Friday, November 14, 2008

Welcome Baby Rhett

Sorry I have not been blogging recently but I have been totally swept away by the new addition to my family! As soon as he was born it was like magic and this song by U2 keeps buzzing through my head!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wish you were 21 again?

This is my daughter at her 21st birthday bash - obviously taken early in the proceedings!
If you are going through a traumatic divorce and have been married for a long time and divorce is not what you want and you feel he/she has robbed you of the best years of your life and you don't see any point in bothering to even put on a brave face and you will never trust anyone again and you think everyone is out to deceive you and there is no pleasure in anything anymore and you have got nothing to look forward to and you are so angry and so miserable and nobody cares. Try this:
1. List everyone you know. Next to their name give them a score - nice or nasty only on a 50/50 basis - they don't need to be perfect. I bet you know more nice than nasty people. Erase all the nasty ones from your life - they will simply make you feel worse. If one of them is your ex - minimise contact.
2. List all the people you know who make you laugh. Spend more time with them.
3. List all the people you know who simply want to moan or gossip - get rid of them.
4. Next write down all the people you know who could do with your help - emotional, practical is anyone you know lonely?
5. Now write down all the people you love. Maybe there are a few friends or relatives who live far away that you have neglected. Now is the time to give them a call and arrange a visit.
You have now sorted out your Christmas card list and the main players at your funeral and hopefully you have moved on from your own distress albeit briefly.
Remember, most people are not evil - they are just weak and insecure - forgive them their inadequacies and move on!!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

When is it too late to reconcile?

When the feeling's gone!
One of my ex boyfriend's sent me this shot of him out enjoying himself with 3 rather drunk or tired looking companions and I still think he's gorgeous but we broke up more than 8 years ago! Somewhat strangely 2 other exes from over 10 years ago have also contacted me recently. Is it the credit crunch - is it causing everyone to break up and look back with nostalgia?
Some people do reconcile successfully - a current celebrity example is Nicolette Sheridan and Michael Bolton - but most people just make a mess of it all over again.
If you are thinking of trying to turn the clock back consider this:
1. Why did you initially split? Were there valid reasons?
2. What's changed?
3. Do you actively miss the person or are you just going through a barren patch on the dating front?
4. Are you over him/her or has that candle always been burning?
5. Have you loved anyone else more since?
6. Are you just flattered at the interest?
7. Are you hoping to play it safe? - better the devil you know type thing....
Whatever you decide remember that dating should be fun and exciting - he/she should add some dazzle to your smile and if it's boring - time to move on!!!
Sorry I have not been blogging recently - I have been all over the place - literally.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Labour to force fathers to be named.

Does anybody like a busy body? By that I mean those awful, interfering, nosy gossips who spend their whole time trying to tell other people how to live their lives. They think nothing of glibly telling one how to run one's business, love life, home......whilst any close examination of their own situation would leave most people thinking they would never take their advice. However, these people don't wait to be asked for advice or they would wait for ever.

The labour party has become a classic interferer in my opinion. Their time should be spent sorting out their own dismal party. Instead they have decided to legislate that all mothers should be forced to name the father on the birth certificate of their child. Apparently 50 000 children are born each year in Britain and the father's details are missing. Why? Is it not obvious - because either the mother or the father or both do not want his name on the certificate. Why is that then? I can think of a number of reasons:

1. Rape (these men are known as animals)
2. The mother does not know who the father is - either because there is more than one candidate or the parties did not exchange names (these women are often called slags and the men players)
3. SIR (Shag I Regret) unofficial social work term which means that the mother made a mistake and is usually accompanied by -
4. The father does not know of the birth
5. The parents are not speaking - usually because of the pregnancy and the father has already done his best to force the mother to have an abortion (these men are known as PIGS)
6. The pregnancy was an accident - perhaps the father is already in a relationship with someone else (these men are known as bas..... and the women as bitches)

Already there are a lot of judgements made by society attached to single motherhood. Now labour want to force fathers to take responsibility for their children by putting their name on the birth certificate. If only life were that simple! If the mother or father does not comply they will be fined £200.00. Big deal, just take it off my benefits and the only one that will get hurt is the newborn.

The work and pensions secretary James Purnell has outlined his proposed legislation and it is hilarious. See the attached article in the Daily Mail

Mothers who do not want to name the father will have to have GP, Social worker or police backing to prove domestic violence - does Mr Purnell know how much the police cannot stand being dragged into domestic disputes, how overworked they are, how women usually endure 36 episodes of violence before they call the police, how difficult it is to get a conviction? But women will have to prove domestic violence. How? Will there be another trial? Who will be the judge? The registrar?

