you never know how you'll feel during a divorce, eveyone's different. Here's my story

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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here's a no nonsense way to celebrate Valentines Day for those with no imagination

Here’s a No Nonsense Way To Celebrate Valentines Day, For Those With No Imagination…..

I’ve been giving this whole romance and valentines day thing some serious thought lately. It’s funny how your perspective on things change once you find your self ‘out there’ again. If I’m honest, I’d fallen out of love with the whole idea of romancing your nearest and dearest on one particular day. I’d even go as far as saying I hated the whole pressure to join the masses, in a restaurant, paying overly inflated prices on a one-off heart adorned menu.

To me, romance should be impromptu and not something which happens because the card shops tell you it should. If there’s a Valentine’s day equivalent of Bar Humburg?

However……I’ve reassesed my whole vision of what constitutes romance and more to the point, what I think would help show that special someone you’re smitten with them some thoughtful gift ideas. Look away now if that makes you want to barf because this, my friends, is a smoochy, lovey dovey, heart infested romance post!

So, let’s think of an alternative to declaring your love and affection. You’ve toyed with the idea of dressing in black, slipping through the window and leaving a box of Milk Tray and a note. Flowers? Teddy bears?

Really?

That’s so last decade and not in a good retro way. Is that all you can come up with? Well 70’s lover boy/girl, think again.

Gifts with a Little Thought

How about knocking together a bundle of mixed messages?  A copy of the well known “Guess How Much I Love You Book” matching colouring book and a  bottle of champagne  giving a subtle way of saying

  1. I love you more than you’ll ever realise. Cute Straight to the point and ‘awwwwwww’ .
  2. I want to you relax, take a night off, escape the everyday do something mindless so you’re not thinking about all the chores. RELAX
  3. and the champagne, that will help, not to mention put that unique, this is no ordinary mid-week glass of Pinot spin on the night.


Take it one step further still; come the evening’ tidy the lounge, light some candles, turn the TV off, create an ambience. (make sure kids are in bed, that’s a total romance killer)

Set the scene

A new fragrance in the air will liven the mood. My current fave is I am A Woman reed diffuser by Joan Collins *, it smells devine! The sensual musk and woody aroma will be the perfect romantic atmosphere.  plump up the cushions and set up a Spotify play list of all her favourite songs. Ones which will spark happy memories of the 2 of you, or if it’s a fairly new relationship, try some popular ones from her teens coupled with recent ones with undertones of love and happiness.

I’d avoid Barry White, that’s waaaaaaaay too presumptuous.

Get a take away in, super markets are doing some great Valentines day meal deals if you’d rather cook it your self. Have some conversation starters to avoid your usual topics; tell them everything they love about them, reminis about the time you met, plan for the future. Try and avoid – kids, family, DIY which needs to be done and Brexit/Trump.

So there you have it, it’s quite simple, set the scene, make an effort, relax in each other’s company. THAT’S what Valentines day should be about.

Disclaimer

This is a collaborative post

* I am Woman is available to buy from QVC, M&S and Urban Retreat at Harrods

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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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sometimes you need to hit rock bottom to appreciate the good days, read more here

Yesterday was not a good day.

It started early, 3.27am, the moment I woke with a jolt from a sad dream. The kind which leaves you wondering for a moment or two; was it real or maybe a sneak peak into the future? I glanced at the clock defeated in the reality that I needed to get back to sleep if I was going to face the day ahead without dragging my sorry, tired but around the house. While I lay there trying to force the bad thoughts out of my head and crawl back up to my natural optimism I heard a noise from my son’s room.

Sleepily walking across the pitch black room, I misjudged the door opening and ‘wham’ walked straight into the door frame, taking the full force on my mouth, sending my braces into my lips and my head flying back. I’d done that walk many, many times before and as my mouth filled up with blood I knew, that no matter how hard I tried, it was going to be a bad day.

I’m a positive person naturally, always looking for the good in a situation and tackling obstacles and problems with a “que sera sera” approach. Things happen for a reason and sometimes you just have to let karma do it’s thing. But yesterday I struggled to find any positivity, not a scrap. A big black cloud loomed heavily on my shoulders and with it a niggling worry that it wouldn’t go.

I been warned there’d be days like this as I stepped on the rocky road of the end of my marriage. Shrugging off the mere thought, that I was in full control of the situation and that this was a good thing. But as I wallowed in self-pity with a fat lip and pain in my neck, I realised that I’d already had a few days like this, only this one was much worse. I’d hit rock bottom.

sometimes you need to hit rock bottom to appreciate the good days, read more here

And that was when it struck me,  I needed those bad days to appreciate the good ones.

That when you hit rock bottom it gives you a gauge to all your other days and it’s only when you get that low that you begin to get a real sense of appreciation of how good it feels to see the positive.

And slowly I clawed back some of my natural optimism.

So why am I sharing this?

Why am I spilling out the very core of my deepest darkest days?

Because I wanted to let anyone else who’s struggling to see that positivity I bang on about on here so often. That there will be a rainbow after your rain. That sometimes, just sometimes, when everything seems to be falling apart, they’re actually falling in to place and once those moments are here, you’ll appreciate it so much more and see it for what it is.

when you hit rock bottom, sometimes it's for a reason, read more here

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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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