A pimp’s view of romance

Via little Billy Ockham comes this article, which needs a complete fisking. So here we go:

Emily was an ambitious woman with a high-powered career in finance

Yeah?

when she met the man who would become her husband. But when she and Richard started a family together, they decided that she would give up her job to raise their three young children.

Okay.

At first, the arrangement worked well: Richard continued in his role as a partner in a leading accountancy firm, while Emily remained at home. But, as time went on, they began to fall out over little things – he was spending too much time at work…

Providing for his family, or was he there just for fun?

they disagreed over an issue with one of the children’s schools, and so on.

Whether to send him to one which charges £45,000 per year or a mere £39,000?

One day, shortly after a fierce row between them, Emily went to do the weekly grocery shop but was told her credit card had been declined. She phoned her husband to find out what was going on, only to learn that this was his “revenge” for their recent tiff.

Hmmm. I’d like his side of the story. Was she spending cash like a sailor on shore leave, demanding he maintain the lifestyle she was accustomed to when she had her high-powered job in finance? It wouldn’t be the first time, and it may explain arguments over schools and why he was spending so much time at work.

He wanted her to beg him each time she needed cash, and revelled in his power to control exactly what she did and how she spent her money.

Again, we’re only getting one side here. For all we know he merely said “Watch what you’re spending love, we’ve only got one income now, remember?”

She felt humiliated and became increasingly isolated. When she eventually decided to leave the marriage, her husband laughed and told her she would walk away with nothing: he could hire the best lawyers and she had no way to afford representation.

If this is what he said he’s an idiot, and he clearly doesn’t live in the UK, US, or any other country where you can drink the tap water. So I suspect it wasn’t.

(In fact, she came to my firm, and we secured lending for her to fight her case.)

Oh, so we’re getting her lawyer’s side of the story! And what a surprise that she secured loans for her to pay the fees she’d be charging her. How altruistic!

Behaviour like Richard’s is far more common than you might think. In my many years of work as a divorce lawyer at Vardags, I’ve met countless people who feel they are trapped in relationships or marriages marred by financial conflict.

I imagine a divorce lawyer’s views on marriage are a little like a prostitute’s view of sex. Let’s just depart from the article for a second and look at what Wikipedia says about the author, one Ayesha Vardag:

She has gained notoriety for representing in divorce proceedings high net worth individuals, such members of the Royal Family, heiresses, international footballers, artists, professionals, entrepreneurs and celebrities.

In other words, she specialises in divorce among societies most narcissistic, selfish individuals. Let’s bear that in mind as we continue:

When this takes the form of one partner forcing the other to be dependent on them for housing, food, clothes, transport or money, it can tip over into economic abuse, which occurs across the social spectrum.

The institution of marriage is so utterly wrecked that mutual dependency – which is the whole damned point – is now seen as a problem.

A study in 2015 of more than 4,000 people showed that one in five experienced such abuse in a current or former relationship.

It’s odd that access to unlimited housing, food, clothes, transport and money are considered “rights” in a marriage, but not the one thing men surrender all this in exchange for: sex. A woman can withdraw access permanently, and he’s not even allowed to seek it elsewhere.

In the UK government’s forthcoming Domestic Abuse Bill, due to be published in the coming months, this will, for the first time, be identified as a form of domestic abuse – thus exerting control over someone’s personal finances would be recognised as a criminal act.

Can the money earned by someone else really be considered one’s personal finances? Not for the first time this week we’re seeing people’s ludicrous sense of entitlement enshrined in law. Chalk that up as another reason not to bother voting Conservative.

The culprits are not only male, though more often than not it’s the man who has more money in a heterosexual relationship. It is particularly rife in instances where one spouse has a high net worth on which the other is financially dependent, and is often cited as unreasonable behaviour on divorce petitions.

If material dependency on one’s spouse is grounds for divorce, I think we can put a fork in the institute of marriage.

