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Global Guide to Divorce

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Ex-spouse

Can Exes be Friends Post-Divorce?

The simple answer to the question of can exes be friends after divorce is….it depends. Some people were great pals before marriage and want to continue this post-divorce. It is doable with these caveats. Let there be some space between your divorce and picking up the friendship. Both parties may not be over hurts or harbour some resentment over the divorce process itself. One may be farther along on the divorce continuum of moving on, and the other is stuck and not catching up. Waiting a bit helps in establishing clear boundaries and avoiding the “friends with benefits.” Jumping into bed immediately after divorce – when neither have sex partners – hampers starting separate lives. Meet up again when not feeling lonely or craving intimacy. Enlarge your circle of acquaintances and business networks, plus renew old friendships. Feeling fulfilled with your social life fills the void left by a departing spouse.

Be proactive and inform your friends that you both are cool about your changed relationship and there is no need to take sides. Tell mutual friends that they are not being disloyal remaining in contact with the two of you. This alerts them that neither of you has to be dropped from their guest list nor is bumping into each other socially an issue.

Avoid meeting at your favourite places that you frequented when married. Go to a new café or have more informal get-togethers at coffee houses. The point is not to relive your marriage when forging a new relationship with your former spouse. When the marital history is firmly anchored in the past, some divorced people claim that they are great judges of potential partners for their exes. They know these peoples’ strengths and weaknesses and can give an opinion on whether or not it is a good match.

When children are involved, make it clear to them that mummy and daddy are friendly, but are not getting back together again. Ever. This is important so that the kids can accept a future step-parent. It is lovely when both parents can share important moments and holidays with the youngsters. Children can feel more grounded when parents are not perceived as enemies, but rather being on good terms.

Take stock of your emotions. Maybe being friends with your former spouse is just not in the cards. Some couples are totally done with each other after a break up. Someone can have an ulterior motive in “Let’s be friends.” If something does not seem right, then pull back. You may need to take a breather to carefully evaluate your situation. Perhaps you both require a break from each other to gain some clarity in setting up boundaries for this changed relationship. It could be that being friends is a no go. Do not let yourself be coerced into anything, and if friendship is on the agenda, it will happen.

Take stock of your emotions. Maybe being friends with your former spouse is just not in the cards. Some couples are totally done with each other after a break up. Someone can have an ulterior motive in “Let’s be friends.” If something does not seem right, then pull back. You may need to take a breather to carefully evaluate your situation. Perhaps you both require a break from each other to gain some clarity in setting up boundaries for this changed relationship.

It could be that being friends is a no go. Do not let yourself be coerced into anything, and if friendship is on the agenda, it will happen.

Originally punished in The Divorce Magazine   www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/

Co-Parenting with a Sociopath

Sociopath is also called antisocial personality disorder and is one of the most difficult people to have as a co-parent. New research has indicated that there can be a genetic link to having antisocial personality disorder and it sometimes runs in families. Sociopaths are highly represented in the prison populations. People with antisocial personality disorder can be impulsive and reckless. Many are highly intelligent and choose occupations where they have power, such as politicians, police, clergy, trial attorneys, and surgeons.

Sociopaths lack empathy and compassion for others, yet seem (pretending) to care about them. Their good works are for show and glory only. They blame others and do not see the need to change themselves, so are not prone to seek therapy. People with antisocial personality disorder manipulate more vulnerable people, such as their children. They have a sense of entitlement and use others to obtain what they feel is due to them out of life.

They blame others and are prime candidates for committing parental alienation. Sociopaths can explode with rage which frightens kids, or the youngsters shut down to avoid being a trigger for this fury. Life is not stable when a parent’s moods are so labile. This is emotional abuse. Sociopaths can be charming and may have swayed the court into granting ample shared time. Document everything, including what the children say, and your e-mail interactions. Their charisma may influence people in your children’s lives, such as teachers, who may support this enchanting parent.

They have no scruples and will try to corrupt their kids into doing dangerous or illegal activities.   One sociopath showed hardcore internet pornography to his young sons, acting as if this is normal. He threatened them not to tell their mother, or it would be their fault if the mum then broke up the family. The younger son accidently let slip what their father had recently shown them. The mum called the father who denied it, but she said that she was starting a formal investigation. He left her a day later. Her divorce solicitor asked why he couldn’t have done “another hobby, like bowling with the kids.”

