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Consent orders: your questions answered
1. What is a consent order? A consent order is the legal document that sets out the financial arrangements between you and your partner when you are divorcing. It can detail what will happen to property, savings, pensions or debts, and whether one of you will pay the other a regular payment to help with living costs. It can also end future financial claims against each of you by the other. It is legally binding, and the court can enforce the order if one of you does not do what is agreed. 2. Won’t our financial ties be cut when we get divorced or end our civil partnership? No. You will still be financially tied to each other, even if you have been divorced or separated for many years. If you remarry, you will forfeit your claims against your partner, and vice versa. 3. Can you get a consent order if you’re living together? No. If you live together, then you can have a separation agreement to set out what will happen to your finances. A separation agreement is different to a consent order because it is not legally binding (meaning the court can’t enforce it).If you live together and have children, then you can still claim child maintenance from your partner. Find out more here on the government website. 4.What else does the court need to sign off a consent order? For the court to sign off your consent order you will need to provide the following;A. A financial snapshot of your assets, debts, pensions and income for you, your ex and any children you have together. This is called a ‘statement of information’ or form D81. The figures you’ll need to include are: the equity in any property, savings, investments business assets, pensions, and your income after tax (net).B. Details of how you’ll divide the finances and arrange any child or spousal maintenance and pension sharing details. This is called the Financial Remedy Order (or Order, or Consent Order). This document will need to be drafted by a trained legal professional.C. If you are sharing or splitting a pension, you will also need a Pension Sharing Order (called Penson Sharing Annex, form P1) that sets out how much pension will be shared between you. This is a separate document to your consent order and will need to be sent to your pension company along with your sealed consent order.D. You will need to complete a Form A, to ask the court to consider your finances.E. It is also advisable to send an explanation to the court about how and why you’ve come to that agreement. You have to demonstrate that you understand how the law works in relation to marital assets. 5. When do you get a consent order? You can apply for a consent order either at the same time as divorcing or dissolving your civil partnership or after your divorce or dissolution. You cannot get a consent order before starting your divorce or dissolution proceeding. The earliest opportunity that you’ll be able to submit your financial agreement to the court is at Decree Nisi stage. 6. Can a judge turn down a consent order? Yes. If a judge feels the arrangement is unfair on one person, the order will be rejected. Sometimes a judge will ask for more information and you can write a letter of explanation. At other times the judge may order a short hearing to hear from both of you as to why you feel your settlement is fair.   7. What is a clean break consent order? It’s a type of consent order used if there are no finances to sort out now but you want to end all future claims against each other. This is usually used if you don’t have any finances to sort out, or if you have already split your finances. You will still both need to give the court a snapshot of your finances (the financial disclosure). 8. Can I do a consent order myself? No, not unless you’re legally trained. Nowadays. It is relatively straightforward to file a divorce online via the government’s website, but you do need to be legally trained to draw up the legal documentation that makes up a consent order. 9. Do you need a solicitor or lawyer to divorce? No. If you’ve already agreed on what you want to do or even if you need some help with negotiating your finances, you don’t have to involve lawyers if you don’t want to. There are plenty of divorce services companies who offer consent order services. However, if you’d like to know what you’re entitled to, or if there are any danger signs (e.g. hiding assets, or domestic violence) then you should protect yourself by getting a good divorce lawyer. You can find a list of family law and divorce law professionals at Resolution. 10. How much does it cost to get a consent order? The range of getting a consent order starts from hundreds of pounds, but can go all the way up to hundreds of thousands if you’re not in agreement and end up in court. There is also a £50 court fee for filing a consent order. If you need help deciding what route is best suited to your personal situation, get free divorce advice from our partners at amicable.
Article | divorce, consent orders
Does money affect the likelihood of divorce?
