Here is my story, but please note that I rarely update this site. The information is still valid today... and that is why I have kept it going (2005). My main aim is to share my experiences to help others.
Most important of all I keep this site active to give hope and support to all who may visit in years to come, to all those who are in that frame of mind that their world has ended because of divorce - it hasn't !! It may take time to realise, but please believe me, keep your priorities as I did. The most important thing that mattered to me was to ensure that my 3 wonderful children will always be first and uppermost NO MATTER WHAT MY EX THROWS AT ME and hope that they will always respect their Dad - even although they will almost certainly never know the sacrifices silently made en-route.
All I ask is that if you have children, please never use them to "score points" with your Ex, you will never be a good parent if you do, so read my story below, I love my children and they are now and always will be top priority in my life.
Back in 1999, at the age of 40, I found myself amidst a completely unexpected divorce. There were no warning signs, no time to prepare myself for that fateful day when I would be told "I don't love you anymore". I was devastated, I thought we had it all, surely this wasn't happening. But it was, and at the time I was too shocked to think of the immediate implications. For days I wrestled with endless questions - Why and when did this happen, How did this happen, What about my early retirement, How will my 3 children cope, What about our house, the cars, the new 3 piece suite we had bought only weeks ago, the summer holidays we had just planned ??
It wasn't until 2 significant events happened that it all started to sink in. One was when I heard my wife, the woman I loved dearly, call my 3 children into the front room to tell them that she didn't love Dad anymore, the other was when I decided I had to tell my parents.
I never really got an explanation, only that she didn't love me anymore. My job took me abroad a lot and she decided that I must think more of my job than I did of her. Quite how she came to that conclusion is still beyond me. I think back to endless conversations about packing it all in and finding something that would get me home for tea every night.
Unfortunately the law isn't too sympathetic for us poor guys who work all hours to pay the mortgage and feed the family, the law doesn't care what personal sacrifices we may have made along the way to build what we have, the priority is to give the children and ex-wife sufficient security for their future. This often means a complete disregard for the poor male who stands to lose everything, even if it really isn't his fault. That's just not fair and it is this fact that makes it so tough for the man who finds himself amidst divorce proceedings.
I guess its easier if it is you who strayed, or if it is you who wants out of the marriage for whatever reason. At least you walk away with something you want. But when you don't want anything that the impending divorce has to offer then it is like a cancer that eats away at every emotion possible. You feel like an innocent man who has just been sentenced to a life in prison. Everyone feels sorry for you, but there is nothing you can, or anyone can do. It will drive you into a deep depression, in my case for several months, but time really does help. It may never completely heel you, but it will definitely get to a stage where you come to accept what has happened.
I am in a fortunate situation, somehow I managed to muddle through the divorce proceedings without the use of solicitors, and without world war III. I can still speak to my ex-wife and have reached an amicable settlement that we both feel is fair. Above all I can see my children whenever I want and I have enough money left to lead the life I want. I am not a prisoner of my divorce.
And that is why I built this site, so I can share my experiences and approach to divorce in the hope that others, like me, will somehow get through the whole event and eventually feel that they are lucky.
Much of what I have written is not rocket science, it is common sense and logic. Unfortunately when in the middle of divorce proceedings, especially if they are unexpected like mine were, we do not really apply common sense, but rather we get controlled by extremes of emotion. We feel an instinctive need to rebel against the system because we have been an innocent victim and we are determined that we are a special case. We may be, but in the eyes of the law we are not special we are just a divorce case number with a requirement above all to look after the childrens interests.
Firstly it is important to point out I have no legal qualifications whatsoever and this site is my account of how I personally reached an amicable settlement. Over the last few years I have spoken with many people who have gone through a divorce and I learnt from their mistakes, trying not to make the same errors of judgement as they had. It is fair to say that not all of my points may be wholly valid in your personal situation, but I think if you use the information on the site as a blueprint and feel that you are able to go it to the end without the use of solicitors, then you too should reap the benefits that I have.