Sociopaths do not have respect for life and may mistreat or torture animals. They may expose children to this atrocity. The key is clear communication with your children about what behaviour and ethics are acceptable and what is not. If they do not want to confide in you, have someone else available, if they are not in therapy.

Never let the sociopath into your home for any reason. If you are in the marital house, make sure all locks, alarm and garage codes have been changed. Do not give out any personal information about yourself to this other parent. Make it clear to the children that anything at all about you or your shared life with them, is off limits to your ex. They can discuss their school, friends and activities, but not you.

Give your children at least daily hugs and praise. Inform them how much you appreciate them and their achievements because they may not be hearing this from the other parent. I made a big point of volunteering and having my sons do so as well to offset negatives from their father. They learned from an early age to have compassion and give back to animals and the community.

If you are told that your child is not respecting other children and is extremely cruel, this is a red flag. Since there is a genetic component to antisocial personality disorder, have him evaluated by an experienced   psychiatrist or psychologist in this area. A youngster may be diagnosed with “conduct disorder” and can be helped with therapy. This condition can be a precursor for antisocial personality disorder and early intervention can prevent it from becoming full blown. In therapy, specific parameters for behaviour are set with certain consequences. Conduct disorder is often diagnosed with juvenile delinquents and is not the same as a little acting out that comes with divorce.

If you or the children are in danger, seek help immediately. Talk to your solicitor, the police or local abuse shelter. Do not talk to your ex directly, but rather send business-like e-mails. Better to use a third party intermediary for communication, such as a mediator. Visitation can take place at a Contact Centre and if not supervised, have the drop off and pick up away from your home. The main points with co-parenting with sociopaths is to limit your contact and monitor the children’s well-being.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine  thedivorcemagazine.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

A Parent’s Guide to Step-Parents

Parents often do not realize what a step-parent’s role is and cast them into other unwanted ones. Two step-parents resented their assigned positions of negotiator and grief counsellor. Some step-parents said that they are a family friend to the children and not a go-between for the parents.

Trevor married a woman with children, who had gone through a contentious divorce. Dealing with her ex was challenging and she admitted to being impatient and losing her cool. Her mild-mannered second husband was drafted to be the intermediary between these two warring parents. Trevor was the unofficial negotiator trying to find a middle ground for co-parenting. When I saw him, Trevor was suffering from low back pain as a result of this stressful circumstance. He had heard that emotional issues could also affect the back, with not feeling supported correlating with low back pain. Using that as a wakeup call, we devised strategies on how Trevor would inform his wife and her ex that he was vacating the position of negotiator. His role was husband – to be supportive of his wife and to enjoy his step-kids without managing their co-parents. Trevor convinced the former couple to work with a mediator and this was an effective solution to an unhappy situation. No matter how well your new spouse gets along with your former one – allow them to be friends and not enlist your new partner as a messenger. Find a professional for the negotiator role.

Angus and Katharine, both divorced, met at a conference and the attraction was powerful. They got married and both had children who did well in this blended family, although only Katharine’s daughter Kim lived with them. Katharine tried to be on good terms with her ex and he was invited over on holidays and family events. Angus and Edward became good friends and had similar interests. Kim would say how lucky she was to have two such great dads. Later when Kim turned twenty-three, she was killed in an auto accident. Understandably, Katharine and Edward had breakdowns and kept thanking Angus for his support and called him a rock. Angus was crying when he asked me why they do not get that he had a ball of hurt inside and is grieving too. We discussed having Angus explain his grief to the parents and suggest that they meet with a grief counsellor since he could not continue this role. Parents, please understand that a step-parent loves a child and is broken up by her catastrophic illness or death. They have to deal with their own grief and cannot be forced to take on other people’s as well.

Step-parents are great for lowering tension when an angry teen is annoyed at both parents. At times mine seemed like aliens and my step-mum shared stories from her youth. Seems like her mum and dad did crazy things like mine did. A step-parent is a loving, but more neutral party for receiving confidences. Step-parents may love their new children with an intensity that surprises even them. In several cases both dads walked the young women down the aisle in their marriage ceremonies. If things are spiralling out of control, a life or divorce coach can help people get their lives back on track.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine  thedivorcemagazine.co.uk

 

 

Divorcing and Co-parenting with a Passive-Aggressive Person

Divorce with a passive-aggressive partner can be particularly aggravating. They seeming are going along with the whole process, yet are sabotaging it. They agree to check on their pension plan or to bring paperwork to the divorce sessions, but “forget.” The use of the word “forget” may be frequent as a way of avoiding responsibilities or tasks that they do not wish to perform. Passive-aggressive people can prolong divorce hearings by purposely not following through with something as a way to get back at you. This retaliation bumps up legal costs.

