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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Creating Healthy Emotions!

Did you know that this website (www.EmotionalHealthForEmotionalWealth.co.uk) has a sister site in the making?  We recently delivered our draft to the designer for www.HealthyEmotions.co.uk and it will launch within the next few weeks.  My business partner (Elaine Barnes) and I are very excited about this project.  We are intending to bring audio material to people with dyslexia and those people who have similar difficulties with reading.  The focus will be on emotional issues because that is where our expertise lies – we are both experienced Counsellors..

Thus, I have been reading the e-book Like A Virgin by Richard Branson to see if I can learn to think like an entrepreneur!  I admire not only his business expertise, but the fact that he thinks “outside the box”.  The more research I have done into dyslexia the more it appears that thinking differently to other people may well be a hallmark of someone using dyslexia to develop creative solutions.  Just because a person did not fit into the conventional educational system does in no way mean that they are stupid.  Being a square peg in the round hole of academia may be uncomfortable and alternative learning found.

Since Sir Richard Branson (founder of the Virgin Group of businesses) is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, what he has to say about business struck me as appropriate learning for me.  My bachelor’s degree is in business management, but from 1985, so well out of date!  Tips that I have learnt from reading Like A Virgin:- take calculated risks, be willing to change your mind or direction if something isn’t working, focus on the future – don’t dwell on mistakes, bring talented people together, communication is key – listen to customers and staff.  Above all have fun!

There is a lot of other knowledge in Like A Virgin so I would thoroughly recommend you purchase a copy for yourself if you are in business.

Watch my blogs at www.Goodreads.com for more of my thoughts about what Healthy Emotions Ltd. can learn from Virgin!

Please contact us at Healthy Emotions if you are dyslexic or have a loved one who is dyslexic.  We would like to hear from you about your experiences.

Email:  Susan@HealthyEmotions.co.uk or Elaine@HealthyEmotions.co.uk




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Are You ACOA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic)?

Did you have a parent or carer who was drinking excessively? One of the sad aspects of alcoholism is that it affects the children of that person’s family.  Alcoholism does create a dysfunctional family – it does not work the way a healthy family system supports and gives nurturing to each member.

There can be four ways that children are affected that have been generally agreed (originally in the USA I believe).  The successful high achiever who has low self-esteem underneath that achievement.  They are frequently the only child or  the oldest child of a family.  Because they may be the hero of the family and look like they are ok the family ignores their needs and they can become parentified – taking care of the adults and other children.

In a multi-child family you can find the clown – making people laugh to overcome their internal fears because they cannot actually handle the stress.  Humour masks the child’s pain and anxiety.  The humour relieves family tensions.  The jollity creates the illusion that the child is not in need of care and support.

It is possible for a child to be a loner and withdraw into invisibility as a way of trying to survive.  They may be seen as the ‘angel’ who does not cause the family trouble.  This child may feel lost.

The family may use a child as a scapegoat – he or she may be the rebellious one and thus everyone gets to be overly focused on their troublemaking rather than deal with the real problem which is the drinker’s drinking.

Unpredictability and consistent inconsistency can be a hallmark of alcohol abuse in a family and extremely difficult to live with.  The child/children of the family are only ‘allowed’ to feel what the alcoholic finds acceptable and thus they can lose touch with their own perceptions of reality.

If you grew up in a family where there was too much drinking please read my e-book “My Drinking Isn’t A Problem!” available on Amazon or via my website shop.  Also, see my blog at http://www.Goodreads.com



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The Trouble with Porn – India, Rape & the Police.

Pornography allows men to think of a woman’s body as just an object.  If they look at porn enough it is easy to forget that the person in front of them during sex is a human being with feelings.  The rape levels in India are not helped by the level of pornography and pornographic ‘jokes’ which obviously are not funny.

When there is a patriarchal culture there is an erroneous belief that men are superior and thus women inferior.  This further enhances an inadequate man’s belief that he can behave however he wishes, especially sexually…sexual harassment, domestic violence, rape.

Attitudes need to change for India to be accepted into the international community of our modern high tech world.  People know very quickly about behaviour in all countries now that the internet connects us.

The USA did a wonderful job (decades ago) of educating it’s police force by using rape crisis groups to teach them about what is acceptable and what is not.  Now it is time for India and other countries to force their police to think through their behaviour and take complaints seriously.  Laws alone won’t do the necessary – if the police ignore complaints people won’t complain.  That is what I understand is happening in India.  Where else?

What is your police force’s rape protocol?  Do you know?  Maybe it is time you asked!

Please see what I have to say about rapists and marital rape in particular in my Amazon Self Help E-book:-

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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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Women Be Warned – Charming Men Can Have a Dark Side

A man who makes a woman feel great about herself is very seductive.  It feels wonderful to be that woman.  The trouble is that somewhere down the road you will realise that your self esteem was poor in the first place since you needed that man to make you feel good about yourself.  Then if he takes that away you can plummet to the depths of despair if you are not careful.  Ever been in this situation?  I certainly have, repeatedly, until I figured it out!

When a woman’s self esteem is good she has a solid sense of who she is and what she wants from life.  She no longer has to accept what other people give her.  That is the best place to be and if you are not there do go to counselling until you get to that good place please.

