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Separation and the Internet, mobile devices etc
#11
(11-12-2017, 10:01 AM)Petem Wrote: But I did my best. Plus there were two people in this relationship - and despite what they say it's breakdown wasn't just down to me.

This is what I'm struggling with, currently - I'm being painted as the big, bad wolf in the relationship, when I actually think I'm a pretty decent chap. I have my faults, but we all do, don't we?

Cooking was never my strong point, so she just kind of fell in to that role. I'd do my bit by cleaning, washing, hoovering etc, until one day she moaned that I spent too much of my time doing that stuff so I arranged (and paid) for a cleaner to come in instead.

But she (the ex, not our cleaner) would always give me grief for not cooking - but what was I supposed to do, cook the meal and clean up after her whilst she sat there on her phone?!!

I'd let her come and go as she pleased and never asked questions. If she wanted a girls night then fine, I'd never once stopped her going out and actually cancelled or re-arranged my own plans to accommodate. Same goes for her job, because she's always worked in Leisure and Hotels, there would be a lot of client entertaining and network events that took place of an evening, or would require her to leave the house at 4AM or 5AM somedays.

I'd always re-arrange my own social life around her, and I'd always get up 30 minutes before her (no matter the time of day) to make her a cup of tea and get myself awake before she got up, so I could help her and our daughter get ready, before heading off for work myself. Some days she'd leave at 4AM and not get back until 10PM or 11PM - I changed my working hours so I could take our daughter to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I joked that some weeks I felt like a single parent, getting our daughter up and ready in the mornings and then giving her a bath, reading to her and getting her in bed for days on end.

I felt unattractive to her, so I joined a gym (and I can now see my willy in the shower, which is amazing). I felt I was spending too much time at home without any interests, so I took up singing lessons for an hour every Monday night (and I'm now in a half-decent Dadband). I'd give her money to go to Yoga on a Tuesday.

Of course, we'd bicker on occasion and I'd give her grief about being a messy cow and she'd give me grief for my supposed OCD (which is a joke in itself), but I don't think our lives were that bad.

In fact, I was deliriously happy most of the time - I grew up on a council estate, and we currently live in a three year old detached two bed with a garden and two parking spaces out the front on a posh development, so as far as I'm concerned I've hit the big time and couldn't ask for more - especially with our beautiful daughter added to the mix.

But this doesn't seem to be enough for her, I often joke that she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, as her upbringing was the complete opposite to mine - four or five expensive holidays a year, two car family, big house, all that sort of thing. By comparison, our little house is a downgrade and it's the smallest house currently owned by anybody else in her family.

But where my upbringing was very safe and secure, tactile, supportive and loving, hers was the complete opposite again - abandoned by her mother at a young age (so her mother could concentrate on her own business), her maternal Grandparents did most of the childcare. In her own words, her mother was apparently doing paperwork and running accounts in bed days after she was born.

An abusive father that eventually led to her Mother leaving him when my ex was 20.

So I have absolutely no doubt that this is history repeating, as my ex has always put her work ahead of everything else - and I'm all for ambition and success, but at what cost? Also, I do believe her experiences with her father have tainted her view of men somewhat. In fact, most of her unhappy feelings have tied in with the re-appearance of her father in her life in the past six years (she didn't see him for about 12 years after they left), but I believe she has been unable to deal with those feelings and instead projected them on to me.

And still, I'm made out to be the bad guy - an overly critical control freak, who neither respected nor treated the ex as she truly deserved...even though she is (was) the most amazing woman I have ever met, the funniest, sexiest person I knew and the mother of my child. She was my world and I treated her as such. I gave her everything and feel like I have had nothing in return, but I'm not allowed to say that because she believes she's the one calling all the shots when it comes to our daughter.

"I grew her in my belly", "I'm her MOTHER" and "all you had to do was pump, pump, squirt" are some of the vitriol I've endured over the past week - completely disregarding all the times I'd be up at 4AM to help the ex get ready and out of the door before gettiing our daughter ready for school or nursery. Of course, I agree with all these statements for fear of upsetting her even more - but I know deep down that our parental responsibility has been 50/50 from the word go, or possibly even more in my favour seeing as the ex couldn't even walk up or downstairs on her own for four weeks after our daughter was born.

And still, I blame myself - I wonder what I could have done differently, I regret the times I came home from work feeling stressed, so I'd get stuck in to cleaning or hoovering instead of taking it out on her and our child. Because if I didn't, it would be added to the pile of washing after the dinner was cooked, and she certainly wasn't going to do it and why should I be up until midnight every night, getting everything ready for the following day whilst she snored her backside off in bed.

