NBA superstar Dwyane Wade is getting in to an even deeper dispute with his estranged wife, Siohvaughn. This week, Dwyane spoke out about his wife's unstable mental state and demanded full custody of his kids.
Siohvaughn's lawyer shot back on Thursday:
"Our client believes that these various papers were filed as retaliation for her legitimate claims filed March 19, 2010, in the Domestic Relations Court in a Petition for Order of Protection, regarding the abuse by Mr. Wade dating back to 2006," Eunice Ward, an attorney for Wade's wife stated in an e-mail to the Associated Press.
The two boys, aged 8 and 2, are the subject of the custody battle. The couple filed for divorce in 2007, and their trial is scheduled to begin in June.
Siohvaughn previously alleged that her husband abandoned his children and that they were afraid to be in his presence. She also accused him of being guilty of "extreme and repeated mental cruelty toward her."
In her E! Hollywood interview, Siohvaughn discusses Wade's neglect and the pressures of the high life but doesn't mention any mental abuse. As a matter of fact, she talks about "not giving up on your marriage and keep[ing] a good, positive support system...." Watch it here:
Wade has responded to his wife's disparaging claims by saying she participates in "alternative avenues of worship that are completely outside of the status quo" and that his children should not be raised in that environment.
"It is regrettable that this father now chooses to use mental health and religion as another means to battle and abuse the Mother," Ward said in the e-mail statement.
Wade has also accused his wife of having affairs and keeping him from seeing his children.
The divorce of Dwyane Wade reminds me of a movie I watched just the other day called "War of the Roses." In the film, the bliss of marriage deteriorates into a living hell for both parties, as the wife and husband find ways to make their spouse's life into a nightmare. The film ends with both of them lying dead on the living room floor.
While most marriages don't end in the same way as the movie, there is a high risk of emotional death after going through the pain of divorce. The messy he-say/she-say becomes embarrassing to both parties, as even Stevie Wonder can see that this couple was married too young. Siohvaughn says he's dangerous and emotionally-abusive; Dwayne says that she's manipulative and crazy. Either way, they both end up looking bad and the rest of the country makes a spectacle of their emotional turmoil.
On the flip side, the Dwyane Wade divorce reminds us that perhaps we should consider rethinking the marital process. Personally, I argue that every couple should take a serious class before getting married. I'm not talking about a class that is taught by a pastor (although we can agree that your faith is important). I am talking about a class that is taught by someone who has spent years scientifically studying and researching the detailed methodologies necessary to manage the marital process. The class should teach couples how to resolve disputes, how to build trust and how to engage in the act of learning to truly love another person on a day-to-day basis.
Of course my dream will never be realized. Instead, any couple who has a great night of you-know-what can stumble in to a chapel in Vegas and tie the knot. Then, they commit themselves to knots in their stomach until they can find a way to undo the commitment that was prematurely made. Such is the way of life. Either way, your thoughts:
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the author of the new book, "Black American Money." To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.