I have no sympathy for her with the $16,000. I always get really prickly when people think they're "owed" a certain amount of money in life. Like when people get upset that they don't get a lot of money when someone dies and they expected it. Things happen. There's no guarantee that even if she had stayed married to Dan she would have been rich her whole life. Maybe he would have died of a heart attack? Maybe he would have lost his practice? Who knows? She did pay her dues but that's no guarantee. You can pay your dues in a career only for a recession to hit. You can expect an inheritance and then the person donates it to their college. Money is not a guarantee. Nothing is. Work with what you got. You can't count your chickens before their hatched. You only have the chickens you have at any given moment. And $16,000 worth of chickens is a damn good amount.
A divorce almost always negatively affects the wife's income more than the man's. I certainly have less money now than I did when I was married. But I have 100% control over the money I do have and that makes quite a bit of difference. If Betty had worked the gallery job and also had her $16,000/month she would have been just fine.
But even with the money issue, she was insane with the phone messages and the smearing of the cake and the shattering of the Christmas tree. That's bonkers. I mean, my ex-husband is nowhere close to Dan. Our divorce was not contentious and there have been MANY times I have wanted to take a bat to something. But I see a therapist. I have a number of amazing friends who will listen to me rant on the phone or take me out for margaritas and I move on.