How To Exit A Marriage Gracefully

Not one to reign doom and gloom on what should be the happiest time of year, but it’s given that many couples decided to part in the new year . I can only guessing it’s a case of out with the old, in with new which trigger most people to make such a momentous decision. Or maybe the stress of having extended time together makes people realise that they simply can’t abide another year or for some the drinking and partying led to extreme behaviour which couldn’t be forgiven. Who knows?  What ever the reason, though, it happens. My own parents are testament to it,  January 4th, if you need dates.

So if this is you,  lets put those extreme emotions aside and look at the practical side. First thing first, it happens, shit happens and it’s not a failure or a dirty word. It takes a strong person to stay in an unhappy marriage but an even stronger one to say I tried but it’s time to walk away for my own sanity and that of my family.  So for those with an inkling it’s on the cards, I’m dishing the dirt  on some of my own experience as I face the first Christmas on my own. (Not that I’m ever truly alone, I have my rock steady tribe of friends and family that see to that, but you get the gist.)

Lets begin by facing facts; Separation and divorce  is NEVER a private affair no matter how hard you try. Everyone has their opinion, it’s only natural that people take sides, whether it’s Team Husband or Team Wife. It’s where true friends show their allegiance and families stand firm and proud. It’s great if you can split amicably, I’m not saying in a grown up way as lets face it, how many grown ups do you know who wouldn’t want to defend their friends or family in this situation. There’s nothing grown up about it, quite the opposite, part of being grown up is supporting each other in their time of need. It’s the bitterness and nastiness that needs leaving at the Jeremy Kyle / Jerry Springer studio.

I personally have been trying my darn hardest to do things a little different. When I finally accepted that our time was up, I made a conscious decision to exit my marriage with grace and respect, to not play the victim and to hold my head up high,

And I’m not going to lie, it’s been one of the hardest approaches to something I have EVER made.

Inside I was screaming for injustice and revenge but as the fire died down and I reflected on what was and what could now be, the right and only course for me to take was the calm one. I’m not a drama queen by nature,  neither am I vengeful or scheming. So I had to go with what I do and know best and be calm, collected and in control.

Bonkers you say? “Get out there and fight” was that?

Just think about it, where exactly will it get you? You can’t fight fire with fire and there’s no more damaging emotion than hate and anger. So why be everyone else’s drama topic of the day? Nope, it’s the low road for me, plus karma does a pretty good job of sorting out the deserving & not so.

And while the practicalities of the situation mean you will have to exercise your own opinion in some shape or form. Keeping your counsel and letting the professionals do what they do best. You need to try mediation prior to any divorce proceedings. This is involves sitting with a trained mediator who is completely neutral  while you discuss between you how to approach childcare arrangements, divving up your assets and anything else you need to discuss with your ex partner.

Once that’s all done and dusted (and whether it worked out or not, it’s not always suitable, especially in cases where there was domestic violence) Next step it to make it official by moving on to the divorce proceedings. If mediation worked out ok (which is the MUCH cheaper option) you can file for divorce by enlisting a solicitor firm online  check out Slater Gordon divorce solicitors to give you an idea of how this works, or  visiting a local firm. Most offer an initial mini free session which helps you get a feel if they’re the right person to take charge  of such a whopping great big life choice.

What’s important here is to try not to air your dirty washing on social media. Once those words are out there they’re permanent and can’t be unsaid. Choose your sounding out boards wisely, gather up the fun ones who’s distract you and  filter out the trusting few who you can vent to and know that it’ll go no further.

And while I’ve still got a lot of ground to cover before I’m out of the woods, I’d like to think that there is still a possibility I can exit this  marriage gracefully, even if I do trip up a little along the way.

If you’d like to read more posts on my journey from married to single try these;

 Status update, theres something you should know

What The Early Days As A Single Mum Feels Like

end of a long term relationship

why you need to hit rock bottom How To Exit A Marriage With Grace And Respect  

Disclaimer

This is a collaborative post. 

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So you’re wondering how I’m feeling about my divorce?