They avoid confrontations and do not directly express intense emotions. They have a calm demeanour which hides the hostility lurking beneath the surface. Actions are ruled by anger since they do not voice it out loud. They may refuse to sign the divorce papers or at the last minute disagree with how assets are divided, instead of stating objections earlier. It is difficult to know what they are thinking and if they are amenable to negotiations, since the silent treatment is their specialty. Ask what is wrong and a curt “nothing” may be the reply. They do not communicate well, so give and take is difficult. They are not expressing opinions which complicates divorce arrangements.

Co-parenting with a passive-aggressive ex is challenging. They play the blame game and may hold you as the villain, who ruined their life. The divorce was caused 100% by you and now you will be punished, indirectly of course. You might receive maintenance on time, but in the wrong amount. It is wise to have maintenance and child support sent directly from his bank account to yours, to leave him out of the loop. Then one does not have GFY (Go F*** Yourself) written in the check memos as one woman did.

He may “forget” about a visitation, or pick up the kids late when you have a date. Having the pickup and drop off at a neutral location is prudent. One former couple has theirs at the paternal grandparents’ house, so his being late or forgetting is not an issue. The children have fun and the mother is not stressed.

Have a detailed Parenting Plan to lessen complications post-divorce when the passive-aggressive parent may try to get back at you through the children. Have shared time clearly stated and clarify holiday arrangements. The passive-aggressive person sees themselves as the victim in life and you want to avoid this drama. There are various online calendar sites where parents can mark activities and events so the kids’ schedules are available to both parents. This reduces accusations that the other parent was not informed of happenings in their youngsters’ lives.

When communicating with the passive-aggressive parent avoid emotions, particularly anger. Ignore their subtle putdowns and just state the facts. Keep e-mails business like and to the point. Passive-aggressive people often have low self-esteem and may attempt to build themselves up by tearing you down. Have someone available for the kids to talk with, because the other parent may be making mean “jokes” or offhand comments about you. The least interactions that you can have with this difficult ex-spouse, the better.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine  thedivorcemagazine.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dealing with Your Ex-Spouse’s Remarriage

Your ex-spouse’s remarriage can stir up a myriad of emotions, from jealousy to feelings of abandonment. You may have thought that you were getting over your divorce, only to be pulled back into experiencing the loss of your marriage again.  It is hard when one spouse has moved on and one still feels stuck.  Here are some ways to deal with this episode in your life and get through the day.

Distraction is the secret to getting through the day of your ex’s remarriage. Plan on doing something special for that day – to keep you occupied. Sitting around with nothing to do gives more time to brood. Have friends go on a day outing to a nearby city or get pampered at a spa. Hiking or skiing will keep you busy and help take your mind off your woes. If feasible, this is the time to explore the streets of Rome or get lost in a labyrinth of alleyways in some exotic locale. Getting away and having your own adventure is an antidote to this situation.

Examine your feelings to determine if it is the wedding itself that bothers you, or something deeper within yourself. The remarriage could be triggering feelings of inadequacy, or not feeling settled in your life or job. Although you may not want to reconcile with your former spouse, a remarriage can shine a spot light on your lack of dates and relationships. You may feel that she does not have the right to happiness when you are still so miserable. Consider talking to a divorce coach if your former spouse’s marriage seems to create a new road block to moving on. Getting a reality check and strategies from a professional can work wonders in illuminating a new path for healing after divorce.

Please read more…  blogsondivorce.com/facing-your-ex-spouses-remarriage/

Ways to Negotiate Child Support

States have a formula to determine the amount of child support, but this is not an arbitrary figure. Negotiations can increase this amount. Parents have the right to come to their own agreement on child support and not rely on their state’s guideline. Submit the agreement to the court in order to make it official, in case there is difficulty in collecting it at a later date.

