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Around The Sun: The Anguish Continues

Steve Harrison goes through the pain of a marriage break-up.

They kept my wife in hospital for more than a week. She refused to see me. She requested her mobile phone and some business papers she had to deal with. When I went to see her she was totally unresponsive. She appeared to be at death's door. Imagine my surprise when I learned that she had been making business calls.

When she came home she refused to acknowledge my presence. I moved my stuff out and went to live with Mark Anthony and his wife Helen. He is a dear long time friend. Wed been pals for more than 20 years.

Days drifted by. Life had lost its taste and colour. I was homeless, moneyless and workless. I was also feeling worthless and very guilty for driving my wife towards an apparent suicide attempt.

Christmas came and Christmas went. So too did New Year. I was like a drunken man, looking in on life from the outside.

Threatening phone calls and letters rolled in from people who had not been paid by our business. My Visa card debt was AUD $8,000, 5K over the limit. My life was now out of control. I was an artist and designer. I knew nothing of finance and money matters. I had trusted my wife to handle those matters, giving me a brief verbal report.

Now I was chasing up paper trails and bank accounts.

Eventually, with great reluctance, I consulted a solicitor. I assumed my solicitor would talk to my wife's solicitor. We would then give all the details to a judge. He would then divide everything equally. I would end up with arounnd 500k and my wife would get the same amount.

Boy was I in for a very rude awakening and an education as to how the family law system operates in Australia.

the idea of suing the one you love for what you are clearly entitled to was anathema to me. The court proceedings were long. The whole thing ground on for more than a year. A hearing day was finally designated. I lost all remaining vestiges of confidence as that day drew nearer. I felt almost as though I was about to be hung like some horse thief in the Wild West.

The hearing day was cancelled at the last minute. My wife was reported to have a brain tumour and immediate surgery was required. After the operation she would need rest and recovery time.

I was informed the surgery was risky and could result in her dying. I felt suicidal. I was filled with self-loathing. I felt that I was responsible for what had gone wrong in our lives.

I even got to thinking that I was responsible for the divorce of my wife's parents, even though that had occurred before I met her.


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