7 Relationship Lessons for Women from a £6bn Divorce Case

Natalia P married her high school sweetheart out of love.

Through the course of their marriage, he became a billionaire while she gave birth to their 3 children.

In 2014, after 31 years of marriage, he filed for a divorce out of nowhere, abandoning her and their children. They are both aged 60.

He offered them nothing. He didn’t even call their son on his birthday. The children were devastated and she was in shock.

In the same year, he married a second wife who is 14 years younger than him. She was his employee and they had an affair while he was still married to Natalia.

Now, Natalia is seeking a claim worth about £6bn.

I’ve already seen many Facebook comments (from people who probably don’t actually read the reports) defending him, saying this is how a woman gets rich as if she entered the marriage for this outcome.

According to some internet sources, she was previously awarded a large sum of money (in the millions) but she disputed in the Insider’s interview, “A lot of different, incorrect information has been published since 2013 about our divorce. I heard [in the press] that my ex-husband supposedly offered me lots of money and gave even me a number of real estate items — that never happened. It is not true.”

In regard to her £6bn claim, she explained why she sought so much money, “It is not a matter of billions of dollars. It’s about negotiations.”

In another interview, she explained, “We earned everything that our family has together: when we got married 30 years ago, we were ordinary students.

Over the years, we have given birth to children, built a house, created a business. And we have always walked hand in hand.

So, under fair law, I have the right to claim half of our stake.

But I do not intend to destroy the business, realizing that the division of all the listed assets may lead to the disruption of the harmonious system, and possibly to the collapse of the company’s structure.

From the very beginning, I said that I wanted to come to an agreement with him— I was waiting for him to offer a decent existence to his former family.

But instead, he continues to insist, with manic harshness and greed, that nothing belongs to me and the children.”

The couple had a humble background together.

They both had jobs and received the same salaries. The company was in her husband’s name, but she also worked for it. Then when it made enough money, she gave up her career to take care of the family.

She talked about the role of the family in her ex-husband’s success, “The world of the family revolved around my husband, we adjusted all vacations and events to his schedule. For her husband, the family has always been a strong rear, a place where ideas were born, where he rested, gained strength to fight, and he fought almost always.”

But, at the end of the day, it’s him who benefits from it all. He’s the one who has the money and power. He’s the billionaire with a career and a new life whenever he feels like it, and she’s left with the ghost of her old life, fighting for her worth.

This kind of family model is how capitalist patriarchy is maintained. The woman has no real power and falls at the mercy of the man who has abandoned her and the laws that more often lean on the side of the rich, powerful men than the woman. (E.g. he was allowed to backtrack their divorce date to 7 years earlier, and she’s now buried in legal paperwork.)

Here are a few takeaways for modern women looking to get married:

1. Build your security even when you’re in a relationship or married

Traditional relationships are not designed to serve women. They actually make women serve. We’re living in a time when women have the right to work and make money, so do it.

Build security for yourself. Claim real power in relationships and in life.

2. Don’t date a man unless he’s a feminist and supports your career

If a man has any fundamental sexist beliefs, he needs to go.

He might pay for the dates because he’s making more money than you and he wants to impress you, but it shouldn’t be because he thinks that’d make you owe him sex and he’d have control over you.

He should support your decision to pursue your career and make money and be comfortable with you making more money than him if that happens. He should do his share of housework and childcare.

It goes without saying that, in return, you should not impose toxic masculinity ideas on him (e.g., thinking that he’s only a man if he can provide.)

3. Marry a man when he already has his life together

Many case studies have shown that men don’t necessarily appreciate the sacrifices women make for them on their way to success.

Don’t be their starter wife. Don’t take a man as a project to fix. Don’t assume that he needs your help. He’s his own person and he’s responsible for his own happiness and success.

Be successful yourself and marry a successful man (however you want to define “successful”.) Be ruthless when finding a partner.

4. Never stop vetting

Natalia was caught off guard by the divorce proposal while he claimed that the marriage had stopped working several years earlier.

So the lesson is to never take the relationship for granted and stop vetting. Forever is an illusion. Love mindfully. Pay attention to your relationship and your partner, and watch out for yourself.

5. Don’t chase money as a couple; prioritise your relationship instead

Money can bring many good things and, by all means, pursue your success, but too much money can create irreversible problems.

Many studies have shown that relationships and spending time with loved ones are what people value the most at the end of their life. Relationships create meaning and satisfaction.

If you’ve found your serious partner, remember that they’re your team. And you should make decisions that ensure the health and longevity of the relationship.

6. Men don’t stay in a relationship for children

Men don’t stay with a woman because of the children they have. Look at Elon Musk.

To me, this is a patriarchal scam, making women believe that a man has some sort of loyalty virtue to his bloodline by default (See all the jokes about children looking like their fathers and how men invest more in the children who look like them, which is kinda fucked up.)

Nope. Many men can abandon their children for a new family. Many men give no shit about their children.

Meanwhile, having children means traumas to the woman’s body and losing income. If the couple is divorced, the woman often ends up raising the kids by herself and has to fight the single mother stigma while the man can just remarry someone younger. Some women might even have to resort to sex work to make ends meet, which is serving men again. It goes full circle. See the scam?

So think carefully before deciding to have children. Think about what YOU want. Be an active participant in relationship/family decisions. Remember that the relationship should continually serve you. You do not have to endure pain for it. You do not have to sacrifice yourself if you don’t choose to (I understand sometimes sacrifices are inevitable.)

7. Advocate for yourself. Fight for your worth

If Natalia can sue a billionaire, you can communicate your needs and make sure they’re met. Don’t ever sell yourself short. Know what you’re worth and get what you deserve.

My ladies, take care of yourself. Choose your partner wisely. This life is YOURS.

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