  1. Child support is non-modifiable (no changes allowed) or modifiable (may be changed at a later date). I chose non-modifiable because I did not want to deal with any divorce issues again. If it looks like your spouse might be in for a big promotion, or his artwork is starting to sell, then modifiable may be the right choice. Then you can go to court when this happens to ask for an increase. If your husband has a good job and you think that might change, then you may choose non-modifiable so the rate does not dip. The judge looks at the potential earning ability of both parents as part of determining child support.
  2. If the state’s guideline for child support seems too low, consider working with your spouse on this issue. If you are having a court divorce, it is hard to know how the judge will rule on it. Perhaps a spouse would take a few more household items and artwork in exchange for a slightly higher child support amount. Go online to your state’s “calculator” to get an idea of what to expect before the negotiation. Wish I had done that.
  3. Get documentation and financial records pertaining to your children together for negotiations. Figure out your expenses including your rent (the kid’s shelter), food, clothes and activities to show why you would require a higher rate for support. Offer proof with receipts paid for lessons, activities, and other expenditures relating to the children.  Please read more…. divorcedmoms.com/articles/10-things-to-consider-when-negotiating-child-support

Co-parenting with a Toxic Ex After Divorce

In many of cases, former spouses are able to co-parent peacefully together for the good of their children. They put aside any animosity for the well-being of their kids and set about the task of moving on in their own lives. Yes, there are some bumps in the road, but learning how to negotiate goes a long way in smoothing out these situations. In rare circumstances, one parent has a personality disorder in which their conscience or morality is faulty.

There are ways to counterbalance the influence of a toxic parent after divorce. My older son said that the most important measure which helped him was volunteering. Volunteering offset the message that people are not important, and I in particular. My sons heard so many negatives that helping needy people and animals took the focus off them and onto how they could make the world a better place. We took supplies to hospitals in Asia and feline medications to a cat clinic in the Cook Islands. At home my sons volunteered with animals, at a homeless shelter, and tutoring youngsters in chess. Helping others is very rewarding and they enjoy doing so. Volunteering connects your children to others and connection is what a parent with a personality disorder lacks.   As an added bonus, being of service to others fosters a work ethic for future jobs. It also teaches kids to get along with people of different cultures, ages, and classes, which is necessary in this global economy.

Another aspect to help children not follow in a parent’s self-centeredness is by traveling and meeting folks from different cultures. They see others with their eyes and form their own impressions. This reduces prejudice, even if the other parent spouts vile opinions of others not in her ethnic group. We went to a Muslim country soon after 9/11 and the warmth and kindness my boys received made a lasting impression. Children are less likely to be judgmental when they have enjoyed the hospitality of people in different lands, no matter what others may be saying about them.

Helping children connect to their spiritual side diminishes the effects of antagonistic remarks made by the other parent. Whether this is going to church or appreciating the beauty of nature, the children then have something outside of themselves. My son enjoys singing in the choir and my friend delights in gazing at the ocean. Whatever feels right to you is fine.

Remember to give your kids extra cuddles. A toxic parent may not be affectionate, but rather more aloof. Reassure your kids that you will always be there for them. A dysfunctional parent may play mind games, make empty promises, and attempt to use the kids in a tug of war. Do not get involved in these battles and get a third party to intervene if necessary.

The important thing is to be a constant presence in your kids’ lives and give unconditional love. Have clear boundaries, expectations, and consequences when these are violated. The kids know where they stand with you. Consider having the kids check in with a children’s divorce coach to ensure that they are thriving and not just surviving.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine  thedivorcemagazine.co.uk

Anger Keeps You Attached to your Ex

Anger is another way to keep you attached to your ex after divorce. Here are reasons to sever the anger tie that keeps you bound to your ex.

1. Anger can shrink rather than expand your social network. One divorced woman I know was perpetually angry with her ex and his truly awful family. Instead of being pleased that she got out of that mess, got her Master’s degree, and an exciting job, Penny kept harping on her ex. She endlessly kept going back to that subject, even though her friends lost patience eons ago. She drove pals away when they responded “enough is enough” and Penny refused to listen. Anger can turn a friendship from give and take to just being a sounding board for someone’s misery.

2.  Anger is energy that is spent thinking about your ex or plotting various ways of his demise. It may be a two way street with your anger fuelling his, with retaliation. Anger robs people of time and energy that can be used in a more constructive manner. If you are neutral about someone, such as a co-worker or neighbor, there is no specific tie to them. You interact with them, but then go on you merry way about your own business. Anger is a strong emotion – no take it or leave it attitude. Do you really want this attachment to your ex?

3. Anger builds a wall around people. it is like wearing a “No Trespassing” sign around your neck – stay away. One woman who was bitter post-divorce would yell at her daughter over trivial things. Anger towards her ex splashed over into most areas of her life. The girl did not have much of a relationship with her mother until after college when they were more like friends. Be careful that anger is not endangering your relationships with your children and friends.

