Like every husband who suddenly turns into an ex, Martin Paul, a pleasant, unassuming 51-year-old, knows exactly where he was when it happened. He was sitting on the back porch of his pricey hilltop house in the Boston suburbs one sunny Saturday morning, relaxing over coffee.I feel for the man. He was with a woman who woke up one day and she didn't care about him anymore, if at all. And it sounds like she did everything she could to hurt him including making up unsubstantiated charges. Where this comes from only the woman in question can answer.
Paul is a professional collector, primarily of coins, but of other rare objects as well: Sonny Liston’s ring belt; a submarine that appeared in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. It wasn’t easy to build up his collecting business, but he had finally got it humming, and he was pulling down close to seven figures a year. Plus, the oldest of his three sons had suffered a frightening brain injury, but after two years of treatment, he had finally recovered enough to go to college. For the first time in a very long while, life was good.
And so, that Saturday, he wanted to tell his wife he was thinking about finally easing off a little. They’d started going on expensive vacations in Europe and Hawaii, and he figured she’d be pleased at the prospect of taking more trips together, or at least at the prospect of seeing him around the house a little more, and not buried in his basement office. He had met her in graduate school over a quarter century ago, and they’d had their ups and downs, but he was still crazy about her. And he thought that, with a little more time together, she’d be crazy about him again too.
But no. She scarcely listened to any talk of retirement, or of vacations, or of anything he had to say. She had plans of her own.
“I want a divorce,” she said.
Paul was so stunned that he thought he must have misheard her. But her face told him otherwise. “She looked like the enemy,” he says. He started to think about everything he’d built: the thriving business, the wonderful family, the nice life in the suburbs. And he thought of her, and how much he still loved her. And then, right in front of her, he started to cry.
That night, he found a bottle of whiskey, and he didn’t stop drinking it until he nearly passed out.
Things turned shitty very fast. His wife took out a temporary restraining order, accusing him of attempting to kidnap their youngest son. The claim was never proved in court. Then, with the aid of some high-priced lawyers, she extracted from him a whopping $50,000 a month—a full 75 percent of his monthly income. Barred from the house, he was not allowed regular access to the office he used to generate that income. (On the few times he was permitted inside, his wife did not let him use the bathroom. She insisted that he go outside in the woods.) “My lawyer kept telling her lawyers, ‘You’re killing the Golden Goose,’ ” recalls Paul. “But they didn’t care.”
Crushed by the payments, and unable to work, he soon faced such a severe cash-flow crisis that he had to declare bankruptcy. His wife still did not relent. She charged that Paul had been abusive toward one of their sons. Paul says the charge is absurd, but it did its work, limiting his visitation rights.
Paul was sleepless and nerve wracked; his spirits plunged. He still missed his old life with his family. He missed the sound of it—the bustle of all the activity, the life. “I can’t stand the silence,” he says. “I miss hearing my wife breathe as she lay in bed beside me.” In his desperation, he twice overdosed on prescription medication, but managed to call 911 each time before the drugs took full effect, and medics rushed him to the hospital in time. “I don’t want to die,” he says wearily. “I want to live. But I can’t live with this torture.” He did manage to keep a few mementos of his former life. Pictures, mostly. But also the kids’ baby shoes. “I was always the emotional one,” he says. “But that’s all I have—the shoes, a few pictures. That’s all. I used to be jovial, happy. But not now. I’m a broken man.”
I can see how a guy can be clueless though. Things to him might be looking good but he takes his wife for granted. Though the excuse of "he's never around" or "he doesn't give me attention" seems convenient but I'm sure there's some truth in it. Or perhaps he found himself marrying someone for the wrong reasons and somewhere along the road what was love at first turns to hate.
Well I don't know what's up, but I hope that you read this piece and for those of you guys and gals out there, I hope you make some wise choices when you seek out your mate. Don't be shallow but definitely be discriminating. Hopefully you'll find the one you'll be meant to be with "forever". Well one can only hope.