Before the 1970s, divorce was the domain of only the wealthiest people. When the laws were stricter, and the social judgement heavier, it cost a lot to end a marriage – not just financially, but also emotionally and socially. If a person wanted to get divorced, they would need to have the money to take on a legal battle and the means to get by as a single person, maintaining a social circle. With the Divorce Reform Act of 1969, it became easier for unhappy couples to divorce. Since then, couples who have been separated for two years have been able to divorce without citing faults such as unreasonable behaviour or adultery. Within the first two years of separation, however, couples still have to find fault. It was predicted that the links between wealth and divorce would diminish with this change to the law. This prediction not only proved to be true but exceeded itself. The proportion of less well-off couples divorcing increased and eventually took over. Couples with less money are likely to face other hardships that may affect their ability to maintain quality relationships. Unemployment and poverty can lead to conflict in relationships, and sustained conflict can sometimes lead to a breakup. Couples who are better off financially are more likely to have higher levels of education and may therefore have better communication skills to help them work through the issues that do come up. The rate of divorce among less well-off couples continues to rise. If you are going through a difficult time in your relationship and are worried about breaking up, try our ‘How to argue better’ course. If you have already broken up, and need some support in managing the situation with your ex and your children, you may find our free parenting plan helpful.
Article | divorce, finance
Unhappy but scared of being alone
Despite our best efforts, we sometimes find ourselves in relationships that aren’t working. We’ve made compromises, tried new things, and even changed other areas of our lives to accommodate the relationship, but it still doesn’t seem to fix things. When you absolutely know that a relationship isn’t working, it might seem like the obvious solution is to end things and move on. However, if the idea of not being in a relationship feels scarier than being in a bad relationship, you may find yourself clinging onto something that isn’t good for you. Committing to a relationship is a big decision, and one that has to be made several times over the course of the relationship. As things progress, you reassess – if it’s still making you happy, you carry on; if it’s not, you make adjustments, or you end the relationship. Making a commitment involves a range of factors. As well as thinking about how good the relationship is, you also have to consider the rest of your life. Think about your opportunities and your obligations, such as whether you are planning to move away or if you have work or study commitments that require a lot of your time. Consider also how well supported you feel in the relationship, and how much support you have available to offer in return [1]. Remaining in a relationship isn’t always the right decision. The quality of your relationship affects every other area of your life so, while a good relationship is almost always worth fighting for, a relationship that hurts you could be doing more damage than you’re aware of. Many people remain in unsatisfying relationships because of a fear of being alone. This is known as attachment anxiety [2]. For someone with attachment anxiety, the need to have a partner can feel more important than the quality of the relationship itself. There’s a sense of security, often misplaced, that comes from simply being in a relationship, even if that relationship causes you more pain than it’s worth [1]. People with attachment anxiety are more likely to settle for an unhappy relationship. If you’re afraid of being alone, you’re more likely to ignore the more negative aspects of a relationship and put your energy into something that’s not working [2]. This might seem like optimism but it could leave you stuck in an unhealthy situation for longer than necessary. One sign that you might have attachment anxiety is if you tend to make more of the relationship status than the relationship quality [2]. Think about the early stages of relationships you’ve been in. After a few dates, do you find yourself anxious to start using words like ‘girlfriend’ or ‘boyfriend’? This phase can be exciting but when the labels start to outweigh the quality, it might be a clue that being in a relationship at all is more important to you than being in a good relationship. If you’ve found yourself in a relationship that you’re no longer enjoying, take a look at the other aspects of your life and see how things are going [1]. Are you doing well with your work or study? Are you seeing your friends and family as often as you’d like to? Are you keeping up with your hobbies and whatever else is important to you? A fulfilling relationship should enhance the other areas of your life, not replace them. There are always compromises to be made, but if you know that your relationship is getting in the way of other important areas of your life, and you’ve done everything you can to try and make it work, you might want to give some serious thought as to why it’s important for you to stay in it. If it’s just because you’re afraid of being alone, it could be time to take the plunge back into single life and reconnect with yourself before you look for something new. References [1] Joel, S., MacDonald, G., & Shimotomai, A. (2011). Conflicting Pressures on Romantic Relationship Commitment for Anxiously Attached Individuals. (Report). Journal of Personality, 79(1), 51-74.  [2] Spielmann, S., MacDonald, G., Maxwell, J., Joel, S., Peragine, D., Muise, A., . . . King, Laura. (2013). Settling for Less Out of Fear of Being Single. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105(6), 1049-1073.
Article | breakups
Is your ex-partner set to inherit your money?
