A Very Modern Divorce Via Facebook & Email!


“How Not To Be A Doormat” is the title of one of my 20 self help e-books so I have had to take my own advice!

My previous blog about my divorce was written when I was feeling very sad and grieving for the 17 years spent with my husband.  Now I am feeling much more assertive.

I have finally gotten my head around that fact that he has vascular dementia due to strokes and that the man I married has already gone.  He looks like my husband but his mind is not totally how it was as each mini stroke has killed off more of his brain cells.  Nevertheless I must get through a divorce and move on to create a new life for myself.

The funny thing is that last week, after writing my blog, I tweeted about it and posted it to Google Plus and Stumbleupon etc and also clicked the Facebook link.  Oops!  I almost notified my husband and his friends and family that the divorce papers were on the way!  You may not think it funny – I am still chuckling at how easy it is to simply push a social media button and information escapes without time for thought!  A friend helped me find how to ‘hide’ it then.  I may well announce it on Facebook this week – intentionally.

Since it appears to make a more peaceful co-existence, my husband and I are not really talking to each other.  Thus, this morning I decided to start negotiating our financial settlement via email.  A very modern tool.  I quite liked the experience as it gave me time to write and amend as much as I wanted so I said exactly what I wanted to say in the most assertive language I could muster.  I also sent a copy to my solicitor and girlfriends so that they can see my self esteem has improved.

My initial reaction to the concept of a divorce was to want to run away to somewhere safe so that I could heal my wounds.  I packed up all my belongings and moved some of them into storage.  I checked out the private rental market and the reality is that with 7 rescued cats and a rescue dog it is virtually impossible to get a landlord to rent to me.  My registration for social housing – I qualify for an old person’s bungalow – may take a very long time to get to being offered to me so I hunkered down in my bedroom.

Today the worm has turned.  I have done nothing wrong and I am not being dumped after 17 years to be pushed aside with nothing but my clothes and a few bits of furniture.  I read in my Which Guide to Divorce that it might be possible for the court to order that I be allowed to stay in my home – the matrimonial house – and that my husband moves out.  I so hope this can happen!  Why should I skulk away with virtually nothing?  I have had my matrimonial rights registered against the property with the Land Registry so that my husband cannot sell nor do equity release without my consent. 

Why am I sharing all this with you?  I thought it might be useful to someone else in a divorce situation and so that my readers can see that I truly believe in every word I have written.  Do take a look at my Amazon Author Bio and the About Me page on my website http://EmotionalHealthForEmotionalWealth.co.uk

Take care of yourself and take responsibility for your own quality of life!


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Shockingly my 78 year old husband, after 17 years together, has announced he wants us to lead separate lives.  I have decided that I will move out and divorce him because I do not want to spend whatever life I have left in a loveless marriage.

I am profoundly sad.  I also know that I still have the strength to survive as I am only 63 years old.  Between tears I have focused on doing all the practical things required:  finding somewhere else to live, packing up, finding suppliers for the new lifestyle, finding movers to take what furniture I still own.  I will be taking the rescued dog with me as I paid for him and he is registered in my name.  The 7 rescued cats are a bit more difficult!  He wants 2 of them, but I have decided to take them with me because I am the one who does the food and care-taking on a daily basis.

When my husband made his announcement he also said he did not want a divorce because of the money it would cost him.  I do not want more than I am legally entitled to and my lawyer does say we are considered a long-term marriage.  Thus a financial settlement is ahead.  My husband is in for a surprise.

I was a divorce mediator for over 5 years and have gone and photocopied as many of the financial and legal documents that I could find in his desk.  I am including this information here because it will really help to know what his assets are and what the account numbers are etc.  People are expected to make a declaration of assets, yet I have seen people (particularly wealthy men) try to hide what monies are around.  My advice to anyone in a similar position is that old saying ‘possession is 9/10ths of the law’.

I have started re-reading “The WHICH? Guide to Divorce” by Imogen Clout.  It is a very practical guide to the legal and financial arrangements and includes some further information about issues affecting children.  I would recommend not only reading this guide, but if you do have children, please take a look at my e-book “Parenting Your Way Through Divorce”.  You do need to put the needs of the children first.

Grief is shock, sadness, anger, and acceptance and it is not a linear progression.  You go in and out of the various stages.  Luckily as a Psychotherapist for over 20 years I do understand how to grieve well.  If you need more information do take a look at my e-book “Loss is Part of Life”.

I can see a new life opening up and will do my best to embrace whatever is ahead.


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My Twitter followers number over 1800 now and many are following, I suspect, because I am open about being a survivor of incest, rape and domestic violence.  My childhood suffering has driven a need within me for knowledge and understanding.  I’ve read all the self help books I could and I re-trained to do counselling when in my thirties. I trained as a divorce mediator also.  I’ve spent over twenty years looking at other people’s lives as well as my own.  You can find out more about me in my Amazon Author Bio and on the About Me page of www.EmotionalHealthForEmotionalWealth.co.uk

One theme runs through a lot of my observations:  domination.  It does not need to be as severe as abuse.  It can be as subtle as not saying what you actually want.  It may be that one person in a relationship controls the money and, therefore, can chose where the couple live, what they eat, clothes they wear, and where they go.  This is an unbalanced relationship.  One person has more control than the other.