Yet she believes she is the infallible one, the injured party, the one who could no longer take the bickering and the critique and now wants control of her own life so she can fulfil her own dreams and find someone who can give her hearts and flowers and butterflies and excitement.

I tell her she is kidding herself, that this will last all of six months before the new relationship excitement wears off, and what then? Another new man in her life? Another new male for our daughter to get used to? And after that wears off? Will my daughter grow up thinking it's okay to have an array of men coming in and out of her own life? What will this say about her mother? How will I know that any of these men are safe for my daughter to be around?
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#12
(11-13-2017, 02:56 PM)AKentishMan Wrote:
(11-12-2017, 10:01 AM)Petem Wrote: But I did my best. Plus there were two people in this relationship - and despite what they say it's breakdown wasn't just down to me.

This is what I'm struggling with, currently - I'm being painted as the big, bad wolf in the relationship, when I actually think I'm a pretty decent chap. I have my faults, but we all do, don't we?

Cooking was never my strong point, so she just kind of fell in to that role. I'd do my bit by cleaning, washing, hoovering etc, until one day she moaned that I spent too much of my time doing that stuff so I arranged (and paid) for a cleaner to come in instead.

But she (the ex, not our cleaner) would always give me grief for not cooking - but what was I supposed to do, cook the meal and clean up after her whilst she sat there on her phone?!!

I'd let her come and go as she pleased and never asked questions. If she wanted a girls night then fine, I'd never once stopped her going out and actually cancelled or re-arranged my own plans to accommodate. Same goes for her job, because she's always worked in Leisure and Hotels, there would be a lot of client entertaining and network events that took place of an evening, or would require her to leave the house at 4AM or 5AM somedays.

I'd always re-arrange my own social life around her, and I'd always get up 30 minutes before her (no matter the time of day) to make her a cup of tea and get myself awake before she got up, so I could help her and our daughter get ready, before heading off for work myself. Some days she'd leave at 4AM and not get back until 10PM or 11PM - I changed my working hours so I could take our daughter to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I joked that some weeks I felt like a single parent, getting our daughter up and ready in the mornings and then giving her a bath, reading to her and getting her in bed for days on end.

I felt unattractive to her, so I joined a gym (and I can now see my willy in the shower, which is amazing). I felt I was spending too much time at home without any interests, so I took up singing lessons for an hour every Monday night (and I'm now in a half-decent Dadband). I'd give her money to go to Yoga on a Tuesday.

Of course, we'd bicker on occasion and I'd give her grief about being a messy cow and she'd give me grief for my supposed OCD (which is a joke in itself), but I don't think our lives were that bad.

In fact, I was deliriously happy most of the time - I grew up on a council estate, and we currently live in a three year old detached two bed with a garden and two parking spaces out the front on a posh development, so as far as I'm concerned I've hit the big time and couldn't ask for more - especially with our beautiful daughter added to the mix.

But this doesn't seem to be enough for her, I often joke that she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, as her upbringing was the complete opposite to mine - four or five expensive holidays a year, two car family, big house, all that sort of thing. By comparison, our little house is a downgrade and it's the smallest house currently owned by anybody else in her family.

But where my upbringing was very safe and secure, tactile, supportive and loving, hers was the complete opposite again - abandoned by her mother at a young age (so her mother could concentrate on her own business), her maternal Grandparents did most of the childcare. In her own words, her mother was apparently doing paperwork and running accounts in bed days after she was born.

An abusive father that eventually led to her Mother leaving him when my ex was 20.

So I have absolutely no doubt that this is history repeating, as my ex has always put her work ahead of everything else - and I'm all for ambition and success, but at what cost? Also, I do believe her experiences with her father have tainted her view of men somewhat. In fact, most of her unhappy feelings have tied in with the re-appearance of her father in her life in the past six years (she didn't see him for about 12 years after they left), but I believe she has been unable to deal with those feelings and instead projected them on to me.

And still, I'm made out to be the bad guy - an overly critical control freak, who neither respected nor treated the ex as she truly deserved...even though she is (was) the most amazing woman I have ever met, the funniest, sexiest person I knew and the mother of my child. She was my world and I treated her as such. I gave her everything and feel like I have had nothing in return, but I'm not allowed to say that because she believes she's the one calling all the shots when it comes to our daughter.

