I get asked ‘Dr. Anne why do you work with women in difficult divorces?’ Here’s my story…

I was so lonely that I felt like I was the last woman alive.

How could it be that I was married and yet so completely alone? And why was I so scared?

In my head, I continually heard the constant snipping and growling, the never-ending, ‘why did you do that?’ questioning. Sometimes it felt like I was even criticised for how I breathed.

I read countless relationship books, tried all the communication techniques, practiced compassion, put the ‘family’ first, and tried to explain ‘rationally’ my need for kindness — it all fell on deaf ears.

I promised myself no more. If things became dark again, I would leave.

They did.

I dug deep, kept my promise to myself and whispered, ‘I want a divorce’.

I naively thought that now I could begin to live again. That we would divorce and live happily-ever-after, apart.

I stupidly thought the settlement would be quick. That our son’s welfare would be the main consideration, both of us motivated to keep things stable for him.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I waited patiently for the negotiations to open. I waited patiently to hear that there was some form of settlement on the table. I waited patiently for the courts to fix things. I waited patiently like a reasonable, good girl for 2 years. I waited so patiently I literally had no money.

Read on Difficult Divorce Day 2