The holidays may emphasize that you should be in a happy family, but if you and your spouse are considering a divorce, that’s likely just not how you feel right now. You may both feel that it’s best to wait until the holidays are through before you divorce, but in some cases, separating now is really the better choice.
The holiday season and early New Year are both busy, sometimes frustrating, times. You may be seeing family from all over the country or have to be with in-laws or friends you don’t necessarily get along with. Staying cheerful and coping can be tough in this situation, which is why now is a good time to think about how to handle your divorce when holiday events arise.
It’s okay to isolate yourself but be reasonable
While many people want to put up the image of a happy family, those who are divorcing should remember that it’s fine if you don’t want to continue doing so. You have a right to stay home from an event or to avoid people who you know will upset you.
At the same time, the winter is time when many people isolate themselves too much, and that can make you depressed or anxious. Remember, you can spend your time with people who support you and avoid the rest.
You don’t have to keep up with traditions
What you’re going through is a troubling time in your life, and you may simply not have the energy to keep up with traditions. It’s fine to skip a holiday or annual event where you know you’ll be overwhelmed. If you’re already separated, consider making new traditions rather than falling back into what you did with your spouse, since that may be painful.
You don’t have to expect too much out of yourself emotionally if you’re divorcing during the holidays. Remember, you can surround yourself with people who care about you and have the right to avoid shared events and get-togethers when they’re painful for you. Now is a time when you can decide if you want to try to maintain the façade or if you just want to move on a single person.