"I grew her in my belly", "I'm her MOTHER" and "all you had to do was pump, pump, squirt" are some of the vitriol I've endured over the past week - completely disregarding all the times I'd be up at 4AM to help the ex get ready and out of the door before gettiing our daughter ready for school or nursery. Of course, I agree with all these statements for fear of upsetting her even more - but I know deep down that our parental responsibility has been 50/50 from the word go, or possibly even more in my favour seeing as the ex couldn't even walk up or downstairs on her own for four weeks after our daughter was born.

And still, I blame myself - I wonder what I could have done differently, I regret the times I came home from work feeling stressed, so I'd get stuck in to cleaning or hoovering instead of taking it out on her and our child. Because if I didn't, it would be added to the pile of washing after the dinner was cooked, and she certainly wasn't going to do it and why should I be up until midnight every night, getting everything ready for the following day whilst she snored her backside off in bed.

Yet she believes she is the infallible one, the injured party, the one who could no longer take the bickering and the critique and now wants control of her own life so she can fulfil her own dreams and find someone who can give her hearts and flowers and butterflies and excitement.

I tell her she is kidding herself, that this will last all of six months before the new relationship excitement wears off, and what then? Another new man in her life? Another new male for our daughter to get used to? And after that wears off? Will my daughter grow up thinking it's okay to have an array of men coming in and out of her own life? What will this say about her mother? How will I know that any of these men are safe for my daughter to be around?

I think it's easy to forget that we're all human beings here. We've all got our good points, our qualities, our issues and our hang-ups. Our various exes included.

Funnily enough I myself didn't have an issue with this in my marriage. I'd always felt that they were just aspects of her personality - to be accepted, appreciated and loved. And I always thought that she must feel the same way about all funny quirks that go into building me, the man she had fallen in love with.

I was wrong. And like you, because I'm only human I blamed myself. Regretting the times I could have paid more attention, or took her to Paris, or given her that extra half an hour in bed. But I'm slowly beginning to understand and accept that I simply did the best that I could, because again I'm only a human being with my own set of needs and feelings. 

But that was then and this is now. And my girlfriend feels the same as I do - this big jumble of emotions and feelings? Well this is what makes up the person I love. And I'm far more myself with her than I have been with anyone in my entire life. 

I feel like I'm safe. I feel like I'm me.
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#13
(11-13-2017, 03:37 PM)Petem Wrote: I feel like I'm safe. I feel like I'm me.

Dude, that's awesome - I'm hoping that, at some point, I'll be able to say the same too.

But yeah, I think you're right - it's all to easy to demonise our exes, or whoever else is troubling us at the time, and forget that they're just acting on their own wants and needs.

I'm not saying that there aren't people who become so completely blinded and blinkered by wanting to inflict pain on their exes that they do so by any means necessary, and my heart goes out to those who have to suffer it. I'm not in that position just yet as we're still under the same roof and trying to be friends, but with mediation coming up on the 4th of December I have a feeling things could soon turn messy.

She said to me the other day that she doesn't regret anything about the last 14 years, and last night she was crying as we put our daughter to bed. I don't know what any of this means, but I just wanted to hold her and tell her everything was going to be okay. I didn't. I feel sad but I'm also enjoying these fleeting moments of calm in the house.
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#14
(11-14-2017, 10:21 AM)AKentishMan Wrote:
(11-13-2017, 03:37 PM)Petem Wrote: I feel like I'm safe. I feel like I'm me.

Dude, that's awesome - I'm hoping that, at some point, I'll be able to say the same too.

But yeah, I think you're right - it's all to easy to demonise our exes, or whoever else is troubling us at the time, and forget that they're just acting on their own wants and needs.

I'm not saying that there aren't people who become so completely blinded and blinkered by wanting to inflict pain on their exes that they do so by any means necessary, and my heart goes out to those who have to suffer it. I'm not in that position just yet as we're still under the same roof and trying to be friends, but with mediation coming up on the 4th of December I have a feeling things could soon turn messy.

She said to me the other day that she doesn't regret anything about the last 14 years, and last night she was crying as we put our daughter to bed. I don't know what any of this means, but I just wanted to hold her and tell her everything was going to be okay. I didn't. I feel sad but I'm also enjoying these fleeting moments of calm in the house.

I think the sooner you realise she is not your friend anymore the better it will be for you.  You need to focus on your needs in terms of access to your kids and a financial settlement.
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#15
(11-14-2017, 11:02 AM)watsa64 Wrote: I think the sooner you realise she is not your friend anymore the better it will be for you.  You need to focus on your needs in terms of access to your kids and a financial settlement.

