When verbal artillery starts hitting the fan and chaos rules between you and your ex, there are often things said in the heat of the moment that have the power to cut to the bone.
Some of the insults, accusations and general statements are probably perfectly valid and one can feel a triumphant sense of achievement as they leave the mouth. However, they’re often followed up by an equally acidic retort and before you know it, you are mentally exhausted, no further forward and to be honest, slanging matches usually only serve to make things worse.
So what do you do with the build up of sentiments you need to articulate that are pushing forward with the strength of a huge body of water? Start an anonymous blog.
They are free and super-simple to set up, I highly recommend WordPress as a starting point. You can customise the colours and images and set them up to have a global or selective readership, or no readership at all if you choose. The point being, a nom de plume blogspace on the internet could turn your turmoil into a pithy blog that extracts the words from of your head, releasing pent up stress and if you do open it up to the reading world, you might find other people derive comfort in your words too.
Regular readers of the Divorce Tip of the Day will know I have a bit of a penchant for embracing distraction techniques to keep you occupied and slightly social.
It’s just as well I have a stack of them up my sleeve too, because it’s very rare for a divorce to conclude within a short space of time, even uncontested ones, unless you have a bottomless pit for a purse that is.
On the run up to Christmas, there are lots of plays and performances in production. Some are being cast now (I know this to be true) and if you fancy diving in to a bit of am-dram, a concerted bit of research should uncover a few in your area. If you’re not feeling quite so confident, perhaps you’ll find solace painting scenery, sewing costumes or doing technical stuff like lighting and sound.
One thing’s for sure, a busy rehearsal schedule with lines to learn will offer the perfect slice of distraction with a highly likely friendly bunch and it might assist you through to your final curtain.
As if a feisty divorce wasn’t enough to cope with, all too often there is emotional aftermath to mop up as well.
It might be yours, or one of your children, it might even belong to a close confidant who has supported you through your divorce.
Manifestations of post-divorce angst might rise in the form of depression or a silent retreat, it might be anger-filled resentment, it could even be a complete slip off the rails with a meltdown thrown in.
Whatever form it takes and whoever it pertains to, I guarantee if it is a third party who is suffering you’ll experience compounded anguish from feeling responsible for its arrival.
Out of character physical and emotional imbalances often have more than one root cause and your divorce might be a single strand from the rope that caused it. If it is affecting you or your child, seek medical assistance and guidance, if it’s affecting somebody else, encourage them to do the same and do your level best to support them as they get back on their feet. Brighter times are ahead.
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 unintentional 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.