The Lovers: Max Payne and Michelle Payne
"I thought I would be her knight in shining armor."
The death of his wife is a massive motivator for Max Payne's life. From his reckless, self-destructive lifestyle to his addictions to alcohol and painkillers, we can see the shrapnel from when his damned heart exploded stuck in nearly every aspect of his life. The regret, the shame, and the self-hatred for letting Michelle die is what fuels Max and makes him able to perform all the foolhardy maneuvers that make him who he is.
Although Mona Sax provided a small distraction for Max, the overwhelming weight of losing his loved one in such a violent and traumatizing way made it impossible for him to ever move on. Sadly, this can be the reality for those in shoes similar to Payne's.