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.
If you and your soon-to-be-ex share joint responsibility for loans, be sure to get in touch with the finance companies to put them in the picture regarding your situation, as soon as you part company.
Unfortunately, loan payments can easily be cast to the wayside during stressful periods and there’s not a great deal more stressful than coming to terms with an oncoming divorce.
The financial settlement that takes into account your full joint worth, might not be looked at for a great many months. You need to have more than the verbal assurance from your ex that they’ll ‘take care of things’ during the interim.
Bad credit ratings are as hard to shake off as bad husbands or wives.
Occasionally you may feel you simply can’t cope with all the curved balls your divorce hurls at you.
This type of occurrence doesn’t happen exclusively during the period immediately surrounding and enclosing your divorce. Indeed, you may find yourself in a mental fix, months or even a couple of years after everything has settled; such is the power of the act itself.
When this happens, break the day into manageable chunks and concentrate on what you are going to do between now and your next cup of tea or coffee.
Focus on the simple things and let the Universe take care of everything else for a while as you gather your threads once more.
Sorting out divorce paperwork is nothing short of a nightmare, especially when you are not residing in the home where your financial documentation is stored.
If you are preparing to leave your partner and think that gaining access to these sorts of files might be difficult, you might want to consider the following.
Gather together your bank and savings account statements, also mortgage or rental statements, outstanding loans, payslips, any paperwork that pertains to business accounts, stock and share information and indeed any other financial related items going back at least a year, preferably two.
If you cannot easily photocopy them, take photographs of them instead and try to take them straight on so they could easily be printed out if need be.
Above all, take your time and ensure you can read all of the numbers before you pack everything away. If the physical movement of such paperwork is likely to cause a problem, carefully copy the files one at a time during a period when you know you’re not going to be disturbed and put them back exactly as they were, so as not to raise suspicion.
Getting ready to draw your relationship to a close is stressful enough; with hindsight, this is one exercise your pocket will be glad you completed before you pushed that big red button.
Cover yourself in love and with bright face paint, draw beautiful hearts all over your body.
From your head to your toes, paint on as many as you can. Just the outlines will do, or if you’re feeling really creative, colour them in.
It could be your indulgent secret and you could make them invisible to others by wearing long sleeves and trousers.
Be sure to paint as many as you can on your wobbly bits, scars, stretch-marks and any areas of contention that your ex had the most negative comments to bestow upon.
You are incredible on a cellular level, don’t ever forget it.
If your ex took pleasure in hurling personal insults at you, like fatty, ginger, skinny, spotty, ugly and so on, it can be surprising how much those tiny words can continue to cause you pain, even once the relationship has ended.
The most devious bullies use very commonly used words to hurt their victims, words that regularly come up in normal conversations and discussions. The legacy of pain from their verbal spears will go on for as long as you allow it to.
Stand up to their vile old behaviour and stamp the pain out by ‘taking possession’ of the very words that were intended to hurt you. Say them, screech them, giggle them over and over and over until they sound as ridiculously stupid as playground insults are and until you cannot hear them without laughing. It’s time you won this round, forever.