If you have been a victim of domestic abuse of any kind, I hope today is the last day you let yourself suffer it. Braving up and making a stand by saying, ‘No more’ will probably take every ounce of energy you have in you, but once you start the ball rolling you will probably be surprised by how much assistance there is to help you.
If you are in any danger whatsoever, make your first port of call the police. There are specially trained departments and officers who will make the explanation process far gentler than you imagine it to be.
If you have suffered from harassment, intimidation or threats of domestic violence, they may guide you towards a Non-Molestation Order which will protect you. It is a criminal offence to break it and your ex could face up to five years in prison if they decide to do so.
Abuse is unacceptable in any form. You do not have to suffer it any longer. Make today the day you say, ‘No more’.
Single parenting is no easy chore and if you’re having to deal with the day to day of the school holidays, which will soon be the school run again, alongside getting divorced, you are nothing short of amazing.
Hold onto your achievements as you strive to fit in all the necessary preparation for them to return to school in September. If you have children who are old enough to help around the house, encourage them to do so and explain that you have a temporary high workload right now with additional time critical responsibilities, their help will be enormously appreciated, promise a pay back with their favourite supper.
If you have friends or family nearby who have offered to assist with childcare, second-hand clothes, shared school runs and so on, take them up on their offer. The more time you can dedicate to keeping on top of your divorce physically and emotionally, the better it is for everyone.
Finally, cut yourself some slack and remember to make time to play and laugh; the madness will end.
It is ridiculously hard to stop worrying when you are surrounded by the unpredictable chaos that is divorce.
However, worrying about your problems can actually be worse than the problems themselves.
Worrying causes sleepless nights, anxiety, stress, depression, stomach pains, the shakes and more besides. The more you worry, the worse these symptoms become and the more you worry; it can be an horrifically vicious cycle.
One of the ways you can limit the bite it has, is by writing down your list of worries and giving yourself a dedicated time to think about the things on your list. If you feel overcome by worry at say 1pm, you can tell yourself that at 7pm each evening you’ll address the things on your worry list and think about ways to solve them.
As it isn’t 7pm, you are not allowed to think about it and do your level best to put it out of your mind for now. It is a method that requires practice and self-discipline but it can help if you let it.
Don’t forget your doctor too, I know I mention them often, but that’s because they have a great big list of ways to recover from emotional problems; call them if worrying itself becomes a real worry.
The summer is rolling ever closer towards the autumn, one of my favourite times of the year and along with it comes much kinder weather to enjoy a spot of walking.
Cooler days are more inviting for lengthy strolls and a fold up poncho to protect you against a splash of precipitation won’t take up too much room in a backpack, alongside a bottle of water for rehydration and a sweet snack in case you feel a bit flaky.
You don’t have to set a stiff pace for a walk but any exercise can be an incredibly powerful antidote to anxiety and stress and I imagine you are surrounded by more than your fair share of that at the moment.
Try to set yourself a goal of around half an hour to an hour of walking and if you’re able to expose your skin to a bit of sunlight, you’ll also absorb a bit of vitamin D at the same time. Natural sunlight has the ability to lift your spirits too and make you feel better, so grab a bit before the winter winds set in and walk your way towards a brighter future for your body and mind.
If you feel you have been indulging alcohol more than you know is good for you, that’s actually quite a good sign.
Recognising what you’re doing might not be in your body’s best interests, is the first step to addressing an excess.
You probably know already that alcohol is in fact a depressive substance, it may give you a temporary lift but if you are feeling down in the mouth, it’s more likely to exacerbate those dark feelings and it can easily make a bad situation appear ten times worse.
Cutting down your intake progressively is a good plan and a far better idea than cutting it out completely in one hit, especially if you have been drinking consistently for quite a while.
Make an appointment to speak to your doctor to discuss it if you can, they are best placed to help you make those crucial changes and to offer you controlled assistance and support to get back on your feet and don’t be frightened to look at the good advice on alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk.
You’re on the right road at last.
You may find yourself steering towards mediation as a positive way of communicating with your ex as you urgently seek financial equitability and an end to your divorce.
Mediation has a great many benefits. A grown up with clout and a degree of power will work to keep reins on both parties and will urge them towards controlled and constructive dialogue that will bring this phase of the divorce to a close. Their very presence has an air of calm and structure and they will work hard to expedite matters.
If you have been a victim of domestic abuse, they will even offer you the option of sitting in a separate room to your ex, so you don’t have to suffer even a threat of intimidation.
However, this service comes at a cost and a fairly substantial one at that. If your ex has proposed a particular mediation company to do the job and you are unhappy with their proposal and fees, shop around, there are many companies who offer this service and the prices vary.
You don’t have to jump on the first bus to freedom; another will be along shortly and the fare might be cheaper.
If you think you are having a rough time of it with your divorce, be glad you’re not a celebrity.
Their high profile ding dongs play out in front of audiences of millions of adoring fans and invariably, the media will favour one side of the partnership.
The ‘bad guy’ will be hung, drawn and quartered in front of their friends, family and those who appreciate their acting/music/writing etc.
You can almost guarantee that whatever spin is being put on their story, it’s a world away from the simple truth that’s going on behind their gated closed doors.
Spend 10 minutes perusing the internet news gossip columns for who is divorcing whom, who they’re reportedly sleeping with, why they deserve to be taken to the cleaners and so on and you’ll soon be grateful that your audience is considerably smaller.
They still bleed, they still hurt and they have no way to let the world know about the injustices they are facing, it’ll just be another sheet of newspaper that’ll wrap tomorrow’s fish and chips.
What do you do when your ex, who has been an endless font of suffering and torment since you split up by behaving in a truly vile manner, starts being nice to you?
Well, if they have a serious track record of presenting badly, I suggest you do nothing at all!
You will have undoubtedly spent weeks, maybe even months, shoring up your defences and for a very good reason; not to let them or their hurtful volatility back in again.
Keep your protective barrier in place and don’t waste too much time cogitating whether or not they have have had a personality transplant.
a) it’s highly unlikely and b) what’s the point?
Do you plan to let them back into your life? Do you plan on hanging out with them again? Are you going to leave yourself open to a harpoon of heartache piercing your inner sanctum? I doubt it.
Think leopards. Think spots.
Today’s tip follows on from yesterday’s advice to those living in England and Wales about form D8, the Divorce / Dissolution/ (Judicial) Separation Petition, which you need to fill in to file for divorce; see www.gov.uk/divorce/file-for-divorce.
Of all the sections you have to complete on that comprehensive 8 page form, the worst bit has to be Part 6, where you need to qualify why you’re divorcing them.
The supporting notes claim that one or two sentences will do, but the compulsion to retch everything out is often irresistible.
In respect of adultery, you don’t need to name the other person but you do need to give times and dates of when you believe it took place.
In respect of unreasonable behaviour, give details of their usual conduct, or list up to half a dozen of the more serious incidents with dates, including the most recent.
In respect of desertion, state the date, details around the circumstances of it and confirmation that you’ve lived apart since then.
In respect of 2 or 5 years of separation, supply the date, brief details of how it transpired and if it’s the 2 year separation, give confirmation that your ex consents to the divorce being granted.
Whatever the reason, it can hurt to lay it out in black and white, but that hurt is part of your journey to closure.
If you live in England or Wales and have decided to divorce your ex, you’ll do well to visit the UK Government’s website at www.gov.uk/divorce/file-for-divorce, particularly if you are keen to keep your costs to a minimum.
This link will direct you to a page with links to many forms you will need in order to get Divorced; 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.