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Around The Sun: Marriage Disappointment

Steve Harrison's marriage reaches a dramatic crisis point.

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Life is a stormy affair. Sometimes we are in the bright sunshine, while at other times we are thrown upon the rocks. How we handle the storms of life is the only thing that counts. You must stare into the eye of the storm – The Count Of Monte Cristo.


The saddest part of my life was the time when I was married.

The most depressing and disappointing time of my life was when I got divorced.

I chose to get married. I was getting older and I wanted a family. A home, children, a dog... That sort of thing. I was almost 40. It was now or never.

I chose a Christian girl of Chinese origin. I met her in Manchester. We wrote letters to one another. She was gorgeous looking but I discovered that she was centred on money and wanted to build an empire.

I can no longer clearly recall my ex-wife's face, or the tender moments we shared, but I do remember the porperties we bought. Our live seemed to be a constant search for more property to buy as an investment. As a designer of marketing material I was earning big money and working long hours. My ex-wife had investment plans for everything I earned.

We bought two houses as investments. Our own huge home, complete with stables and barn, was like a fortress. I set up the stables as a beautiful studio. It was a dream home, a dream studio, but I was totally miserable in my marriage. I was frustrated sexually. Any thoughts of having children with this woman were long gone.

I hatched a plan. We should sell one of our houses and use the money to relax and travel for a couple of years. I wanted to spend some time in England with my mother who was in the sunset of her life. I wanted to be with her for a while.

My favourite home in Newtown was put on the market. When I thought of divorcing my wife I thought of living in that house on my own. At auction it sold for AUD$500,000, We had paid AUD$190,000 for it so we were sitting pretty.

I instructed my ex-wife to put the money in our bank account to pay off bills. Eight weeks after the sale of the house I was still getting bills and final demands.

My ex-wife had always handled our banking. I trusted her. I finally got up the courage to go to find out what was going on. Courage? I have always been fearful of banks and their managers, all that form-filling and queuing for money. You can understand why I was comfortable with my ex-wife handling that sort of thing.

At the bank I was told there was no money in the account.

I went to the bank which handled our business account. Same story. There was no money in the account. Yes money had been paid into the account, but it had been transferred to an account in another country.

A long and painful story began to unwind itself. I am sure my ex-wife would give a different account of how things worked themselves out.

I asked my ex-wife why there was no money in the bank accounts. She said we owed money to her family overseas. We had borrowed from them, but we had cleared the debt. I would rather starve and walk around in tatters than owe money.

I told her I recalled paying the debt. She then changed her story, presenting an itemised list of the money which she said I owed her. The money I had spent on beer, on an eye operation, on a trip to England to visit my mother... She had even put a price on her own virginity.

I was astounded. I went to the police. I talked to them for a couple of hours. They told me I would have to prove fraud, but they could investigate the matter.

The next day was a church day. My ex-wife and I were due to pick up an infirm church member and take her to the meeting hall. Waiting for my wife to get ready I paced around, going over my sermon.

When my ex-wife appeared I told her I had been to the police; that I knew she had swindled me out of money.

My ex-wife screamed, cursed and swore, becoming very disagreeable.

I dashed out of the house to go and pick up the infirm lady. I rang a good friend, explained what had happened, then asked if his wife would contact my ex-wife. I was concerned about her demeanour.

The friend's wife did so, then rang me. "You’d better go home quickly,'' she said. "She is trying to kill herself.''

I found her upstairs, lying awkwardly on the bed. Tablets were strewn around beside her. When I spoke to her she did not respond.

I called emergency services requesting an ambulance. I was beside myself with anguish. What had I done to cause someone I loved to try and kill herslef. Yes, I still loved her. I shed tears.

An ambulance arrived within minutes. They injected something into her. She whimpered and winced. Had she really been unconscious?

They put her in the ambulance and drove to a hospital.

I followed on, my emotions in a tangle.

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