Paul Staehle and Karine Martins have had a troubled, toxic relationship for years.
From their earliest days on 90 Day Fiance and well into their marriage, their choices have been inexplicable.
Calls to the police, breakups, and alarming accusations have defined who they are as a couple.
On Friday, December 17, Karine announced on social media that she had asked Paul for a divorce.
That same day, video was leaked to social media appearing to show her abusing Paul, pulling his hair and grabbing his neck, in front of their son.
She and Paul have, as is their habit, posted and deleted a lot of things about each other in the aftermath.
Pleas to not attack their spouse and serious accusations have been posted back-to-back.
Now, it appears that things have briefly calmed down.
For better or for worse (it's for worse), Paul and Karine seem to be back home together and spending the holidays with their sons.
Paul and Karine are not okay
We wish that we could say that this alarming whirlwind of the past week is the worst that this couple has ever been, but that is simply not true. They have had international breakups, police called, and more.
Here is where the latest upsetting drama began
Karine announced that after a lot of consideration, she had decided to ask Paul for a divorce. It makes sense to get a divorce if you and your spouse are not and cannot get along and if you are unhappy. At this point, it doesn't look like that's what is happening.
This is SO bad
It appears that Paul leaked a video from his home security camera of Karine sharply pulling his hair and seeming to put her hand on his throat during a dispute at home. If that's what it looks like, it is absolutely domestic abuse. We do not know when the video was taken or how long Paul may have had the clip, but no one deserves to have this done to them.
They took some time apart
Paul gave a shoutout to his mother, Mary, for helping look after his kids while he and Karine were on the outs.
Even his dad pitched in
Immediately, many on social media were discussing the very good chance that Karine might not win custody in a divorce, especially if Paul has more video.
And then there was this
Captured via John Yates as one of Paul's many short-lived posts, he appeared to be implying that Karine had given one of their children developmental disabilities by drinking alcohol during her pregnancy. He didn't get specific enough to even directly accuse her, but ... that is incredibly serious.
Paul also seemed to go for help
90 Day Fiance blogger John Yates was very careful with his words as he shared this photo that Paul sent to him, but it looks like Paul went to a domestic violence resource center. We would always encourage anyone suffering from abuse to carefully and safely seek out resources that can help them escape and recover.
Karine says that the video is misleading
First, she insisted that she simply did not choke Paul, no matter what people thought that they saw.
She then got more specific
Karine said that the video's angle and brevity was misleading, appearing to accuse Paul of pulling her hand back against his throat, as if to stage abuse on camera. That does not explain the apparent hair-pulling, however.
Suddenly, things changed
Paul took to Instagram to promote Karine -- the woman whom he had just days before been accusing of abuse and more -- and encourage people to get hair appointments with her so that she could get more practice and work done in her quest to become a stylist.
He said even more in his caption
Appearing to imply that she had just felt cooped up for too long, Paul asked that people not attack Karine.
Karine didn't want Paul attacked, either
In other short-lived posts to her account (presumably by Karine), she wrote -- as translated by John Yates -- that this was all her fault and asked that people not attack Paul.
Did Karine get a rep?
An awkwardly phrased post to her Instagram Story, seemingly by a professional representative, referred to this as a "delicate moment" in Karine's relationship.
And then there was more
On the morning of Friday, December 24, Karine's Instagram Story claimed that she was back home with her children -- and, one assumes, with Paul.
She's affirming her priorities
Karine says, through this intermediary, that she is dedicated to her studies to be a hairstylist and to her children, and will focus less upon other things.
Is that it?
We are sure that there will be more, but we have to remember that Paul and Karine have accused each other of unforgivable things before, had messy and public breakups, and gotten back together days, weeks, and months later. This has happened more than once. Assuming that this reconciliation sticks, it will almost certainly happen again. Adults seldom wake up one day and magically learn how to behave. We feel a little sorry for them both, but we mostly feel sorry for their sons.