I’ve been over analysing life a lot lately, trying to evaluate and understand the whats and whys in an attempt to understand me and what I do next. I’m playing many new roles right now; The (single) mum, the vulnerable daughter, the sister, the friend, the girlfriend, the business woman and the soon to be ex-wife. These life changes haven’t just effected me and I’m very conscious that it’s not just me that’s analysing me too.

With so much change and so many new experiences I’m taking a baby steps approach to life. Never wanting to plan too far ahead as I float through each week in survival mode. It’s a strange and exciting feeling when your life plans take a sudden change, and that over analysing I’ve been doing is a product of the uncertainty of what I thought the future might be like. That old future is now a stranger to me now and I’m a little scared to dare dream of what the new one brings.

When people ask how I’m doing, I know what they’re really asking. But the truth is you could ask me that question every day and it will be different. Today I’m feeling good, I’m living for today. With a tired fuzzy head my focus is on what I’m doing today and how good my bed will feel when I crawl in at the end of the day,

Today I’m too tired for planning and over analysing.

Today I’m not thinking about the holiday we’re off on next month.

Today I’m not thinking about what to do on my childfree weekend and fretting about being away from my boys.

Today I’m not thinking about the things which are lacking in my life and how I can change that.

Today I’m not thinking about how I’m going to get my new business thriving and bringing in enough money so I don’t lie awake at night thinking about all the bills I need to pay.

Today I’m NOT over analysing.

Today I’m giving my thinking brain a break.

I spent too much time doing that last night and I’m tired.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon clearing out the messy junk room under the stairs in an attempt to clear my jumbled thoughts. Decluttering and housework seem to help, it’s like osmosis – decluttering my mind. I’m still the optimistic, easy going me, just  a little more distant at times as I fall down the rabbit hole of thinking.

I’m navigating unchartered waters right now so I’ve decided the best thing I can do is pull up the anchor and see where the wind takes me. I can’t plan a future right now, I can’t plan as I have no idea what it’ll look like.  The back pages of my story have been ripped out and replaced by blank ones, the words DIVORCE taking the title of the next chapter.

So excuse me if I’m a little vague in my answer about “How am I today?” or if  throw a question right back at you and change the subject. I don’t always know exactly how to answer and each day is different, and I apologise if I double book you or forget an arrangement, my fuzzy head can’t always see past the end of the day.

I’ve tried planning out my weeks and weekends and it unnerves me when those plans get changed. It sends me into a panic and reminds me that even tomorrow is still a little uncertain. So right now I don’t dare plan too much as recent events have taught me, even the best laid plans have a habit of going astray.

And that right now pulling up anchor and going with the flow is the only way to go.

I've stopped planning too much as my impeding divorce has re written the rule book and my future plans are looking a little uncertain.

 

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End of a Long Term Relationship, What’s Next?

I’ve decided it’s high time I shared the experience of what happens following the end of long term relationship. Some of you reading this will recognise what I’m about to say, some will completely disagree and some won’t really give a stuff, you’re just intrigued and passing time before East Enders starts. But I thought it may (or may not) benefit someone who’s just stepped onto the rocky road of singleton. So here goes;

First off, keep focused, keep positive and most importantly, keep looking forward. If there’s one piece of advice I can give anyone in this situation is that there WILL be a positive, even if you’re struggling to see it right now. Dig deep, even if it’s something as simple as having full hold of the remote control, there is always something.

Sure, there are things you will miss which will try to hog your thoughts from time to time. I really missed having someone bring me coffee in bed, stupid I know, but I’ve decided a coffee machine next to my bed is the way forward. See, negative thought gone and shopping trip scheduled.

There will be good days and bad, and the bad days will catch you unaware. I shocked myself how well I handled the fall out of my marriage breakdown. Surely it wasn’t supposed to feel this good? But just as I thought life couldn’t get any better, one little thing brought it all crashing down. And that is all it will take. For me if a was a little comment which brought home the reality of what had happened. So I wallowed, moaned, listened to Alanis Morrisette, searched out quotes on Pinterest which matched my emotions.

And then messaged a friend.

And that leads me seamlessly into my next snippet of advice. NEVER under-estimate the power of your friends and family.  I have an amazing support network which I can call on and who I know will pull me out of the doldrums, even when they don’t realise they’re doing it.

