable divorce with my ex-wife but this doesn’t mean that I’m unaware of how dysfunctional the practice of family and divorce law is in the USA. I just got lucky, that’s all!
Sudden Divorce Syndrome:
Consider the story of Martin Paul featured in an article on MSN Living.
“I don’t want to die, I want to live. But I can’t live with this torture.”
You’d think after hearing somebody say this, that they must be dying from some horrible disease or was maimed on the battlefield, but no. His wife of about 25 years decided to divorce him, use restraining orders to expel him from the home where he couldn’t conduct business from his home office, use trumped-up charges of abuse to deny visitation rights for his children and win a divorce settlement and alimony that is equivalent to 75% of Martin’s monthly income!
Life was going well for Martin, he built up a business worth millions of dollars, a nice home and raised some nice, well-behaved children. At 50 years old he was looking forward to finally winding down and enjoying retirement with his wife while traveling. But based on the whims of his wife, Martin’s life is ruined. The divorce process left him so demoralized that he tried to commit suicide. Martin went from being a man with everything to live for down to nothing to hope for.
If you think that things can’t get any worse than consider the life of Jordan Appel. Much like Martin, Jordan married, built a home and successful business, raised a family and became a respected member of the community. That is until his wife took up a lover and divorced him. Jordan’s divorce worked out much the same way. He was thrown out of the house he had built and has to work 70 hours a week to afford the alimony payments he has to make to his wife who is working part-time and sleeping with her new lover in the house that Jordan built. One day Jordan noticed his personal items that were left in the house being thrown in the trash. It’s like he never existed!
The experiences of men like Martin and Jordan violate so many concepts of justice that it would take a book to enumerate them all. The psychiatrists and social scientists interviewed in the article have labeled the condition Sudden Divorce Syndrome. Apparently getting served with divorce papers by your wife after spending prime years making a living and raising children to a self-sufficient age is hazardous to a man’s health! Go figure!
So how is a man suppose to avoid this fate? John Gottman, PhD has this to say:
That means husbands (and wives) should direct at least five positive remarks or actions to their spouses for every negative one. Any less and the marriage is in trouble.
Dr. Gottman, you’re a dumbass. But you’re not as big an idiot as Howard Markman, PhD who says:
…husbands should attune themselves to their wives’ “bids” — for attention, for affection, for all the things that sustain a relationship — and do their best to provide for them. In truth, husbands are not built for the demands that wives often place on them; they are less inclined to talk things out or to display emotion. But then, marriage isn’t easy for either party. When a wife wants out, it is usually not out of selfishness or senseless cruelty. Sometimes the love simply runs out. Husbands should do what they can to keep that love alive. That way, they might hang on to the many delights that marriage affords and spare themselves the countless horrors that divorce can bring.
You gotta be kidding me! After all the torture that men like Martin and Jordan have endured, you still have the audacity to say that it’s the man’s fault? As researchers and men of some influence in relationships and family law, you can’t once call out a spoiled cunt for who she is??? You can’t advocate for reform in family and divorce law so that men like Martin and Jordan can get a fair shake??? You guys are pond scum!
I don’t put this all on dumbasses like Drs. Gottam and Markman. They are a product of our times and how dysfunctional our view of marriage and relationships truly is. I’d like to think that I can take men like Martin and Jordan down to the local battered woman’s shelter and these women would be tripping over themselves at having a shot with successful, middle-aged men who are good with kids, but I doubt these guys would get a second’s consideration from women who habitually hook up with losers. Not like Martin and Jordan would want them either with all the baggage and neurosis those women would bring–damaged goods and all.
In December of 1825 Tsar Alexander I of the Russian Empire died, but instead of the crown passing to Constantine who renounced it, the crown passed on to his younger brother, Nicholas I prompting a revolt among the imperial army who refused to swear allegiance to the new czar. The revolt was poorly coordinated and led and was easily crushed. Since the revolt occurred in December, the 3000 soldiers and officers that revolted were called the Decembrists.
Some of the ring leaders were executed by hanging but many of the others were sent into exile to work the mines in Siberia. Many of them were married and had families, but the new Czar decreed that the wives of the guilty may be considered widows and may remarry as they wish. They didn’t.
Maria Volkonskaya was, by any measure, living a real life fairy tale. She was the daughter of a famous and well-respected general married to a prince and raising a child. As any fairy tale goes, she was living “happily ever after”. When the Czar’s decree allowed her to remarry while her Decembrist husband was sent to Siberia in chains, she not only refused, she joined her husband renouncing all her possessions and titles. Nor was she allowed to return and was made to sign a statement to that effect. She even had to leave her newly born child behind.
Historically, Russian justice has been harsh and draconian. You probably have heard about the gulag under Stalin’s reign, but that was simply a continuation of a long line of brutal Russian justice that probably originated with Ivan the Terrible. Sure, as long as you stayed out of the way of the Russian ruling elite, you probably could live a normal life, but even that was no guarantee. Just ask any kulak. In the US we tend to glorify our triumph and settlement of the western frontier, but a Russian has no such delusions about Siberia. So Maria’s commitment to follow her husband to Siberia carried many unknown risks and she was fully aware of the life she was giving up in the process, including her child.
Maria was not a fluke in any way. Nor was she crazy. There were many such women who were born or married into a privileged life and gave it all up to follow their husbands to a harsh and unknown future. There were some tragedies in their new life, but in the end, the Decembrists and their wives flourished in Siberia. Their lives were the equivalent of making lemonade from lemons and would be a model and inspiration to anybody who is struggling in life. They became known as the Decembrist Wives and they are revered in Russia. They symbolize complete and utter devotion to their husbands.
I wish I can meet men like Jordan and Martin and tell them about the Decembrist wives and give them some hope that there are such women that are so devoted to their men that they are willing to leave their life of luxury to be with them. Jordan and Martin’s wives ditched them over flimsy pretexts and took them for everything that they had. Maria Volkonskaya left a life of privilege and even left her infant child for Christ sakes!
It may not be fair or realistic to compare women to the Decembrist wives. But if women had even half of the character that the Decembrist wives had, then relationships will be a lot happier.
Men, might suggest to me that this happened almost 200 years ago and times have changed and any RW brought here would end up just as corrupted under our divorce laws as the AW who married men like Jordan and Martin. Perhaps, but consider what a RW would be giving up to marry you and emigrate to your country. She is leaving her country, her family and everything she knows for an unknown future with you. History repeats itself, so choose wisely and respect her for the sacrifice she is making and I’m sure you will have a loving and devoted wife. I’m betting on it!