Please read more… divorcedmoms.com/articles/5-reasons-anger-keeps-you-attached-to-your-ex

How to Co-Parent with a Difficult Ex-Spouse

Co-parenting is a challenge with a difficult ex from an acrimonious divorce, however there are ways to make this task easier. The main point is to fly under his/her radar. These people are looking for ammunition to get back at you for leaving, so do not give any opportunity for an attack. This includes not mentioning them or divorce details on social media. The less direct contact one has with this type of ex, makes co-parenting smoother.

A way to make co-parenting with a high conflict individual easier is to make sure you are nurtured. Get a massage. Go out and vent to buddies. Join a support group who can give you understanding and strategies on getting through this ordeal. Do activities that bring you joy and may have been buried during marriage. Get yourself in the best place possible, mentally, physically, and spiritually to be able to deal calmly with a co-parent who does not want to cooperate.

Whatever you can do to empower yourself and become stronger – weakens the hold of these contentious co-parents. Take a class which could lead to a new career path. Do a charity bike ride in a far flung place. Trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro for a life changing experience, as one divorce pal did. These physical challenges have awakened a new sense of power and increased self-esteem in many people. Sometimes one’s self-esteem and self-worth took a battering in a toxic marriage and requires this boost.

Connect with others through volunteering. When you have other interests, a social network, and new areas of expertise – you are less able to be manipulated or controlled. Approach interactions with your ex, without emotion as if it were business ones. Redirect communication to stay focused, so the high conflict parent does not go off on tangents. The goal of co-parenting is well-adjusted children who feel safe with both parents. If the co-parenting experience is not going well then discuss this with your attorney. Perhaps meeting with a mediator or your child’s therapist (if there is one) may help everyone to be on the same page

Co-Parenting with a Difficult Ex-Spouse

Missing your Ex-spouse After Divorce

Now that you are divorced, you may be having second thoughts because you miss your ex. Even if you initiated it, you are not immune from this feeling. Maybe post-divorce is a bit lonelier than anticipated. There are ways to get through this period and confirm that your decision was the right one.

Try to differentiate between actually missing him/her as a person, or missing the whole package of married life itself. Do you miss their qualities and characteristics specifically, or just being half of a duo? It is crucial to determine if this is more about losing a housemate, or rather him/her as an important person in your life. If your residence seems empty and you have to fill this void, that is not missing your ex as a person.

How should you manage if you truly miss his jokes, advice, and other sterling traits? Let some time pass and do not contact him. Your emotions are still raw and you need to heal first. This would be a good time to discuss your feelings with a divorce coach to clarify them. Was your ex-wife extremely hurt or angry with the divorce? I know of some former couples who are good friends now but, took a long timeout after their breakups. This may be possible for you down the road.

I know a young couple who got married right after high school when she became pregnant. The marriage only lasted a few years because they were young and constantly pushed each other’s buttons. Years later they felt that they had matured and could not live without each other, and so remarried. Unfortunately, they got married again without addressing the issues that initially drove them apart. They had another child and later an explosive divorce. Do not even think of getting together again as a couple without some counselling first.   Please read more: divorcedmoms.com/articles/i-wanted-this-divorce-but-still-miss-my-ex

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips to Avoid Post-Divorce Complications

Many people expressed surprise that once divorced, the relationships with exes were anything but over. They felt waltzing out of the court room or solicitor’s office meant freedom and a totally new life. Post-divorce experiences with former spouses depend upon many factors, such as being caught up in the blame game, or wanting to extract revenge. Sometimes laying low and staying off your ex’s radar is a viable solution.

Are you giving your former spouse ammunition by spreading your divorce story all over town? My divorce solicitor said “Don’t talk about your ex at all to anyone. Anything said can come back and bite you on the bum.” She does not even share personal aspects about herself to casual friends. This solicitor has witnessed many horror stories with post-divorced people blabbing too much to others. I followed the WWII saying, “Loose lips sink ships” as my motto.