I have my funny, crazy bestest friend who never fails to make me giggle. We swear, we laugh, we send silly GIFs, I rant, she rants, and we plan. I don’t even have to tell her I’m feeling crap, she just knows. Same goes for my sister, 100’s of miles away and living a crazy busy mum life, she’s the one to tell me how it is. Facts are facts, straight talking but caring. Lecture if need be, but always says the right thing and, along with my mum, dad and brother, is my rock.

And then there’s the ones who I coffee with, drink wine with and talk about our children with. They’re my distraction, where I don’t have to disclose too much and stop me going to where my negative thoughts are trying to take me.

Get your support network in place, it doesn’t have to be huge, but you will need it.

how to survive the early month of the end of a long term relationship. this quote is a perfect reminder of how to see the situation

Look after yourself, your emotions are taking a battering right now and you need to be able to take what ever life throws at you. Don’t let yourself get too stressed. This has huge implications on you mentally and physically. I’m a huge fan of reflexology to help balance and restore. I tend to internalize stress resulting in unexplained aches and pains. The problem with this is that pretty soon you get over loaded and you find little things you could once shrug off start to bother you.

Think of your body being a vase, each stressful situation is a cup of sand, filling it up until you can’t hold it anymore. It over flows. Think of the mess & how heavy the glass now feels. If you can find balance & ways to offload that stress and overloading you emotionally  (talking is always a good way of doing this too) you can cope with so much more. Keep that space in your head for when you really need it.

And I’ll say it again, keep looking forward. Don’t look back in anger (sing it Oasis style if that helps) Embrace the occasional down days, your body & mind needs to process what’s happened and move on, but don’t let the bad outweigh the good or play the victim, you’re the navigator of your own happiness.

What’s done is done. Be graceful in your departure from the old you, things happen for a reason and sometimes beyond your control. Embrace the next adventure on which your life is leading you,

Exciting times are ahead.

I promise you.

 

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Status update. There’s something you should probably know.

Mum in a Nutshell is a personal blog, documenting the life of a Devon mum to 3 boys, which you know. And the reason you guys keep coming back to read what’s going on in my little corner of East Devon, or any blog for that matter, is to see a snippet of what normal family life feels like. So it’s only fair that I share what’s going on for me right now.

It actually feels weird saying it out loud, if truth be told,  never in a million years did I think I’d ever have to. I made my vows and that was that. I took up my position of wife, general chief decision maker, financial advisor and there I stayed, 21 years in total. For better for worse, till death us do part. But things change, we changed, I changed and I had a gut feeling something wasn’t right.

The nitty-gritty is bye -the-bye and something I’ll never share, the reality right now is that the ugly side of separating with a husband / partner / boyfriend / whatever, is suddenly your relationship becomes public property. A topic of conversation on everyone’s lips and close one’s thoughts. But strangely it’s also a time when people want to talk to you less. So I’m going public with my own words.

You become the elephant in the room, conversations become strained as they desperately try not to mention the word ‘marriage’ or talk of what a wonderful time they had with their spouse. It never bothered me, most days I’m lost in my own thoughts to take any notice and I’ve hid myself away during the early days. Licking my wounds and wondering what the hell I do now.

It’s a fact of life that people talk, and sometimes gossip is good, it helps control behaviour as you try not to be the latest word on the streets. But sometimes that gossip can be cutting as they speculate about what happened. I’d love to share my story but it wouldn’t be fair and one day my children might read this.

So while the gossips do their gossiping,  I’m gripped in a roller coaster of emotions; excited about the future and new possibilities. While panicking about the fact I’m going to have to tackle motorway driving if the boys and I are ever going to go on holiday again. It’s a strange old situation which no one can ever prepare you for.

But hey ho, it’s happened and things happen for a reason. I’ve updated my status to single so while I exercise all manners of positive thinking and snuggle in the warmth & support of my amazingly family and friends. I thought it was only fair I told my readers what was going on and to remind you all to trust your insticts. I’m still here, still writing, still smiling and hopefully, with many more new adventures to share.

To be continued….

 

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