Apparently, if the mother claims she does not know the father she will have to convince the registrar. How? I suggest that the only way a registrar would know whether a woman was lying or not was if he was there at the point of conception!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Government's aim is to make the collection of child maintenance easier!! Given that the Child Support Agency has failed dismally in collecting from the absent fathers they do know about (95% of absent parents are fathers) then adding to their to do list is not going to increase the amount of money collected.

At the moment it is a relatively straightforward process to register a child's birth which must be done within 42 days of the child's birth and, if the parties are not married the father must accompany the mother or sign a statutory declaration that he is the father. Will they start issuing temporary birth certificates until a full investigation into the mother's claims has taken place? Will the police be sent to arrest a reluctant father who does not want to attend? Will a judge sign the declaration on his behalf? Will the mother have the right to simply name who she chooses? The potential litigation is boundless!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Is the new Domestic Violence Act a success?

Apparently not. It has been suggested by the President of District Judge's in June's Family Law that there may be fewer applications for non molestation and occupation orders. Why? Perhaps because victims do not want to criminalise their ex partner, especially if a bout in prison is likely which would jeopardise the main source of income for the family. However, what is now being suggested is that the Crown Prosecution Service are not recommending prosecution for many breaches due to lack of any corroborative evidence. Nobody foresaw this somewhat obvious barrier with hindsight. The CPS need a reasonable chance of success, the higher burden of proof in criminal matters - beyond reasonable doubt - makes it very difficult to proceed on a his word against hers basis. I know someone who's husband allegedly broke her jaw and knocked out all her front teeth. He said she had been driving drunk without a safety belt and had a crash and hit her head on the windscreen. She said he hit her. He was charming and plausible, a professional. She was tongue tied and displayed outbursts of anger. Who would you believe? What if she then changed her story and said that she wanted to drop it, that she had lied and he had never hit her? Prosecute her for wasting police time?

I think someone should invent a fail proof lie detector and that negative assumptions can be made if anyone refuses to take the test. Oh no - the latest research is now suggesting that we do indeed have false memories. That we can be convinced our recall is correct when it is not!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gone off your mate?

Often people say that they have just fallen out of love. How did that happen then? Wake up one day and think "What on earth am I doing with that?". Probably not, if your relationship is an established one then the wearing out of attraction can be so gradual you don't even notice until it's gone completely . How is that possible? Little bit by little bit you ease away from your partner, those little differences that attracted you now bore or irritate you.

I saw an ex boyfriend recently whom I had not seen for 6 months. Your hair is blonder he said. I had not noticed, it was the gradual work of my very blond hairdresser. I am pictured above on Saturday night in the middle of 2 of my blond friends and I have indeed unknowingly joined their ranks. This is how you can go off your mate without even noticing.........

Monday, June 16, 2008

How to enjoy yourself despite your divorce

It was my birthday recently and I went out with 2 of my best friends from school and another close friend I have known for 20 years. We had a really fab time and spent the rest of the weekend recovering!

Birthdays are a time for taking stock and reflecting on the past twelve months. I have met 4 truly dreadful people this year who have stolen from me, are attempting to rip me off, have lied to me and generally are best forgotten. I have also met 4 fantastic people who have enriched my life enormously. It all depends on your focus as to whether you enjoy your life or not.

Getting divorced can cause huge stress and prevent you enjoying the many opportunities there are. It is best to regard it as a process that you will get through and look forward to a better future. There are lots of resources out there to help you control your anxiety and the first step to feeling better is to smile!!!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Should I stay or should I go now?

Many people waste years in unhappy relationships...they make no effort to improve their day to day existence but neither do they make that jump.......only after the other person moves on, dies, dumps them do they realise how much time they have wasted.

What if you could control everything that happened to you? What if you could mold your partner into exactly the type of person you wanted to live with? Would you stay or go? What if there is a much easier option? What if you could change yourself? Not prepared to.....leave then.

The behaviour we expect of others in a relationship is often unrealistic. For example, my ex husband (a Man Utd fan) rang me at midnight on Wednesday to tell me that Man Utd had won. If he had done that whilst we were married I would have gone nuts!!!! I would have called him a selfish pig and he would definitely have been sleeping in the spare room. Now I simply find his behaviour amusing.

Are you nice to your spouse? Do you greet him/her with affection or do you barely glance when he/she arrives home? Are you more polite to strangers? What can you do this lovely Bank Holiday to make your relationship work? Remember it's never too late......................

Friday, May 23, 2008

Does a child need a father?

Apparently not if the child is created via IVF for the benefit of lesbian couples or single women. Most of the newspapers have covered the recent House of Commons vote and the Daily Mail is suitably outraged!

