If you are on the lead up to leaving and believe your spouse has been behaving unreasonably, you might want to sharpen up on the clearer definition of it, especially if you’re planning on divorcing them in the not too distant future.
You will have to cite it in reasonable detail on your divorce petition.
It is unpleasant or extreme behaviour from your spouse which has led to you feeling you are unable to live with them any more. There isn’t a singular legal definition as such but it certainly includes physical and mental cruelty to you or your children, verbal abuse, financial irresponsibility, drunkenness or transmission of certain sexually transmitted diseases to you.
There will generally have to have been a number of incidents and each incident does not necessarily have to be serious, however a prolonged period of trivial incidents may be considered sufficient to justify a divorce.
Do your best to provide a good account of the cumulative behaviour that you consider has led to the breakdown of your marriage and be sure to include dates where possible.
The end is near, hang on in there.
Forget all the hateful comments your ex threw at you in anger, as you both barged through the doorway at the end of your marriage.
They weren’t real, they were more likely knee-jerk reactions to a heightened situation and said to make themselves look cool as they strutted off having had the last word.
Why people get off on that last word thing I’ll never know.
However, in the early days of your separation you will undoubtedly be looking inwards and asking what went wrong.
An introspective phase where you take time for exploring self-awareness is a good thing, don’t fear it.
Indulging self-awareness will help you to recover from your present situation and it will also give you a different perspective on the world and maybe even a better foundation for the future that lies ahead.
One word of warning, don’t confuse self-awareness with being self-critical, this is about upwards and onwards only.
When we advance in our years and suddenly feel the pressures of life, the universe and everything bearing down upon our shoulders, it’s easy to forget the people we used to be.
This is particularly true as you recover from being scalded by the embers of a marriage that was going nowhere.
The fact is, if you are able to reconnect with the soul you once were, you might also be able to tap into a pocket of the energy that used to drive and thrill you.
Dig back in your dim and distant past and remember the things you used to do, the things that made the hair on the back of your neck stand up with excitement, the things that made you buzz.
Was it dancing, was it diving, was it potholing or abseiling? Whatever it was, pick up the old threads and try the activity again.
You may have to make a few adjustments to your level of participation, but you might find whatever the activity is, you take to it like and old duck to water.
It’s got to be worth a shot, for the giggle factor alone!
If you have children who are old enough to know what’s going on, accept the fact that they are also old enough to be really hacked off with the situation too.
They may well exhibit manifestations of stress and anxiety, just like you and the best thing to do is recognise that when they blow off steam, they aren’t necessarily doing it at you, but at the situation.
They are also having to cope with changes to their routines and perhaps even their living arrangements and they didn’t ask to be sat in the center of the fire.
There are a great many counselling services for children and your doctor’s surgery should be your first port of call. There may be a resident counsellor they could talk to, or if you know that’s likely to be rejected, there may be a leaflet or two you could poke under their bedroom door.
It is a difficult thing for them to adjust to any major upheaval, even if you think that in their heart of hearts they believe you guys are better off in separate houses.
Be prepared for the sparks to fly but remember the dust will settle. Love them unconditionally either way; it will end.
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.