If you’ve recently separated from your spouse or civil partner, you may need to write your will to make it clear where you want your estate to go. If you don’t have a valid will, the law in England and Wales means that your spouse or civil partner may be entitled to your entire estate if you die – even after you have separated. If you have children, some of your estate may go to them, but your spouse will still be entitled to the majority. After you separate, this law continues to apply until the divorce or the civil partnership has legally ended. This is true right up until you receive the final paperwork – either the decree absolute or the final order for dissolution. If you want to make your wishes clear then you must write a valid will to this effect. If you already have a will in place then you should certainly consider whether it needs to be updated in light of the separation. Your existing will may make your spouse the primary beneficiary of your estate. It’s important to know that this will continues to be effective even once you have separated. When you’re going through a separation, you’ve probably got a lot to deal with, and dying is unlikely to be on your to-do list. However, if you were to die during this period, then all of your money and property may go to the spouse or civil partner you’ve just separated from. If you want to make it clear that this is not what you want then you can write a will specifying where you want your estate to go in the event of your death. You should also write up a letter of wishes, which is just a short note explaining that you’ve excluded your spouse or civil partner from your will as a matter of choice, following your separation. If you’re still unsure what your future holds or you’re hopeful for a reconciliation, it is still worth writing your will. You can always change it again in the future.
Article | divorce, inheritance
Mediation Information Assessment Meetings
Attending a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) is now a requirement for most people wishing to take divorce proceedings to court.Before you can start court proceedings over money, property, possessions or arrangements for children, you must usually have attended a MIAM. These meetings are designed to offer help and useful advice. How MIAMs work At the meeting, a mediator will try to work out if mediation can help both parties reach an agreement. Depending on your preference, you can attend the meeting alone or with your husband, wife or civil partner. During the meeting, you’ll be able to find out more about mediation and ask questions about the process. They can also give you advice on other services that may be able to help you. After the MIAM After the meeting, if you and the mediator feel that mediation can help you reach an agreement, you can start mediation sessions. If you are not going to start mediation sessions and you decide to apply to court instead, the mediator will need to sign the court form. When you won't be expected to have a MIAM The court won’t expect you to have attended a mediation meeting if: A mediator doesn’t think the case is suitable for mediation and has said so within the past four months. Either of you has made an allegation of domestic violence against the other within the past 12 months and police investigations or civil proceedings were started. Your dispute is about money and either of you is bankrupt. You don’t know where your husband, wife or civil partner is. You want to apply for a court order but for specific reasons don’t intend to give your husband, wife or civil partner any notice. The court application is urgent because someone’s life or physical safety is at risk or a child is at risk of significant harm. The order is about a child who is already involved with social services because of concerns over their protection. You’ve contacted three mediators within 15 miles of your home and are unable to get an appointment with any of them within 15 working days. Source:
Article | mediation, divorce
1 3 min read
I want a divorce: how to tell your partner it’s over
Do you want a divorce? Are you worried about telling your partner that it’s over? If you’re sure you want to end the relationship, these tips will help you make the first conversation less stressful and give you the confidence to say, “I want a divorce”. If you’re ready to take the first step, here’s how. 1. Prepare yourself Prepare yourself for the idea that your partner is going to have a reaction. They might be aware that your relationship has been on the rocks but your decision to end it may still come as a shock, and the more shocked they are, the more volatile they are likely to be. Accept that there are going to be some unknown elements involved. 2. Choose the right moment Once you’ve made the decision that the relationship is over and prepared yourself, you may want to get the conversation out of the way, but it’s important not to rush. There isn’t a ‘good time’ to tell your partner but there are certainly bad times. Don’t do it just before an event, or out in public, over the phone, or via text. This is an important personal conversation that should happen when you’re alone and in a place where you won’t be interrupted or distracted. 3. Keep the conversation short Remember that this is likely to come as a shock to your partner. While you’ve had time to think about the separation and what needs to be arranged, it’s likely that it hasn’t even crossed their mind. So, aim to convey a single message: “Our relationship is over. I’m sorry this is so hurtful, but I’m decided and I won’t change my mind. I want a divorce”. You can adopt the ‘broken record’ technique which is basically repeating the same message several times to help the news sink in. Don’t get into the detail at this point. Be clear that you want to talk about things in more detail but that now is not the time. 4. Be patient Having this tricky conversation will test your self-control. In the heat of the moment, your ex may say rash things and throw criticisms at you. Be patient, and know that you’ll need to be patient throughout the whole separation process. Allowing things to settle will lead to better outcomes for you, your partner and your children.  Your marriage may be over but you will always be parents to your children. So, getting this conversation right will set the tone for your future relationship together. Drop your shoulders, take a deep breath and remember the points above. For more support on telling your partner you want a divorce, get in touch with amicable.