Glad that's sorted out....and it will make the explanation of the birds and the bees to a 5 year old far simpler. By the time these children are grown no doubt cloning will be in vogue so not knowing who your dad is will be a minor issue.

Only one problem - maybe the child will grow up with a desperate longing to know and no fortune teller in the land can solve that one. If I could choose my dad it would of course be my own but my fantasy dad would be Alan Sugar. Social workers warn of the dangers associated with a fantasy father figure ...oh dear life is ever more complicated!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

When you feel you can't cope

The stress of divorce can be enormous and people can tip over into depression if they are not careful. It is normal to be prescribed mild anti depressants to help you through the situation but so many people talk of increased anxiety, fear of the future and the fact that their life is out of control. Waking up at 5 am is not uncommon.

What can you do?

The best mood lifter is regular exercise. If one exercises every day for at least 40 minutes one will feel better - guaranteed! I stopped exercising regularly recently and it had a bad impact on my mood and my stress coping mechanism. I have started again and I feel great. Try it - it works!!!!

The next thing you should try is meditation......

Forcing oneself to shift from a feeling of hopeless resignation and despair to an exhilarating feeling of hope and anticipation for the future can be as easy as slipping on one's training shoes......

Friday, May 09, 2008

How many possessions do you need?

Sorry I have not been blogging much recently but I am expecting a baby and I have been busy knitting!!!!!

When people get divorced there can be many areas of dispute - the divorce itself (pointless) the children ( heartbreaking) the matrimonial finances ( often disproportionate) domestic violence and injunctions ( necessary because the police are sporadic in their approach).

Most people worry about what their rights are. They argue over the spoils of the past and sacrifice present and future opportunities in order to win the battle. Just how important are these wasting assets?

Jodie Foster years ago lived in a hotel and said that she was so rich she did not need to own anything - all of her clothes were hired or loaned to her by Armani. The freedom of wealth meant that she had no responsibility for any possessions.

What do you want and what is important to you?

All I want is for my baby to be healthy and my children to be happy and to spend time with the people I love. Isn't that the same for you?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Does it matter who divorces who?

Sometimes it matters a lot. If you are the petitioner you have control of the proceedings and the respondent can only stop the divorce under very limited circumstances and if the petition is based on certain facts.

The respondent can defend the divorce. However, a bare defence that the marriage has not broken down is unlikely to succeed. The respondent can defend and cross petition, that is, the marriage has broken down but it is your fault not mine. Typically a compromise is reached and both parties proceed on their own petition.

What if the petitioner does not bother to apply for decree absolute? The respondent can apply after 3 months but this requires a hearing, is costly, causes delay and is not clear cut.

What of the people who have separated for years, are in new long term relationships but still do not start divorce proceedings - demanding that the other one do so because of the costs? The consequences of not divorcing can be extreme - especially if you have jointly owned assets.

Who petitions has no bearing on the matrimonial finances unless the circumstances are exceptional but it can have an impact on how matters progress. In the vast majority of cases this is not a problem. The unfortunate thing is that when it is a problem it becomes a very big problem!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Do not believe everything your child says

I wasted 2 hours on Saturday trying to access a website for my 5 year old son, who's magic code was rejected. He insisted to me that his user name was "Bobthe". I could not get him on line and sent 6 e mails requesting help. I got 6 replies today and his user name was a very bad spelling of chocolate cake. I am going to buy him one and let him eat it all!!!!

When he returns from his father he claims he is starving having eaten nothing for 2 days, that he can go to bed when he likes etc.

Children sometimes forget, sometimes make things up and sometimes lie. It is best to filter what they tell you, and if anything causes concern then to raise it with your ex partner in a non confrontational manner.

Different households have different rules. Give your children a break. They may come back from dad's and slam the fridge door because that is the only way it closes at dad's. They may forget to take their shoes off because mum does not make them. They may leave the toilet seat up because they have been visiting dad! Imagine how hard it is for children having to learn 2 sets of rules - none of which are their own!!!!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

How to tell if she no longer loves you

You google search this question.

Oh dear, men sometimes end up on the wrong end of a divorce petition and they do not understand why. It is important to read the clues and here are two massive ones which men miss all the time:

1. You no longer have sex.

2. You sleep in the spare bedroom.

Both of these are not because of her bad back, your snoring, her tiredness, stress at work, the recent death of her aunt etc. None of these excuses would stand in her way if George Clooney was on offer!!!!!!!!!!

What can you do:

1. Persuade her to see a sex therapist or at least a relationship counsellor

2. Resign yourself to celibacy until she decides to end the relationship

3. Have an affair

4. Initiate divorce proceedings yourself

Monday, April 07, 2008

How to tell if he no longer loves you

You google search this question.

