Tag Archives: forgiveness

So you want a divorce? 20 thoughts.

So you want a divorce? Some tips if you have kids on how to keep it amicable from someone who failed. Do as I say not as I do! My biggest regret about my divorce is that we couldn’t keep it amicable. Written from the female perspective as I am, but I’m sure you can adapt it however your relationship is made up and balanced. 

1. Don’t post anything on face book or other media. Delete your account or at least post nothing. Your ex will grow resentment (yes they’ll find it even if blocked), your kids won’t understand that your fun without them isn’t a reflection on them or why you are being snide about dad. If they are young they will see it soon, it’s out there, just don’t. 

2. If you have the money be generous, if you don’t be grateful. Split it in half if it’s been a long marriage. 

3. Make a final settlement, otherwise you (or your new partner) will always resent paying or receiving and not be free.

4. Don’t ask your ex for help, no light bulbs changed or cakes made. It’s over.

5. Try to avoid lawyers, at least as much as possible, you have to legally disclose how much you have  to them and they seem to be able to make their fees exactly that! A good lawyer means one who’s made amicable divorces in the past, not a Rottweiler that will screw your ex.

6. Don’t text, email your ex anything but facts about the kids. No calling them a moron or sending emotional emails about ‘winning’ the divorce. Yep he did!

7. Do text them lots of info about your kids, so they know about sports days, the cat dying and events and what’s going on in their lives. Kids are terrible at coms. Schools are generally pretty hateful and uncommunicative to dads in my experience. 

8. Be prepared to lose most of your friends, don’t worry it leaves spaces to make new genuine ones. 

9. Be final. No getting back together and then splitting. It will break your kids hearts. 

10. Don’t play games and get mean, no starving ex to get them to sign (yes he did), your kids will suffer and you will only look bad. 

11. Don’t stop access to kids, for any reason apart from their safety. Set up a good routine.

12. If you disagree with something for kids, like phones, you can tell that to ex but you can’t stop it. You can’t micro manage their world with your ex anymore than your ex can manage yours. 

13. Try to work around arrangements, lives are complicated but you can say no, sometimes making an ex husband take responsibility for the time he has his children and finding his own care arrangements can help the kids see daddy cares. Try to give notice.

14. If you do alternate weekends try to make it a pick up after school, then whole weekend and drop back to school. That way you get a chance for a proper relaxing weekend without home work and meals to prepare. He gets to do meals, homework and washing with kids and bonds through that (it really is the little things that count), the kids get a great role model of capable dad and the bond is stronger. 

15. Don’t send messages through kids, they get forgotten/missed and the child is drawn into your fight. Try to acknowledge messages politely so everyone knows what’s happening. 

16. Regular child sharing is great, as a woman it was my first taste of freedom for years and I learnt to value it, if you poison your child about ex they will not want to go and you will be exhausted and fed up of asking friends for a favour. 

17. Pay your maintenance when it’s due. 

18. Don’t speak ill of ex, it’s hard as we naturally need to alienate them to allow us to move on, (who wants to moon on about someone whos rejected them!)but your kids love them much as they love you, if you alienate the children have some very confused feelings. 

19. Make your new partner understand that you may not appear to hate you ex, but you will never be together again, reassure them. 

20. Be honest about your assets, including the bullion and the old stamp and the designer number plate. This is the mother of your children. Remember karma. 

Three wishes, what do we really want?

Watching Aladdin in panto I was struck with the question of what my three wishes would be?

1. Health for sure… Not to groan as I stand, to be able to run and move like I was 17… Or 7!

2. My second surprised me, it was to be amicable with my ex. It would make mine and my kids lives so much happier. I have tried a few times but I can’t break through, I don’t think it’s possible till the financials are sorted (which he tells me is never) and frankly it’s probably too late. However I can encourage my partner to be kind to his child’s mother.

3. I’m leaving this one for all of you! What would you do with your wish?

I was a broken chair

Sometimes a broken thing can be fixed to be stronger and more beautiful.

My new partners parents had an old painted dining chair in their bathroom. It had a metal plate quite crudely screwed on where the back had previously been broken and I couldn’t help reflect as I lay in the bath that I was that chair.

Sat upon for years, part of a set, then broken and cast off on my own, then some very kind person saw something in me, took the time to mend me so that I was stronger than ever before, if a little scarred, but standing on my own and doing what I needed to do in life.

Happiness post divorce

The happiest I’ve ever been

After divorce there is a huge pressure from friends and colleagues to fall into the set script of a divorcee.
Friend ‘But you’re happy now aren’t you?’
Divorcee ‘oh yes the happiest I’ve ever been’

I’m not the happiest. Life is hard, although at first my kids coped well there are cracks and massive inconveniences in their lives. Money is difficult, I rely on maintenance (it’s a complicated story basically my ex wouldn’t give me a final settlement from the business we started so he pays in maintenance) this means I’m not free to have a partner in my life so long as I take the money my ex owes me. You can bet my Narcissist ex loves this!

I found love again yet how long will he hang around for a middle aged woman who is not free to be with him? Maybe I’ll get lucky but I think the odds are stacked against us. Whatever happens it’s not his responsibility to make me happy.

I’m often lonely, friends scattered like I was a bio hazard and it’s taking time after being forced to move to a new town without young children to break into new friendships.

Learning makes me happy, coming to an understanding of how I got here, having been spat out the middle class, married professional machine like a sneeze, I’m still a bit disorientated.

I like it here and I wouldn’t go back and wish he had left sooner. But honestly I was happy in the early years before he started going mad with money and power. Admittedly I was happy in my ignorance but with the supreme power of hindsight I see it was not real.

I think real happiness is in making my own choices.

