For richer or poorer--Not

Telegraph:

'You loser!" screamed Katie, aiming a vase at her husband. "You've destroyed my life,'' she continued, hurling it. "Just look at my hair, look at my nails! You loser, you jerk, you nobody."

Katie's husband, Jack, whose property portfolio disintegrated in the financial crash, had just told his wife that she would have to cut back on her thrice-weekly visits to Nicky Clarke, the nail salon in Harvey Nichols, and the oxygen facials, chemical peels and seaweed wraps at Space NK.

Not only that, but they no longer had the money to pay for an army of bullied Eastern Europeans to wait on her hand and foot.

Worse was to come – the brow-lift would have to be cancelled; her black Amex card would have to be snipped in half; and there was no way, he told her, that he could carry on spending £28,000 a year on Henry's school fees at Eton.

Chloe, too, would have to leave the marginally cheaper (only £25,000 pa) Wycombe Abbey immediately.

Such was the aggression and verbal and physical abuse that followed that Jack was left with cut lips and blood streaming from a broken nose.

Their eight-year-old child, not yet at boarding school, sat cowering in a corner and dialling 999. When they arrived, they had to restrain Katie forcibly from attacking her husband.

An extreme and isolated example of the global economic meltdown hitting the £1 million home? Sadly no. When the super-rich feel the pinch, inevitably, the Toxic Wife heads off.

The Toxic Wife, first identified in these pages almost two years ago, is a particular and terrifying species.

Not to be confused with the stay-at-home mother who selflessly devotes herself to the upbringing of her children, with all the housework and domestic chores that entails, the Toxic Wife is the woman who gives up work as soon as she marries, ostensibly to create a stable home environment for any offspring that might come along, but who then employs large numbers of staff to do all the domestic work she promised to undertake, leaving her with little to do all day except shop, lunch and luxuriate.

Having married her wealthy husband with his considerable salary uppermost in her mind, the Toxic Wife simply does not do "for richer, for poorer". Little Dorrit, she ain't.

Indeed, lawyers and financial advisers have reported a 50 per cent increase in the number of divorce inquiries since the financial markets collapsed in September.

...

There are countless stories of them acting in the most bizarre and inhumane ways. For gold-diggers are materialistic to such an extent that they are emotionally detached from other people.

There's an inability to empathise with another human being. They certainly don't ''do'' conscience. Money, on the other hand, they both love and understand.

...

There are more examples of the high maintenance, low empathy "wife." It is why some men claim it is cheaper to rent. In hard times you find out who your friends are.

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