If in doubt ........... get out

If in doubt...........don't

The first relates to relationships the second to clothes shopping.

There are a hundred clues that he no longer loves you and they are all swimming in your head are a few examples:

He is very impatient with you.

He raises his eyebrows a lot when you speak.

He talks to you as if you are thick and you are the one with 2 degrees.

He refuses to have any more work done on the house.

He does not talk to you... not even about football.

He is no longer prepared to do things with your friends and family.

He no longer fancies you - this is a big give away and loving you like a friend is not enough.

What can you do to get love back?

Lots of things but first decide if this is what you really want. The balance of power in a relationship can shift overnight if you want it to......... all you need to do is change your behaviour and stop focusing on his.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What is a Shared Residence Order?

A Shared Residence Order is a stipulation that the child lives with both parents. They are becoming more popular and more and more fathers are asking for them. Why?

1. They equalise the power between the parties.
It is all very well to state that both parents share parental responsibility but in practice this normally means that the resident parent makes most of the day to day decisions that effect a child's life. The other parent can and should be involved in important decisions like schooling but practically the parent with whom the child resides will normally have more influence.

2. A Shared Residence Order does not have to be on a 50/50 basis. The child can live with one parent more often but still live with the other the rest of the time.

3. Some judges don't like them and call them just a label...... that's all very well but to some people the label is very important. Rather like a child's name - the Court's tend to assume that it is very important for a child to retain a link with the non resident parent via a shared surname. Somewhat sexist as the non resident parent tends to be the father but if having his name will encourage Contact then.......

4. They used to be rare because it was considered that they would only work in a situation of close cooperation. Now judicial opinion has taken a turn in the opposite direction and they are granted in situations of high conflict - to force the parents to get along. Feels a bit like social engineering.

5. There are many, many women struggling to bring up their children alone who would love the father to become more involved but they have no voice in the Courts as the Courts will not order a parent to fulfil his/her parental responsibility in respect of Contact. Conversely there are many many dads fighting to see more of their children. Perhaps a Shared Residence Order should become the norm.................l

Friday, March 28, 2008

How to tell if your mate is cheating

Lots of people ask this question!

Most of the signs are obvious after the event but.......

1. He is more interested in sex.
She is less interested in sex.

2. She stops nagging.
He starts buying her flowers.

3. She joins a gym, fitness class, adult education class - anything new that requires weekly commitment.
He has work commitments after hours or takes a job that requires travel - perhaps something that she has been nagging him to do for years.

4. Her appearance improves.
His appearance improves.

5. She keeps talking about a work colleague whom he has never met.
He keeps talking about a work colleague whom she has never met.

6. She becomes over friendly with another couple and she tends to stay up late drinking with him after her husband and his wife have gone home to their own beds.
Same for him but in reverse.

7. A friend of his is suddenly available to accompany his wife when he is away on business.
He is mentoring one of her friends.

8. She has a shower when she comes in after a night out with the girls.
He has a shower after a late night at the office.

9. She is furtive with her phone, taking it into the shower with her.
He has a second mobile phone she did not know about.

10. She encourages him to do something she would have prevented him doing in the past - such as going to the World Cup.
He buys her and her best friend a weekend away at a health farm.

11. She does not care when/if he comes home.
He avoids going home.

12. She answers the phone and it is hung up - this happens more than once.
The gardener is always around, moving furniture, putting up shelves.....

13. She stops spending money on food, the fridge is always empty and she is eating out with a girlfriend again.
He hides his credit card receipts.

Clearly more than one of the above is needed to arouse suspicion but the following are probably conclusive:

1. An airline calls to confirm your seats for your romantic break... but you are not travelling.

2. A hotel calls to let you know that you have left an item of jewellery/clothing in the room and you have never been there.

3. Someone else gives you the sordid details.

4. He/she stays out all night without telling you.

5. She is pregnant but the dates don't add up.

Unfortunately lots of people are unfaithful and the last one to find out is usually their spouse. This may be because they do not want to know and many people run outwardly successful marriages for years whilst enjoying extra marital affairs.

It is often an instinctive feeling that something is not quite right that proves ones worst suspicions in the end!!!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Heather Mills should buy a dog

The judgement in the McCartney Mill divorce saga has been published but Miss Mills appealed the publication of the whole judgement. Why is that then? The judge was kind in the words he used to describe Miss Mills - he got his message across without needing to annihilate her.

It seems that everybody hates Miss Mills and every time she says something she makes it worse - as the judge says she is her own worst enemy.

