If you have children of school age, your inbox may be buoyant with a variety of requests to help with a multitude of school projects for the PTA.
If there was ever a time you wanted to find a positive distraction from divorce angst, whilst helping to do something extremely useful, the coming months are going to give you such an opportunity, if you have children at school.
There will undoubtedly be chances to create and paint scenery for the Christmas performance and stitches will need to be pulled together in an array of costumes. There will be jams and cakes to make, bring and buy sales and craft stalls to organise and fundraising ideas will be welcomed from anyone with time enough to invest.
If you’ve lost touch with what’s going on with your children at school during your divorce, perhaps this might be the ideal time to be baptised by fire into the PTA and to become fully immersed and reconnected with what’s occurring.
Adultery, in respect of a UK divorce, is an incredibly detail-specific topic.
The exact definition refers specifically to penetrative sexual intercourse between two people of the opposite sex. Bizarrely, if you have homosexual/lesbian penetrative sex, or commit other hetrosexual sexual acts, one can only proceed with divorce on grounds of unreasonable behaviour.
You do not need to cite the name of the other person involved but you must go some way to prove adulterous acts took place.
Interestingly enough, adultery can take place long after a couple have split up, showing that not to be the cause of the marriage breakdown in the first place. The law states that the Petitioners inability to live with their marriage partner, need not directly relate to them eventually having had an adulterous relationship.
Ultimately, whatever acts have occurred with whichever party, the divorce and financial settlements are likely to remain unaffected by adultery. It will not tip in favour of the affected party and if the accusation is contested in a counter petition, the only person celebrating will be the solicitor. If things have broken down to such a degree that mudslinging is commonplace, take it on the chin and just get it over and done with; divorce is no fun however you cut it.
Stress-busting can become an occupational hazard while you tread water through a turbulent divorce.
It can easily blow up and manifest into physical symptoms that leave you feeling utterly depleted, void of all confidence and unable to focus on the here and now.
I wish I could give you a magic recipe for a fast fix, unfortunately I cannot, but I can tell you that things don’t have to play out as a foregone conclusion.
You might think that you have no control over what’s going to happen, let me tell you, you do.
Make the recipe up as you go along and make it your way. If you are a timid soul, kick back, if you are usually accepting of whatever comes your way, make a few demands and if you are a pushover, push back and state what you want. It will still be stressful, divorces generally are, but you won’t get to the end of it with regrets for not standing up for yourself. It will end and stressless days will return; hang on in there.
If you reach the point where you wish your ex were dead, you really need to step back from the plate and find some clarity and sense in the layers of that morbid thought.
There’s thinking it, there’s saying it out loud to yourself, there’s telling someone else and there’s telling the ex.
The elevation from the primary to the latter is quite a jump and the last two might get you into all sorts of trouble if, by some incredible twist of fate, they met an untimely end.
Yelling, ‘I wish you were dead’ and saying, ‘I’m going to kill you’ are quite different too. The latter is a threat that may well invite police intervention. You cannot threaten to kill anyone, it is illegal.
So, keep the thoughts in your head, I’m certainly not going to advise you not to think them, indeed, such thoughts can offer a modicum of stress release when the ex is behaving in a true to form vile manner. However, it might be more constructive to simply keep away from their inane noise and bad breath; you cannot go to prison for that.
Whether you’re 5 minutes past separation from your old spouse, knee-deep in divorce or 5 years the other side of your Decree Absolute, when it comes to dealing with an vexing ex, you’ll do well to apply a liberal sprinkling of patience.
Trouble is, that’s far easier said than done.
There are limited things that enable aggravated patience levels to decrease; a dogged determination to rise above their pathetic behaviour so they don’t bother you any more and the simple passage of time being two good examples.
Here’s a simple tip to help you see your progress in this regard. Find an inexpensive notebook and divide each page into 3 columns. Each time they rack you off draw a little line in the first column, put the date in the second column and write approximately how many minutes you were riled for during this particular episode. In the third column, write what you wish you’d used those minutes to do (visit a friend, take a bath, wander through a garden etc).
In time, column 3 will become a great suggestion box for preparing to deal with the next time you need to draw a line; eventually, you’ll draw the final line and let go of the angst.
Consider precisely why you are willingly holding onto, or have taken inadvertent possession of, your ex’s clothes.
A handy waterproof coat, I can understand, a tee shirt that has been hiding under the bed, maybe, but nothing more than that should be clogging up your living space.
If they have not taken their clothes and a reasonable amount of time has passed since they left, bundle them up in black sacks and give them a deadline for collecting them – if you are feeling benevolent – and keep that deadline, the crossing of which will see everything dropped off at the nearest charity shop.
Holding onto fabric memories of happier times will only prevent you from moving on to a new wardrobe.
A financially switched on horrid ex – and there are plenty of those believe me – may well present as Jekyll and Hyde as you get to the bit where you sort out your finances.
They’ll adopt all the pressuring tactics they can get their hands on, in order to transfer the weight of the world onto your shoulders, in the hope you will buckle and settle early for far less than you are entitled to.
All I can advise you to do is bat it all back.
Don’t cave in with their sob stories and don’t break down into a puddle when they project all their inane madness onto you. Hold on to what you set out to do and if they are behaving in an harassing way, inhibit direct dialogue. Have them go through an intermediary instead, your solicitor ideally, but if that’s too costly an option, ask a favour of a strong sibling or a dear chum.
Their monetary whinging and whining is less likely to permeate a human barrier.
In the UK school summer holidays are now a distant memory and families everywhere are fully back into the swing of a normal routine. Of course, if you have a divorce bubbling away on the back burner, you might be asking yourself what normal is right now, as you struggle to firm up appointments with your legal team to move things along.
Solicitors go on holiday too and they love the school holidays as much as the next parent. If you’ve been chasing an urgent appointment with them, you’ll have more luck if you can avail yourself during term time. If you hold on until the half term holiday, the end of term holiday or Christmas, you’ll find yourself in another tricky situation.
I realise it’s probably difficult to find time away from work and perhaps from the responsibilities of your young ones, but it might be worth calling in a babysitting favour from a friend or maybe even calling in sick for the day if need be, in order to meet up with your legal representative to get the ball rolling.
Heartache, exasperation and confusion are regular bedfellows during a divorce.
Do your level best to emotionally let go of your present position as best you can to avoid undue sentimental turmoil.
When you play recent scenes out over and over in your head, you automatically grant a safe harbour to the pain.
It might feel like an incredibly tall order right now, but believe me, resigning yourself to the situation is one of the first steps to getting your head into a level space and recovering from the nightmare that is the divorce process.
If you had the misfortune of being married to a horrid spouse who left you for another lover, it would be all too easy to divert a fair proportion of your anger towards them, in the direction of your replacement.
The fact is, your ex’s new partner may not be in full possession of the unpleasant facts about their new squeeze and to be honest, being cross at the new person is a futile pastime. You’re likely to achieve nothing but a belly ache by confronting them directly and if they do purport to know all there is to know about your ex, good luck to them – they are likely to need it!
One last useful point in respect of the person now filling your shoes is, don’t start comparing yourself against them. Their physical attributes may be similar or vastly different, you are never going to be able to get into your ex’s head to work out why they made the choice they did.
You might as well try to fathom out whether the moon is filled with cream cheese; you’ll have a better chance of getting that right.