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Guest Blog: The Discerning Divorced and Childless Friendship Club

*****Guest Blog*****

The Discerning Divorced and Childless Friendship Club

My divorce was a tsunami of grief and insurmountable changes. I had to either swim or sink into an abyss of darkness. I wouldn’t wish the pain I experienced on my worst enemy. Nearly three years on, of course I still have dark days, but they are getting fewer and fewer and I have chosen to concentrate on moving on in a positive and optimistic manner instead of remaining bitter about the past.

I set up the private Discerning Divorced and Childless Friendship Club to expand my social circle with likeminded people in similar circumstances as me, divorced and childless; a Group to have fun and to laugh again.

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Please join me and the 17 brave men and women who are already part of this brand new private Meetup Group.

Being brave enough to put yourself out there, meet new people and make new friends is extremely difficult, I know because setting up this Group is totally outside my comfort zone. Please join me on Saturday 7th April at 6.45pm for a small knit dinner for four people at the fabulous One Michelin Star Hakkasan Mayfair taking positive steps to meet new people and change something about our lives. You can find all details of the dinner meetup, including menu, by clicking the link below and joining the Group.

I have kept the Group events to a maximum of 4 because I want everyone to be comfortable and I want to foster a real opportunity for friendships instead of anyone being lost in a large groups.

Dinner at Hakkasan Mayfair (One Michelin star) A La Carte Menu, 6.45pm – 9pm

Saturday, Apr 7, 2018, 6:45 PM

2 Discerners Attending

Check out this Meetup →

Please read more about the Discerning Divorced and Childless Friendship Club below.

**There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met – William Butler Yeats**

Are you divorced/widowed/single, currently childless (not by choice) or childfree (by choice or separated from your children or for whatever reason), aged around 30 to 60, discerning and seeking new, platonic, long lasting friends and companions, to enjoy the best of London and the world?

Perhaps your children have flown the nest or for whatever reason you feel an affinity to this Group, please feel free to join. This is an inclusive and non-judgemental Group.

Do you need an injection of fun, laughter, adventure and happiness in your life after the end of a marriage, relationship or bereavement?

Do you enjoy eating in fine restaurants (in an affordable manner), travelling in affordable 5 star luxury or hosting/attending sumptuous dinner parties full of fun, laughter, music and dancing?

Are you interested in learning savvy new ways to make your reduced post-divorce income stretch a little bit more?

If so, this might be the Group for you.

Why I Started this Group

Nearly three years after the unexpected end of my long marriage, as I continue to rebuild my life in a positive manner, most books and articles tell us to seek comfort and joy in our children.

But what about people like me who are childless (not by choice) or childfree, and find ourselves in our 40s, divorced, widowed or single, and completely alone, in a coupled-up/family focused world, having been part of a close twosome that was supposed to last forever?

How do we fill our evenings and weekends when friends are married, with families and doing their own thing?

What do we do when the social invitations have dried up because they tend to revolve around friends’ children, who deem it fit to only invite those with children?

What do we do when good friends are scattered around the world or we’ve simply lost contact or drifted away?

How do we make new friends in our 30s, 40s or 50s when the traditional ways of making lasting friendships in school, university and new jobs, are a distance past?

How do we make new friends when we cannot meet new people at the school gate, children’s sleepovers, children’s parties, PTA meetings, school fairs, school trips, school fundraising events and all the new avenues open to parents?

How do we embrace our changed circumstances and still make a fulfilling, happy life for ourselves, full of genuine, platonic friendships and fun, without embarking on new and perhaps unsuitable romantic relationships?

Even if we choose to have new romantic relationships or even go on to have children, how do we avoid the mistakes of the past, by ensuring we still maintain genuine, close platonic, fun friendships, outside of our new twosome or family life?

My Aims for this Group

This Group is about moving on from the pain and hurt of divorce or loss, and concentrating our energies in a positive, constructive and optimistic manner.

