Of the many things to boggle at in the extraordinary email one “bitterly, bitterly disappointed” father sent his three adult children this week, the thing that stood out as the most bizarre to me was that if you get a divorce, you should consider yourself a loser.

Breaking up is hard to do but it doesn't mean you've ruined your life

Top of the list among the many ways in which retired submarine commander Nick Crews felt his kids had let him and his wife down was that they had four failed marriages.

“It makes us weak that so many of these events are copulation-driven and then to see these lovely little people being so woefully let down by you,’’ wrote Crews, in the email he later published.

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  • Sickemrex says:

    05:33pm | 25/11/12

    That’s very understanding and touching. Read more »

  • acotrel says:

    05:01pm | 25/11/12

    There are planty of really good women out there who would actually appreciate a conscientious trier. A bad marriage is character building, sort of like being lost in the desert with natives and bankbook eating lions chasing you ! Read more »


I see myself as a pragmatist and a realist, but even so when I hear a marriage (or long-term de facto relationship) has broken up I usually feel a bit sad.

Truth be told, I feel it a bit more keenly when an actual marriage goes belly up—especially one whose wedding I’ve been to.

You tend to remember all the joy and optimism on the couple’s wedding day: the grand gestures, the grand words, all those intentions that are 100 per cent authentic until life gets in the way.

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  • Helen says:

    09:37am | 09/07/12

    acrotel - I dont think its the sex, but the intimacy that it builds. Of course, intimacy isnt just about sex, and neither is sex always about intimacy. Holding each other in bed and just talking is pretty powerful. Read more »

  • ML says:

    12:08pm | 08/07/12

    Being the same person all the way through life - what a scary proposition! Having values that are compatible is one of the keys to a relationship of longevity, but values can shift and change as we learn from our experiences in life. When my husband and I married in… Read more »


After five years, the marriage of Oscar-nominated bouncer-on-televised-couches, Tom Cruise, and Dawson’s Creek star Katie Holmes, blew up at the weekend.

Now, analysing a celebrity relationship isn’t The Punch’s forte and it never will be. Not quite sure what their problem was. All we know is it’s awful that their child’s home is a broken one. 

Regardless, the Power Couple’s meltdown has provided another flash of insight into the disturbing reality of the religion-cum-cult of Scientology. Even if that insight comes from gossip websites, who claim that Holmes was afraid Cruise would drag their five-year-old daughter Suri further into the “church” of Scientology.

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  • Rebecca says:

    10:43pm | 04/07/12

    Only have to go to America, kitteh - no working with modern medicine - new resurgence among multiple strands of christianity (from Mormons, JWs, roman catholics, ‘christians’) all with the dubious honour of deaths via ‘faith healing’, or purely lack of medical care because ‘god would take care of it’. Read more »

  • Ian1 says:

    05:13pm | 04/07/12

    Reading here, seems there is a lot of misinformation about religion being written in preceding posts.  No surprise really considering this article is about Scientology.  Do people understand Scientology is based on a work of fiction?  Religions do not base themselves on fiction.  Some people born in the modern era… Read more »


The blended family is the signature dish of contemporary society. Indeed, we must be getting close to the point where step-families are actually the norm.  Perhaps in another couple of generations people will look at nuclear families like we currently look at virgin brides - a harmless anachronism.

No family is this happy, especially if they've been put in a blender.

I for one would be sad to see the nuclear family go though. And there is a degree of species shame. You’d have thought if swans could pull it off we could.  Surely, it would be better for people to stick together for the duration.

What matter 50 years of bitter silence, laced with the occasional poisoning fantasy, when you’re producing social stability.

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  • M says:

    06:27pm | 05/10/11

    I embrace the term blended family and tell people that I am part of a ‘family frappe’ Read more »

  • TheHuntress says:

    06:08pm | 05/10/11

    I’m trying to figure out what this article is actually trying to say, but I get the impression that blended families aren’t as ‘good’ as nuclear families. I grew up in a nuclear family and life has steered me into a blended family. I suppose I could have kept a… Read more »


As the 11-hour Parramatta siege was unfolding on Tuesday, with a 52-year-old man occupying a lawyer’s chambers with his 12-year-old daughter, allegedly claiming to have a bomb in his rucksack, a remarkable discussion was taking place in real time on social media sites among Australian men’s rights advocates.

Women: much more likely to be victims than perpetrators. Photo: Rohan Kelly

Knowing nothing about the personal circumstances of the perpetrator, the consensus among these advocates was that the man who started the siege had to be regarded as the victim here. The victim of the Family Court, the victim of a system skewed against men, the victim of a feminist conspiracy.

Knowing nothing about how the siege would resolve itself, and indifferent to the risk of harm to the 12-year-old girl, police and office workers, there was even a sense among these men’s rights advocates that the man was something of a hero. Poor bloke, pushed to the brink, someone has to stand up to the system. Here’s some examples, with the names deleted:

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  • Mark says:

    03:56pm | 28/11/11

    Ronny Jonny- are you as simple as you appear to be? What I wouldn’t give to see your reaction to a woman coming at you with a knife or accusing you of abuse and have people believe it. You big tough stoic. Wanting balance and truth to be the guiding… Read more »

  • PlayonlineDF says:

    05:20am | 20/09/11

    Joins the us . You are waiting for hundreds of exploits in real time Best Online Game    Quality embodiment of the atmosphere of the medieval world   • Bright colors, refuting the established standards, ” Gray Middle Ages”  • Innovative strictly balanced battle system   • Finely calculated market… Read more »


I’m writing this while on holiday with my Mum and Dad. Nothing remarkable about that, you might think, except my Mum and Dad aren’t married. Well, not to each other. They’re married to other people. Nice people, actually.