I’ve seen women who live in palatial mansions with tennis courts and swimming pools, yet can’t even buy a bar of chocolate or box of tampons without pleading and justifying the expenditure to their controlling husband.

Normal people agree a monthly allowance befitting the husband’s salary and the wife’s needs. By contrast, celebrities, and those who marry them, are sociopaths.

Speaking to the other lawyers in my firm, I gathered hundreds of stories; they told me of husbands tapping phones and paying for private detectives and bodyguards to spy on their wives, and sometimes their grown-up children, whenever they left the house.

Did they have reason to? Are we to believe that of all these hundreds of instances, not one man caught his wife cheating and his children snorting lines of coke? And how many wives spy on their husbands?

One retail magnate sent bodyguards to his adult daughter’s university. When they reported back that she had been on a date with a fellow student, he decreed that she leave her studies and return home, where he could keep a closer eye on her.

Do we get details of the date? Who it was with, where they went, and what she got up to? Or, perhaps, the father’s religion?

A member of the Silicon Valley “brotopia” would force his wife to beg him whenever she needed anything. His home was a fortress of hi-tech security, cameras watching every move, fingerprint locks, electronic gates and 24/7 security staff. Every “transgression” on his wife’s part led to financial penalties.

I suspect this guy was a complete sociopath when she met him, but the sound of the cash register in her head repeatedly opening and closing masked it.

Another husband, an oil magnate, installed secret cameras in the bedroom and bathroom of his wife, a full-time mother of two young children, so as to monitor her fidelity.

When wealthy women do this in order to monitor their third-world peasant nannies, nobody says a word. On the contrary, most think it’s a good idea.

When she started divorce proceedings, we had to take him to court to make him support her and the children even during the process.

Was she fulfilling her obligations towards him during this period? Or didn’t she have any?

As long as she toed the line, she received, quite literally, castles and Ferraris. Once she crossed it, there was a complete shutdown.

Perhaps the man feels that, given he’s literally buying her castles and Ferraris, he can expect certain standards of behaviour. Now he might be unreasonable in what those expectations are, but then he is paying in castles and Ferraris. Frankly, if someone was going to buy me a castle he could put me in a dress and call me Susan.

Often it is staff who are delegated to exercise the control. Housekeepers are instructed that only certain sorts of food are allowed, and drivers are the only means of exit from the home, tasked with either reporting back or chauffeuring their employers’ wives to pre-approved destinations.

If these women had married more humble men, they’d not be spied on by a veritable army of housekeepers and chauffeurs. I’m not excusing the behaviour of the men, but why should we absolve women of their poor decisions?

Nannies act as spies, too. The controlling spouse locks the victim in a gilded cage – try even getting to see a lawyer in those circumstances, let alone friends.

Don’t these people have phones or email?

When I told one woman who was trapped in such a marriage what award she was likely to receive in divorce, she was terrified by the idea of actually having her own funds. Of Middle Eastern origin, she had married a Britain-based multi-millionaire businessman at a relatively young age and had never had financial independence.

British-based? So we have multi-millionaire foreigners being beastly to one another. Why does anyone in Britain care, let alone think it’s a problem so severe we need another slew of laws which will wreck marriage further?

She was dripping with designer clothes and handbags, but withdrawing money from a cash point was a totally alien concept to her.

Arabs, I expect. Why the hell is this our problem?

Elsewhere, I have met with countless individuals, usually women, who have found that access to the family finances is used as a tool to control, manipulate or punish them within a relationship.

And how many men have you met who found access to the children was used as a tool to control, manipulate, or punish them? Or access to sex?

These women have quite often been married for many years, and have not only sacrificed their own careers to look after the children and the home, but have also channelled their energies into helping their husband reach the top of his profession.

Yes, this is what a partnership means: sacrifice for the common good.

