Submit a New Listing

SOS London Makeover: Michelle's journey….

Michelle is taking part in the “SOS London Divorce Makeover”. This means she will benefit from some free advice and inspiration from a selection of our SOS exhibitors who have generously donated their time to show what options and choices are available to someone going through divorce or relationship breakup.

The story begins with Michelle telling us about the complexity and pain of her situation.

michelle at the sos makeover047

Early November 2009

“My husband has petitioned for divorce and I have yet to receive the court paper work. So we are in the initial stages of divorce.  We separated on the 27th December 2007, the timing of which, was down to the house opposite ours becoming vacant and available for rent.

My husband moved out of the marital home and into this smaller 3 bedroomed rental property opposite our home, just across a small village green.  Many questioned our decision and thought this too close for comfort, but actually the practicality of it worked out very well…

Our marriage failed for a number of reasons.  We both tried hard, took advice, and even explored counseling.  None of which helped and the marriage was doomed.  No-one was to blame for the untimely ending of the marriage, as there were no other persons involved at the time.

Things moved on and we were happy going our separate ways.  We agreed good contact with the children (every other weekend and half of the school holidays) from the outset of the separation. Living opposite one another this was really just a basis from which we worked. The children afforded themselves a lot more contact with one or other parent as they wished.

Both my husband and I explored other relationships, both of which failed as I personally felt it was too soon for either party to be involved in another relationship (I know this is how it worked out for me).

Since then, we both have new steady partnerships.  We initially agreed to wait the standard two years separation and then opt for a quickie divorce (if there is such a thing).

Things soured between the both of us, after the arrival of his new girlfriend. Her agenda for their relationship was differing to what we agreed and my husband made an application for divorce in recent months.

I no longer live in the marital home due to relocating for a while to care for my terminally ill mother who passed away in March. It was planned I would return to the marital home if/when I returned, however my husband changed that agreement and the marital home is currently still up for sale.

My husband secured another rental property (just round the corner from the marital home) of my limited choice of what was available. Of which he now refuses to pay the rent for and which I can not afford to pay for myself. This has thrown me into the hands of the benefit system and I also now face potential homelessness due to the shortfall in benefit and actually how much the rent costs.

Due to financial restrictions imposed through mediation I am currently planning to represent myself (in court) and have a fixed fee solicitor to complete all the paperwork as respondent.

Mediation was helpful in as much as outlining the finances, but most of what was agreed has now been changed to suit circumstances imposed. This was a costly process for both of us and I now face bankruptcy due to my dire financial situation.

So as the divorce rumbles away in the back ground, my husband and his girlfriend have contact with the children as outlined above and I face the tough job of patching them up emotionally between visits.

My husband’s parents fail to acknowledge me as the children’s mother and after writing them a very heart felt letter I received a very cold response. I now have nothing to do with them, other than encourage the children to call them at least once a fortnight.

In the outset everything was very amicable between my husband and I, now however we no longer speak, unless its of an urgent nature via mobile or the odd email.

I’m not sure if their is a way forward to improve our situation and feel it offers some comfort to his girlfriend if we have no communication.

I’m Bi-Polar and in receipt of incapacity benefit. Although the government in their infinite wisdom feel it’s necessary to apply pressure to me, in the form of getting me back into work, which as I suffer with a mental illness I feel is pretty mad (I can say that being Bi-Polar, its an in joke).  Obviously the effects of which contribute to my illness and therefore make the situation worse.

This obviously effects everything around me…as well as my day to day moods etc.  I’d like to be able to converse with my husband on an improved level with regards to our two children from our marriage and my daughter from a previous relationship (with whom he has deserted and wants nothing more to do with).  He does however see our children on a regular basis.

It saddens me the effect this is having on our children, however after making a number of suggestions (family therapy for us all) I was stonewalled and ignored. I now prefer to control the things within my
power and let go of the things I can’t.

Its hard to actually add feeling to the writing of all of this, however I must add I’m not bitter about the situation, just frustrated by it.

Any advice or an independent outlook would be most welcomed.”


So how can we empower Michelle and help her see what choices and options she can access?

We are going to arrange for her to receive information and inspiration from the SOS professionals, and I will be interviewing her about her experiences, and how her thoughts, attitudes and actions are influenced by the advice and help that she receives.

The journey begins…..

Download the pdf here to see full details of Michelle’s SOS Makeover: makeover-michelle-mathias-5-nov-09

Thursday 12 November 09

Michelle receives the following email from SOS coach Julie Jones of Changes Forever.  Julie prepares Michelle for the journey she is about to begin:
Dear Michelle,

I am so thrilled that you are having a day especially for YOU and I very much look forward to welcoming you here on 19th November.

I am not sure if you have received my kind of coaching before but it needs to be experienced to realise its full potential and is designed to help address any specific personal issues, business projects or general conditions of your life that need improving.  It involves honest and open discussion and is completely confidential.

The session will be for 2 hours: In the first hour we will explore your wheel of life, and use the second hour to work on the specific issues you have identified.

Your coach will be me Julie Jones and I am based in my cosy pink coaching room, where we will start with the  Wheel of Life.  In ancient Chinese philosophy they talk about a wheel running smoothly.  By completing this exercise you will see if your wheel is a bit bumpy in places making your life journey a bit uncomfortable!

It’s worth repeating from time to time to see where you’re going and identify if things are moving in the right direction.  We usually suggest every 6 months although sometimes the wheel can change daily!

Initial Exploration/Coaching Session

The aim of the session is to enable you to move forward with whatever you decide is the most pressing issue: you will spend some time identifying an area you specifically want to work on setting a goal and by the end you will have created a plan on a way forward using the options you have identified.

You will be comfortable and not disturbed and it is best if your mobile phone is switched to silent prior to the session.

You will be able to spend a couple of minutes before the session relaxing and thinking about you and what you may like to talk about.  It is useful to have a pen/pencil and something to write on during the session and a soft drink to sip on will be provided

I feel very privileged to have been asked to work with you on what I feel will be an exciting part of your journey, before we head off into London for your meeting with Suzy and the team in Covent Garden.

Warm wishes

Julie Jones
Founder and Relationship/ Lifestyle Coach
Changes Forever
Tel: 01462 643695
Mobile: 07967 135 870

‘Making relationships work for you…at home, work, with yourself and in life’

Accredited Life Coach with Coaching & Mentoring International

468 ad


  1. Oh what a lot to deal with. If I, or the site, can help you with your self repping, please feel free to contact us. Best of luck with it all, and remember – this road does have an end. You may not see it at the moment, but you will come out the other end.

  2. A very saddening story Shell. You have been through so much, and I’m just really glad that you have found professional helpers. Well done for making this step, your life is going to get so much better now you’ve done this! 🙂

  3. Michelle, I am the other makeover star! I live in Brighton. I have just read your story and feel for you and the toughness of it all. I have three children and am going through the split of residence of children and finance regarding property etc. I was forced out and am living on benefits, instead of in my own property. It so frustrating. Am trying to be positive every day, but some days they just dont come. Its horrible to stand in the middle of the children and other parent. The trials and tribulations that come from that are unbearable sometimes. Im right in the middle of the court process and have had to stall with any other makeovers for now as I just dont have any time. Good luck with your journey.
    Liz x

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share This