For divorce related correspondence that is simply too painful to read, don’t create a pile of unopened heartache, ask a trusted friend or family member to read it through with you, or for you, instead.
It may be beneficial to select somebody who is divorced themselves, as they’ll no doubt be able to recall how upsetting and difficult this simple task can be. An empathetic, understanding soul won’t mind at all and they are less likely to miss an important detail or deadline because they weren’t digesting the information with tear-filled eyes.
You stand a better chance of not missing urgent deadlines, which could have resulted in costly errors and finally, your impassive assistant should encourage you to pen responses with more equilibrium and less vitriol; ultimately, the only person to benefit from spiteful letters back and forth, are solicitors.
In the wake of a very high profile celebrity divorce case here in the UK, I was asked to speak on a handful of mid-morning BBC radio stations on their case and the general topic of divorce and domestic abuse.
I was asked several times whether people threw the towel in on their marriages quicker than had happened in the past. Prior to my research on the subject, I would have said that as a society (Western world anyway) we have embraced an almost throwaway attitude towards things like our mobile phones, old computers, TVs and so on. We can replace and upgrade their spec in a heartbeat and it is possible that we’ve transported that same attitude into our marriages.
It’s more likely, however, that with a spiralling population with enormous financial pressures on their shoulders to keep up with the Joneses’ that the value of that most precious of institutions may have slipped through our fingers a tad.
I think more emphasis on the work/life balance in favour of life and subsequent better communication will help us to hold onto the good and overcome the bad.
Is it time to book a day off and give your faltering marriage one last shot? Believe me, walking away from anything with your hands held high, saying you’ve done all you can, will bring you comfort in the future.
‘Divorce is crap – get over it!’ It’s a strange take on what could easily be termed one of the most stressful life events, ever, but this is advice that may well be sent your way from acquaintances who have suffered terribly inside their own divorces.
For some people, there are no soft boundaries for self-exploration during this difficult time, they prefer to take a cut and dry approach, hence the sharply direct tone in their words.
Unemotional pragmatism is all they need to get by, yet for others, a deeper understanding of the process is required for them to make sense of what’s going on in head and heart. I’m guessing you are one such soul, seeking tools to help you get through it; I hope my Coping Tips are doing just that.
In essence however, the above advice is right, it’s just not delivered in the most compassionate way, but do hold onto the fact that you will indeed get over it, in your time, in your way.
If you have children together, be sure to make a note on the calendar of every night the children stay with you, or with your ex.
As mentioned here recently, the Google calendar facility is very easy to use and you don’t have to look at it all the time. You can deselect it from everyday view, then it won’t act as a constant reminder of any angst you may be suffering but it’s easy enough to access when you need to update it.
It may seem completely unnecessary, particularly if everything is running along amicably between you and your ex, however, the nicest of worms can complete the bizarrest of u-turns and on the topic of your children, it is better to be safe than sorry.
If child-benefit related authorities get involved, they will want a detailed account of who stayed where and you may also have to provide details to the solicitors too.
If you never need to use it, that’s wonderful, but if you do, you’ll be glad you’ve got it covered.
Finding a good solicitor to represent you in your divorce, is a next to impossible task if you have no prior experience to draw upon.
Various Internet directories will present you with unfathomable lists of firms who may simply have paid the most amount of money to sit on the top of the respective list; top doesn’t qualify good.
Personal recommendation is unquestionably the best way to find somebody, but it doesn’t tend to be the sort of thing one talks much about.
In the first instance, contact friends or relatives who have personal knowledge of a solicitorius nature and ask them if they are OK discussing it, then bombard them with questions.
If you draw a blank, go through The Law Society’s worldwide selection process, find a solicitor, ask to see testimonials that you’ll be able to follow up, then do!
It’s awfully tempting to offload divorce angst, onto somebody who really is on your side. Indulging the urge to do so is fine, providing that person isn’t your solicitor.
It’s an expensive mistake to use your solicitor as a counsellor and to be honest, unscrupulous ones are unlikely to encourage you to stop.
Divorce and the ancillary pain that goes with it, is part of their regular day at the office but never forget, your time is their money. They may feed from the morsels of detail you throw them and with anger fuelling your fire, you might end up instructing them to write costly letters to contest things that aren’t worth it.
Keep a level head and employ them to get the job done, not be your friend through it.
Broken hearts can offer an easy route to the precious resources left in your bank account; treasure every penny.
When you feel the weight of your situation bearing down on your shoulders, try to make a list of at least three things you usually have fun doing and tape it to the fridge or a kitchen cupboard that you see regularly.
The list can contain anything from knitting, ice skating, bathing and grooming the dog, star gazing, giving yourself a pedicure, meditating or visiting an art gallery; the only pre-requisite to be on the list is that the activity should give you pleasure. Decorate it with silly smiley faces too, you don’t have to be van Gogh about it, an L S Lowry stick-woman will do.
If you see the list enough times as you pass through the house, eventually you’ll seduce yourself into doing one of them and hopefully restoring your smile again.
It only takes one happy event, one positive occurrence to happen and you can wipe out a whole tide of sadness in one motion. It might not last forever, but it’ll set the tone for a happier day.
Car insurance is one of those strange anomalies that’s only likely to rear its renewable head once a year.
If you are recently separated and were jointly insured for your vehicles, you’ll be wise to contact your insurance company or broker to make any necessary adjustments to the policies, as soon as possible.
This is most especially relevant if your ex usually handled those affairs.
You really don’t want to find out that they’ve removed you from a policy you thought was in place, or conveniently omitted to pay the renewal premium, in the wake of a nasty collision.
It’s funny how books and movies can have such a strong impact on you when you are feeling emotionally vulnerable.
I remember being on my lead up to leaving and watching ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ based on the memoir written by Elizabeth Gilbert.
I’d spend a day drifting in and out of my own thoughts and ended up at the cinema desperately seeking something to lift my spirits. I’d never heard of the book or the author come to that, but it was either this or a mad shoot ‘em up flick; I went for ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and am so glad I did.
This celluloid presentation of a lady seeking solace through a difficult divorce was just what I needed and I remember clearly feeling her palpable torment before leaving her husband, as if it were my very own; I guess part of it was.
Here is a quote from the lady herself: ‘This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something’.
How true that is.
If your ex lashed out with insults about your sexual performance or intimate pleasing ability, throw that thought out with your next bag of trash.
It is likely to be as off kilter as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Insults that cut below the belt have a clever way of niggling away at your very core, but their vitriol is likely to have been fuelled by the stuff that powers them; bilious spite.
The truth is, if your existence has descended to this level of horror, there is only one way it can go, back up again!
Life with a new lover one day is likely to blow all of your expectations out of the water and life with love for yourself is a very good place to start believing it can happen.