Frequently, they have no earnings, savings or pension themselves, having trusted the person they love to manage their finances for them. When the relationship is healthy, this arrangement can work very well; if it sours, however, the power imbalance usually fosters a sinister turn. And this can work both ways.

Once upon a time couples were encouraged to maintain the relationship at all costs for this precise reason. Now they’re encouraged to run to the nearest divorce lawyer at the first sign of trouble, and here we are.

One man came to me after his wife, a farming heiress, got him sacked from his job on the family estate when she – not he – started an affair. She then tried to turn him out of their home, which was also part of her domain, and refused him contact with their three small children, in whose care he had played a very active role.

Note there’s no defiant statement of how justice was served attached to this particular tale. I expect the man got shafted and stayed that way, thanks to a lawyer who was a carbon copy of the one writing this article.

The abuse customarily worsens when the financially vulnerable party takes steps to leave the marriage. With depressing regularity, we see clients whose access to bank accounts has been blocked, so they cannot even afford to take public transport to seek advice. They borrow cash from friends to reach us, terrified of being found out.

This is true of all relationships, be they commercial, social, or romantic: if someone tries to leave, they can no longer access the benefits the relationship brings. Only where marriage is concerned do people think they can walk out and still collect the benefits.

Others feel they have no choice but to stay in an unhappy, sometimes even physically abusive, marriage – not least when faced with the sheer scale and potential cost of their divorce.

Well, yes. Financial concerns drive many decisions in life, why should this be different? Especially as a lot of these cases sound as though the decision to get married in the first place was purely financial.

According to the charity Women’s Aid, victims are often unable to recognise the abuse until it has escalated to the point at which the barriers to leaving appear insurmountable.

When the supply of castles and Ferraris dries up, the writing’s on the wall.

We can only hope that now this abuse is beginning to gain public recognition as a potentially criminal offence, things will begin to change.

Because Britain is desperately short of criminal charges which can be brought by vindictive types and which disproportionately affect men. And let’s not concern ourselves that divorce lawyers are lobbying to criminalise mutual dependency in a marriage, I’m sure everything will work out fine.

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25 thoughts on “A pimp’s view of romance

  1. “though more often than not it’s the man who has more money in a heterosexual relationship.”

    Horrible, horrible patriarchy. Did you know that more often than not its a man how has more money in a gay relationship also?

  2. OT but a reference to TimN’s Nov 7 post “Survive, rebuild, and…erm…forget it” & the blue haired, polyamorous landwhale & belongs under the same “Full of shit” classification as the current one.
    Her claim to be a Jugalette piqued my interest. Rang a bell. Got around to doing some interweb sniffing around.
    Juggalos are white trash culture with tie-ins to gang culture & connections out to White Aryan Nation. Their classified by the FBI as criminal street gangs. The name comes from a rap genre they favour, centred around ICP. Insane Clown Posse. There’s been a lot of it played around here, last few hours, to the confusion of the resident latinas. Why I don’t know. I have to suffer reggaeton.
    It’s a white response to ghetto black rap & the latino shit. Lots of aggression & mucho swearing in the lyrics. No doubt appeals to its audience in the same way there’s a style of music preferred by the biker gangs. There’s a flavour of Zappa & the MOI to some of it. To an extent Juggalos look a bit like Angels without the Harleys.
    There is absolutely no way Juggalos were weeping at the election of the Trumpmeister. If they bothered to vote they voted red, right down the line. This is the deep bad end of flyover America. They’re the antithesis of the Dems & everything on the Dem platform. They’re not snowflakes, they’re a firestorm. They don’t get triggered, they trigger

  3. Send your fisking to the Newspaper Tim. See if they publish it. It is far better than her crap.

    They might even pay you–you never know.

  4. Yes because nothing bad ever happens when this is done.

    Ah yes, right out of the SJW playbook: find an extreme case and use it as the basis for new laws affecting everyone.

    Also, there’s a difference between “encouraged” and “forced”.