Negotiating a win win is the most equitable style of living togther so you both get some of what you each want. In a compromise, each person has to give up something to get to the middle, so negotiation is the best way forward.

When a persom is dominant it is being driven by fear and their inadequacies and an inability to cope. They usually have poor communication skills and those could be improved if the dominent person had the incentive to do that work.  In my opinion, counselling and personal growth is the only way forward.  Sadly for many who are dominent their very fears (particularly of change) keep them trapped and unable to seek help.  Frequently destroying a relationship – so sad.  Further, not a good example to any children of the relationship.






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Will Divorce Mediation Work For You?

If you are separating or divorcing there are issues that you need to sort out like the division of your assets and the continued parenting of your children.

Self Help for a Parenting Plan

My self-help e-book “Parenting Your Way Through Divorce” can help you write a formal Parenting Plan.  Why bother?  Well,if you actually sit down and answer the questions and write up the answers it gives you a thought through approach and ideally you each do this and then discuss it together.  If you are not at the stage of being able to talk reasonably alone then mediation as part of the process may work for you.

Mediation is about meeting with an independent professional who is trained to facilitate the two of you negotiating an equitable settlement – financially and over the access and care of the children.

In an ideal world the parents put the needs of the children first.  If there is emotional immaturity or bitterness or depression on either side this may not be possible without intervention by an outsider.  Frequently people are hurt by the other person and can want revenge or simply want to not speak to that person ever again. This is where the solicitor becomes useful as it is a matter of trying to reach an agreement that the court will accept…preferably before you get before a judge.

When getting married people tend not to think of it as a legal process – it is romantic and can be religious.  It is a legal contract which is why you need legal advice about your rights and responsibilities when you want to leave a marriage.  You cannot simply walk away.

If there is a power imbalance as in domestic violence or emotional abuse, you may find that mediation is not appropriate.  See my blog about that at www.Goodreads.com


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Coronation Street Domestic Violence

English TV has a soap opera called “Coronation Street”.  It’s one that I have watched for years and was initially pleased that they started displaying a domestic violence scenario.  I initially thought the writers were being clever showing domestic violence from a woman to a man as a way of bringing the information home to people more effectively.

It wasn’t until last night that I realised that they were intending to demonstrate female to male domestic abuse.  Whilst this does occur it is a small percentage of domestic violence cases.  Frequently the abuse a man can inflict is also greater than a woman can do as harm to a man.

Year’s ago I ran a rape and domestic violence crisis centre and yes, men do get raped and they do get abused by women.  In my opinion and experience that is not the majority of cases and thus I am concerned that the Coronation Street show is creating an inappropriate illusion in the minds of the viewing public.  What do you think?

See my self-help e-book to see more about what I think!


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By Susan Jane Smith B.Sc.


Forget ‘Dancing Queen ‘ (song by Abba) I think I’ve become the Self-Help Queen now that my 23 books/e-books are for sale on Amazon!

I am a survivor of incest, rape, domestic violence and the miscarriage of my baby.  I spent 3 years in counselling in the U.S.A. and turned my life around personally and professionally.  I re-trained.

Over 20 years as a Psychotherapist and 5 years as a Divorce Mediator followed.  Now I am writing self-help e-books to help other people.  I hope my books will inspire you to change your life if you are sad, angry, stressed, depressed or unhappy.

My 17 e-books in the Little Book Series of Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth were written to give you a starting place – some basic information and support.  Through Amazon they are selling world-wide:  U.S.A., Canada, U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy, India, Brazil, Japan, China and via http://www.Amazon.com in Australia and New Zealand.

If you read self-help books please check these out:-

Sexual Abuse & Incest

Physical & Emotional Abuse Hurts the World as Well as The Child

Rape Not Sexual Assault

Charming Men and Chauvinists (about domestic violence)

What Passes for Passion on TV (about loving too much/obsessing)

Walking on Egg Shells (about anger)

My Drinking Isn’t A Problem!

Feeling Down?

Parenting Your Way Through Divorce

Food and Thought

Superwoman Does Not Exist (about stress)

Loss is Part of Life (about bereavement and other loss)

Why Walk Into a Therapist’s Office?

What Every 16 Year Old Needs to Know About Love

How a Functional Family Might Look Like

How Not To Be A Doormat


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Profile Update! Social Media Takes Time!

Well, I have had a busy few days updating my profile on www.Goodreads.com, www.facebook.com/EmotionalHealthForEmotionalWealth.co.uk, Linked In, and have still to do Google + and Twitter!  I have also got my website designers to update my website so take a look at the store page in a couple of days – it should show 23 books for sale by Christmas!

Updating my biography has taken the longest and I am publishing the updated version here too just in case you want to know more about me!

