Paul A. McGinley, Allentown, for appellant.
S. D. Frederick, Henry L. Snyder, Snyder, Wert & Wilcox, Allentown, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Arnold and Gunther, JJ.
[ 170 Pa. Super. Page 170]
The master recommended a divorce on the ground of indignities. The court below dismissed exceptions, entered a decree and the wife-defendant appealed. We have carefully examined the testimony and have come to the conclusion that the divorce should be refused.
[ 170 Pa. Super. Page 171]
It is our duty to consider all the evidence and express our independent conclusion as to whether the wife's conduct constituted a sufficient cause for divorce. Leiding v. Leiding, 127 Pa. Super. 392, 393, 193 A. 88; Stein v. Stein, 119 Pa. Super. 276, 180 A. 763.
The parties were married on December 17, 1948, and lived together as husband and wife until February 23, 1949, or approximately ten weeks. This marriage was the second for both parties. At the time of the master's hearings the husband was 44 years of age and the wife 54 years of age. The difficulties of the parties, so the master and the court below concluded, stemmed from certain perverted sexual demands of the appellant. Appellee testified these demands began around January 1, 1949, and continued, with diminishing persistence, until the appellee left on February 23, 1949. Appellant testified that her husband was likewise guilty of such conduct; both the charges and counter-charges were vehemently denied by the parties. It is unnecessary to relate the sordid and repulsive allegations made by the husband; it is sufficient to say that these charges are to be looked upon with the greatest suspicion for they are '* * * of so dark a nature, so easily charged, and the negative so difficult to be proved, that the accusation should be clearly made out; for if false, it deserves a punishment inferior only to that of the crime itself'. 4 Bl.Comm. *215; cf. Freedman on Marriage and Divorce, p. 707.
The severity of appellant's conduct does not appear to have made appellee's condition intolerable and his life burdensome as contemplated by the statute. In addition to the fact that these parties only lived together ten weeks, there is abundant testimony from appellee's witnesses that appellee continually declared he was happily married; that he had waited many years
[ 170 Pa. Super. Page 172]
for this happiness. Other witnesses for appellee corroborated these statements.
Appellee's complaint regarding appellant's false accusations of infidelity are to be laid to his own conduct. On one occasion during this short marriage, he was seen coming out of the home of his former wife, and later admitted that he 'could go back there' any time he wanted. Moreover, appellee admitted that he told his wife on one occasion that he was still in love with his first wife. Where the husband's conduct toward other women has caused the wife to become suspicious, he can hardly complain of that which his conduct has justly provoked. Cf. Manzi v. Manzi, 112 ...