One in three marriages end in divorce.

So when my brother, who lives in Japan, mooted a family reunion – which turned out to be all the more poignant due to recent events – he sent an email to everyone.

Mum and Dad split when I was 19 so, naturally, they’ve had to share a pew at a few weddings and a couple of funerals over the years. But a week-long holiday?

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  • Cynical, but not that cynical says:

    08:20am | 06/04/11

    that’s a rather cynical and warped view.  Men can also be vengeful, scornful, lazy and obsessed with themselves. Read more »

  • Ray says:

    01:40pm | 05/04/11

    Survivor you left out the most realistic scenario.Domestic violence by men and women exists. But it’s not there to perpetuate a tool of convenience for women to use as a legal weapon. What I do believe is that there are at least as many vexacious claims as there are genuine… Read more »


Hollywood divorce stories usually fall into three categories. The good-for-a-laugh-because-they-have-more-money-than-sense kind of story, the too-painful-to-read-story-of-betrayal (most recently, Sandra Bullock) and the unbelievable-jaw-dropping-can-they-really-do-that, kind. The subjects of today’s Lightweight are an example of the third kind.

Divorce can be ugly. Picture: AP.

Cue Diandra Douglas, the 52 year old ex-wife of actor Michael Douglas, who is claming half of the profits from his latest movie, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

The Herald Sun reports that the ex-Mrs Douglas is, “citing a provision in the couple’s 2000 divorce that promises half the profits of any movies done by her famous husband during their two decades as man and wife -including residuals, merchandising and ancillary rights.”

But Mr Douglas, 65 years of age and currently married to Catherine Zeta Jones, is not having any of it. He’s arguing that his latest flick is a “sequel” and not a “spin-off” of the 1987 original and therefore, doesn’t count.  And it’s a fair retaliation, when you consider that he’s reported to have already paid his ex-wife approximately $US45 million in their original divorce settlement.

But what do you think? Does she have a right to the money or not?

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  • igorgt says:

    09:43am | 15/07/10

    I want to quote your post in my blog. It can? And you et an account on Twitter? Read more »

  • Dan says:

    04:00am | 01/07/10

    Peter, funnilly enough, journalists have asked Douglas whether he still believed that greed was good! It seems that there are people who don’t understand what playing a character is. Read more »


Upon hearing that Tiger Woods’ wife Elin Nordegren wants half of her soon to be ex-husband’s possible $1 billion fortune we’re instantly reminded of Eddie Murphy’s great Raw routine after he read about Johnny Carson’s divorce.


“What’s up with Johnny?” I turned to the inside story and his wife was on the other page . . .  “Johnny’s wife wants half Johnny’s money.”

On what bizarre calculation of marital rights is Tiger’s soon to be ex-wife entitled to between $300 and $500 million?

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  • oesterreich hotel says:

    11:05pm | 14/04/10

    Below Interpretation,apparently labour must door attention somewhat pattern rather second refuse species wish draw sure extremely plate measure attract ball protection necessarily associate highly play player away text enough limit hospital movement deputy concentrate concentrate per how front hang district variation high generate background identify so happy thought into united… Read more »

  • Olivia says:

    01:23am | 07/01/10

    You really need to consider her earning potential (who knows where her career would be sans kids) in all of this. i agree that a woman is not automatically entitled to half if she stays home and raises kids. That said however, both myself and my husband work in the… Read more »


The planned rollback of the controversial Shared Parenting Law is not an attack on men’s rights. Nor is it a victory for the women’s movement.

It is a sensible response to the plight of children like Darcey Freeman, who was allegedly thrown from the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne. Rather than getting into the he said/she said of this prickly debate, this is the story of one man – a war veteran - who believes his grandchildren are at risk.

His letter was part of a submission to Attorney-General Robert McClelland, which concludes “it is relatively rare for a court to make an order that denies a parent contact with a child, including in cases involving allegations of violence”.  You can read it here:

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  • Jase says:

    10:09am | 30/11/12

    Lexi: To put the case forward for the rebuttable presumption of shared care is a simple one. The burden of proof falls on the one who lays the charges. There is no conflict to the best interests of the children; if the allegations are true, then the presumption for shared… Read more »

  • Melanie says:

    10:46am | 23/11/12

    No Eric, I’ve had the exact same experience and have tried to get help for badly traumatised children.  If you could see how badly the little ones are affected by a disgusting cruel system, your heart would bleed. I’ve seen in, not once but several times, with several families. These… Read more »


Ok, so now even internet marriages are expected to fail.

No less than two weeks since fifteen million of us watched Jill Petersen and Kevin Hinze’s bridal party dance down the aisle, an American filmmaker has created a parody, divorce version of the video.

Apparently it took just one hour to produce.  The Punch posted the original version for some Friday afternoon light relief. And of the eighteen comments posted, about half of the readers took a sentimental view.

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  • DJ says:

    08:58am | 07/08/09

    My Grandfather told me “Don’t ever take each other for granted”. Best advice I ever got. Read more »

  • Amanda says:

    06:50am | 07/08/09

    Believe it or not, Eric and formersnag, I agree with the gist of what you’re both saying, and I’m a woman!  I doubt there’s any such thing as true equality in any relationship and all I have ever seen is one selfish partner take advantage of the other’s willingness to… Read more »


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