Yeah, that's what I'm trying to do currently, but we're in a bit of a no-man's land at the moment until the mediation starts in December.

I refuse to talk financials with her until we've got something in place for our daughter, and she doesn't want to talk about plans for our daughter moving forward until we've been to mediation. We don't agree on that point, and on the odd occasion I've tried to broach the subject peacefully with her she's escalated it to an argument.

So, we're just sort of existing as this fractured family (our daughter is none the wiser, thankfully) and skirting around the elephant in the room for our daughter's sake. We've both had legal advice so we know where we stand (neither of us are letting the other in on the advice we've had), and I've got all the facts and figures I need sorted already in terms of a mortgage agreement and exactly what I need to get out of the equity in the house to ensure I can make as fresh a start as possible.

So we're literally just waiting for mediation to happen before we make our next move, whichever way that is - hopefully it will be an amicable agreement reached via the mediation process which means we can then sell the house and go our separate ways.

Nobody wants (or can afford) to go to court, but I do sometimes have to remind myself that the situation is at critical and can implode at any point.

It's just weird and confusing when she makes dinner (like last night, for example) and we exchange flirty comments but then we go to bed in separate rooms. I know she currently needs me more than I need her, because she has no current income and I am literally keeping us all afloat on my salary - which is really hard, especially with Christmas coming up.

So it's in everybody's best interests currently to keep it amicable, but I do reckon that things could get messy once mediation gets underway, because we just don't agree on that point and she believes she can call all the shots when it comes to our daughter's care plan.
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#16
(11-14-2017, 11:53 AM)AKentishMan Wrote:
(11-14-2017, 11:02 AM)watsa64 Wrote: I think the sooner you realise she is not your friend anymore the better it will be for you.  You need to focus on your needs in terms of access to your kids and a financial settlement.

Yeah, that's what I'm trying to do currently, but we're in a bit of a no-man's land at the moment until the mediation starts in December.

I refuse to talk financials with her until we've got something in place for our daughter, and she doesn't want to talk about plans for our daughter moving forward until we've been to mediation. We don't agree on that point, and on the odd occasion I've tried to broach the subject peacefully with her she's escalated it to an argument.

So, we're just sort of existing as this fractured family (our daughter is none the wiser, thankfully) and skirting around the elephant in the room for our daughter's sake. We've both had legal advice so we know where we stand (neither of us are letting the other in on the advice we've had), and I've got all the facts and figures I need sorted already in terms of a mortgage agreement and exactly what I need to get out of the equity in the house to ensure I can make as fresh a start as possible.

So we're literally just waiting for mediation to happen before we make our next move, whichever way that is - hopefully it will be an amicable agreement reached via the mediation process which means we can then sell the house and go our separate ways.

Nobody wants (or can afford) to go to court, but I do sometimes have to remind myself that the situation is at critical and can implode at any point.

It's just weird and confusing when she makes dinner (like last night, for example) and we exchange flirty comments but then we go to bed in separate rooms. I know she currently needs me more than I need her, because she has no current income and I am literally keeping us all afloat on my salary - which is really hard, especially with Christmas coming up.

So it's in everybody's best interests currently to keep it amicable, but I do reckon that things could get messy once mediation gets underway, because we just don't agree on that point and she believes she can call all the shots when it comes to our daughter's care plan.

I feel for you - I had a very similar situation and it MASSIVELY messed with my head.

We still did everything as a "family"- in virtually every way it was like nothing had ever happened. We even went to Center Parcs together, and the kids didn't have a clue as we'd told them I was snoring so that's why we had separate bedrooms.

What was this though? Were we breaking up? Were we getting back together? Could we even live like housemates until the kids were older perhaps? I had no idea. My emotions were all over the place, and I was on tenterhooks just in case she melted a bit. But she didn't - yeah she'd blow hot and cold sometimes, and I appreciate now that it must have been just as weird for her. People are creatures of habit, and habits are hard to break.

For me though, living together in some semblance of our previous life just made a hard situation even harder.
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#17
(11-14-2017, 12:49 PM)Petem Wrote: I feel for you - I had a very similar situation and it MASSIVELY messed with my head.

We still did everything as a "family"- in virtually every way it was like nothing had ever happened. We even went to Center Parcs together, and the kids didn't have a clue as we'd told them I was snoring so that's why we had separate bedrooms.