Article | amicable, divorce
What is arbitration?
Arbitration is an alternative to court where a separating couple appoints an arbitrator to make a decision on any financial or property-related issues.   It is different to mediation and collaborative practice because it will fix a final and legally binding outcome to the case (usually referred to as a ‘final award’), rather than the decision-making resting with you and your ex-partner. As with mediation and collaborative practice, you can’t be forced into arbitration. You must either agree who will arbitrate the issue, or have an arbitrator appointed from an independent panel. Once both of you have decided to use arbitration, the only way to stop the process before the final award is if you both agree. Generally, there is an initial meeting where information is given about arbitration and, if you both want to use it, the steps to the final award are fixed. Because the process is tailored to the issues involved, it is usually very much faster than the court process and can be a lot less expensive. The arbitrator can deal with very specific financial aspects of the separation, or with all of them. This is up to you. Arbitration is confidential and the time and location of hearings are flexible. Who are arbitrators? Arbitrators are usually barristers, solicitors, or retired judges who have trained and qualified as a family law arbitrator with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. They also must work to a set code of ethics as family law arbitrators. How much does arbitration cost? The cost of arbitration varies across the country and from arbitrator to arbitrator. If you choose to go down the route of arbitration, the cost will be something you and your ex-partner need to consider. Do I need representation? It is possible and sometimes easier to present your own case in arbitration than at court. The procedure is more informal but there are benefits in having support and advice through the process. You should bear this in mind if you are thinking about family law arbitration as it would be an additional cost. How do I find an arbitrator? You can search for arbitrators via the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators. What are the risks? There are risks with an appeal process, just as there is at court. Where an appeal process is needed, such as if the arbitrator has not acted properly or within the rules of arbitration, enforcement of the award may involve additional steps and therefore further costs. The risks and benefits are something that will be explained and can be considered at the first meeting so that you can decide if arbitration might work for both of you and your circumstances.
Article | arbitration, divorce
0 3 min read
Divorce tips from the experts
Ensure your divorce or separation is as fast and fair as possible without breaking the bank by reading the following tips from amicable’s divorce experts. 1. Know the basics To get divorced, you need to arrange three things: File the legal paperwork. Submit your divorce petition (form D8), apply for a decree nisi (form D84), and, once this has been processed, apply for a decree absolute (form D36). You may also file a consent order if you want to make your financial agreements legally binding. Plan your finances. Agree what will happen to your home; where you will both live; and what money, assets and debts you have to divide. Make a parenting plan. If you have children, you will need to agree on their living arrangements, how they will see both of you, who will pay for what, and how you will raise them. You can use the free online template at Splitting Up? Put Kids First. 2. Don’t rush your partner into it While you may be keen to get things moving, rushing your partner into a divorce could slow the process down, particularly if you are at different stages of emotional readiness. Allow time for your partner to catch up with you, and be mindful not to apply pressure. In the meantime, look at other options, like professional coaching or counselling support to help with the process of letting go and moving on. 3. Know the facts, remove the emotion The law isn’t concerned with who’s right and who’s wrong. The law is only concerned with the facts for the marriage breakdown. If you understand this when you begin the process, you will have a better chance of negotiating a settlement without a damaging and expensive legal process. It’s important to note that the reasons given for your marriage breakdown will not affect any of your financial or child arrangements. Read more about the divorce law process in the UK. 4. Don’t rush off to a solicitor There are many ways to divorce and different processes suit different people. Using a solicitor is usually expensive and can also create dependency and a barrier between you and your ex. Learning how to communicate with your ex can help you get through the process amicably without spending more than you can afford. If you have children or pets together, you’ll need to communicate after the divorce so it’s better to start learning how to do this effectively now as ex-partners. There is a difference between legal information and legal advice. This page is an example of legal information, whereas legal advice is personalised to you. It’s more cost effective to start by seeking free legal information and giving yourselves a chance to work things out. 5. Be realistic on how long the divorce process takes The divorce process can often take much longer than expected – this is one of the biggest causes of escalating costs. If you have never been through a divorce before, it’s unlikely you will have much idea of the steps involved. The UK court system is slower than you might expect – average processing times run between 20 and 22 weeks. Complete this form to get an idea of how long it may take you personally to get divorced. 6. Look forward Don’t spend your time, energy or money arguing over the past. Change the conversation from ‘How do we split our stuff?’ to ‘What do we need to do to be happy in future?’. Or, if you have children, ‘What we need to do to ensure our children are happy’. This can help to see what’s most important to you and put your focus on that. The author Kate Daly is a co-founder of amicable, the faster, fairer, fixed price way to separate and divorce. Kate is a divorce expert and helps couples and separated parents navigate divorce and separation amicably. She's passionate about changing the way the world divorces, and campaigns for fairer divorce laws and access to justice. To schedule a free, no-obligation call with Kate to talk through your divorce, please click here.
