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Give Up?

Ever got to the point where you think “sod it, is it all worth it?” The extreme of this is feeling suicidal………I haven’t got that far, but having talked to my dad I know he got close during his separation and divorce from my mother.

“Giving in” happens when you feel it is easier to let someone else dominate; it is then when you may feel like taking the quick fix. If you have lost a family member to suicide, or had someone close attempt suicide you would know it isn’t easy on those left behind, and the problems don’t go away they just become someone else’s problems. I know people whose parents died when they were young and were able to say goodbye, those lost to accident or sudden heart attack manage because it wasn’t their fault. But if you give up on life you give up on your kids and they have to live with that.

For me It is not giving up on life, it is financial, often an awkward part of separation and divorce. I am struggling with lack of money, having been the house husband, I put my career  on hold to allow my wife to return to her career after the boys were born. I started to retrain, when both boys became school age, then out of the blue my wife asked for a divorce. Once the divorce process began it moved quickly , decree nisi, then it stopped… because of the financials, her family are supporting her, she has bought a new house and we have a large sum of money stuck earning no interest, so as lawyer bills rack up she is able to put pressure on me, knowing I need the money to move on. So she is not playing ball.

The thing is she knows she can drag the process out and the court system doesn’t recognise the impact delaying tactics can take. The emotional and psychological impact is hard, and some days you wake up thinking “sod this, I want this over give her what she wants”, I know it is not what I need or am entitled to but it would make the problem go away.

When we hit emotional lows and feel like giving in it is sometimes a solicitor, a friend or parent that helps pull us out and tells us to hang in there. For me it is the thought that caving in now solves my problem but it doesn’t help my children long term, they need me to be solid and able to build a future for me and them. Would the quick fix mean in 5 years I am full of resentment or unhappy and unable to look to a new future?  For me it was the support of  my parents (who are divorced) both had seen the process from different sides but both are helping me be strong, and a solicitor just saying this is not right or just and doesn’t meet you or your children’s needs.

If you are not lucky enough to have a close family or friends there are lots of places to go from the Samaritans, crisis help lines, the DAD forum to drop in centres, the fact your reading this blog may just help.

In my training, as a sport psychologist, I work with athletes and we use goal setting to focus on achieving. This can be transferred to any situation in life, so why not try and write down your goals, now focus on them and see what small steps you need to reach them. Then work towards the first one, it can be a long and hard road, but could help if you’re able go to bed feeling you have moved nearer to your goal. It might be only a small step, you may feel like you get knock backs, these are just diversions really, but by focusing on your goal you can get back on track.

Too often in separation or areas of conflict we get emotional and focus on small details, those details are not as important as the big picture, if you focus on the details and lose sight of the overall picture you will not achieve your goals. Try thinking differently – if you want an overnight with your child once a week and your partner will only agree to once a fortnight and holidays you can argue, or say I want 52 overnights a year. So you do 26 in alternate weeks and you make the rest up in holidays, the net result is the same.

So no matter what the issues, find someone to talk to, this is natural and isn’t a sign of weakness. If anything, getting depressed and feeling like giving up on an issue are natural reactions, and show you’re normal.

It is hard…. but think of your children singing “ Don’t Give Up On Me Baby!”, have a moment of weakness, but  talk to someone and remember it will get better and DON’T give up.

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