What was this though? Were we breaking up? Were we getting back together? Could we even live like housemates until the kids were older perhaps? I had no idea. My emotions were all over the place, and I was on tenterhooks just in case she melted a bit. But she didn't - yeah she'd blow hot and cold sometimes, and I appreciate now that it must have been just as weird for her. People are creatures of habit, and habits are hard to break.

For me though, living together in some semblance of our previous life just made a hard situation even harder.

Well, she's pretty much drawn the line under doing stuff as a family now - she has her weekends with our daughter (where she takes her down to her Mum's) and I have my weekends with my daughter (where the ex supposedly goes down to her Mum's or whatever else it is she's up to).

It's only weekdays that we keep up the charade.

Like tonight, I'm going to Relate on my own after work, but on the way back I'm picking up fish & chips for the two of us (our daughter will be in bed) and then we'll eat it together and watch a bit of telly before going to our separate beds.

I do have no doubt in my mind that it's a powder keg though!! It will literally only take me saying the wrong thing and she'll blow up!!

I'm not letting it get to me though, it does feel very much like it has done for the past couple of years, but I'm fully armed with all the information I need to give myself a new start, I've got that Mortgage agreement in principle and a potential sum of equity from the house to come, so I should be okay.

The next major hurdle though, is mediation - I feel that pretty much everything hangs on that. If it doesn't go her way, then the rest of it, the equity and such, could very well turn into a minefield.

I'm keeping everything crossed that it doesn't all go wrong though!!!
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#18
(11-15-2017, 01:43 PM)AKentishMan Wrote:
(11-14-2017, 12:49 PM)Petem Wrote: I feel for you - I had a very similar situation and it MASSIVELY messed with my head.

We still did everything as a "family"- in virtually every way it was like nothing had ever happened. We even went to Center Parcs together, and the kids didn't have a clue as we'd told them I was snoring so that's why we had separate bedrooms.

What was this though? Were we breaking up? Were we getting back together? Could we even live like housemates until the kids were older perhaps? I had no idea. My emotions were all over the place, and I was on tenterhooks just in case she melted a bit. But she didn't -  yeah she'd blow hot and cold sometimes, and I appreciate now that it must have been just as weird for her. People are creatures of habit, and habits are hard to break.

For me though, living together in some semblance of our previous life just made a hard situation even harder.

Well, she's pretty much drawn the line under doing stuff as a family now - she has her weekends with our daughter (where she takes her down to her Mum's) and I have my weekends with my daughter (where the ex supposedly goes down to her Mum's or whatever else it is she's up to).

It's only weekdays that we keep up the charade.

Like tonight, I'm going to Relate on my own after work, but on the way back I'm picking up fish & chips for the two of us (our daughter will be in bed) and then we'll eat it together and watch a bit of telly before going to our separate beds.

I do have no doubt in my mind that it's a powder keg though!! It will literally only take me saying the wrong thing and she'll blow up!!

I'm not letting it get to me though, it does feel very much like it has done for the past couple of years, but I'm fully armed with all the information I need to give myself a new start, I've got that Mortgage agreement in principle and a potential sum of equity from the house to come, so I should be okay.

The next major hurdle though, is mediation - I feel that pretty much everything hangs on that. If it doesn't go her way, then the rest of it, the equity and such, could very well turn into a minefield.

I'm keeping everything crossed that it doesn't all go wrong though!!!

I don't know if you've mentioned it but it's a good idea to write a daily journal of your interaction with her - both the peaceful and not so peaceful.
Don't get drawn into arguments - remember the 180.
 
Consider a recording app for your phone or a handheld voice recorder.
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#19
(11-15-2017, 02:50 PM)watsa64 Wrote:
(11-15-2017, 01:43 PM)AKentishMan Wrote:
(11-14-2017, 12:49 PM)Petem Wrote: I feel for you - I had a very similar situation and it MASSIVELY messed with my head.

We still did everything as a "family"- in virtually every way it was like nothing had ever happened. We even went to Center Parcs together, and the kids didn't have a clue as we'd told them I was snoring so that's why we had separate bedrooms.

What was this though? Were we breaking up? Were we getting back together? Could we even live like housemates until the kids were older perhaps? I had no idea. My emotions were all over the place, and I was on tenterhooks just in case she melted a bit. But she didn't -  yeah she'd blow hot and cold sometimes, and I appreciate now that it must have been just as weird for her. People are creatures of habit, and habits are hard to break.