It is about bringing together likeminded people who have a taste for the finer things in life, but we accept that for some of us, our financial circumstances have been vastly reduced by divorce. However, we have learnt to be savvy and clever with money – let’s explore cheaper ways of dining in the finest Michelin restaurants, 5 star luxury travel, sumptuous dinner parties and continuing to enjoy all the finest things in life, in an affordable manner.

It is about accepting that being single and childless might not be the life plan but it is the life we currently have, taking control and embracing a positive Plan B.

This Group is about saying a big fat NO to spending countless weekends completely alone – let’s start with monthly activities and take these new friendships, offline, into the real world.

It is about finding genuine friends to go out to dinner to that new Michelin restaurant on a Saturday night, hosting or attending dinner parties, exploring that trendy new cocktail bar, going to theatre, cinema, opera, West End musical, without feeling like a Billy no mates.

Let’s find a travel buddy to go on exotic holidays, without being the odd one out in a world full of couples and families.

Rules

We’ve all had enough traumas in our lives and do not want a Group with a long list of rules. However, if these prove necessary, they will be added.

For now, please be respectful, supportive, non-judgmental and considerate of everyone. If you RSVP for an event, please attend or cancel as soon as possible to enable someone else to attend. Please take personal responsibility for your own safety.

 

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Sadness Lives Here

The last few weeks have been tough, extremely tough physically, mentally and financially.

The last week and a half have sucked serious lemons.

I had some bad news that brought about the sort of indescribable pain only someone who has been through similar situation can ever understand, and many people in my life haven’t…thankfully for them, as I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone else, let alone anyone I care about.

As a result, I’ve withdrawn from social activities, ignored messages and phone calls, deactivated my personal Facebook, ditched social media, currently have nearly 2,000 unread messages on WhatsApp, majority of which are from a secondary school class group, and I’ve kind of tried to quieten a lot of life’s noises, as I deal with the grief of my news.

I am also acutely aware that isolation is not good for me, so hopefully, I will be back in the swing of things soon enough.

More than anything, I am physically, emotionally and financially drained but I’m a survivor, I will sort myself out soon enough.

Although the bad news isn’t directly connected with the end of my marriage, there is an indirect connection. And therefore the sadness of all of that have kind of resurfaced.

It didn’t help that when I confided the bad news to a good friend, her reaction was to go on and on and on and on about how she blames my ex for the news, how he wasted the best years of my life and how the shock of her whole life is the fact that my marriage ended when she had never met two people more in love or closer than my ex and I. In the end, I brought that conversation to an end by firmly stating that my ex was in the past and that I didn’t want to talk about him.

One lovely reader wrote on my blog that it will basically take around half the length of a relationship to get over my divorce, in my case, over 7 years. I remember reading that and thinking in defiance that there was no way in hell I would be mourning the loss of my marriage for over 7 years. No way, would I be giving a shit about someone that doesn’t give a shit about me, let alone for that length of time.

Sadly, the cycle of loss and grief are not solved by defiance and determination alone.

They have to run their course.

The fact that I still have moments, even within this past week, when the shock that my marriage ended wash over me anew, is not because I haven’t accepted its end and moved on.

It is just what it is.

I still feel sadness that someone else chose to break a marriage contract that was supposed to last until death. As a realist, I am fine that marriages end, the disgustingly appalling way my ex ended our marriage, the fact that in all things, he put a married woman he had an affair with, and had known for only four months, way above a 14 and a half years relationship, allowed this woman to be so actively involved in the ending of our marriage, including using her sister’s gutter divorce law firm for our bitter divorce battle with all the unnecessary drama of court appearances, is a double stabbing in my heart and back which will take time to heal.

As anyone who reads this blog would know, my ex ‘s big love affair didn’t even last two months after he ended our marriage (by email!) in the belief that he would waltz into the sunset with his lover. This married woman with two children, who had allegedly broken up with him four times during their four months affair, because she wasn’t happy that he was married, whilst remaining married herself, and who had promised him that if he left his wife, she would leave her husband, remains (happily?) married.

My ex and I have not spoken or emailed or had any communication whatsoever since our court proceedings were completed in November 2016.