 

Depression? Questions to ask…

Feeling depressed, questions to ask

First I want to say I believe real depression exists, indeed I have friends that struggle with it. Having said that I thought I was depressed, my ex told me I was (gas lighting?), but now with the clarity of hindsight I don’t believe I was, not the proper depression I see in some friends anyway.

My first experience with ‘depression’ was as I had a series of miscarriages, my now ex suggested I get help, at the time I’d recently had a later miscarriage and was shocked he thought I was depressed, I considered it carefully but came to my own conclusion that I was justifiably sad, not depressed, it was my body going through this, he appeared to be able to shake off each loss easily but I had to go through the complexities of bereavement each time. I stopped counting the losses when we got to double figures and finally lost the ability to conceive after multiple ectopic pregnancies. Then had to mourn my loss of that, the end of my fertility, something we normally have to face in menopause. Still I don’t think I was depressed – though hardly life and sole of the party! I was justifiably sad.

Later in our marriage as the kids prepared to leave, my husband  started his midlife crisis, his narcissistic traits became more exaggerated and I found myself in a lonely, loveless marriage not understanding his withdrawal from me (I had no idea he had already moved on). I was on the surface, lucky, 2.5 kids, lovely home, charismatic husband, financially well off, lots of holidays. So I was perplexed at my feelings of sadness and loneliness, and depression, I went on anti depressants and had some counselling. The anti depressants zombified me, I would not recommend them. My life and needs were totally suppressed by the drugs and the narcism. The drugs could not cure the fact that my life was deprived of a loving partner. 

Trapped in a marriage that sapped my freedom (not that I understood this at the time, I believed it was depression).
Finally he found the balls to leave me. It was sudden and at the time unexpected. I can see now that I’d come off the zombie drugs and got myself a job where I was blown away by what it felt like to be appreciated for doing stuff, I was no longer at my husbands beck and call 24/7 and he didn’t like it. He left.

Since then I have and still am working hard not to act as a co-dependant (or go too far the other way!) I now know what it feels like to be loved and am sad to realise my husband never felt love for me, I was just useful to him. I also know I was never actually depressed, I wish I’d not taken anti depressants and instead concentrated on counselling. I know I would never have left my husband, I had made a commitment I believed in, so I am unbelievably grateful to him for setting me free.

So what am I trying to say?
Don’t jump to conclusions that you are depressed
Try taking more control of your life instead
Try counselling before drugs
If you are thinking you are depressed but can’t see why, look at your relationships, especially your close ones.

This is just my experience, if you feel suicidal please get professional help now.

Seeing your ex after divorce

Having to see your ex

Parent evening. This means seeing my ex for the first time in about 9 months, for the first time since we actually got divorced. 

I did try that olive branch thing, which got an insulting reply and no contact from him since (now I know the silent treatment is a normal narcissistic weapon, it has lost most of its power over me). Even so I was dreading it. I was also confused, boy did I want to look good, but no way did I want to look good for him. I did want him to regret doing what he did, but I don’t want him back. How conflicting and confusing.

So the reason I am there is for my son so I focus on that, yes I made a little effort to look good, but not too much. Instead I managed to ask relevant questions, and I came away pleased that I knew my son, and what’s going on in his life. He’s doing very well by the way.

And the ex, well he looked very tired underneath that deep tan, obviously just back from somewhere very expensive, which is why he couldn’t have his son last week. He also looked kind of puffy which was odd. Next summer I will have to endure his presence – and him mine, at my daughters graduation ceremony, I mentioned this to my son, who put me in my place, ‘It’s not about you mum, it’s about her’ I felt ashamed wrapped up in my own trauma, he is quite right. I will try my best to keep that in my mind and in my actions.

My man was waiting for me when I got back and I felt so damn lucky to have such a great guy loving and supporting me and my kids now. Now him I did feel like looking good for, but ironically I kind of know I don’t have to try that hard, as Bridget Jones would say ‘he loves me just the way I am’.

divorce and facing suicide

Divorce and facing suicide

Yes sadly it went through my head, he left very suddenly, it was a massive shock though with the clarity of hindsight I can of course see the signs. I went into utter shock for a few weeks, so of course I considered opting out. I felt worthless, and more than that unimportant, I was a hinderance to people’s lives. I argued that they would all breathe a sigh of relief if I wasn’t there, my ex could move on and start a new family, my kids could adopt a proper mother instead of the defunct one they had inherited.

What stopped me? For a start I didn’t know how to do it, I didn’t want pain, though I felt I deserved it. The idea of my kids finding me hanging was just a no no. Though the image of hanging is very strong in my head. I would not want to put anyone else at risk so jumping in front of something didn’t work. I didn’t want it not to succeed so it had to be fool proof. Luckily I didn’t do it, the shock left me so exhausted that I really didn’t have the energy.

There were other times when the shock had receded that I considered it, when the stress and pain were too much. When he tried to starve me into submission to sign forms while he went skiing with his new family. Luckily after carefully considering the suicide option it made me turn a corner, I realised if suicide was a realistic option then I literally had nothing to lose, I could take any risk, do anything stupid as the alternative was death. I could give up everything and donate my life to doing good, surely better than the waste of death? If I was no longer afraid of death I was no longer afraid of anything. This was incredibly empowering and liberating. I booked a parachute jump, and had a few silly flings with young handsome men that I thoroughly enjoyed knowing there was no future in it. I went clubbing, bought a kayak and went off on my free weekends. I was a woman behaving badly (only on my weekends without kids). I started learning who I was. That I love life. That I don’t need to be scared anymore. I learnt who he was too, I discovered how gullible and submissive I had been and that infact this love of my life was not a very nice person. That my kids needed me.

I learnt that only in sinking so low could I really appreciate life, so if suicide knocks on your door, face it. Think about it, then chose to live a liberated life.

When you don’t fear death there is only life