Will anybody want to be her friend - apart from gold diggers and spongers? Yes - a dog - they give love unconditionally which is just what Miss Mills needs right now.

The Daily Mail has a summary of the judgement...their journalists don't seem to like Miss Mills either and they always manage to print unflattering photos of her.

She is now a multi millionaire with one leg who alternates between showing off her physical talents to reminding everyone she needs a wheelchair; she appears to be disliked by everyone and seems full of anger; she is aware that she is now a target for gold diggers and is unlikely to find love; she is scared of being attacked and is talking about having to leave England but she won't be allowed to by Sir Paul; she has lost her looks; everyone loves Sir Paul despite her constant criticism of him.

He has now reconfirmed his position as one of the world's most eligible bachelors, kind, generous, rich, tolerant, reasonable, even tempered.

Miss Mills by contrast may aswell have a warning tattoo on her forehead.

Anyone want to swap places with her?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Childcare, discrimination and old chestnuts

Families Need Fathers have implored Alistair Darling to reorganise the benefit system to account for the amount of time children spend with their fathers. They argue that it is unfair that one parent, usually the mother, is regarded as the principal carer, receives child benefit and is then passported to the rest of the benefit system including child and working tax credit.

How many dads are we talking about?

How much will it cost to overhaul the system and double the amount of administration and analysis needed?

This Government is notorious for being inefficient and careless with data and the tax credit system has resulted in a huge amount of fraud, contributed to increased employment so that one in five working adults in England now works for the Government. This is massaging our employment figures and disguising the real lack of growth in our economy. The result is an increase in tax, it's the same old labour chestnut - wealth redistribution rather than wealth creation.

The total failure of the CSA and the Government's aim to eradicate child poverty is a disgrace and the type of results one would expect from a corrupt third world country, not one that was the first to industrialise in 1746 so should know how to coordinate macro economics by now. Instead it has cost 2 1/2 billion pounds to collect 4 billion and more and more dads are arguing (96% of non payers are dads) that they will not pay for various reasons - non contact with the child being one that is often cited as justification to subject one's child to poverty.

It is of course totally unfair that in a shared care arrangement the dad is expected to support the mother's household and is unable to claim any tax credits. I have no faith in this Government being able to adjust the system to one that is fair and instead suspect that a shambolic mess would result with a consequent hike in income tax .

What do I suggest?

Increase tax free pay to £15,000 for all who do not pay higher rate tax and abolish all tax and child tax credits.

Provide child care free up to £200 per week for all who do not pay higher rate tax and who are working full time - if in a couple both must be working and earnings aggregated.

Give power back to the courts to assess child maintenance and abolish CSA and it's successor CMEC. This system is not foolproof either - sending a non paying father to prison for six weeks does not help feed a child and some of the worse non payers had their debt written off as they were unlikely ever to acquire the means to pay it - a bit like going bankrupt.

Encourage the 4 million adults who do not work and live off the rest of us into some form of employment - a society is judged by how it treats it's weakest members - some do need our help - but 4 million?

Stop tourists using the National Health System - subject of another post!

Friday, March 14, 2008

How to have a nice day!

Thank God It's Friday!

Last Friday I had a fantastic time. I met up with one of my dear friends from America who came over to London to celebrate surviving cancer. I don't know when I will see her again but last Friday was one of my top ten days!

Today my 5 year old son jumped out of bed excited because it is fish and chip day at school and his friend Alex is coming over for a sleepover and a pizza tonight. He said to me - 2 of my favourite meals and 1 of my best friends all on the same day - yippee!

Whatever stage you are at in your divorce try to give yourself a break from the stress and the anxiety. How?

1. Plan something you want to do - meet up with an old friend, revisit somewhere you feel relaxed, or go somewhere new!

2. Do not stay home alone on Friday or Saturday night. If you have no friends you can call, a lot of people tend to socialise only with couples when they are in a couple and then they are isolated when they are on their own, drag out old address books - there must be someone you can call on. Make new friends at work. If all else fails get a job in a bar - they are always looking for weekend staff.

3. Give yourself a mini treat every 3 hours. My sister gave me this gem when I was 16 and it really works. Latte? Cake? Newspaper? Text? Browse the internet for shoes? It helps your concentration, makes you feel in control of your time and gives you a boost.

4. Allocate worry time. I choose 11.30pm by which time I am usually too tired to really focus so the worrying gets left to the next day!

Monday, March 10, 2008

No cohabitation rights in England then?

It has been widely reported that the Government has decided to put on hold its decision whether to introduce rights for cohabiting couples.


