(PS: Much respect for Musk.)
That depends who you are, who you're marrying, and where you live. Divorces are only this expensive and drawn out in a handful of countries, and milking your ex-partner for all they're worth is a similarly non-universal trait.
Further, some people simply don't have this mentality or a single retributory bone in their body. Those are the people you marry.
People can change over time in ways you wouldn't anticipate, but if you marry someone only once you know them deeply (and if you don't, you deserve what you get), you should be reasonably confident of what sort of person they are or could become.
"Reasonably confident" is a remarkably weak threshold for putting half of one's future wealth on the line. What else does one deserve to get, as "punishment" for not being sufficiently perceptive of a future spouse's character?
Half of your wealth is very very small compared to losing custody of your kids. If she leaves, the legal system will almost always make sure she gets the kids. Unless you have kids, it's difficult to understand how horrible this is for dads.
Smart people aren't universally smart. They're smart at the things that they choose to be smart at. I know a few brilliant people that are geniuses at their chosen field and yet wouldn't notice if their spouse went off to Vegas without them.
You still have to pick the right partner, but if you can do that, it could be a big plus.
But hey, I'm getting married next month, so take what I say with a grain of salt ;)
I'm happily married (6 years in October) and I believe my wife is a great asset to me. However, I believe that marriage remains a major financial and emotional risk.
Things that genuinely make your life better typically are.
Congratulations :) In spite of the subject matter of this story, let's send well-wishes ahead of a joyful and successful marriage for you both.
We've been together 7 years and living together over a year, so I don't feel like it's too much of a gamble.
As for me, no I have not been married to a wonderful spouse and I am sure for every bad experience like Elon's you will find 4 good experiences (my parents have been married for 40+ years). But to answer your question, if its worthed to be married to someone for 10+ years and then getting divorced and finding out that she is sucking the last penny out of you for the rest of your life is NOT worthed; AFAI am concerned. I don't care how much bliss you had for that 10 years or so.
You are mixing up duration and quality.
My parents have been happily married (to the best of my knowledge) for the last 40 years. If they are not happy, they are damn good at hiding it and goes way out of their way to make sure the kids never find out