The ‘50 Shades’ divorce
Of all the grounds for divorce, ‘My husband won’t tie me up with cable ties and spank me when I’m bad,’ wins the prize for novelty.
And the prize goes to a 41 year old British woman who filed for divorce because her husband wouldn’t act out scenes from Fifty Shades of Grey.
For those of you who’ve spent the last nine months either a) living in a convent, b) being a contestant on Big Brother or c) preoccupied with stuff that actually matters like, oh-I-don’t-know-Syria-perhaps, Fifty-Shades of Grey is a bestselling series of erotic novels by EL James about a university graduate Ana Steele who agrees to become a sex slave for billionaire Christian Grey.
The aggrieved wife who played the mummy-porn card to secure her divorce is a banker who reportedly earns in excess of £400,000 a year. Apparently she was bored with her allegedly dud-root of a husband so she did what many other women have done in similar situations. She bought some saucy underwear to try and raise her husband’s er, um, level of interest.
So far, so Dr Feelgood. But when her husband refused to role play the creepy, moody, abusive sociopath Christian Grey, she initiated divorce proceedings citing her husband’s ‘boring attitude’ to sex as evidence of ‘unreasonable behaviour’.
Her husband agreed with this assessment and didn’t contest the divorce — presumably to avoid having his libido or sexual tastes dissected and mulled over in the family division of the UK’s High Court.
Sounding like the ineffectual accountant character played by Michael Palin in Monty Python, the husband is reported to have responded to the news of the divorce proceedings by saying, ‘It’s all because you have been reading that bloody book’.
Now, I’ve never met either of the people involved in this case. I’m sure for the most part they’re perfectly nice people. Which is all the more pity that they’re calling it quits because they seem so well suited to one another.
I’m not about to fault Mr Crap-in-the-Sack for refusing to dominate and inflict violence on his wife, but isn’t blaming your bedroom woes on a book just a little too convenient?
Are we expected to believe that this lovely couple was cruising through life in matrimonial bliss until the day the little woman picked up Fifty Shades of Grey and then before you could say ‘S&M’ they were Fifty Shades divorced? Surely the whole value of reading fiction — no matter how craptacular — is to take you out of yourself, expand your horizons and then reintegrate it into your life.
And just who were these man-hating home-wreckers who taught the woman to read books in the first place? You give them a little bit of knowledge and before you know it they’ve turned an awful erotic fiction series into a handbook for marriage or the new millennia version of Joy of Sex.
Nevertheless, you have to have sympathy for the poor bloke. He did marry a woman who has a slender grip on the line that separates reality and fantasy. For her part, Fifty Shades author E L James has described her books as ‘romantic fantasy’ stories that offer women a ‘holiday from their husbands’. Methinks the lady banker forgot the fantasy bit and took the holiday bit a little too literally.
Still, it could have been worse. The banker could have up and left her ex- before embarking on a voyage of self-discovery through Italy, India and Bali and then telling the tale to 10 million of her closest mates and selling the film rights to Julia Roberts’ production company.
Kasey Edwards is the best-selling author of 4 books 30-Something and Over It, 30-Something and The Clock is Ticking, OMG! That's Not My Husband, and OMG! That's Not My Child. www.kaseyedwards.com