I have been motivated by authors like Louise Hay, Susan Jeffers, Susan Forward, Rhonda Byrne, and Paul McKenna.  Now it is my chance to inspire positive change in other people.  I turned to books to learn about how to heal and create a happier life.  As a survivor of incest, rape, domestic violence and the miscarriage of my baby, I went against my family norm and undertook counselling to sort out my feelings.  I turned my life around and hope that you will be able to gain some insight and support from my self-help e-books.

After a career in admin I gained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management in my thirties.  I then re-trained because I felt that there had to be more to life than pushing paper around!

I was a Psychotherapist in private practice from 1987 until 2009.  I was born in New Hampshire, U.S.A. and because of my English Mother, I grew up in Lydney, Gloucestershire, England.  I returned to this area and live with the tranquillity of the beautiful Forest of Dean.

Previously, I had a successful counselling practice in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England for 17 years.  My professional education comes mainly from the U.S.A. where I was awarded a degree in Business Management and went on to study for a master’s degree in community psychology.  My Father died and I returned to England with my Mother.

I was also a Divorce Mediator for five years with the Family Mediators Association and a Professional Practice Consultant for the U.K. College of Family Mediation.  I bring that broad range of experience to my books “Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth” and “Pre-Marital MOT: A Relationship Inspection”.  See the About Me page of my website: www.EmotionalHealthForEmotionalWealth.co.uk for more information about my training and experience.  Both of these books are currently available in paperback from my website or via the book stores.  Both are Kindle e-books, available on my website also, and are e-pub available for other e-book readers via the major retailer’s on-line book stores in the U.K. and the U.S.A.

My latest book “Hugs & Emotional Wealth Change the World” is about how people can be kinder to each other using hugs and take personal responsibility for their quality of emotional wealth by understanding themselves better.  Thus the individual’s efforts will change the world as more people take care of themselves and thus others and the world in general.  Please do take a look at this book for all our sakes and especially for those of your children and grandchildren.

My Little Book Series of Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth are re-packaged sections from the original book formulated as e-books.  They allow people to purchase information about specific topics and see what I have to say about them!  Amazon now offers:

Sexual Abuse & Incest

Physical & Emotional Abuse Hurts the World as Well as The Child

Rape – Not Sexual Assault

Charming Men and Chauvinists

What Passes for Passion on TV

Walking on Egg Shells

Worry Doesn’t Fix Anything

My Drinking Isn’t a problem!

Feeling Down?

Parenting Your Way Through Divorce

Food and Thought

Superwoman Does Not Exist

Loss is Part of Life

Why Walk Into A Therapists’ Office?  (Journey, Benefits and When Therapy Won’t Work)

What Every 16 Year Old Needs to Know about Love

How a Functional Family Might Look

How Not to be a Doormat

I would like people to stop and think about their relationships and would love people to feel empowered to create an emotionally wealthy world!





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Are YOU Hearing Wedding Bells?

Wedding bells are very romantic and a beautiful dress is a great attraction.  However, in my experience as a Divorce Mediator you would do well to take the quizzes in my book Pre-Marital MOT: A Relationship Inspection available to purchase on this website as a paperback or an e-book BEFORE you live together, conceive children together or get married.

I’m in my second marriage.  It’s not perfect but I have learned loads in our 16 years together.  My first husband was my childhood sweetheart and I now know we were simply too young – we had no communication skills to resolve conflict.  I have spent the last 20+ years listening to individuals and couples about their relationships so I designed this book as a fun way to get the two of you talking about what matters.

This book is a useful self-assessment tool for couples.  If your partner is not willing to go through the quizzes and discuss their answers with you alarm bells need to be ringing!

A marriage is so much more than the wedding day.  The discussions you have when all ‘loved up’ can set the foundations for the future and you need to build that future on solid information about each other.

Instead of just having fun or great sex or shared interests why not take a look at each other’s character traits?  The old saying does still hold true that you need to take a look at your partner’s parents – do you like their values and how they live?  Would you want your children to have those people as role models?  People do tend to do what their parents did.  The worst assumption you can make is that your partner will always want what you want or will do things the way you do them!

How are your negotiating skills as a couple?  Do you both work towards win/win when there is a disagreement or does one person try to bully the other into submission?  Who wants their own way and at what cost?  Think about this long and hard before you even live together let alone get married.  Do not make the classic mistake believing that it will be better once you are married or that you can change your partner.  If you don’t like your partner’s behaviour now get out of that relationship now!

How is your partner with children – observe to see if you like how they behave and the words they use to children.  Would you want that for your own children?  What are their ideas about punishment – discuss this before you conceive please.  You might get a nasty shock one day otherwise.

The material in Pre-Marital MOT: A Relationship Inspection is designed to get the two of you talking about the issues that matter in the long term.  I hope you have a very happy wedding day and a long marriage.

If you prefer to purchase Pre-Marital MOT: A Relationship Inspection from Amazon the ISBN is 978-0-9553698-4-1 and Amazon’s ASIN is B005LSD62A



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