According to the Daily Mail they want to assess the cost first. They are looking into the effectiveness of the scheme introduced in Scotland last year. Cynics are arguing that the Government is really concerned over the potential hit on the Legal Aid Budget. Why is cost not a relevant consideration? Surely they have learnt a lesson from the Child Support Agency? This was supposed to reduce child poverty and instead the costs of collection rose exponentially.

They were planning to allow a get out clause in any event. Just how many women would this new law have helped?

Prominent family lawyers are advising rich men not to marry and live in this country. What would their advice have been if a cohabitation law had come into force? Don't live with anyone? I know someone who was engaged for over a decade and she thought both parties were still living with their parents. It turned out her fiancee was living with his wife. What of her relationship disadvantage? She had a successful career and avoided entering the property market at a time of boom whilst she waited for her man to commit. Fool you might say, but isn't that what love does to us all?

No system is fair to everyone - I feel that the Hamble Car Park Committee are about to reach a similar impasse.

Friday, March 07, 2008

What are the 3 hardest things to do?

There are 3 things in life that are notoriously difficult but for which quick fixes are offered all over the web.

What are they?




Here is what everyone knows deep down:

1. Only fat people eat diet food.

2. Learning a foreign language requires hard work and memorising lots and lots of boring grammar, vocabulary and phrases.

3. Most people beef up their on line dating profile in the same way CV's are dressed. For example "enjoy working under own initiative" could mean "not a team player" and "thirty something" could mean "forty one".

Impossible then? No just not as easy as people trying to sell you quick fixes make out.


1. Drink nothing fizzy - only champagne on special occasions.

2. Stop eating processed food such as biscuits, crisps, cakes, sausages.

3. Eat more fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and sea food.

4. Exercise for 40 minutes 3 times a week

5. Stop thinking about food. It is a fuel only, imagine you are a car.


1. Move to the country of your choice.


1. Stop looking

2. Heal yourself emotionally. It takes 2 years to recover from a failed relationship, those in the middle of an acrimonious divorce often say, never again...........

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ready to give in?

Sometimes divorce can become overwhelming and some going through acrimonious divorces tend to use their lawyers more as counsellors. This is better than feeling isolated and deciding that life is no longer worth living.

I am not a trained counsellor and through the years have come across some people whose position appears so desperate to them that suicide is the preferred option. Is it a coincidence that the Samaritans office is directly opposite Southampton County Court?

What to do when you reach that pit of despair and the future holds no hope?

I wish I had a simple answer. Normally what binds one to this planet are the people one loves. Empathy for one's children and their pain at one's loss may not be enough for the most inconsolable.

Pulling oneself out of that black hole of despair into a nothingness of a future may not seem worth the effort...........but how do you know your future will be bleak? How do you know there's no more joy ahead for you? How do you know you won't one day love another so desperately that the thought of their death is like a dagger through your heart? How do you know that you won't serve a purpose to another human soul, the gift of their gratitude excelling any feeling of self worth you ever threw away before?

Find a purpose. Find a link. Humans are like spiders' webs. We need to be bound together. Remove yourself from isolation and try venturing out into the world? What have you got to lose? Regard it as delaying your suicide plans.............and the song is wrong.......... Suicide is not painless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Why do people lie to each other?

I once defended a guy whose wife was seeking to have their marriage annulled. There are 2 types of unions that can apply - void marriages and voidable ones. The facts in this case added up to a situation where 2 people should never have done more than shake hands but they had married.........

He was furious with her because she had lied about her age and he felt she was past the ideal child bearing window!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She was furious with him because he had lied about his age and he was far too young to be sufficiently established as a breadwinner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The irony of their situation was lost on both of them.

I thought they both looked their age so could not understand how they thought they could even get such a lie off the ground. But the fact is they did and the real question is how on earth did they think they would get away with it? How do you explain that one? No one forgets their age unless they are senile by which stage one is unlikely to be dating anyway.

How does it start? Surely if you are out in a club on the pull then before you launch into the big one - normally men exaggerate their earning potential - the world is full of labourers pretending to be property developers and bank clerks pretending to be money dealers but....... they are probably seeking a one night stand and simply trying to increase their odds.

This is a whole world away from marrying someone whom you have lied to. It is amazing but many people do it, bigamists, gold diggers, ex criminals, double lifers. How do you protect yourself from such scoundrels? Common sense is the main defence. If something does not add does not add up no matter how much you want it to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Can I handle my own Divorce?

Yes you can.

Can I get rid of my cellulite?

Yes you can.

Both are possible but require hard work, tenacity, knowledge and self discipline.

Ask Heather Mills.

Don't even think about it if you are emotionally overwrought or if you have trouble banishing sugar from your diet. Instead you need to hire the best lawyer you can find and make friends with your cellulite because you are going to be together for a long time.