For me though, living together in some semblance of our previous life just made a hard situation even harder.

Well, she's pretty much drawn the line under doing stuff as a family now - she has her weekends with our daughter (where she takes her down to her Mum's) and I have my weekends with my daughter (where the ex supposedly goes down to her Mum's or whatever else it is she's up to).

It's only weekdays that we keep up the charade.

Like tonight, I'm going to Relate on my own after work, but on the way back I'm picking up fish & chips for the two of us (our daughter will be in bed) and then we'll eat it together and watch a bit of telly before going to our separate beds.

I do have no doubt in my mind that it's a powder keg though!! It will literally only take me saying the wrong thing and she'll blow up!!

I'm not letting it get to me though, it does feel very much like it has done for the past couple of years, but I'm fully armed with all the information I need to give myself a new start, I've got that Mortgage agreement in principle and a potential sum of equity from the house to come, so I should be okay.

The next major hurdle though, is mediation - I feel that pretty much everything hangs on that. If it doesn't go her way, then the rest of it, the equity and such, could very well turn into a minefield.

I'm keeping everything crossed that it doesn't all go wrong though!!!

I don't know if you've mentioned it but it's a good idea to write a daily journal of your interaction with her - both the peaceful and not so peaceful.
Don't get drawn into arguments - remember the 180.
 
Consider a recording app for your phone or a handheld voice recorder.


On the occasions that my ex has been particularly bananas, I've told her that I would like to record our conversation on my phone. It's amazing how rational she suddenly became.


She'd have had to wait for me to download it from the app store, but that's not the point...
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#20
(11-15-2017, 03:12 PM)Petem Wrote:
(11-15-2017, 02:50 PM)watsa64 Wrote:
(11-15-2017, 01:43 PM)AKentishMan Wrote:
(11-14-2017, 12:49 PM)Petem Wrote: I feel for you - I had a very similar situation and it MASSIVELY messed with my head.

We still did everything as a "family"- in virtually every way it was like nothing had ever happened. We even went to Center Parcs together, and the kids didn't have a clue as we'd told them I was snoring so that's why we had separate bedrooms.

What was this though? Were we breaking up? Were we getting back together? Could we even live like housemates until the kids were older perhaps? I had no idea. My emotions were all over the place, and I was on tenterhooks just in case she melted a bit. But she didn't -  yeah she'd blow hot and cold sometimes, and I appreciate now that it must have been just as weird for her. People are creatures of habit, and habits are hard to break.

For me though, living together in some semblance of our previous life just made a hard situation even harder.

Well, she's pretty much drawn the line under doing stuff as a family now - she has her weekends with our daughter (where she takes her down to her Mum's) and I have my weekends with my daughter (where the ex supposedly goes down to her Mum's or whatever else it is she's up to).

It's only weekdays that we keep up the charade.

Like tonight, I'm going to Relate on my own after work, but on the way back I'm picking up fish & chips for the two of us (our daughter will be in bed) and then we'll eat it together and watch a bit of telly before going to our separate beds.

I do have no doubt in my mind that it's a powder keg though!! It will literally only take me saying the wrong thing and she'll blow up!!

I'm not letting it get to me though, it does feel very much like it has done for the past couple of years, but I'm fully armed with all the information I need to give myself a new start, I've got that Mortgage agreement in principle and a potential sum of equity from the house to come, so I should be okay.

The next major hurdle though, is mediation - I feel that pretty much everything hangs on that. If it doesn't go her way, then the rest of it, the equity and such, could very well turn into a minefield.

I'm keeping everything crossed that it doesn't all go wrong though!!!

I don't know if you've mentioned it but it's a good idea to write a daily journal of your interaction with her - both the peaceful and not so peaceful.
Don't get drawn into arguments - remember the 180.
 
Consider a recording app for your phone or a handheld voice recorder.


On the occasions that my ex has been particularly bananas, I've told her that I would like to record our conversation on my phone. It's amazing how rational she suddenly became.


She'd have had to wait for me to download it from the app store, but that's not the point...
I got this list of tips from an American site where they are a bit more hardnosed about it all 
1. Don't react or respond while emotional.
2. Radio Silence
3. Know what you want, work towards that 
4. Listen to the advice of those here, use that in conjunction with what you want, and direct your lawyer appropriately.
5. Let go of the marriage
6. Read. A lot. Here. There. Everywhere.
7. Become familiar with the pitfalls, the weaknesses, the sticky points, the blind spots.
8. Document everything
9. Give no quarter
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