Expert reveals whether divorce is right for you, as Paloma Faith discusses break up

Paloma Faith has described her 'difficult and harrowing' break-up from her long-term partner. (Getty Images)
Paloma Faith has described her 'difficult and harrowing' break-up from her long-term partner. (Getty Images) (Belinda Jiao via Getty Images)

Paloma Faith has opened up about her "difficult and harrowing" feelings after breaking up from her long-term partner.

The 42-year-old singer shares two daughters with Leyman Lahcine and while she has never confirmed her marriage to the French artist, one of the tracks on her new album, titled Divorce, seems to hint the former couple did tie the knot.

Appearing on BBC's The One Show the Only Love Can Hurt Like This star, shared that she had found it hard to put together because of what she was going through in her private life.

"I think the whole album, which is due out early next year, was difficult (to write), because it’s like how do you write about anything else if all you’re thinking about is the biggest moment in your life?" she explained.

"Obviously there’s children involved and it’s a bit of a different experience for me breaking up with someone than just the cut and runs of youth.

"It feels difficult, it feels harrowing, it feels like I’m scared and I want to be really careful because I’m very protective of my family."

Faith went on to say that she feels as if her family has "changed shape as opposed to ended."

"Because in the past when you break up with someone you haven’t got kids with you’re just like ‘argh, screw you, I’m just going to tell the world you’re awful’," she continued.

"It’s different and it’s difficult, but I’m proud of the body of work that’s coming out."

Paloma Faith seemingly confirmed her split from her partner Leyman Lahcine earlier this year. (Getty Images)
Paloma Faith seemingly confirmed her split from her partner Leyman Lahcine earlier this year. (Getty Images) (David M. Benett via Getty Images)

The singer first confirmed her separation from her partner, earlier this year, by describing herself as a "single mum" in an Instagram post

Splitting up from a long-term partner is never an easy choice. So, how can you ever know whether it is the right decision for you and your partner?

Divorce: the facts

  • Data from the Ministry of Justice has shown a nearly 20% increase in the number of divorce applications filed since the no-fault divorce option was introduced in April last year.

  • A no-fault divorce petition allows people to file for divorce without having to place blame on their former partner.

  • Between April and December 2022, 89,123 divorce applications were made, compared to 74,571 made in the same time frame the year before – a 19.5% increase.

Divorce applications are up by nearly 20% since the no-fault divorce option was introduced. (Getty Images)
Divorce applications are up by nearly 20% since the no-fault divorce option was introduced. (Getty Images)

How to tell if breaking up is right for you

Ask yourself: Is your relationship salvageable?

Before starting divorce proceedings, make sure your relationship has completely broken down instead of just going through a bad patch.

“A bad patch is usually driven by situational factors such as temporary pressure at work, the birth of a baby or temporary illness. These can be worked through with skilled and empathic communication,” says Kate Daly, co-founder of online divorce services company amicable and host of The Divorce Podcast.

Man consoles upset woman on edge of bed. (Getty Images)
When asking for a divorce, don't jump in too soon with questions about the logistics, says our expert. (Getty Images)

"A complete breakdown in a relationship is more challenging to repair. It’s often based on more fundamental differences on a deeper values level or a breach of trust.”

Daly cites psychologist John Gottman’s model that identifies if a relationship is salvageable – in which he concluded that a relationship is unlikely to last if it is characterised by one of these four behaviours: contempt, criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling.

"It’s probably best to seek professional help if these are features of your relationship," Daly says. "If you can’t overcome these issues, then it’s likely you’re headed for a divorce."

Watch: Paloma Faith confirms split from husband

How to mutually decide on a divorce

In some instances, divorce can be a mutual decision if you both feel that your relationship has run its course.

"This is particularly prevalent in longer marriages where issues may have been apparent for some time," Daly says.

"Where there is an acceptance of the breakdown then agreeing to divorce can be a relief and a decision that can be taken mutually. The new laws also mean that you can divorce each other (by making a joint application to divorce) rather than one person being the instigator."

Senior couple sitting in bed back to back in their bedroom. Concept of relationship difficulties.
Divorce is more likely to be a mutual decision for people in longer-term relationships with deep set problems. (Getty Images) (Halfpoint Images via Getty Images)

How to broach the topic of divorce

If you're the instigator of the split, then how you start the conversations about divorce often directly dictates how amicable you can make the separation.

"Never threaten divorce in the heat of the moment or during a row," Daly says. "This can fatally damage a relationship that could actually be repaired with some work."

She suggests taking time to consider whether the relationship is truly over and if it is, find a quiet time to tell your partner this is how you are feeling.

"Accept your partner is hearing this for the first time and will be shocked (even if you think it’s obvious there are problems)," she continues. "Remember you have been thinking about this for a while – they are in a different place emotionally and are likely to experience anger, denial and fear."

Daly recommends giving your partner space to process their emotions, keep the initial conversation short, but be prepared to revisit the conversation and answer their questions several times over.

"Don’t be tempted to wade in with discussions about how you’ll split money and property or where the children will live," she adds. "These are all important conversations but not for right now."