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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Japan Today Article

Twitter has allowed me to ‘meet’ people all around the world including the Editor of Japan Today an English language newspaper in Japan.  What a stroke of luck!  He kindly allowed me to send him a press release and then printed it!  I feel very honoured and absolutely thrilled to know that people in Japan know about me and my self help ebooks.  How marvelous the internet is for all of us!  It’s life changing for me!

Here is what was printed in Japan Today:-

“New Help for those with nowhere else to turn…

Tokyo – Domestic violence, rape, bullying, depression and alcoholism are more common in relationships than we care to think.  They are all issues most women don’t ever dare speak about, even to their mothers or closest friends.  But the wall of silence often surrounding them means many people have nowhere to turn for help they desperately need. 

Psychotherapist and Author, Susan Jane Smith, recognizes this is a problem potentially facing Japanese society, among others.  Her self-help book, “Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth” offers practical, sensitive guidance on dealing with these taboo subjects and many forms of emotional pain. 

( It is now available in Japan for the first time via http://Amazon.jp./gp/product/B005FFTNEY)

Subtitled “The View from the Therapist’s Office”, the book also includes chapters on love, parenting through divorce, stress and bereavement.  Smith has over 20 years’ experience as a psychotherapist in the UK and the USA.  She has counselled thousands of women – and men – in ways of coping with all manner of emotional challenges, both within and outside marriage and relationships.

“Nothing shocks me,” she says.  “But I know how difficult it can be for people to speak openly about things like domestic violence or abuse, particularly in non-Western cultures.  My book is designed to help them confront and manage all sorts of types of emotional pain.  This pain needs healing before a person can have the emotional wealth required for a happier life, hence the title of my book.”

“If you feel you can’t speak to anyone about your emotional problems or you just want to better understand how to deal with them, then “Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth” will give you support and guidance.”

Smith’s other self-help book “Pre-Marital MOT: A Relationship Inspection” is also now available in Japan.  It is designed to enable betrothed couples to assess their relationship before the wedding and to highlight and hopefully address potential emotional problems.  As Smith states: “Marriage is so much more than just the ceremony.”

Pre-Marital MOT: A Relationship Inspection” can be downloaded from Amazon on http://amazon.jp/gp/product/B005LSD62A

 Personally, I am very grateful that Japan Today published this information so if you know anyone in Japan please share it with them. 







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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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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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What does ‘home’ mean to you?

I was a mixed up child.  My Mother married a GI during World War II and moved to America with my Father.  Years later she told me she had wanted her parents to ask her to stay at ‘home’ in the UK with them and they thought they were doing the right thing by letting her go!  If they had actually all talked to each other her misery might have been avoided because she spent the next 40 years homesick for England.  As a result I crossed the Atlantic Ocean 35 times by the age of 16 years.  Not great for stability and roots.  My Mum’s version of ‘home’ was England and more specifically the family farm in Gloucestershire.  I promised to get her home to England and I did before she died.

Such an unsettled childhood and a depressed Mother has had an impact on me because it has meant that I struggled about what home meant to me.  I used to dream I was walking down the street in the US and then it would change into the street in the UK.  In reality that was what my life was like until I was 16 years old and insisted on coming back to the UK after yet another trip to the US.  I stayed in England until I discovered that my parents were aging and then I spent 11 years in the US with them.  By that time my Mum had settled in the US even though still homesick for England.

When I went to live in the US I was homesick for England so returned in 1989 and have lived here ever since.  I have no desire to go back to The States even though I do miss some things (like swimming in the lakes in the summer).  Then I realised that because Mum considered Gloucestershire home, that had imprinted on me strongly and being in the UK was not enough.  I wanted to go ‘home’ to the family farm in Lydney, Gloucestershire.  Not possible.  People died, others inherited.  No home left for me!

Memories I decided were the next best thing to a physical building and thus I and my husband moved back ‘home’ to a village near Lydney and thus could shop there.  That house was ‘home’ and love at first sight.

My husband became ill and we thought a bungalow would make life easier in our older age so moved 5 miles away but that for me was too far from home.  I had left yet again!

Now I am hoping to return to the previous house as it has come back on the market.  For me it is not going backwards – it is going home!

If you know anyone who would love a beautiful location in the Forest of Dean Gloucestershire then tell them about the house I am selling!  2 bed bungalow with large gardener’s garden and great dog walking/horse riding etc.  www.DeanEstateAgents.co.uk

£247,000 negotiable! RefDE00244


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Rhonda Byrne (author of The Secret) also wrote The Power (about love) and The Magic which is about gratitude.  Yes, I know lots of people have slated Rhonda for The Secret and trying to get people to understand the law of attraction.  Still, I think that what she has written is correct and needed saying.  It is no different really than cognitive therapy which fundamentally is that: what you think (cognition) is what you get in your life.

I have long been aware that the richest of people have nothing if they cannot experience gratitude for what they have – whether it’s money, property, love or family.

A friend recently lent me a book by Oonagh Shanley-Toffolo entitled The Voice of Silence (ISBN 0-7126-1445-1).  In this book Oonagh recounts a situation dealt with by Mother Theresa in Calcutta, India.

Mother Theresa used to go out and collect the poor dying in the streets.  One day she came across a woman still alive, but with maggots already beginning to eat her flesh.  Mother Theresa took the woman into her hospice, cleaned her up and dressed her in a clean, white sari…the woman’s last words are quoted as:-  “I was praying to God I wouldn’t die in the gutter”.  Moments later she died.  She had gratitude.

Sitting in my nice, clean home with food in my stomach I feel very humble when I think of Mother Theresa and in particular that woman.  I have so much to be grateful for in my life.  Yet, sometimes I do forget.  I fume over small things that truly do not matter.  Then something reminds me and I get back to being grateful for all that I am and all that I have in life.  I am very blessed.  I have seen hard times and have overcome them.  I believe that there just has to be God (or The Universe) taking care of me.

The Desiderata hangs above my desk and provides support in times of need.  This poem quoted by Oonagh, whose author is unknown, also gives me strength.

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape…but a woman of strength builds relationships to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn’t afraid of anything…but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of fear.

A strong woman won’t let anyone get the better of her…but the woman of strenght gives the best of herself to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future…a woman of strength reliases life’s mistakes can also be unexpected blessings, and capitalises on them.

A strong woman wears a look of confidence on her face…but a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey…but the woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey she will become strong.”

I am so very grateful for my journey.  What is it that you are grateful about?




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