  5. ‘sacrificed their own careers to look after the children and the home, but have also channelled their energies into helping their husband reach the top of his profession.‘
    Ah yes, sacrificed their career as a rocket scientist or brain surgeon probably.
    And how exactly did they channel their energies into helping their husband reach the top? Being at home and looking after the kids is not really channeling much energy on hubbys career. Perhaps they helped broker important deals in secret, or ran the company while hubby slept? Doubt it somehow.
    Many of the women I know of with very well off husbands tend to be nice enough but tend to lean more toward eye candy than Mensa member.

  6. These women have quite often been married for many years, and have not only sacrificed their own careers to look after the children and the home, but have also channelled their energies into helping their husband reach the top of his profession.

    Note how this is framed as a favour the wife is doing for the husband. In contrast, I don’t think I’ve every heard somebody say, “Quite often, these men have sacrificed their leisure time working extra hours to bring in more money so that their wives can quit their jobs and stay at home.” Odd, that.

  7. with a high-powered career in finance

    What’s a high-powered career? 1200W? 200bhp?

    Normal people agree a monthly allowance

    Normal couples have a joint account.

  8. Richard continued in his role as a partner in a leading accountancy firm
    So either he was quite a bit older than her or they married very late. What’s earliest likely date for partnership in a “leading firm”? Mid-30s? A bit later?

    I can’t remember any of the partners I ran into when I was in a role meaning that I regularly came across such as not being noticeably older than me (but then I never ran in to straight accountants, only auditors and consultancy side), which would make them early-40s back in those days?

    Otoh, having supported my wife in her career, come Monday she is finally going to be paid more than me (ahh, the joys of inside-IR35!). Not earn more than me (outside IR35), but just paid more. Because it makes the accountancy simpler.

  9. “Normal couples have a joint account.”

    And the fact that they don’t, in the absence of other reasons like e.g. she’s a US citizen and they live outside the US leading to trouble down’t bank / FATCA / FBAR, indicates that she might have a little spending problem and can’t be trusted with a free run at the current account…

  10. Normal couples have a joint account.

    Yes, with an agreement on how much gets deposited into it and what it gets used for. I know guys who are married to women who insist all his money goes into a joint account, and good luck to them.

  11. True divorce lawyers are a cynical bunch. My dad spent 40 years cleaning up the remains of marriages gone bad. The honest ones realize that they are akin to vultures, clearing the carcasses so that the circle of life can continue.

    A reputable bar association might question whether Ms. Vardag’s assertions cross the line of permissible advertising for the legal profession. IMO, she is brazenly flaunting what she can do for potential clients.

  12. I have no idea how the wealthy live (other than as seen on TV, though I suspect they all have to use the bog at least once a day as we poor people do and probably have to clean their teeth before bedtime, too) but when I got divorced — and it was my fault — my then wife and I tried hard to do the best for the kids. Whatever had gone wrong between my wife and I was adult business; the children should not suffer more than their parents were going to live in separate houses. I wasn’t after all divorcing them.

    There were no private investigators, phone taps or the like for us, and as it was a carefully reasoned decision by my ex-wife and I we attempted to find a lawyer who wasn’t trying to stir up conflict and hatred. In fact, I hardly saw the lawyer because there was no need. Any papers to be signed were passed to me and my ex-wife, and we talked about how to manage this difficult time.

    The worst thing was my ex-wife saw some poster from the NHS saying she could apply for some financial assistance for some minor procedure but it was a trap, I think, to get her details into the Child Support Agency files. Sorry, I mean my details into their claws. They were, uniformly, inflexible bastards who sent long threatening letters that ignored everything I had done for my ex-wife and the children, such as them having the house and so on, and demanding I do more. In all fairness to my ex-wife she rang me up and apologised for getting them involved. She had no idea it was government sneakily being government with a capital S for Shitheaps.

