Male Call: Five Strikes and Yer Out!


Click to read more about James Roberts.

 By James Roberts –

The woman, about 60 I’d say, had quite a tale of tribulation that you may find instructive. (Warning: names and locations have been adjusted for purposes of privacy.)

The husband, let’s call him Simon, is a psychiatrist. The woman, let’s call her Simone, had a well-paying job. They’re not millionaires but quite well to do…as you’ll see.

It seems that Simon went through these five-year spin cycles, almost to the month. After five years of marriage, they had their first child, a boy. After 10 years, a girl. Five years later he announced that he was joining a men’s group for meditation and getaways from society. They would gather in a sweat lodge, chew peyote (she wasn’t entirely clear what drug but since she wasn’t invited and it was a sweat lodge thing, presumably it wasn’t just marijuana) and…do whatever they do.

After a couple of these getaways he announced that he’d had a “spirit vision,” which also gave him a new name: “Speaking Falcon.” Her kids thought this was a bit odd since Simon hardly ever spoke, except to use typical psychiatrist phrases like, “So, how did that make you feel?” Simon declared that not only she, but the kids would henceforth use his new spirit name. She put her foot down: Okay in the bedroom “but I’m not going to inflict that on the kids and I’m not doing it in public with our friends.”

Five years later he’s at a professional conference in Lake Tahoe, which would last through Sunday. Would she like to bring the kids and join him then for a couple days of vacay? She would! Except he wanted them to actually drive up on the Friday…and bring their special joint checkbook. He had a surprise for her! Now, their marital deal was that either of them could buy stuff on their own whim as long as it was under $500. The big-ticket joint checkbook required both of them to co-sign. She figured, “What the heck” and did as asked. Arriving in Tahoe she discovered that the big surprise was a new car…for him. An Audi S4. He had seen one of his conference-mates with one and wanted one for himself. She agreed, not enthusiastically, but, after all, they had the money.

Five years later, his men’s group is off to meditate and study astrology at a vortex. When he returns, he announces that he is no longer “Speaking Falcon.” Whew! She thinks. Glad that’s over.

Except now he’s “Saffron Warrior.”

Ready for more?

Five years later he declares that he’d like to learn how to play piano. Great…how much harm can that be? Except he wants to buy the piano before taking the lessons. Hmm, OK, I guess he needs something to learn on. Maybe a nice Yamaha keyboard. She figures they can pick one up for $500-800 and if it doesn’t work out, well, they can put it on eBay or just give it away.

Nope. It’s got to be a grand piano. Not a “baby grand,” mind you (which my saintly departed mother played every day for 60 years, and which I was privileged to use for two years until my piano teacher fired me). The piano set them back $15,000…but they had the money. Six months later, when the lessons stopped, they were able to get $13K for it.

Five years later he announces that he’d like to travel to Nepal for about three months to further his spiritual development…with his <ahem> guru. Would she be kind enough to co-sign for the $50,000 it would cost?

Had enough? Well, so did she. She flatly refuses. He can go if he wants but she’s not helping him finance the trip…with the guru or otherwise. He pouts and stomps around for about a month and then, happily, seems to have put that dream aside.

Except…she notices his practice is losing money, month after month. It’s not like they can’t afford things, but it’s so odd that all of a sudden, the thriving medical business is going downhill, little by little.

Enough already. She hires a forensic accountant (whatever that is) who manages to find the proverbial back door to Simon’s computer. There seem to be a lot of unexplained transfers here and there, including one for $12,000. A few days later she visits him in his study and says she’d like to explore her astrological sign and she know he has some info stored about her “astrological nadir” (whatever that is) on his system. He agrees readily and opens up the file. Ooops…the kettle’s boiling downstairs for their tea! Would he mind taking care of the tea while she explores the birth sign material? He goes and gets the tea and returns to find a very stern and unhappy wife. (Of course, the tea kettle was a setup and she had already poked around on the computer days before; now she’s ready to confront.)

Would he like to explain what the $12K is doing in a secret account? He would not.

But she knew. He had been siphoning off his income all the while when she wouldn’t pony up the 50 G’s.

He asks for a divorce. She says, “OK, go ahead.” He gets them a high-power corporate lawyer he knows to split things up — but even this lawyer thinks things are fishy, despite the fact that he’s Simon’s friend. So, while Simon is on a bathroom break, the lawyer takes her aside privately and suggests the name of what Simone learns is called a “junkyard dog.” The “jd” is too busy to take her on…until she mentions the name of the corporate lawyer. Then, it’s game on.

Frankly, I’ve lost track of the strike count here, but let’s call it five.

Which one would’ve broken you? The spirit vision names? The pointless piano? The vanity car? The guru? Or does it take actual money shenanigans?

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  1. First thing I would do is research the Spiritual Vision cult or whatever it is. I figure his next behaviors would all be connected somehow to his change.

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