Article | divorce, amicable, legal rights
0 5 min read
Identity problems after breaking up
 What am I up against? When you get into a solid, committed relationship, it doesn’t take long to feel like an “us”. You give people birthday presents from “us”, you go to parties as “we” and you face the world as a pair. When a relationship breaks down, you have to learn to be a “me” again and see yourself as “I”. It can feel like a real identity crisis. Then there are the adjustments you have to make in your mind over the future you imagined for yourself. If you had a life plan with your ex, then suddenly the future can look quite scary. How do I deal with it? First, know that it’s normal The feeling that you’ve lost a part of yourself is perfectly common, and research would suggest that the more invested you were in being an “us”, the more your sense of self will be affected. (Lewandowski, G. W., Aron, A., Bassis, S., & Kunak, J. 2006).   Rediscover what you like As part of a couple, you may have compromised some of your hobbies for something you both enjoyed together. Now might be a good time to rediscover some of those things.  It could be joining a sports team, playing with a band, playing a games console, taking up dance classes, or even just spending more time with your friends. This isn’t about distracting yourself, but finding yourself again. You may want to try out some things that specifically did not interest your ex-partner. Good friends can remind you that you’re ‘enough’ If your partner was supportive and encouraging of your interests, it might feel like you have to start again with your self-confidence. Friends that knew you before your relationship will be very helpful as they can remind you that you were liked and loved before you were with your ex, and that you’re still loved without them. Consider a counsellor One of the reasons self-identity can blur during a breakup is that – quite simply – you’ve been through an emotional ordeal which has left you feeling confused. Counsellors can be very good at helping you understand your own emotions and come to terms with any grief that you may be dealing with. A breakup can represent a big loss, and this can be very challenging to handle at any point in life. Counsellors can help you unpack these confused feelings as you deal with the emotional distress.  Focus on the idea of a positive future relationship When going from “us” to “me”, it helps if you can loosen the emotional attachment to an ex-partner. One way to do this is to focus on new relationship options. This doesn’t have to mean starting a new relationship – research suggests that just having a positive outlook on potential future relationships can help reduce the attachment to previous partners (Spielmann, MacDonald, & Wilson, 2009). Give yourself time The process of rediscovering yourself takes time, and you may also experience some unfamiliar emotional episodes (Slotter, Gardner & Finkel, 2010). On a positive note, the research says that any confusion won’t last forever and these feelings are likely to be temporary.
Article | breakups, identity, YPc
Community posts
“We were both married”
I was always a bit more mature than my age and within those hormone tossing years of teenage hood, I met a girl. She came to my home with a group of her friends to see a cousin of mine who was staying with us as of that time. She totally stunned me and I felt as if my heart known to be ice cold was beating to trek out of my rib cage. Sadly having a reputation to uphold and back in the day only going for women older than me, I left the house till they had gone. Five years ago and this is now some 40 years later we met again. We found out that we have had the same friends and lived in the same cities in different parts of the world, and our mothers were colleagues in Meds School and work. Despite both being married, I with 5 sons, she childless we begun an affair. I have never felt so madly in love as I do with her, and to cut matters short I have been riddled with guilt and sadness because I no longer wish to live or continue my marriage which in a way is an open marriage of sorts with my wife. I have made financial preparations to deal withe outcome of a separation from my wife to support her and the children, but the loyalty experienced and battles won together, hurdles crossed over in my marriage tug at me. I feel so ashamed of my feelings for the new woman in my life. I have contemplated all the people that would be hurt in the process of being with the new woman in my life, and it sickens me. I feel disgusted with my actions and do not know how to address the issue with my wife. So, I called the affair off! I feel better for ending it and feel it is for the greater good, what I am looking to do now is admit it to my wife, who even though in agreement with me to an open marriage, will struggle to understand how I came close to leaving her for another woman.