    Please understand I am not saying any of this to paint me as a hero. i’ve never been that. But divorce is not a great thing (I always have said you don’t get married to get divorced, unless you are mentally ill) but when it happens then one has to do the best one can. It’s adults we are talking about.

    I am therefore always astonished that other adults can’t come, where possible, to some sort of reasonable arrangement when things fall apart. But then I have never had money and at my advanced age, never will. I suppose that means lawyers are not the least interested in the little people with small bank accounts like me.

  13. I’ve always had a joint account with my wife ever since we were married, and it’s never been any trouble. We discuss before big purchases and if either wants some stuff then no problem. My parents did too but had to split it recently over issues with care home fees. That was a big wrench for my dad.

    As for sitting down & agreeing on divorce terms, even the most normal wife might find that hard if you have been caught boffing the barmaid at your local pub.

  14. “bloke in spain on November 10, 2018 at 9:51 am said:

    Juggalos are white trash culture with tie-ins to gang culture & connections out to White Aryan Nation. Their classified by the FBI as criminal street gangs.”

    Not really.

    White trash – yes.

    Classified by the FBI as a criminal street gang – yes, for a while. Until even the FBI had to admit that that was ridiculous. FBI were even sued over it.

    Ties to white nationalism – not really. Undoubtedly there are some who fancy themselves skinheads. Undoubtedly there are even some in gangs.

    “The name comes from a rap genre they favour, centred around ICP. Insane Clown Posse. ”

    The name comes *from Insane Clown Posse*. Which they are fervent fans of. Nothing to do with genre, but with that specific band.

    “There is absolutely no way Juggalos were weeping at the election of the Trumpmeister. If they bothered to vote they voted red, right down the line. This is the deep bad end of flyover America. They’re the antithesis of the Dems & everything on the Dem platform. They’re not snowflakes, they’re a firestorm. They don’t get triggered, they trigger”

    That’s almost undoubtedly true.

  15. “Andrew M on November 10, 2018 at 11:49 am said:

    Normal people agree a monthly allowance

    Normal couples have a joint account.”

    Normal couples also agree on how much each can draw from that account on their own, for personal use, without consultation.

    IOW, an allowance.

  16. @Rob, the main reason is that the majority only ever bought newspapers for the classifieds, once that went on t’internet there was no longer a need for the majority to buy them any longer.

  17. The old “She supported her husband in his career” and is therefore entitled to half of everything excuse.

    OK, let us see what the woman does. If he’s that rich, likely she would have a nanny, housekeeper/cleaner and perhaps a cook/butler to help out. So what exactly does she do when all the household chores are being done by others (and the staff paid for by her husband). Bringing up the kids? Hardly an onerous task considering that she will have help and as soon as they are old enough, it’s off to boarding school for them.

    So how is she “supporting” her husband? By popping out kids that, most likely, she wants and he’s not bothered about? By spending time and cash on herself at the hairdressers and beauty salon? Redecorating the house at regular intervals, throwing away perfectly good furniture and carpets etc.?

    Take Heather Mills McCartney (HMMcC) and Paul McCartney and their divorce. The facts (from Wikipedia) are:

    Married on 11 June 2002
    Separated on 17 May 2006
    Divorced on 12 May 2008

    From marriage to separation is 1436 days and from marriage to divorce 2162 days. She was awarded a lump sum plus property amounting to 24.3 million UK Pounds FOR HERSELF only with an additional 35,000 UK Pounds per annum for a nanny and additional school fees for the child. Note that the child is HIS responsibility only. None of the money awarded to her was for the maintenance of the child.

    Taking the 24.3 million alone from marriage to separation, she got 16,922 UK pounds per day for her efforts and if you take marriage to divorce, a measly 11,239 UK pounds – the corresponding hourly rates were 705 UK pounds and 468 UK pounds. This, even though the divorce judge said that she was lying up to her back teeth.
    I can see that Paul McCartney would never have had the early success that he did unless he know that at sum future date he would have married her … (The world desperately NEEDS a sarcasm font).