I have zero intentions of ever contacting this man but if one day, his madness clears and he finally recognises the enormity of the pain his bad behaviour caused and continue to cause, and decides to apologise, he has my email address.

In the meantime, I will leave him to his karma. I hear she’s a bitch.

So many questions will remain forever unanswered and I am OK with it.

For example, finding out that the same week in May 2015, when my ex husband sent me an email entitled “My end game” dated May 4th, from his business trip in Singapore, saying that our marriage had ended and he wasn’t coming back home, a mail written with such bad grammar and weird formatting, it was obviously written by someone like his lover who learnt English as an adult, was the very same week, Mylien, the married woman he had an affair with, completed buying a new house in Woking (May 6th) which she owns jointly with her husband. Buying a massive 4 bedroom, 5 reception, 3 bathroom house, costing £815,000, two days after helping your lover to draft an email to his wife ending his marriage, is not exactly the act of a woman about to run off into the sunset.

Another suspicion is that by the time I discovered this four month affair, my ex may not have known the real name of this married woman who he had met on an internet dating website for single people. He had very easily and earnestly told me her name was Lilly Wong, and used this name in emails, at a time he was allegedly being truthful and confessing everything about the affair. This man is either even more of a dangerous snake of a liar or he completely changed, and I can go as far as to use the word “ruined” his life, for a woman from the internet, whose real name he didn’t even know. I wouldn’t know either of the options to bet on…anything is possible.

And how is my ex forging that new path and soaring those new heights he taunted me with wishing to do without me hampering his progress?

Has his life become so wonderfully amazing without me in it?

Has he found someone to swim in the sea with? Something he had taunted me with.

Does he wake up every morning with the biggest smiles on his face, a sense of purpose, a life well lived and the knowledge that ditching me and our marriage made him the happiest man alive?

Is his life filled with love, joy, music, laughter, sunshine, dinner parties, social interactions with his 14 Facebook friends? You’ve got to admire a man who defiantly stays on Facebook (after losing my family and friends) with 14 Facebook friends majority of whom are people he hasn’t seen in over 20 years. As one of his Facebook friends calls his account…”pathetic”.

Enough of my rambling rant. Hopefully letting it all out here will help ease some of the pain of this week.

Life must continue to move on with my changed circumstances.

I must continue to deal with the fact that the life plans have drastically changed because someone else choose to lie, deceive, betray, ultimately end a marriage with so much unnecessary pain and drama, and be woefully unaware that they behaved badly.

I will continue to work on my life.

I will grieve and get over my bad news and keep moving on.

I will continue to work on choosing to be happy, leaving the past firmly buried in the past and trying my best to forget and rebuild.

I will try and use those lemons to make some lemonade.

I will try. I will, I will.

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Life is for Living! My best is yet to come…

I have not written in my diary since May.

I’m not entirely sure why as I have a lot to report and yet, I’m just quietly getting on with life.

Thank you to those of you who have been in touch privately and to all of you who continue to follow me, even with months of silence. xx

And thank you for all your support of my Instagram page. Please feel free to keep sharing.

http://www.instagram.com/belleslowcarbworld/

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Last week, a friend contacted me saying that she wanted to speak to someone who has been through a difficult divorce. My first thought reading her message was that this divorce thing has become an epidemic. I had only seen her two months ago at my party (see below). It looks like no one is immune from marriage breakdown or worse still, difficult ones.

I want to use this post to say to anyone who is going through a difficult relationship or marriage breakdown, bereavement or any sort of loss; this will hurt like nothing has ever hurt you.

You may feel the sort of emotional and even physical pain you have never felt before.

But the one thing that I can absolutely, hand on heart promise you, is that it will definitely get easier.

The end of my marriage was the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me. I felt debilitating emotional and physical pain, I did not even know were humanly possible to feel, let alone possible to survive.

Last year, June 5th, 2016, on what would have been my 12th wedding anniversary, I wrote my darkest post. That post caused a lot of upset, and reading it now, it still feels sad, but I felt the sort of somewhat detached sadness you feel reading about something that has happened to someone else. That is a massive growth.

