Virtually everyone in the United States will get married by the time they’re 50 years old.
More than 90 percent of people in Western cultures end up getting hitched, reports the American Psychological Association. So, that’s nearly everyone.
Half of nearly everyone will then get divorced.
Divorce can be a positive thing. No one should have to go through life trapped in a miserable marriage. It can also be really strange, though. Relationships are tricky, and the sparks that end up burning them to ashes can be awfully surprising.
Here’s what we mean:
1. The Exorcist and the Divorce Lawyer
Not so long ago, an Italian man approached a Milan court asking for a no-fault divorce. The reason? His wife was possessed. As in, by the Devil.
No judge would swallow a story that crazy, right? Well, the thing is, this guy had
The court had heard enough. They granted the man’s divorce.
2. The Sleeping Divorce
Divorce is pretty simple for men, according to Islamic law. All a husband has to do to break up the marriage is to say the word “talaq” three times in a row.
In March 2006, an Indian man named Aftab Ansari fell asleep after a long day. At some point during the night, he rolled over and uttered “talaq” three times, without waking up at any point. Whoops.
The local religious authorities ordered the couple to remarry if they wanted to continue living together. Islamic scholar Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangimahali told the newspaper Dawn that he would have done things differently.
“A man is not in his senses while he is asleep, and as such if he utters talaq three times while sleeping, it will have no religious sanctity.”
3. There’s Something Wrong with You if You Don’t Love “Frozen”
If you don’t love Disney’s Frozen, you might want to keep that news to yourself. A Japanese married couple filed for divorce in 2014 after the wife learned her husband wasn’t all that thrilled with the cartoon.
After seeing the movie, the husband remarked that he “didn’t really care for it personally,” reports Metro. “Did you really think it was that good?” he asked.
“If you can’t understand what makes this movie great, there’s something wrong with you as a human being,” the woman reportedly answered. Then she asked for a divorce.
Dang, that’s cold.
4. Death Did Them Part, Sort Of
Okay, we all know that line from the traditional marriage that goes, “‘Till death do you part.” One Connecticut man put that line to the test.
In 2004, a guy named Joseph Finnegan had a serious health problem. We don’t know what that health problem was, exactly, because our sources don’t tell us. We know it was serious, though, because it caused his heart to stop beating for some length of time.
Fast forward to July 2007. Finnegan’s wife of 26 years, Karen, wanted a divorce. Joseph said, “No way.” The whole thing ended up in court.
Joseph and, presumably, his lawyer, filed a motion that included the caption, “Motion to Dismiss on the Grounds that the Defendant is No Longer Married to the Plaintiff Having Been Previously Completely, Although Not Permanently, Dead.”
The judge wasn’t buying it. Joseph failed to furnish any proof that he had “died,” and besides, the fact that he was standing in the courtroom argued pretty strongly against his case.
5. Gambling with Love
This next story involves some very high-stakes poker.
Andrei Karpov of Murmansk, Russia, was playing cards with a guy named Sergey Brodov in 2007, reports the Seattle Times. He ran out of money. Desperate for one more chance to win his money back, he did something that seems pretty illegal even for Russia. He put his wife into the pot.
Well, not literally. Karpov told Brodov he could begin a relationship with his wife should Karpov lose the hand. Which he did.
The oddest part of this whole story is that Karpov’s ex-wife, Tatiana, fell in love with Brodov in the end. When she found out that her husband was using her as gambling fodder, she divorced the heck out of him. When Brodov came to collect, though, she gladly went with him.
“Sergey was a very handsome, charming man, and I am very happy with him,” Tatiana said. “Even if he did ‘win’ me in a poker game.'”
6. Love’s Lottery’s Lost
Shakespeare would have had a field day with this one.
Thomas and Denise Rossi had a single toothbrush between them. It was a nice toothbrush—electric—and the Rossi’s could have certainly afforded a second one. Still, they shared a toothbrush. That’s how close they were.
The divorce wound its way through the Los Angeles courts slowly. A few months after the proceedings began, Thomas received a piece of mail that clued him into his wife’s motivations. The letter was from a company that specializes in paying lump sums for lottery winnings. The company “helped hundreds of lottery winners like you around the country receive a lump sum payment for the present value of their future annual lottery payments,” the flyer announced.
Thomas’ lawyer discovered that 11 days before filing for divorce, Denise had won the lottery. She made $1.3 million in a split second. She wouldn’t have time to enjoy the money, though. Superior Court Judge Richard Denner ordered her to give it all to her soon-to-be-ex-husband.
“Moral of the story: It pays to be honest from the beginning,” Thomas’ lawyer, Marc Lerner, told the Los Angeles Times.
7. Partisan Politics Trumps Two Decades of Marriage
Gayle McCormick, 73, considers herself a “Democrat leaning toward socialist,” she told Business Insider. Her husband considers himself a conservative.
This difference of opinion was no problem for the 22 years that the California couple was married. Then came 2016. The hyper-partisan vitriol of the fiercely contested presidential campaign drove wedges between a lot of people. It also destroyed McCormick’s marriage.
She and her husband were having lunch with friends, and conversation drifted to politics. The husband announced that he would be voting for Donald Trump. McCormick couldn’t believe her ears.
“It totally undid me that he could vote for Trump,” she said, adding that she felt “betrayed.”
By the time Donald Trump took the oath of office, McCormick’s divorce had been filed. Her marriage was another casualty of the toxicity of modern partisan politics.
8. Build That Wall
Many wives wish their husbands would clean the house more often. One German woman had the opposite problem.
Her husband of 15 years kept an incredibly clean home. In fact, he spent so much time scrubbing the floors and dusting the shelves that his wife asked for a divorce. The final straw came when the husband decided that an exterior wall of their house just couldn’t get clean.
When he realized he could never get the wall as clean as it was when it was brand new, he came to the obvious conclusion: He’d have to replace the wall. That’s just what he did, demolishing the wall and replacing it with a sparkling new one.
That was it for the long-suffering wife. The husband’s wall came between him and his wife, and the marriage was kaput.