May 22, 2020

Separation in current times – 3 keys to survival

Survival tips: "I need to separate from my spouse, what to do in a today's world!" -3 Keys to survival


1. Keep calm.

Remember the British war propaganda slogan “Keep calm and carry on”? Well, it applies now.

Yes, you have decided you need to separate from your spouse. You may have children as well. Now is not the time to lose your cool. Nerves are frayed all over the place. You may feel that everyone else is coping well, making sourdough bread and learning a new language on-line, but you’re not. Your spouse has maybe started drinking more and things are tense.

You’ve made the decision to separate.

The trouble is that you need to sort out finances, you maybe need to have a lump sum of cash from your house to get your own place; however you are stuck right now. You’re not alone.

The housing market has slowed, sellers don’t want people trekking through their homes. Buyers aren’t sure they have a stable job. You need to have a separation agreement before you can buy a house, but you can’t get one without discussions with your spouse – but tensions are too high right now.

Until things start to lift, you can’t get far with any of this – so the one key thing you can do is remain calm. Especially for your kids. It’s not legal advice, but keep getting some exercise. Even if it’s just a 10 minute brisk walk a few times a day, it will help you to try and keep balanced in this stressful time. Even if you can’t exercise, count to 10 before you respond quickly to something that your spouse says that causes you to react in a negative way. Keeping calm is critical.

2. Get informed.

Even though you can’t make a whole lot of progress, you can get prepared.

Find out as much as you can about the law and how it applies to your situation. If you can, speak to a family lawyer and discover your rights in regards to parenting, custody, child support and dividing family assets. Some of your stress comes from not knowing your options and what the law is. Lowering your stress is a good idea right now. If you can’t implement a plan, then at least you can have a plan ready to go when you can take steps.

Telephones still work and you can find out key pieces of information without physically going to see people like your banker or a lawyer.

3. Write it down.

When you are so fed up you don’t know what to do, place your feelings on a piece of paper! Perhaps this sounds odd, but have you ever sat down and written a letter to yourself or just written streams and streams of what you are feeling? You should try it. It works.

There is something cathartic about getting your built-up emotions out without coming to blows or saying something you cannot take back. No one has to read what you have written except you.

Sit down at your desk or write it in the bath while surrounded by bubbles. Just let it flow out of your pen. Don’t think about it. If you have written something you really shouldn’t have, rip it up and throw it out. No one needs to know what you said or how you feel. If keeping it for future reference, keep it somewhere safe from prying little fingers or snoopers! After things have improved, re-read them someday and see how far you have come.

We will come out of this. If your relationship is not going to, remember: keep calm, get informed and write it down.

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