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.
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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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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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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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.
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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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.
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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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.
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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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.
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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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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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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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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