So what do you think about this? A Caxton FX survey in how to save money in just one month and gain £358 in the process. With the cost of holidays increasing and the end of winter signalling the start of the summer holiday season, I guess trying to shave […]
Posted by Family Affairs on 01-05-2014 in BLOG / REVIEWS / TRAVEL tagged with Budget / Caxton FX / finances / Holidays / money / saving Posted by Family Affairs on 17-01-2012 in BLOG / DIVORCE tagged with DIVORCE / Family / finances / Friends / how to / humour / survive
I wrote this post some time ago, but I’ve been asked to provide an update. As per usual, I am so definitely not in a position to write a post on “How To Survive Divorce” because I am certainly no expert on the matter. Sometimes, even quite far down the line you wonder how you could have got to this position and why certain things still seem so huge. Dividing the sum of your marriage, kids and all is spectacularly painful. Children will always make things seem a million times worse. There are times when you feel you want to climb back into your nuclear family marriage just to make your children’s life feel easier. Of course it helps if you get on. If the financial situation is sorted out so that you are both happy (which is very rare) it helps hugely but the usual default setting is that both the finances and the children are used as weapons of mass destruction and therefore just when you think all is calm something else gets hurled your way. It’s an ongoing battle in our case. Lets hope that doesn’t apply in yours.
ANYWAY. BACK TO THE POINT.
I have my annual advice for those of you considering this daunting prospect. It’s Blue Monday week – the most depressing time of the year so here are some pointers to help you on your way:-
HOW TO SURVIVE DIVORCE (hopefully)
1. Your friends (and family if you’re lucky) will get you through it more than you will ever know. Don’t ever take them for granted but make sure you surround yourself with them wherever possible. They will be there with you on your long journey back out of the black hole.
2. Be prepared. You are in for a long hard slog. Get a good lawyer. Rumour has it that it takes half the time you were married to begin to get over your marriage. If that is too awful a prospect then bank on it taking AT LEAST four years. The first year is almost better than the next one because you will no doubt be a little unhinged and angry in the first year – so try not to behave too irrationally. The second year can be your reality check and it’s all highly depressing because not only are things just as hard but you’re exhausted from Year One. If you’re lucky, by Year Three the drama has died down a bit and hopefully by year 4 you are able to see the wood for the trees and can finally start reassessing your life.
3. In the early days make sure you get out of bed every day. Sometimes your body feels so heavy it won’t move. It would have been so much easier to curl up into a ball, ignore the kids and have a quiet nervous breakdown in a corner somewhere. But it doesn’t work like that. You have to “face the dragon”. Deal with the shit. Go to the meetings. Brush your hair. Remember to eat. Remember to breathe. Pick your kids up from school. Put your make-up on. Fill out that complicated form. Go to that party on your own. Do the stuff you dread. You have to. It will make you stronger and consequently it will all get easier. You will do most of it on automatic pilot and then be amazed with yourself that you got through it. I managed to learn how to be a fitness instructor on autopilot, during my most traumatised time. It saved me from myself.
4. Be kind to yourself. My old school friend wrote to me at the beginning of the whole process. She told me to do just that. To treat myself as if I was going on a date with myself (which frankly had no appeal whatsoever – I hated my own company – thankfully she invited herself along on most occasions which helped hugely). Have a massage, or go to an exhibition or a film on your own. Put yourself higher up your list of priorities. Sometimes it pays to be selfish. Try not to feel sad that you have no one to do things with or to buy you presents, buy yourself some stuff. Treat yourself to things. It’s important. Do the things that give you pleasure and forget the rest. Go on a cooking course, a knitting course, ride wolves, sail, play poker, write a book. Whatever. It. Takes. Buy a big comfortable bed and spread out in it by yourself. Learn to enjoy the solitude for a minute.
5. Cut the crap. Don’t go to everything. Do some sifting. Do the stuff that makes you happy for whatever reason. Let go of the social events that no longer work for you and of the friends that take more than they give. Drop the stuff that’s taking up too much time and getting you nowhere.
6. Most importantly keep your sense of humour. You will find that different friends are there at different times and for different reasons. Some can take you out and make you laugh and push you in at the deep end of your new scary life. Others are there for when you find your feet again and want some semblance of normality. It won’t always be funny, but there is always a funny side to be found. A different perspective to look at.
Sometimes, when you look at what is going on in the rest of the world and what other people are going through, having the time and space to mourn for your marriage is almost an indulgence. I am still a very lucky person who has three lovely children and a roof over my head and lots of fantastic friends and lots of lovely stuff to do and, and, and, and another year has gone by in a flash. It’s cold in London at the moment but maybe just try to remember that “in the kingdom of hope there is no winter”.
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