Warning: may cause upset. For completion, you can read that post here, and its follow-up written just three days later.

This brings me to the main point that I would like to make. No matter how dark things may seem, even when you reach rock bottom like I did, things will definitely get better.

Last wedding anniversary, June 5th 2016, I wanted to die. I couldn’t see a way out from the emotional pain of my divorce, or the physical pain I was feeling.

A year later, June 5th, 2017, I genuinely did not even realise what day it was until I needed to check the date on some chicken, to put in the freezer. And even after I realised what day it was, I continued with my mundane tasks unperturbed.

Life feels like it has moved on and what better way to do so than to have a party?! 🙂

And so, in July, I had a belated birthday and divorce celebration party, putting an end to the whole sorry saga of the end of my marriage.

It was a truly magical night of music, food, cake, champagne, drinks, laughter and dancing into the early mornings in a marquee erected in the garden, complete with dancing floor, lights and smoke machine…why the hell not…:-)

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I was surrounded by good friends and wonderful family, my mum, my sisters, niece and nephews.

On the afternoon of my party, I had the surprise of my life when my little sister flew in from where she lives overseas to attend my party. All my family, including my 7 year old nephew, knew she was coming to my party, and they all managed to completely hide it from me.

I sobbed like a baby when I saw her, but they were tears of joy.

After the party, my home was filled with flowers from friends.

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The next day, I had the enviable task of opening a mountain of presents.

What a lucky girl I am.

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I guess the whole night can be summed up by one song…

I will Survive, which followed my speech. There was a frenzy defiance of loud singing, dancing, and me, singing along with a microphone…as you do. I have watched the video of this part of the night countless times – the powerful feat of survival.

I will survive.

I have survived.

I am surviving.

I’m not saying that my life is now a bed of roses or that there are not challenges, even sometimes on a daily basis.

I’m not saying that I don’t get moments when I feel waves of sadness, not only that my marriage ended but that it ended in a way that I cannot even cherish the thoughts of the years with my ex given that by his own words, he was online dating and looking “for a way out” throughout our 14.5 years relationship.

Of course I’m sad that the way my marriage ended means that there has been zero contact between my ex and I since November 2016, when we concluded the withdrawal of his ridiculous case for the Mac computer, we used to share.

Of course I feel sadness that my marriage ended as no one gets married intending it to fail.

I feel sadness that I invested 14.5 years of my short life on a man I cannot even text in an emergency, and yet, I have somehow managed to stay friendly with all other significant exes, including a violent, abusive ex, who had the grace to apologise sincerely for his actions.

Of course I feel sad that the last time I saw my ex, he excused all his bad behaviour as acting under “legal advisement” and blatantly did not recognise just how badly he had behaved, let alone deem it fit to render an apology for his actions.

But I am well adjusted, positive and I am not bitter about the past.

I do not need an apology from my ex to continue to rebuild my life nor do I need an explanation for why he really behaved like he did.

I’m not the first woman lied to, betrayed, hurt or devastated by a man she trusted implicitly, and I won’t be the last.

I am most definitely a better and stronger person than I was during my marriage. I recognise strengths and growths in my life that certainly were not there before.

I am also very excited and a little daunted about a new project that I start in exactly two weeks. Perhaps one day, when I can, I will write more about it. If it works, it will certainly be life changing. But however it pans out, I am very proud of myself for being brave enough to embark on a journey that would take me through uncharted and uncertain territories.

I am proud of myself for making things happen.

I am proud of myself for not allowing the end of my marriage to be the end of my dreams.

I am proud of myself…and it’s OK to remind myself of that fact.

And like my fabulous cake says, Life is For Living! The best is yet to come…

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2

Day 620: FFS – Let Them Drink Wine.

This has been an eventful week.

I went for a two hour, 360 health assessment which is basically a full health check-up. Every part of my body, in and out, was prodded and tested.

I guess part of the reason I wanted to do it, was to make sure that the stress of the end of my marriage hasn’t resulted in physiological ill-health, after all, stress is a killer.

