There are few topics I’m reticent to dip into because of the enormity of them. This is one such and if this tip is relevant to you, please seek further advice and assistance, it is not something you need to deal with on your own.
So, you say you’re going to leave and they reply, ‘You can’t do that, I’ll kill myself’.
Where on earth do you go from here?
Threatened self-harm or suicide is indeed a cry for help, but not one you are qualified to treat. It is often deep rooted and even if you believe you know what the underlying causes are (dubious it’s simply your unveiled plans to leave) it’s unlikely to be something you’ll be able to handle well.
If the situation seems fairly calm, you may be able to buy time and put things on ice while you find breathing space to contact their doctor to explain what’s happened. However, if things are out of hand and danger is possibly imminent, call the emergency services and request assistance from the police.
Mental health instability is very real and should be treated seriously, it is not however, a reason to keep you living with the person who is threatening it and your mental health and wellbeing need to be taken into account too. Make an appointment to see your doctor and download the situation, you may need a little of their TLC also.
I imagine your tender constitution is also being bombarded with relentless reminders of the fact that Christmas is around a not too distant corner.
There are greetings cards, rolls of wrapping paper and spangly bunting in all of the major supermarkets, even the local independent shopkeepers have swivelling displays of paper greetings waiting to be bought and scrawled on.
If you are immersed at any point in your divorce right now, consider yourself in quite a unique and favourable position. The Christmas card list is in your control! You can legitimately scratch off anyone that has racked you off, you can halve your postage bill by slicing off anyone from your ex’s side of the fence and you can probably take a year off from sending any, simply because.
Interestingly enough, anyone who is insistently fond of you will send you one and not grumble if you don’t send one back. Perhaps you might like to rewrite your friends list too.
We must take responsibility for our own actions and accept that we are not responsible for the behaviour of others.
Ex’s walk their own path, just as you walk yours. You must not lay blame for their actions on your shoulders, even if you did leave them and actually, even if you didn’t!
Cut yourself some slack and understand this can be incredibly hard to do, particularly when they are behaving in a vile or out of character manner.
We all have the power to curb negative responses to the actions of others and for sake of our own inner peace if nothing else, we should endeavour to do so.
When we advance in our years and suddenly feel the pressures of life, the universe and everything bearing down upon our shoulders, it’s easy to forget the people we used to be.
This is particularly true as you recover from being scalded by the embers of a marriage that was going nowhere.
The fact is, if you are able to reconnect with the soul you once were, you might also be able to tap into a pocket of the energy that used to drive and thrill you.
Dig back in your dim and distant past and remember the things you used to do, the things that made the hair on the back of your neck stand up with excitement, the things that made you buzz.
Was it dancing, was it diving, was it potholing or abseiling? Whatever it was, pick up the old threads and try the activity again.
You may have to make a few adjustments to your level of participation, but you might find whatever the activity is, you take to it like and old duck to water.
It’s got to be worth a shot, for the giggle factor alone!
There are lots of ways to feel mentally rid of your ex and as many to help you feel physically rid of them too.
Your skin is a precious covering of an incredible individual and you may not realise it, but you get a completely new one every 28 days or thereabouts.
You will undoubtedly have heard the song about washing that man right out of your hair. How about brushing him right off of your skin instead.
Seek out a nice natural bristle brush designed for dry skin brushing and with long slow strokes, brush your entire body one area at a time always in the direction of your heart. Take your time, this isn’t a process to be rushed.
As well as clearing away the old skin, you’ll help the new you to re-emerge from within feeling stimulated and ready to face the day; long live the power of ex-exfoliation.
What do you do on the lead up to Christmas if your children aren’t allowed to see you and they sit under the immobilising spell of a hate campaign waged against you by your ex?
In the short term, there’s not much you can do to be honest unless you are prepared to make a very disruptive noise. If your ex is unfairly controlling the contact they have with you, there’s always the choice of taking them to court to have a judge certify what your visitation rights are, but even then, a vile and spiteful ex will probably ride roughshod over it until they are forced to do otherwise. Also, that’s not going to produce a positive result before Christmas.
In the short term, any noises you make to try and see your children may well antagonise the other parent and it could actually make things worse for the youngster.
There are always routes through the barricades however and it’s your job to find them. Find an empathetic relative from the other side who can deliver a message, or go through school perhaps, maybe even just write an old fashioned letter and have it delivered to a neighbour or trusted friend. Pour love on your children via any means and know the malevolent parent will probably pay the price for their unpleasant behaviour; karma has a way of settling things eventually.
Think realistically about the amount of inner strength you require to hold onto the memories of the good bits that you had in your marriage.
The happy dynamic you once shared is highly unlikely ever to return in the form it had and no amount of optimism can make it so. Even if you’ve had a remarkably palatable co-existence since your separation, divorce will render it different and you would do well to accept your relationships’ migration to another plane, instead of hankering for the past.
Invest your energies into rising again with gracious acceptance and thanks for what you shared and look to the future for new relationships that will colour your world with fresh, bright tones.
It might come as an awful shock if your doctor confirms one of your greatest fears; your divorce is causing you to suffer with anxiety or depression.
You are not alone, don’t worry. According to the UK’s MentalHealthFoundation, around 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental problem in the course of a year.
Don’t fight the diagnosis or the recommended course of action and if your doctor advises you to take medication, don’t fear getting off antidepressants before you’ve swallowed a tablet.
Rather, consider the consequences of not paying attention to their informed judgement on your current state. All things pass and you will be back on your feet again in good time.
I’m aware the tips of late have dealt with large and looming practical topics. It’s time for one designed to keep your physical and mental levels as buoyant as possible through what may be an incredibly draining time for you.
People generally don’t like to grumble about things they have little control over, but remember your doctor is ethically bound to listen to the situation you find yourself in. If elements of it are biting into your wellbeing, your doctor may end up being more valuable than your most trusted friend.
It’s your doctor’s job to help you stay as balanced as possible, through and beyond your divorce. Heed their advice and be sure to ask them about other supportive networks and non-chemical based, holistic products and therapies too.
If they prescribe anything to help you get through it, once you get to the end of your troublesome phase, make a further appointment with them to discuss a withdrawal plan, don’t make that judgment yourself and just stop, be a patient patient.
If you live in England or Wales and have decided to divorce your ex, you’ll do well to visit the H M Courts and Tribunal Service’s website at Justice.gov.uk, particularly if you are keen to keep your costs to a minimum.
This link will direct you to the form finder section for Divorce; if you struggle to do so, simply search for the following forms. Begin by downloading the guidance notes of D183: Divorce and Dissolution, followed by D184: I Want to Get a Divorce / Dissolution and if you have children you’ll also need D185. Bilingual forms and guidance notes are also available.
When you’re ready for the big one, you’ll need D8: the Divorce / Dissolution/ (Judicial) Separation Petition. It’s a very detailed 8 page PDF, you can fill it in online and print the three copies you need. One is for you to keep, the other two must be submitted to a nearby divorce court and they’ll forward one of them on to your soon to be ex-spouse.
To be honest, even if you do decide to use a solicitor to represent you, it’s a very good idea to fill the D8 in with a clear head, a large cup of tea and a box of tissues. I suspect by the time you get to ‘The Prayer’ on page 8, you’ll need them all.