I’m a divorce lawyer – these are the craziest revenge stories I’ve heard when marriages have gone wrong
HELL has no wrath like a scorned wife, as the popular saying goes – but in fact, you don’t want to get on the wrong side of an angry husband who wants revenge either.
Especially if those divorce horror stories have anything to do with it.
From quitting the toilet seat to refusing to walk the dog, there are plenty of bizarre and seemingly “minor” reasons why some marriages end in divorce — and the reactions can be wild.
Here lawyer Paul Breton — who specializes in handling high-net-worth divorces — shares the craziest reasons he’s heard for marriages going off the rails and the very dramatic revenge stories he’s encountered…
“I have seen everything”
With his vast experience in the industry, there’s very little Paul hasn’t seen – but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t stumble upon an unforgettable and outrageous case from time to time.
Paul says, “I’ve seen it all when it comes to divorce.
“From much more minor reasons like a client who finally got tired of her husband because he kept having the toilet seat up for six years, to another couple where the husband adopted a puppy but refused to take it for a walk.
“The reality is that in most of these cases, one or both parties have given up on the relationship, but neither of them realizes it at the time, but there are still cases that surprise me.”
“A Bitter Pill to Swallow”
In some cases, there is literally no warning.
Paul says, “We had a client one night who was planning a romantic vacation for them and their 25-year-old partner to celebrate their kids leaving college.
“However, the next day they received a divorce petition without warning.
“Naturally, it was a bitter pill to swallow.
From love to loneliness
Paul adds: “Another client came to me and told me that after 37 years of marriage she still loved her husband, but she realized she was asexual.
“All she wanted now was to buy her own property and have a studio where she could paint.
“I couldn’t help feeling sorry for her husband who had devoted most of his life to her and was about to find himself alone in his final years.”
do the dirty
Paul says: “Another of the most memorable cases was when a 24-year-old married couple raised three children together and started a successful family business.
“The husband chose to offer an apprenticeship to the daughter of a close friend.
“One evening, the woman had gone home to cook dinner and had left her laptop at the office.
“She went back to pick it up and caught her husband and their friends’ daughter doing it on the storeroom.
“While he told her he was just helping her make a TikTok video, the wife wasn’t buying any of it and divorce soon followed.”
A time bomb
In another divorce case, Paul took care of the couple who had been separated for more than a decade – but had not yet divorced or financially separated.
Paul says, “The divorce was like a ticking time bomb.
“As this progressed and disputes over multiple properties escalated, it seemed likely that the woman would move the family matrimonial home out of divorce.
“The husband was not happy and decided to take matters into his own hands.
“He canceled the building’s insurance before proceeding to burn down the family home – of course, shortly followed by a criminal conviction.
“It also amounted to financial misconduct for which the judge had no sympathy and the woman cleaned up.”
Revenge is a dish that is eaten cold… or hot
In another incident, on one of his frequent business trips, a husband found out his wife was having an affair – and he got creative in opting for revenge.
Paul says, “When they divorced, the wife received the family matrimonial home as part of the financial settlement of the divorce.
“The husband was not very happy with this result and started planning his revenge.
“He wondered if his ex-wife had changed the password to the house thermostat, which could be controlled in an app – which she hadn’t.
“After discovering this, he regularly changed the thermostat settings remotely.
“In the winter, he turned off all the heating, and in the summer, he turned the heating up to maximum.
“Then, when his ex-wife was away, he would also turn the air conditioning on to high and run it 24/7, to present her with a pleasant surprise bill when he returned to Mayfair.
“Of course, I can’t advocate that as a legal course of action to get what you want out of your divorce.”
“He defecated on his phone”
Like many couples who are fed up with each other, one woman started spending more and more time staring at her phone — with horrific results.
Paul says: “During a romantic trip to Milan, the husband had had enough.
“In the middle of Via della Spiga, the Milanese equivalent of Oxford Street in London, he snatched his phone from her hands, pulled down his pants and defecated on the phone.
“He said nothing, pulled his pants up and left, leaving the phone, the feces and his wife picking up the pieces.
“Back in England papers were filed in court and the main reason given was the events in Milan.
“Certainly one I will never forget.”
The blame game
Of course, there are often seemingly “minor” underlying factors that can lead to marriage.
“Before the introduction of no-fault divorces in April 2022, the most common issues during divorce were who would initiate the divorce and what grounds for divorce would choose.
“Often it was about who would blame whom.
“Most people were bickering over whether their marriage had broken down because of someone’s adultery or how the affair had affected their relationship.
“And most people who had committed adultery didn’t want to be labeled as adulterer on the divorce petition.”