The good news is that my lung function in some parameters was as much as 133% of women my age, surprising given that my system is somewhat compromised by bouts of childhood pneumonia and bronchitis etc for which I attend hospital for monitoring.

Following ECG, I was told that I have 0.7% chances of having a stroke or heart attack in the next 10 years.

Not bad for an old bird.

The bad side is that I am a bit anaemic and low in calcium.

The doctor also thinks I’m somewhat depressed and should restart psychotherapy. I told him I had completed the 16 paged extremely detailed questionnaire (WTF!) on a particularly pissed off day and was irritated by the length of the form.

He was sympathetic.

I have lost nearly two inches in height since my last test in 2010 which could be related to my chronic back issues or bone loss. WTF. The doctor has referred me to a hospital for a bone density scan, just to be sure. If it is bone loss, I get to pop some more pills.

I also had my breasts examined by the nice, very handsome doctor.

“The good thing about your right breast is that it is very soft.” He said having examined one breast.

I resisted the urge to giggle at the most non-sexual feeling of my breasts ever, by a very attractive man.

Next week, I will have a mammogram to complete the health MOT.

Following the test, I met up with a lovely lady I used to work with and who I am rather very fond of. We hugged and kissed the way old friends do.

Like she always does whenever she sees me, she said:

“And how is Chris? Are you two still madly in love and as happily married as ever?” She asked with a very wide smile ready to listen to me go on about the merits of married life ,for I was once one of the smug married.

Poor lady was mortified and very apologetic when I told her I was divorced, having had the divorce from hell, two court hearings and 18 months from hell, with a pending case about a Mac Computer.

It’s great to see one’s life through the eyes of others.

She was lovely.

Declared that I had a chance to reinvent myself.

Told me money is the root of all evil and can change people.

Reminded me that I was great at my job and encouraged me to return to work, even if for one day a week.

“You write beautifully. You could be a writer. You could be a blogger. You could be a public speaker. You were fantastic at the talks you used to give.”

I smiled broadly at her and we agreed to arrange a girlie night out with another mutual friend.

I left her with smiles and a renewed sense of self worth.

She immediately followed up with a text message, a friends’ request on Facebook and she set the ball rolling for our girlie night out.

Following an extremely long day, I came back home to a letter addressed in a handwriting I thought was that of my ex husband. I quickly dismissed the thought as it wasn’t the first time I had thought a handwritten letter was from him.

But alas, this time, it was indeed my ex.

Inside the envelop was a signed letter.

Also, a first class stamp.

And a handwritten letter that said:

“Please sign & send to the court. Thanks. No need for anything further. Chris.”

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He had signed a letter asking the court to dismiss the hearing for the Mac Computer.

I was stunned.

I had been resigned to attending court to talk shit about the Mac Computer.

I had even started drafting my witness statement.

I felt overwhelmed with unexpected sadness.

On Tuesday February 24th, 2015, my life as I knew it, ended with the discovery of my ex husband’s affair. The madness that started that day, cumulated in his leaving our previous matrimonial home on 18th April, 2015, followed by email from his business trip in Singapore on Monday May 4th, 2015, telling me he wasn’t coming back home and instead, he had found a flat in Weybridge, 5 minutes from Mylien, the married mother of two he had an affair with. Prior to my finding out about his affair, this woman had told him that if he left his wife, she would leave her husband. Mylien remains married to her husband, the father of her two children.

20 months after I found out about this affair, this fucking nightmare is finally, truly over. It’s OVER.

So, why am I having a second glass of wine as I write this diary entry?

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Why have I immersed myself in activities since Tuesday, spending all day, doing things because I do not want to give myself time to think?

Why do I feel like I need to finally mourn the end of my marriage to someone who I had regarded as the love of my life and who had told me countless times I was his? And yet, I refuse to spend any more time mourning any such marriage because I have wasted quite enough time on all that, thank you very much.

Why do I feel sadness at the thoughts that I will spend the rest of my life alone and single because I will never ever make myself that vulnerable ever again?