In respect of handling your own divorce......some people have to because they have no money. For those that can afford representation it's the same as flying your own plane, go ahead provided you know what you are doing. However, do not mistake arrogance for knowledge a la John Kennedy junior!!!!! What he did was allegedly an act of extreme folly (flying in bad weather) that resulted in his own death as well as that of his wife and her sister. A certain Miss Mills has been described in the same vein!!!!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Is your wife planning to dye her hair black?

I have noticed a trend amongst my clients' wives to dye their hair black!!!!! One could be self expression, two could be coincidence, but more than 3 suggests a trend.

Where has this come from? Britney Spears? Amy Winehouse?

Remember that old song "I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair"? This is probably a new slant on starting again and changing your self image. Usually people lose weight when they get divorced because of the stress.......... and for women that means a new wardrobe and hairstyle!!!!

Beware if you return home tonight to find your wife's blond locks black and your bathroom covered in what looks like shoe polish. It could be a sign that a divorce petition is in the post!!!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Feeling stressed?

A good measure of how stressed you are is what you dream about. One of my dear friends said that she dreamt she was being chased by a lion! I dreamt that my car broke down, I was rescued by the AA, they drove me off with all my children squashed in the back (it was my old car which only had 2 seats in the back) the brakes failed and we were heading for a large intersection in America! Analysis? Friend's dream - she has an adversary stronger than herself!!! Mine? My life is out of control!!!!! It was the night before I was due to file my tax return!!!!

What recurrent dream did you have as a child? Was it happy or sad? This could help decipher whether you had secure or insecure attachments to those around you. An insecure child often times grows up into an insecure adult.

How needy are you? Divorce is a good way of discovering your natural resilience. Feel able to face the future alone? Feel curious about the opportunities ahead? Or do you dread waking up in the morning? There is a big difference between missing someone you love and needing someone to fill a gap in your soul. Self analysis can slip into navel gazing but divorce is a time to reflect on who you are and where you are going. Regard all adversity as an opportunity for personal growth. Keep a diary of your darkest moments - this is a good way of tracking otherwise unnoticed improvement. Have a worse event in your head. Whenever I feel overwhelmed I think of waking up naked in a rice field in China - realise that you can cope!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

McCartney Mills where will it end?

Is anyone else bored by reading about their divorce?

I thought Miss Mills looked different - maybe the worry over how many millions she will get has caused her face to appear frozen! Do dolphins get wrinkles?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy with your Valentine?

Today is one of those days when many people, usually women, decide that they have reached the last straw in their relationship. It is particularly poignant because they can normally recall early Valentine's days in their relationship when their partner made a superlative effort to demonstrate his love. Now the day is probably ignored.

This is the first Valentine my boyfriend and I have shared. We went out for lunch and afterwards I followed in my car and we went over a toll bridge. When I came to pay, the attendant told me that the man in front had already paid and that he loved me. How clever. A fantastic Valentine, which cost 50 pence!

Valentine's day is a good measure of the strength of your relationship. If you feel rejected and ignored, or don't even care whether you receive a love token or not, then perhaps it's time to move on. It is a particularly sad day for those in the middle of divorce proceedings and is best regarded as a signpost on the road to singledom and recovery. When you're in the middle of a painful relationship breakdown, it is not helpful for other people to speculate that next year you may well have met someone else. However, most people do manage the transition from despair and loneliness to a brighter future with a new partner. I therefore wish you a Happy Valentine's 2009!!!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Childhood keepsakes

When you feel dreadful and stressed remembering jems that your children said can make you laugh and feel great. It is a good idea to keep a memory book - very American and organised but so wonderful to look back on in decades to come:

Here are a few entries I have made for my 5 year old son this week:

On talking to his granddad on the phone:
"I am having shepherd's pie for dinner. Do you know how you make shepherd's pie? Well you take real shepherds, kill them, cook them and then sell them in a shop called Tescos".

When I asked him to lift the loo seat when going to the toilet:
"Don't worry mum, my willie can stretch over it!"

When one of my friend's asked him how long he had had a hole in his school trousers:
"Fifty years!"

"Fifty years, you're only 5!"

"Yes, but I have been 4 for a very long time!"

It can be very easy to slide into bitterness and despair when going through a divorce. Feelings of resentment and waste can overwhelm. It can also feel impossible to communicate with your children. Start a project together:

1. 1000 piece jigsaw
2. Patchwork quilt
3. Research family history
4. Create a photo album
5. Start a football team
6. Teach them to swim/ride a bike/ice skate/fish

If all else fails go to the movies! Most children love it including teenagers!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Over the Christmas stress?

