This country’s civil law only compensates mental distress in a very limited number of cases. These include:
1. Being the victim of an accident, which was another’s fault, and suffering a severe mental injury, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder;
2. An employment claim against an employer that involved discrimination based on a protected characteristic such as gender or race;
3. Libel, slander and defamation of character and associated claims, such as breach of confidence and breach of privacy;
4. Disappointed feelings for an “experience contract” such as a holiday;
5. Suffering “Harassment”, such as sustained psychological and emotional abuse without any direct physical violence or threats of physical violence within the meaning of the Protection From Harassment Act 1997. The Protection From Harassment Act was introduced to punish “stalking” but there have been decisions which have included repeated and unjustified threats of legal action as constituting “Harassment”.
Being inconvenienced and suffering emotional upset due to another party’s poor behaviour does not sound in damages.
Even if you are involved in an accident, you cannot claim damages for being “shaken-up” unless you also sustained a physical injury such as soft tissue injury to your neck (also known as “whiplash”).
Therefore, beyond a divorce settlement from your husband on the grounds of adultery, the law cannot compensate you for your mental distress.