Hazel got slapped with a slander suit months after her divorce. She had been tight lipped post-divorce and did not see this coming. Slander is making false statements about someone else to a third party. Even though the onus is on the person initiating this lawsuit to prove the allegations are false, it still involves time, legal expenses, and stress to the person accused. Slander can lead to defamation which endangers some else’s reputation, job with potential financial loss, and standing in the community. If the person filing a defamation lawsuit proves false statements damaged his livelihood then hefty fines and possible jail time can be given to the former spouse. Do not even whisper any rumors, just keep your mouth shut. Hazel called her collaborative solicitor who could not defend her on this post-divorce charge although helped Hazel get a new one. The new one worked with both parties and drew up a legal gag order for BOTH of them. Hazel guessed the leaks were the two sons who talked to teachers and friends’ parents. Also well-meaning friends defended Hazel to her ex’s co-workers, so a lot of gossip was passed along too. Hazel plugged these leaks by threating her boys and friends to keep quiet. She did most of her confiding after that to a psychologist friend and her life went more smoothly.

Libel is stating false allegations through writing. It also includes oral remarks made through the media, such as radio interviews. Celebrities occasionally sue newspapers for reporting what they say are untrue stories, such as having an affair. Then it is up to that media source to prove that it is a fact. Sometimes there is a private settlement and the celebrity drops the charge. Your solicitor or mediator will strongly warn not to post anything damaging about your former spouse on social media. Just do not mention your ex on any site to avoid possible libel. Do not let anyone take compromising photos of you or post comments that could be misconstrued or misinterpreted on social media. Photos and comments regarding excessive partying on social media can and have been used as evidence post-divorce to go to court to amend custody arrangements. You want to be viewed as the reliable parent you are, and not someone whose priority is mainly elsewhere (nightclubs).

There are abusive ex-partners who do not want to let go no matter what. One way to get out of their web is to relocate if this is feasible. This works well if you moved when getting married, do not have family ties in that city and can work in another locale. Keep your solicitor in the loop if lawsuits seem imminent. Respond, rather than reacting to whatever they may throw at you. One cannot change other people, only one’s own actions and responses. Rejoice when this type of ex-spouse remarries, because their focus may lessen on you. A supportive network and having fun is crucial in maintaining sanity post-divorce.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine  thedivorcemagazine.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emotional and Financial Abuse

Domestic violence is more noticeable to others outside of the marriage, especially when one partner is sporting a black eye. Financial and emotional abuse can be more hidden to family and friends, but no less devastating. These two seem to go hand in hand with or without physical abuse. The crux of financial abuse is control. One spouse is attempting to control actions by hampering the other’s financial independence. He removes the other partner’s name from a bank account who then is unable to access money and turns to spouse or others for it. The abusive spouse may demand to see all receipts and monitor every pound that is spent. Often all decisions regarding household expenditures are made by the abuser. The victim may be prevented from spending any money on the children. This is a way to trap a person and keep her in the marriage. Relying on handouts is a way to control the relationship through money.

After Anne had their baby baptized, Edward decided that he wanted to bring her up in his religion. Anne would not have married Edward if she knew that he would change his mind on this deal breaker issue. Edward then withheld money from Anne as punishment.  She had to cut short her maternity leave and return to work in order to pay bills.  Not surprisingly this marriage ended in divorce. Financial abuse can also be vindictive for a certain behaviour.

Emotional abuse is a power ploy to keep the other spouse in line by such tactics as manipulation and berating them. The spouse may be told that she is unattractive and incapable of making decisions. Emotional abuse breaks down a person’s self-esteem and self-worth by causing them to have doubts about themselves. The children may pick up on this message and view that parent as weak or be afraid to anger the abusive one. The abuser uses the kids to challenge the other parent’s authority. The children may also be abused in various ways too.

Emotional abuse’s aim is to punish and humiliate the partner. Perhaps this spouse is having success on the job and the abuser wants to put him in his place. Lying, threats and blame are components of this type of abuse. Psychological abuse is especially carried out by Narcissists who are insidious adversaries. These people are charming at first and then their mask comes off revealing someone who cannot share the spotlight.

How to break free?

  • Platform 51 and the National Domestic Violence Helpline are great resources as a starting point.
  • Other measures you can take are to have access to your own money by opening up an individual bank account in your name only. Selling some jewelry could fund this.
  • Have a friend or parent keep a small amount of “mad money” for you at their place in case you make a hurried get-away.
  • Lock up your valuables to sell at a later point.
  • Get counselling.
  • Get a divorce solicitor as I did in a hurry.

I did not realize the extent of the financial and emotional abuse I was enduring until the day I met with my new solicitor. My sons were ecstatic when I told them I was delivering a list of collaborative solicitors to their father (through the mail slot). Post-divorce I felt rich when I was in total control of my own money.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine  thedivorcemagazine.co.uk