User article | cheating, affair
“The end of an affair”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Two years ago, I became great friends with someone I met through work. A year into our friendship, it became more and we started an affair. We are the same age, both married, and have been for over 25 years each. We both have children. For my part the intimacy in my marriage disappeared about 9 years ago and although on the whole we get along I have missed the sex and have often felt sad and lonely. For years I tried to repair and discuss our issues but now I have lost the desire for my husband which I suppose lead to the affair. I can honestly say that I wasn't looking for anything outside of my marriage, I just shut down the feelings I had. When the affair began I confess to having very little guilt about sharing my body with someone new. Sex happened only a handful of times in the first 6 months and not at all from then on but I quickly fell in love. I never made any demands on him to leave his wife and family, honestly, I would have continued as we were happily. However for my lover, the guilt was to much and after 12 months I ended it as I couldn't bear to see his emotional struggle any longer. I'm struggling to cope with the loss of the relationship which is not helped by him wanting to stay friends. I now feel such a myriad of emotions, grief, loss, anger, jealousy and finally guilt... it took its time but there it is. However much I try to move on and forget him, I cannot seem to. The loss of my friend is such a physical pain that I sometimes feel I might curl up and die from it. I keep trying to look at the situation from outside with as rational a view as I can and whilst I know my faults and his it doesn't seem to take away the grief I feel. I haven't shared any of this with another living soul except for him which is why I'm on here I guess, I don't know what I'm looking for, possibly absolution or advice on how to move forward? Please be kind, I don't know if I could cope with outside hate, it's pretty tough from the inside already.
User article | someone else, emotional affair
“Extreme confusion over breakup”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hi all, My girlfriend and I split up last week and I’m finding it all extremely confusing, with lots of different emotions and thoughts in my head. Hoping someone can shed some light. We got together just over year ago and I think I knew she had issues with relationships and intimacy when she’d explained things about her past relationships: she had seen those relationships as temporary and never considered they might last, she craved a lot of alone time etc. With me, she was totally different. At first and seemingly for a while, she couldn’t get enough of me - it may have just been the honeymoon phase but she assured me she’d never felt this way about anyone before, and it was totally different. I admittedly do suffer depression and low self esteem sometimes so I did have a hard time believing this; I had a voice at the back of my head with niggling doubts as I was afraid of getting hurt, but we carried on and had an amazing time together with lots of laughs, intimacy and fun. She met my family, I met hers, it was great. Then the old ways started to creep back in at the 6 month mark, as she said we were spending too much time together (a few nights a week) and she was losing sight of herself, she thought it was unhealthy to talk as much as we did. Just FYI I wasn’t talking to her 24/7 and still maintained good friendships throughout all of this. She said she wished we’d slowed it down from the start even though she was the one who first said ‘I love you’ (2 months in!) and kept saying she didn’t want anyone else, but also didn’t like the ‘girlfriend’ label until I put my foot down and said if we are exclusive then she must be my girlfriend. Anyway, after she said all this about losing herself I felt very hurt and backed off, only to have her resume the relationship as before; I’d tell her she was free to go home if she didn’t want to stay the night and she’d tell me she missed me. I felt like I was getting mixed messages which annoyed, hurt and confused me. She explained a lot of it was guilt - maybe she sensed her desire for excessive space hurt me. She then discovered her parents were going to get a divorce which I think triggered her own depression (which she has had for a long time and is on medication for). I noticed a change in her from then on, our sex life suffered and I grew increasingly insecure. She’d lost her spark and I didn’t know if it was me, her parents, her desire for space or a combination of things. Either way I felt unwanted. Long story short, we tried and tried and put a lot of effort in but the last few months all I can say is she shut me out. She couldn’t handle us having arguments and would completely shut down, unable to talk and kept referencing how when her parents spoke to her the same thing happened. The more I pushed the more she pulled away, til I finally gave her space (all the while I was riddled with