    If he had enough sense to pour piss out of a boot, he would have hired a butler, a housekeeper and cook and got his rocks off with a high class prostitute who would at least have had two legs and no comeback for child maintenance. The daily amounts paid to HMMcC would have more than covered that lot without the problems he had.

    So what did she do to “earn” or deserve that amount? Did she wake up every morning at 3 AM to bake bread, hand cut his sandwiches and pack his bait up for him to take to work? Hand wash his socks every night? Scrub floors and do housework? Hardly likely.

    I think that we can take this widely publicised divorce as a proxy for all the others. In short she wanted (and got) a meal ticket for life as my grandmother would have said. Not a bad daily rate for what she did, being about half the annual wages of an ordinary bloke.

    I can see that in future, many men with wealth will have surrogate children and hire the help. I recall reading an article about millionaires sons in the USA storing sperm and getting vasectomies so that the vultures could not “accidentally” get pregnant and have the meal ticket for life – or at least until the divorce when they get a meal ticket for life plus the option to go back to the courts if they want more at a later date.

    A pox on the lawyers and their clients …

  18. @Watcher – “Whatever had gone wrong between my wife and I was adult business; the children should not suffer more than their parents were going to live in separate houses.”

    Yep, I have had quite a few cuban missile crisis with Mrs Bardon, the last being quite recently. I wouldn’t go as far as you have and admit liability (refer previous posts as to why not) but we have this recurring theme where she finds an aspect of my cultural need to eat, drink and be merry abhorrent. Anyhow in the depth of our most recent Berlin tank standoff moment I said that they get Palacio Bardonici and the larger cut of the other assets as there is plenty to go around and life is too short to argue the toss on what a lawyer could probably extract out of the situation anyhow.

    Some earlier posts on here regarding the kept wife meme need to be clarified in my situation. Mrs Bardon worked when I met here, worked after we got married and only left the workplace when we had our first born ten years later. We agreed that I was the Emperor and that her being the homemaker would now be her full time job and she carried this out, had another child, homemade for me and my two sons, with various interstate relocations, overseas postings, late night meetings, business combat and all the rest of it, right up this present moment to the extent that when we got back from Don Quixote performance last night she cleaned up the mess that my boys had left behind while I went to bed feeling tired after watching those folk leap around the place. This suited me well and I have since never lifted a finger on domestic duties and the balance has been struck, when I got my missus insured I was surprised to see how much coverage I needed if in the tragic event I had to hire a professional nice looking homemaker.

    There is no way that I would have got to where I am professionally without her equally doing the hard yards. That’s why I have no problem with a say 70/30 asset split if necessary although I have pulled my head in again in order to avoid that situation occurring.

  19. Phil B:

    …got his rocks off with a high class prostitute who would at least have had two legs

    Guffaw!

    McCartney was a fool. Anyone with half a brain could see that Heather Gold Digger was as fake as her plastic leg.

  20. I can never see the phrase “gave up a promising career” without thinking of the story of the middle aged guy who won the lottery and then married a girl he met in a gentleman’s club. She promptly divorced him for half his winnings.

    A wag (possibly Rod Liddle) commented that she was obviously entitled to the money as she had given up a promising career as a lap dancer to marry him.

  21. Well, for a while I was cooking for Mrs LTW most nights because she was working late and not getting home till 7-8pm. Now I’m the one working late and she’s cooking for me. Might change as we go on. That’s the way it works isn’t it? Seem to remember something about for better or worse in our vows

    Oh wait, we don’t have a giant pie to divide up. As you were.

  22. “There is no way that I would have got to where I am professionally without her equally doing the hard yards. That’s why I have no problem with a say 70/30 asset split if necessary although I have pulled my head in again in order to avoid that situation occurring.”

    Good man.

    If you could refill the drinks cabinet before your next overseas work trip, that would be great. You were out of Bombay saphire last time I was over.

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