I have no answers or wise words to explain how I feel.

One of my readers once wrote that it would take at least half of the number of years I spent with my ex to get over the pain of divorce. That would mean that it would over 7 years. That’s a very long time and I don’t want to believe that would be the case, not if I can help it.

Life goes on.

Shit happens.

Sometimes, life throws unexpected balls.

But it’s down to us whether we swim or sink and I am already swimming.

I have also started a little venture that I’m excited about.

If like today, I feel like drinking red wine, I won’t beat myself up about it. A little bit of wallowing is OK too, as long as it has been a day like today, when I worked pretty hard, all day on my little venture and get to wallow a bit in my downtime.

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In other news, did anyone watch the Walking Dead premier? OMFG.

 

 

4

Day 515 – The Lord is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want

As I approach a second court hearing in my financial remedy hearing to divide assets between myself and my ex, I am so weary and tired, I could cry all day.

I have had very little sleep in the past week which does not help, my back hurts, my body is tired but my spirit is thankful for God’s mercies.

My heart is broken into countless little pieces with the horrific nightmare I find myself living with the end of my marriage and my ex’s inexplicable behaviour.

Even though the stress of the last few days and impending period, have been such that the scale does not show a weight I’d wish to be, I am so proud of myself this week because I haven’t resorted to pizzas and junk food like I did with the last court hearing and other divorce stress. I can’t promise that that will never happen, but I am thankful that I have felt the need for good food and lots of vegetables to cope with the stress, and not junk food.

This post isn’t a morose one to moan about my woes. It is a post of gratitude. As I write this, I am actually feeling completely overwhelmed by love.

I am overwhelmed by the love of a wonderful family, in particular, my darling mother and my wonderful three sisters. They are the rock that hold me up even when I feel like completely crumbling under the uncertainties, hurt and heartbreaks of the last 17 months.

I thank God for blessing me with a wonderful, close and loving family who always have my back.

I also thank God for the love and support of a few close friends who have an inkling of what I have been going through.

This lapsed Catholic, former convent girl and sinner always remembers God and finds comfort in Him when the chips are down. I am tired but I have faith. I have so many loved ones, priests, pastors praying for me as I go through the next court hearing, I am indeed very blessed.

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I get a lot of comfort from Psalm 23.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
For his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
For thine are with me;
 Thou rod and thou staff,
 Thou comfort me.

 Thou preparest a table before me
  In the presence of my enemies;
 Thou anointed my head with oil;
   My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
   All the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    Forever, amen

6

Day 427: Get Thee Behind Me Divorce Grief

Tomorrow is my brother’s birthday.

Tomorrow is also exactly one year since my husband left our former marital home to pursue his affair with Mylien, a married Vietnamese mother of two, whose husband was living in Italy and who my husband met on an online dating website for singles.

Even before I found out about his four months affair, Mylien had allegedly broken up with him four times, because she didn’t like him remaining married, whilst married herself.

After I found out, she allegedly told him that if he left me, she would leave her husband. When I asked why she doesn’t leave her husband first, my ex said because they have two children.

Our marriage was easily dispensable to my ex because we didn’t have children. He conveniently forgot to tell her about his sperm issues and erectile dysfunction which resulted in 8 painful IVF, 2 miscarriages, my undergoing countless gruelling experimental treatment in our unsuccessful quest to have children.

My 11 year marriage and 14.5 years relationship ended with an email sent by my husband from a business trip in Singapore, informing me he wasn’t coming home.

Mylien remains (happily?) married to her husband.

I call my ex, my husband because a year after he left our former home and nearly a year after he rushed to file for divorce, one working day after his lawyer (same divorce law firm as his mistress Mylien’s sister Quyen) sent me an email, on our 11th wedding anniversary, informing me he wanted a divorce, celebrating with an expensive meal with Mylien the day after he filed for divorce, having secretly moved to a place 5 minutes from her home in Weybridge, as he sought to forge ahead with a new life where unbeknown to her husband, my ex was holidaying with his mistress and her children, as my life descended into chaos, untold grief and darkness, we remain married.