One of the huge benefits of being divorced is that you can do what you want at Christmas! You don't have to spend time with in laws or even your partner!

This Christmas my daughters and I spent the day on our own in Primark pyjamas with no make up, drinking bucks fizz and eating all day. It was great!!!!!!

If you are still reeling from a celebration that seemed to suit everyone else around you but left you feeling used, isolated and miserable, make an extra New Year's resolution that next Christmas will be yours!

My 5 year old son spent the holidays with his father which he loved. He is still talking about it - he had a bath every day so he thinks he has convinced me he never has to wash again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not letting your children experience the most important day of the year with the other parent is selfish and damaging to your children ( unless there is violence or abuse which is totally different). No matter how much you hate your ex it goes without saying that children have a right to a loving relationship with the absent parent (usually their dad) and spending Christmas Day with him helps a lot!!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

How to have fun with your kids.


Bake a cake
Build a den
Go for a walk in the woods

Do not mention.......
lack of money
your loneliness

Do mention.......
their great spelling test result
how well they ride a bike
that you love them
that you like them

Put yourself in their place...swap roles...can you remember what it was like to be 7?
What did you think of your mum and dad? How would you feel if your mum stopped you seeing your dad? If your dad hit your mum? Remember it forever?
Life is about progress....aim to be a better parent.....

Must go and make my son a tuna fish sandwich and check out his den!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Why do people get divorced?

Usually because they have married the wrong person!

Does your partner bring joy or sadness into your life?

Does your partner make you feel relaxed or tense?

Are you interested in everything your partner has to say or have you heard it all before and it is soooo boring?

Do you respect your partner or think that he/she would be better off in another century on another planet?

The most important one of all...............

Do you really fancy your partner?

Did you ever?

The picture above is of the happiest couple I know. They tick all the boxes.

Getting divorced is sad and lonely.........staying married to the wrong person is sadder and lonelier but.................... if there are children of the union every effort should be made to make it work otherwise you are simply passing the sad and lonely baton on to your own children!!!!!!

Friday, January 04, 2008

How to cope without your mate

If the dreaded separation is looming and you have had it forced upon you by your unhappy partner it is important that you fill your time as much as possible. Staying home alone to reflect on your loss will make you feel worse. Go out with your friends, if you have lost touch - contact them, if you haven't got any - make some.


1. Work colleagues - arrange a drink after work.
2. Take up a hobby - salsa, football, adult education.
3. Get to know your neighbours.
4. Get involved with the parents at your children's school.
5. Give something back to your community - join a protest group against some development project, local theatre group, local library.
6. Visit the next county.
7. Start running in the morning.
8. Buy a pet - it's amazing who you meet at the vet's!
9. Join Friends Reunited.
10. Contact lost relatives.
11. Go to a different supermarket - speak to one new person every day.
12. Be friendly - smile - listen to other people's concerns.
13. Go to the cinema, theatre , pantomime.

Liz Taylor invited 1000 of her closest friends to her 70th Birthday party. That is a completely over the top PR exercise but you can have as many friends as you want!!!!!!

No friends - your choice!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Enjoy your Christmas?

Spending fun time with friends and family can bond couples together and add fond memories to their loving relationship. It can also make unhappy couples realise just how unhappy they are!!

If this is you and you want out then the most difficult first step is telling your partner. Some people engineer an argument, some ask a third party to sit in the room, some agonise for weeks and some just blurt it out.

The next step, working out whether to separate, divorce, where to live, what happens to the children, the finances, can be overwhelming and the pace is usually set by the one who initiates proceedings.

Divorce exists because people don't want to be together any more. Some people regard this as selfish, some as a signal of the breakdown of the moral backbone of our society and some as the evil machinations of divorce lawyers!

Some people choose to divorce, some have it forced upon them, some people accept it and some people fight it.

Trying to work out what went wrong and why can drive you mad!

Here is some simple advice from me as a divorce solicitor:

1. It takes 1 person to initiate a divorce but 2 people to engage in a battle.

2. Some people are unreasonable and impossible - you know if you are married to one of these and deep down you know if you are one of these. If either or both of you are like this your divorce will be worse.

3. It is not easy to get divorced - do not expect it to be.

4. If you pay for legal advice at least give it due consideration.

5. If your partner has bullied you for years get some emotional support through your divorce to ensure that you are no longer bullied post divorce, especially if you have children together.

6. Work out your bottom line and don't go below it.

7. Keep busy - depression looms for those who dwell on their fate over much

Here is some simple advice from me as a divorcee:

1. It is worth going through it to come out the other side.