Dirty Divorce Trick # 1
Leave him with nothing
“Revenge is what I want. Nothing but pure unadulterated revenge. But my mother brought me up to be a lady.”
― J.P. Donleavy, The Lady Who Liked Clean Restrooms: The Chronicle Of One Of The Strangest Stories Ever To Be Rumoured About Around New York
Reena (not her real name) had had enough of the marriage. Her husband traveled for work. She didn’t feel up to the emotional pressure of telling him that she was leaving him, she knew that he would try to stop her and she decided to leave in secrecy and silence while he was away. Till this point she had my attention and sympathy.
In the course of moving her belongings and furniture out of the home and into the apartment she had managed to rent she began to work herself up. She grew angrier and angrier at all the slights – real and imagined, at the missed opportunities and wasted years, at the life that lay before her.
Gritting her teeth she told me, “I’m taking everything. He doesn’t need the stuff in the kitchen. He never cooks. “ It went on.
“He doesn’t need the sofa – he’s never here.”
“I need the bed to sleep on.”
“Where will he sleep? “ I asked her.
“He’ll have to figure that out, won’t he” was her snarling response.
“Don’t alienate him. You need to work out a whole bunch of things. Child support, alimony, shared finances…”
“It will all be fine. I have a good lawyer for the first two.”
“And the third?”
“Shared finances? Hah – I’ve cleared out the account.”
I tried reasoning with Reena – explaining that this wasn’t fair, it wasn’t balanced, it wasn’t a break up but a parting from a man who had been a husband, father of the children…blah blah blah”
Do you think she listened?
All that pent up rage of years of saying nothing… she acted on all of it in one evening.
When the poor man returned home in the middle of the night, he phoned me. Perhaps he sensed that I knew where his wife was, or felt that we were kindred souls. No that couldn’t be it because he wasn’t aware that his wife had left him for good. He thought he had been robbed.
This is what he found –
An empty apartment with the front door ajar. No note or message from his wife. All the taps of the house turned on with water coursing down the stairs.
I had to tell him that the wet floors and furniture less apartment was the least of his problems. I was the one who broke it to him that she had left the marriage.
All he could say was,
“Why did she leave all the taps on?”
I’m all for civilized behavior, honesty and openness, even when you divorce. This was a hideous incident. It’s been ten years since that day. The case still languishes in court – they haven’t got their divorce yet – each is as obstructive as the other.