The connection for me between a charming man and a chauvinist is control issues.  What a charming man does is use that charm to get all that he wants and when he does not get his own way you may find that he quickly becomes Mr. Nasty and spite-full.  That is because his self esteem is poor and underneath the facade he feels inadequate and probably is emotionally inadequate.

A chauvinist is also into control because he believes men are superior and thus should be in control.  Obviously, since I believe women are equal and different I cannot agree that we should be in a one-down position.

Want to know more about what I think about living with a controlling man or in a domestic violence situation?  Read my latest Kindle e-book “Charming Men and Chavuinists” £1 from Amazon or go to the store page of this website: 


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Susan Price’s Book Review of “Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth”

I requested Susan Price’s permission to re-print her book review here of my book Emotional Health For Emotional Wealth not just for “puffery”, but because I thought she did a brilliant job of a balanced and heartfelt review from one author of another.  It was originally published on IEBR.  We are both members of a professional writers’ group, yet because we work through the internet we have never met.  Susan Price works in a totally different genre and for me that is what made her comments about my work so valuable.  This is what she had to say:-

Susan Jane Smith’s photo shows someone very like the ideal grandmother: smiling, kind, wise, good humoured, ready to listen, and understand.

Her book shows this to be an accurate assessment.  Life experience has taught her wisdom.  Twenty years of counselling means that nothing surprises or shocks her.  Her advice may not be what you want to hear, but it’s probably what you need to hear.

Susan Jane Smith herself says that this is ‘another self-help book.’  What makes it different is the fine anger underlying the compassion and advice, and the passion for helping people to overcome the emotional pain she suffered herself.

Emotional pain means you cannot be healthy:  you cannot live at ease with yourself.  Nor can you be emotionally wealthy.  You may have material wealh – you may be driven to tirelessly acquire more and more ‘success’ – but emotional pain prevents you from relaxing, or simply, wholeheartedly enjoying anything.  The pain forever chafes and nags. 

It can be so established that it seems normal, yet it still hinders people, adversely influencing their choices in careers, in partners, life.

Susan Jane Smith knows all too well that attaining the peace of ‘emotional health’ isn’t easy.  Habits are hard to change, and trying often rouses old terrors:  but many live with such distress they are willing to work hard to be rid of it:  to endure the nightmares, the withdrawal, the loss of family and friends…whatever it takes.

Susan Smith went through this struggle herself, and relates how, after years of counselling, she woke one day to a puzzling sensation:  an absence of the emotional pain that had chafed her for so long.  The experience set her on a crusade:  to qualify as a counsellor so she could relieve others’ pain.

Her message is simple:  if you don’t like your life, change it.  If you can’t understand what is causing your pain, don’t know what to change, or how to begin – then find a therapist to help you puzzle it out, and encourge you when it gets tough.

Her advice is excellent, but she doesn’t expect you simply to accept it, and recommends many other titles and organisations for consultation.  The book is a veritable self-therapy source-book.

She discusses the pain caused by the abuse of children, domestic violence and rape – and also the addictions and compulsive habits so often employed as a desperate way of controlling the resulting emotional pain:  alcoholism and other drug abuse, compulsive eating and starving, over-work and self-harm.

But the advice is always based on what Susan Smith has found to be pratical and effective.  It is admiraly down-to-earth and realistic.

She has counselled abusers and rapists, and although she has compassion for them, her attitude is refreshingly steely: “My understanding from the people I have worked with who perpetrated abuse is that they simply ‘wanted to’ and could.  They have a callous disregard for the victim…One man said…it would be a crime [only] if the victim told the police.  Distorted thinking!”

The book’s empowering anger is inspired by injustice, cruelty and apathy.  a Telegraph headline – ‘Child Abuse Won’t be Overcome Until We Define What It is’ – makes her demand:  Do governments and social services still not know what it is?  She provides, from her experience, a full definition for their assistance. [http://authorselectric.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/physical-and-emotional-abuse-hurts.html]

She has listened to the damaged adult victims of every kind of child abuse:  children hit with pokers, constantly ridiculed, left hungry and cold for days, raped.  Her fervent wish, I think, is for us all to sort ourselves out and stop treating each other so badly!

As the old Russian tales says, ‘There would be no suffering on earth…if only we were kind to each other.’

Sadly, that time will never come, but Susan Jane Smith will battle on – an odd, but brave, shining knight.

Almost everyone would gain some insight, some help from reading this book – and if you are one of the many bruised and reeling from a cruel childhood, or rape, or assault by a partner – to name only a few possible traumas – I think this book would be a strong, supportive, wise friend.”

To learn more about Susan Price please see:










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A Blogging Virgin

Welcome to my first blog on my new-look website! I am coming to terms with a career change!

A couple of years ago I retired – had been a Psychotherapist for over 20 years. Plus, for 5 years I had been a Divorce Mediator with the Family Mediators Association and was a Professional Practice Consultant for the U. K. College of Family Mediation.

That training and experience (see About Me on this website) was the basis for my first writing effort. It took me 6 years to write “Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth” and during that time I was asked to write “Pre-Marital MOT: A Relationship Inspection”.

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