anxiety) but said I’d be there for her and loved her loads, but I realised she’d just mentally checked out. We actually ended it over the phone in the end as I said enough is enough, this isn’t a relationship and she said she agreed and can’t give me what I want. Now she says she’s convinced we are just in different stages of our life: I know I want a committed relationship with future plans, she just doesn’t know what she wants but kept saying she did want me. Every time I talk to her she feels attacked and like I criticise her; if I say what behaviour of hers I struggle with, she says that she can’t handle hearing how much of a rubbish person she is. I obviously haven’t said that but that is how she hears it. Anyway, she now says she wants to go and work on herself but to stay in touch as she cares about me and doesn’t want to close off the chance of us making it work once she’s in a better mental place. But for me, being the cynic/realist I am, I just think it’s unrealistic to expect everything to perfectly align and I can’t hold on to the hope we will get back together because the breakup has already hurt me so much - if we reconciled only for it to fail again I’d have to heal again and I don’t feel able to put myself through unnecessary pain. Now I flit obsessively between I want us to work, she’s the one, I deserve better, it wasn’t healthy. I’m going mad over it. We met to exchange stuff the other day and spent four hours together. It was like girl I fell in love with was back for a bit - she kissed and cuddled and wouldn’t let go and I let her because I love her, but I came away more confused than I was going in. She said she’d go get some professional help and I said to look me up if she works out what she wants. She said we couldn’t speak for one week then we’d take it from there. I spoke to my friends who said it sounded more like a break than a breakup, but when I clarified this with her she said it was a breakup - I then couldn’t clock why she was kissing me and everything and she said it was to say goodbye. But she’s also said she’ll be there for me if I really need her which I don’t think is going to work because how can we heal? I guess I won’t know anything until some time has passed but I spoke to her yesterday and said I don’t want to not talk for a week and potentially go back to square one of all the breakup pain if we talk again at that point. I said it’s easier in my mind if I treat this as permanent and told her not to talk to me. She asked if we would remain friends on Facebook, I said I don’t know. I just don’t know what her motives are. She sounds extremely confused so maybe there’s no point trying to suss out what she wants when she doesn’t know herself. Sorry it’s such a long post - only as I read it now can I see how crazy the whole thing has been. Any tips for navigating this? Should I expect to never hear from her again? Is it beyond hope? Would people ever reconcile after years apart? (She thinks this is how long she’ll need to get past her issues)
Ask the community | breakups
“How do I leave him?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I've been in a relationship with a borderline alcoholic with a narcissistic personality for about 3 and a half years. We live together but spent the last month apart. I went to stay with my mum with my two cats and left him the flat. His drinking has become a huge problem and a year ago I received a serious health diagnosis which I've been trying to come to terms with. The main problem is that he is more interested in going to the pub with his mates than helping me cope with all this. It got to a point where he was coming back late at night completed drunk, waking me up or making me wait up before I could cook dinner for us because he hadn't phoned to let me know he was going to be home late, tripping over the cats and being a general nuisance. My health condition was brought on by extreme stress and he is only adding to that. If I am suddenly ill and have to go to hospital, I can't rely on him to be able to care for me or even be sober enough to call for an ambulance. I'm back temporarily but I asked him to still give me my space. That includes sleeping in separate rooms. So far I've been packing my things down into boxes because I don't want to/can't afford to live in our flat anymore. I want to move back to my home town, which he has known about for a long time because I told him before our break. What I'm finding now is that he's not actually respecting my boundaries and is now actively looking for flats in my home town for both of us to live in. What he's not understood is the fact I don't want to be with him at all and I want to move on my own. I'm trying really hard to not disrupt the peace in our flat at the moment as it just creates a volatile environment for not only me but the cats too. I've considered just taking a day off work when I know he won't be at home and just moving all my stuff out. After that I'd tell him it was over when he can't do anything to stop me. Has anyone got any advice?
Ask the community | breakups, big changes