If you’ve been a wedding ring wearer, it is safe to say that on the day you decide to remove it, you may be somewhat shaken and stirred.
A wedding ring embodies what marriage is about; solidity, strength, commitment…well of course, that’s in a good case scenario. If you’ve been trapped in a marriage where things weren’t so happy, it can signify entrapment in an endless circle of repetitive nightmares.
Regardless of how you view the ring itself, it can be quite a chore getting used to touching the empty space on the third finger of your left hand and touch it you will.
The urge to twiddle that naked space is almost impossible to fight and it serves as an immediate reminder of what’s going on. There are no rules saying you need to keep that finger ring-free, if it’s too much to bear, consider getting something else to wear that symbolises your step towards a more positive future, or leave the space empty and buy a different item of jewellery and divert your twiddling twitches elsewhere.
If you’ve used the services of the Child Support Agency or a similar organisation to claim monies from an errant or absent parent to help you raise your child/ren, you’ll know that keeping on top of the paperwork is paramount.
If you think you may end up going down this route, heed this tip as a cautionary prompt to get prepared and get organised.
Mark down the nights the child/ren stay with you and keep hold of receipts for anything you purchase for them such as school uniform, payments for school trips and so on.
Also, ensure you keep an eye on whether the other parent lives up to the amount of nights they advise the CSA they plan to have the child/ren in their overnight care. It’s easy for them to promise one thing and for the dates to go down and your expenses to ramp up.
By keeping the authorities informed of what’s been going on, you’ll be one step ahead of the game and hopefully a little closer to getting the help your child/ren are due.
If you are looking for a mild distraction from the pressures of the day, the kitchen can be an interesting place to start.
I know most homes have dishwashers these days and they offer a convenient solution to getting clean plates back in your cupboard, but washing them by hand, accompanied by a nice piece of music, can put you in quite a different state of mind.
The everyday humdrum of things to do will always be there; with pressures from work, family, friends, solicitors and exs to contend with too right now. Being forced to slow your pace to do a simple, meditative task is not quite as daft as it sounds.
If you are struggling to cope with the general angst and belly ache of divorce, consider taking out your frustrations in the water.
Your local swimming pool is a fabulous place to wash that person right out of your hair and to do something calm, healthy and meditative too.
A good handful of simple lengths done at a gentle pace can be incredibly satisfying, particularly when you don’t set yourself a time goal. Let’s face it, there are enough other deadlines to meet without giving yourself a hard time in the pool!
However, if you do have a knot in your soul that you need to release, cutting through the water with determined arms can offer a particularly positive way of getting rid of it.
If you and your ex have young children, my empathetic heart goes out to you, I have a few too. Getting divorced is one thing, having to draw them into the morass of your divorce is quite another, however, if you have residence issues to resolve, you will have to.
There are two issues here: (a) practical ones covering technicalities like where they are going to sleep on which nights and therefore who is going to have the majority of parental responsibility in the eyes of the authorities and (b) emotional ones, like how you cope with their self imposed guilt for you splitting up, their sadness for missing parent A when they stay with parent B and many more, all of which are very common.
Every child is an individual, with personal needs and sadnesses. All you can do is your very best to listen to them, respect them and work towards alleviating or eliminating them. Do so with a willing heart but accept the fact that you may overcome some of the emotional battles, but you’re unlikely to win the war.
Give them love in abundant quantities through whatever mesh of difficulties or miles you have to and accept that may be all you can do.
I don’t think anybody that has been through the divorce process would claim that there are any periods during it that are less distressing than others. Being completely honest, it’s a bumpy ride from the moment you sign on the dotted line and engage your solicitor.
The decisions you have to make on a daily basis about simply living and eating are arduous enough, so what do you do when elderly parents exacerbate your hurt by wanting to know the ins and outs of the duck’s backside that is your divorce?
One example of this domestic madness occurs when they insist on talking to you about the children you are struggling to organise visits with and they’ll stamp over your feelings by trumping your pain with their pain, which is of course far worse.
All I can advise you to do is hold your ground and tell them firmly but politely that you do not want to talk about it. It is your business, it hurts like hell and whatever they are feeling, you are almost certainly feeling worse. Look after yourself and do all you can to avoid wounds from friendly fire.
Summer has finally arrived in the UK and better late than never.
Gardens and hedgerows here are bursting with the first signs of fruits and vegetables and a calming walk in your rural or urban green spaces will show this to be true.
Whatever season you find yourself immersed in when you read this tip, it is a safe assumption that you may well be in the next one, or more likely beyond, when your divorce concludes. Turn time on it’s head in a positive way by not wishing the days away and embracing the months instead. Use what Mother Nature is presenting you with as your yardstick.
Right now in late May, my immediate vicinity is covered in wild garlic. Resplendent white flowers flourish atop the tall green shoots, with slick deep green leaves resembling tulip foliage splaying out from the base of the stem. All deliciously edible (incredible as wild garlic pesto) and of course fantastically free.
Find a foraging book from your local bookshop or library, I can highly recommend Food For Free by Richard Mabey and see what exciting things you have to look forward to in the month ahead, instead of worrying over what stage your divorce will be at.
If you are in the thick of it all right now with no immediate end in sight, forget solutions, try temporarily uplifting alternatives instead.
Plan a rib-tickling night out with friends to watch a comedic play or a toe-tapping musical at a local theatre.
If you’re feeling like travelling up to The Big Smoke, catch some professional stand-up at a Comedy Store or something similar.
Setting aside your immediate stresses, even if only for a little while, can be successfully distracting enough to let you draw breath for the next round and be a cathartic part of the long term healing process, if you let the entertainment in.
It never fails to amaze me why spiteful exs behave so badly during the death throes of a marriage, but it’s almost impossible to digest why they continue to do so, years after the divorce has been finalised!
It’s also difficult to work out what they are trying to achieve by doing so.
If it’s a stab at reconciliation, they are going a bizarre way around getting the message across of their undying love.
If it’s simply to vent more anger and bile at you because you left them, I guess it will only serve to remind you that you made the best decision by getting out of that relationship.
The simple fact is, if they are a little ‘off the rails’ you are unlikely to be able to work them out by applying logic as they aren’t singing from the same hymn sheet and this also applies to working out what they are going to do next.
You might have better luck predicting next week’s lottery balls; I wish you luck trying, on both fronts.
Discovering that you have a useless solicitor representing you in your divorce, is a pretty dreadful situation; sadly I concur and from personal experience.
The problem with any form of legal representation is that you only find out how good they are after you’ve engaged them.
While you do your best to cope with the emotional heartache that divorce throws your way, you may have additional hurt resulting from incompetence from the firm that is meant to have your best interests at heart.
What do you do if this is happening to you? Precisely what I did – change solicitors! It’s never too late to find somebody else to take your case and yes, it will probably be a hassle to download everything again and get the files moved over, but it’s not impossible.
The only consideration beyond this point is whether you report them to the legal ombudsman, the Law Society, to ensure you lodge an official complaint. I didn’t and my goodness, how I regret it. The fact is, I was too downtrodden and browbeaten to do so. You need a reserve of energy for such a fight and it just wasn’t in me.
That said, there is nothing wrong with making a big noise about their services afterwards, if for no other reason but to inform people of what they may getting themselves into if they engage them.