Posts Tagged ‘Divorce Help’

Our new Divorce Workshop

Our next divorce workshop is on Saturday November 3rd in Holborn Central London.  There is more information at www.divorcesupportgroup.co.uk/workshop.  Let us know if you would like to join it.

Is the economic climate making it harder to divorce?

An article in The Scotsman today talks about less people divorcing because they can’t afford to.  The article can be read here: http://bit.ly/wuL32v  I think the economic climate does make it very difficult to separate for some people.  Where there are insufficient funds to house both people, or insufficient income to cover two separate lifestyles instead of one under the same roof, then people can be forced to stay together much longer than they would otherwise.  Sometimes, people start to live separately within the same house to compensate for this, even dividing the house in two with partition walls and rotas for using the bathroom and kitchen.  This is far from an ideal solution to separation.  Separation needs to look and feel like separation.  Going through the same front door each night is distressing and feeling that there is a makeshift solution is stressful.  Unfortunately, that is one of the realities of the long term financial crisis that we find ourselves in.  Perhaps sitting down and finding a less hostile solution would be an idea if it was possible.  That is, living together but separately without the artificial need for partitions and rotas.  That is, recognising the separation and just being civil together until the economic cloud lifts and people can truly go their separate ways.

Our Divorce Workshop

We ran a really successful divorce workshop on Saturday in Central London.  The purpose of the day was to help people manage their overwhelming feelings associated with separation.  We talked about loss, feeling stuck, managing children’s expectations and emotions, fear around moving on and strategies for feeling better.  The Workshop was between 10 and 3 with lunch in between. 

All the people who came said how incredible it was to be able to share their experiences with other people who really understood and it made them feel much less alone and isolated.  One of the nicest things that come out of these workshops and our support groups is that people carry on seeing each other afterwards.  Real friendships are made and support continues long after the workshop is finished.  Our Saturday workshop was no different.  Emails were exchanged and I know that they will all continue to do things together.

Our next Workshop is in Central London on Saturday the 24th March

New Divorce Support Groups across the Country.

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Dawn French and Lenny Henry.

Much press today about the separation of Dawn French and Lenny Henry, with most of the press trying to find a reason for their separation by focussing on Lenny Henry’s affair ten years ago.  Of course it is speculation and essentially private as to what caused their decision, but I think it is interesting that they have chosen to separate now that their daughter is 18.  Many people in a long term relationship believe that as their children near the time of leaving home that they can then concentrate on each other and have their original relationship back.  Sadly, that is often not the case and it is certainly true in the divorce support groups that we run that many people come to them who have come out of very long marriages and are in their 50’s.  Having concentrated on raising children and not really paying much attention to one’s partner results in the realisation that left alone together, that essential connection has been lost.  Suddenly, instead of a new honeymoon period, people realise they have nothing left to say to one another and the intimacy of being alone together is too difficult to navigate and negotiate.  It sometimes seems to one of the partners that its a whole lot easier to start again with someone else than to face the person they have in fact lived a parallel life with for 25 years.

The effect of divorce on men

Much is written about the effect of divorce on women, but much less about men.  Men who have been left feel depressed and isolated.  Generally men feel that they have no one to talk to, see much less of their children than they did before and have to find money that they worry that they haven’t got.  Women seem more able to engage the help of friends, family and professional support.  The men who seek professional support do much better than those who carry on with a public face that belies how terrible they feel inside.  It is easy to marginalise how men feel and imagine that they are doing fine when in fact, much of the time they are not.

Resolution Family Law Conference

Just had an interesting day in Manchester at the Resolution Family Law Solicitors conference giving a talk to Family Lawyers on the emotional impact of divorce.  Really, the message was for lawyers to be mindful that clients aren’t just looking for legal advice but a steer on the emotional impact of their separation.  It is important for lawyers to be mindful that a client who instructs them, does not just have legal issues to deal with and a real service will be done, if it is recognised that clients should be referred to therapists or counsellors who can help them process this bereavement. This will make the legal process less painful for them to deal with and produce better outcomes.  How is a person to make well informed decisions when riding an emotional roller coaster.

Calling a Stepmother mummy

In a  recent Australian case a mother went to Court  to prevent her child calling her Step Mother mummy D.  The Court ruled that it would not prevent the child calling her stepmother what she wanted.  It is very sad that this case went to court and is another example of parents using their child as a pawn in the battle between them.  It is really important to take into account the other parent’s feelings over things like this, which will reduce the hostility between the parents and therefore the situation will be much more pleasant for the child.  It is also good that a child feels comfortable and close to a step parent. It is a far better situation than a child dreading being around their step parent when they have to be.