A friend of my parents (we’ll call him D) is undergoing divorce proceedings. His wife initiated them on the belief that he was having an affair, and also cited cruelty on his part (although I believe she never managed to prove that particular claim in court). Their two children are in their teens, and have chosen to stay with their mother.
D’s wife sued for alimony and the judge required that D pay his wife $3000 a month for her and their two children’s upkeep. She also gets to keep the HDB flat. D agreed to the terms for the sake of his children. Whatever his relationship with his wife, we are quite clear on how much he dotes on his kids.
D works as a temple medium and works as a geomancer on the side. Since the divorce had been initiated, he has been staying at the temple since he has nowhere else to stay. He is also still suffering the lingering effects of a minor stroke that happened during the initial fallout with his wife, but is clearly improving. He feels somewhat stressed over the additional financial responsibility of the divorce, but is still coping.
Then D’s wife, probably still feeling revengeful over the perceived affair, appealed to the courts for an alimony increase to the tune of $5000 a month, claiming that the original judgement was insufficient to support her in her original lifestyle. D is now totally stressed out over the appeal and the fear that the courts will award her the judgement. He has a relapse and is hospitalized.
Due to his previous medical history, he was visited by social workers and counselors during his hospital stay to ascertain if his condition was stress related. The end result was that he received official endorsement from his doctor and the social workers that his condition was a result of the financial stress and that they did not recommend him to continue working for the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, D’s wife and their children have been living it up during the separation and photographic proof was posted on their children’s Facebook accounts (stupid move). Expensive birthday parties with expensive alcohol, vacations etc. Not exactly the sign of straitened circumstances. This was obviously submitted as evidence to the courts, even if it must have pained D to do it.
They are still waiting from the final court judgement, but there is every confidence that D’s wife will probably not even see the original $3000 a month from D, much less the $5000 that she appealed for, given the evidence of his disability.
I am taking no sides in their marital discord despite D being my parents’ friend. As a matter of fact, I can sort of understand the actions of D’s wife as the woman scorned. However, greed is never justified and often has a way of backfiring. D’s wife should have been quite clear about her husband’s limited earning capacity as a temple medium, even with his side hustles. She had also been informed about his earlier medical condition by well meaning friends and relatives. She and her kids could have lived reasonably well on $3000 a month, even if she did not want to work. D dotes on their kids, so it was not beyond reason that D would have taken up some of the children’s future expenses on top of the alimony, such as education costs etc, if the kids bother to keep a civil relationship going after the divorce. Like every other situation, use of honey will probably yield more results than vinegar.
But D’s wife was a bit too greedy and in the process of getting every last red cent, probably killed her goose that was laying the golden eggs. I wonder if she is repenting now.