Let's talk about Mr. Shears and Mrs. Shears together. Yeah, yeah – we know they're divorced, and it's probably awkward for them to have to see each other socially, let alone share a Shmoop profile. But we think doing it this way makes the most sense, so we'll proceed.
Their story is basically this: Mr. Shears and Christopher's mother run off together. Mrs. Shears and Christopher's father, left behind, try out a romance, too. Mrs. Shears backs out, though, so Christopher's father kills her dog. With a pitchfork. In case we hadn't already mentioned that.
And, sure, if we really got into it, there's probably a scandalous Desperate Housewives-style drama there. But this is Christopher's story, so let's limit ourselves to what this complicated marital strife has to do with him specifically. This is where Mr. and Mrs. Shears look quite similar. Basically, they're both kind of (or very) mean to Christopher. They seem to take out their issues on this poor kid, and they don't hold back – at all.