Thursday, December 13, 2007

She loves you, NOT

One of these guys has a happy future ahead of him

Courtesy of John Sedgewick:

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.

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.”

Long before his wife came along, a frame-store owner named Jordan Appel, 55, had built a fine house for himself atop West Newton Hill in one of the fancier Boston suburbs. He loved bringing in a wife and then adding two children. “It felt so wonderful to say ‘my wife’ and ‘my children’ and feel part of a community.” He volunteered for the preschool’s yard sale; his wife took up with a lover. Sometimes she slept with him in Appel’s own house; in time, she decided to divorce Appel. As these things go, he was obliged to leave the house, and, as it happened, the community too. Money was so tight that he ended up sleeping in a storage room above his frame shop two towns away. His ex-wife works part-time on the strength of Appel’s child custody and alimony payments, and spends time with her boyfriend in Appel’s former house. She lives rather well, and he has to make $100,000 a year to support her and the children, which amounts to 70-hour workweeks. One day, he went back to his house and discovered many of his belongings out on the sidewalk with the trash. “My body feels like it’s dissolving in anger,” he says. “I’m in an absolute rage every single day.”

This settles some issues:

1. Cupcake is only looking out for herself. Not for you. You're replaceable, and will be upgraded ASAP. And she WILL use YOUR kids and YOUR government to get what she wants regardless of what it does to you. That, my friends, is a mercenary.

2. She doesn't care about your shit. Which is why she wants it in the divorce. She doesn't want it herself, mind you, she just DOESN'T want you to have it.

3. Fathers really do care about their kids. That's what drives them to provide a home and security for them. It's a male version of "nesting". Kicking him out of his nest is akin to destroying him.

Now, given these 3 statements, who in their right mind would get married?

Friday, December 7, 2007


This blog is now active again. There's going to be a switch from an "advice only" to a mixture of advice and social commentary.


Cause I felt like it.

There's also a new policy on comments. All comments must pass moderation. Say something stupid, say something I disagree with, if you're anonymous, or if I flat out don't feel like it, I won't approve your comments for broadcast. Most of you are pretty good about this. A couple of you are shitbirds. This is a shitbird free zone.

Start writing the checks, bro

You see, Gents, big government really is there to help. Help themselves to your money. Know what you get for it? Relegated to second-class status. That's right, your income, the taxes upon which you pay until sometime in mid-May (for you US folks) are there to fund programs designed to help out someone that's "more equal" than you.

In other words: "We have to be UNFAIR to make things MORE FAIR."

Men in the west are increasingly becoming aware that government of the people, by the people, for the people is looking a lot more like government of the people, by the bureaucracy, for everyone BUT you.

Minister-for-men - epetition reply

7 December 2007

We received a petition asking:

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to restore equality for men by creating a minister for men."

Details of Petition:

"In this era of single parents, divorce and blended families, the role and reputation of a man has been diluted to a point where he is severely discriminated against in almost all arenas. I call on the Prime Minister to show true equality to men by creating a Minister for Men to reflect balance in Parliament as Ruth Kelly is currently the Minister for Women."

The Government's response

Thank you for your e-petition about the creation of a Minister for Men. Though the Government recognises that there are areas where men face disadvantage or discrimination, a glance at the income and poverty figures will show that, overall, inequality in our society affects women to a far greater extent than men. That is why the Government appointed a Cabinet Level Minister for Women in 1997 whose remit was, and is, to promote equality of opportunity in our society. The current holder of this office is Harriet Harman QC, MP and she is supported by Barbara Follett MP.

Despite the passing of the Equal Pay and Sex Discrimination legislation over 30 years ago, and other improvements since 1997, women in Britain still experience significant disadvantage in our society. For example:

* Women account for over half of the United Kingdom's population, but only make up 19% of MPs and 29% of local councillors.
* Black, Asian and Ethnic minority women account for 8% of the UK's female population but make up less than 1% of local councillors.
* Only 10.3% of the directors in the boardrooms of the top 100 FTSE companies are female;
* The gap between the pay of male and female workers is currently 12.6% for full time and a staggering 40% for part-timers.
* Women are the main victims of domestic violence in the UK and 83 of them are killed by their partners or ex-partners in 2005.
* Women still shoulder the lion's share of caring for the old and the young and 90.5% of lone parents are female.

However, the Government recognises that men do want to spend more time with their families and this is reflected in the action we have taken to improve work life balance. That is why, in 2003, we introduced the right to request flexible working for all parents with children of under six years old or with disabled children of under eighteen years old. In April this year this right was extended to include people who care for adults.

Our Government is determined to fight discrimination and ensure everybody in Britain can make the most of their talents regardless of their gender, race, sexuality, age, faith or disability and we are committed to tackling these inequalities to create our vision of a fairer society and the role of Minister for Women is crucial in delivering our aims.

The Government have established the new Equality and Human Rights Commission which will champion equality, diversity, and human rights as defining values of our society, encouraging all our institutions to operate for the benefit of every individual.

Harriet Harman will be working across Government with Ministerial colleagues to ensure that we deliver on this ambitious agenda.

To all the readers out there, post this quote from the UK on your blog. Spread the word. Don't let them relegate you to second tier status (while paying first-tier taxes) without a fight.