There is an old saying “Act in haste and repent at leisure”.
Are things as bad as you say? Have you put up with things long enough? Have you or your partner blown things out of all proportion? And so the list goes on and on.
One minute you are in each other’s’ arms, the next you find yourself at arm’s length. You tell yourself, it’s their job; it’s their mother; it’s the children; it’s it’s it’s…… Again the list just goes on and on.
Right, there is a problem! Have you tried talking to them? Yes - but you go over the same ground in ever diminishing circles, the temperature rises and one or other slams the door.
Clearly you need help. A generation or two ago [or more] when large families were the norm you would have taken the advice of seasoned older relatives. Like your big sister / brother /aunt or Granny.Now large families do not exist and if they do they are miles away. But in this modern world they have been replaced by various professionals – counsellors, therapists, mediators and so on.
But just like the hardened alcoholic and smoker, you are unlikely to move forward and resolve the situation unless you take that simple step – admit you need help.
Just like a child learning to walk, once you make that first step, the rest comes naturally.
Before all the known and imaginary problems get mixed up and exaggerated out of reality sit down, chill out, realise that whateverthe cause you are not going to make headway by raising the subject over and over again. So don’t.
Should the problem involve physical or sexual violence to you or children, then you should see a solicitor straight away.
Putting that aside, you must make sure you look after your health – that’s eating and exercising properly – you may need to consult your doctor, who has seen this all too often and he will be able to give you some advice besides any medical help
Then try and calm things and ask them if they would agree to counselling or mediation. If the response is “no way”, I would still contact a counselling office on your own to discuss the situation with someone who could give you some advice relating to your own personal situation. If the answer is “OK I will give it a go”, then get yourselves down there.
If you both agree things have come to an end but you are both prepared to sort things out; then try mediation.
A mediator can only work with joint approval, they are not sitting in judgement. They are there to see you, they do not bully or manipulate, nor will they permit either party to do so, but they may say mediation is not for you.
Everything is said in confidence and if you finally agree on certain mattersthen they will draw up an agreement. Things can stop there but it is not legally binding.
If you agree to try and recover the marriage there are various organisations out there that can help and the mediator will no doubt help choose the one best suited to you.
If on the other hand you conclude it is time to call time on the marriage and go your separate ways, then again the mediator will help you sort out things like :-
Who lives where; Who pays what; Who gets what.
Who they live with; Who has contact with them & when; Who is responsible for their – care; education; health etc.
Do not forget you can, if you both wish, go back to mediation as often as you want to.
If children are involved it is good if they are party to the mediation meetings at some stage.
Even if you decide to proceed through the courts for a divorce, the judge may recommend mediation.
The benefits of mediation are accepted by just about everyone; it is cheaper; quicker; you are directly involved in negotiating a balance in the agreement, which makes it that much easier to live with, than what may seem an unfair order handed out by the judge.
One thing to remember: if you are found to be concealing vital information about the value of your assets such as income, pension, money, shares, bank accounts, houses, jewellery etc., the judge will take a dim view of this and has the power to make a court order against you. This could mean a prison sentence.
Finally – listen to the words of Bridget Prentice, the Justice Minister.
“ The well-being of children is at the heart of the family justice system. Courts should be the last resort for people involved in contact disputes, as MEDIATION can be QUICKER and LESS STRESSFUL. ……… The government firmly believes that children should not be denied meaningful contact with their other parent, where this is safe.”