I do not know when the court case to settle our finances will end. The second court hearing, the FDR, which was meant to happen this April has been postponed as my ex failed to return a court mandated document. The hearing might be rescheduled for June, July or whenever the court has availabilities.

If this case doesn’t settle during that second hearing, it might drag on until a final trial at the end of the year or even early next year, when my husband and I cease to have any control over the settlement of our financial affairs and will surrender all power to a judge to settle our affairs as he deems fit. Given that the same judge would also decide whether we can appeal against his decision, it is an extremely foolish place to be and only 10% of divorcing spouses are stupid enough to go to a final trial. I am resigned that I might be one of those 10% through no fault of mine.

I have tried to settle amicably outside of court in mediation which my ex ended. I also made a settlement offer which he rejected and refused to make a counter offer.

I am resigned that the nightmare and uncertainties I continue to live in, ends when it ends.

A year after my husband left our former home, I wish I was writing a reflective post that celebrates the countless personal achievements that I have had in the past one year of being on my own and to celebrate the person that I am becoming.

Perhaps I could write about how having been driven around by men in the last 22 years, a year ago when my husband left, I had only driven 2 or 3 very short times in the previous three years and couldn’t even confidently drive 5 minutes to the supermarket.

And yet last week, and the week before that, I was this woman driving on the motorway.

No, as much as I would like to pat myself on the back, reflect on my year and say well done, I have had a tough few days and I have other things on my mind.

I am overwhelmed by grief and sadness that have resurfaced from nowhere. I had been doing so well lately…

It’s been a few days where my emotions have been all over the place. Where every little thing makes me cry. Where I wonder whether my life would ever be as carefree as it used to be, happy, smiley, secure, certain, where I felt like I had someone in my life who would stay with me forever, for better for worse, in sickness and in health, through tears and laughters, where there seemed to be a purpose, a life plan, security.

As I write this, with uncontrollable tears, I’m forcing myself to look at the bigger picture.

Yes, divorce sucks lemon and I’m not going to make lemonade as I really shouldn’t be having sugar. However, there is no situation in life that stays the same. This period of uncertainty will someday pass. The feeling that I am adrift, no one to call my own, alone, will pass.

I tell myself to make a list.

Lists make everything seem clearer. I like to have a plan. It’s good to have a plan. I have to make my lists of ways to change things that I have control over, improve things, tick off my list and keep going.

I miss my old life. 

OK, I’ve said it but I also know that my old life is a fiction. There is nothing to miss when it didn’t exist.

That old life was all a lie.

That smiling face, the conman’s smile, the infectious laughter, the daily I love yous, the daily phone calls, the hand holdings, they were all lies.

You don’t miss something that never really existed.

You don’t miss something that never was.

You don’t miss an illusion.

I shouldn’t miss my old life because there is nothing to miss. 

And therefore, I tell myself that life is what you make of it. There is no old life to think of, there is just the now.

And the now, is what I make of it.

I will scribble in my notebook, make plans and make things happen. 

I will ride this current wave of grief and sadness, and it will surely pass.

It has all gone wrong on the diet front. I had a few bad days some weeks ago, following some divorce upset and  I have struggled ever since to recover.

I am going to take a couple of weeks off Cambridge, recharge and I will get back to it in the middle of May and finally give myself the big kick up the arse I need to make sure nothing else ever comes between me and this diet.

I will not stop until I reach goal.

In the meantime, get thee behind me sucky divorce grief.

 

2

Day 355: Week 51 Weigh-In – Moving On for Dummies

Life has a funny way of teaching us lessons.

Sometimes the lessons are subtle, blink and you miss it, other times, it is an all singing, all dancing, hip swaying, rainbow coloured flag waving, finger pointing, in your face life lesson.

I have had one of those in your face lessons: why it’s best to keep moving on.

I have always been the sort of person that if someone important to me does something that annoys me, instead of carrying a grudge, I would rather tell them my mind and then very quickly get over it.

But I guess usual rules do not apply to marriage break-ups from hell, especially when the other person has continued to behave badly and there is no relationship or any association whatsoever to salvage.

So this week’s life’s lesson is to keep moving on…

While you’re crying over the end of a relationship or carrying a grudge, the other guy is out dancing.

In my case, quite literally.

grudge

So about that life lesson in moving on….

At the end of May 2015, I was in a seriously scary, dark place. It had only been a couple of weeks since my  husband sent an email from a business trip in Singapore, ending our 11 years marriage and 14.5 years relationship, telling me he would not be coming home. It was not about the woman he had an affair with, he wants to “forge ahead alone.”

My mental health had crumbled at the devastation caused by the unexpected end of my marriage, my ex’s betrayal and his despicable behaviour. I had been so blissfully happy in my life with an ex, who had pretended to feel the same, while using online dating websites and seeking a way out, throughout our relationship.

I didn’t see the end of my marriage coming in a billion years.

Documenting my year, with this blog, my paper diary, photographs and videos I take of myself, May is littered with lots of extremely dark thoughts, pictures and videos of me crying my eyes out.

(Self portraits and self videos? WTF. I know, I know!)

I remember writing this blog post after I had literally spent the whole of the May bank holiday, crying.

That weekend, my ex had moved to Weybridge, 5 minutes away from Mylien, his 49 year old married mother of two, Vietnamese mistress, who he had met on a singles dating website.

At one point that long May weekend, I thought that if not for the fact that it would literally kill my mother and my sisters if anything happened to me, there was nothing to live for.

I couldn’t see any light at the end of the very dark tunnel.

I had lost the love of my life. The ying to my yang. My true soulmate. My only soulmate. My other half. My missing link. The only man I had ever wanted to father my future children (I recoil at that last one as my future children do not deserve a psychopath for a father.) The only man that had ever completed me. The only man that I had ever truly, completely and unconditionally loved, without reservation.

Blah blah blah.

Cry me a river.

That weekend, my ex’s sister had called me, telling me how she had asked her brother 3 times whether his affair had ended and he had sworn it had ended. She told me her brother regretted the email he sent from Singapore saying he wasn’t coming back home. She said he had never told either her or his mother that our marriage had ended. She wanted me to be strong as she thought her brother had gone crazy because she knew how much he loved me and how much he was devoted to me, echoing the same comments my mother-in-law had made that same weekend. She believed him when he said the affair had ended. She would understand that I might not take him back but he didn’t want to end our marriage.

She was messing with my head.

So my life lesson is this…

In my darkness, all that sadness, crying, heartbreak, devastation, thinking my world had ended, soon to be ex mother-in-law and sister-in-law telling me my ex had sworn that the affair had ended, guess what my soon to be ex husband was doing?

That half term that started with May bank holiday, he was on a holiday in Butlins Minehead, Somerset, with Mylien, his married mistress, her two children and her friends. He had driven over 3 hours from Weybridge to holiday in Somerset.

While I was crying and wondering whether my life was worth living, my ex was busy playing happy families with someone else’s wife and someone else’s children, eating ice cream, enjoying playground rides, continuing to lie to his mother and only sibling that the affair had ended and having a jolly good time.

Isn’t it funny how life teaches you a lesson?

grudge 2

Oh and to quote one of his “best friends”:

“I don’t mean to be personal, but you are a gorgeous woman. I could never understand the two of you together but it seemed to work and I had never met two people so much in love. You will be fine. Why would anyone want an affair with him? The only thing going for him is that he’s occasionally funny, in a weird way, and he earns a lot of money. Seriously, why on earth would anyone want to have an affair with him?”

Yes, I’m moving the fuck on, as difficult as it is in an extremely stressful week where I have literally spent every single day and countless hours dealing with divorce crap.

But this too will pass and I just can’t wait until the finances and divorce are settled and I never have to waste any energy whatsoever on this SOB.

Week Fifty one’s Verdict: today’s weight 87.9 kg, week’s weight loss 0 kg (0 pounds); total weight loss;  36.5 kg; 80.3 pounds; 5 stones 10 pounds