A lot of couples wait until January to file for divorce. Waiting to file allows the couple to have one last holiday season as a family. Though this is often done for the children, it can be more difficult for them if the parents allow the holiday stress to get the best of them. If you’re filing for divorce after the holiday season, make sure you do everything in your power to keep the peace during the holidays.
If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say…
If you don’t have something nice to say, perhaps you shouldn’t say anything at all. You’ve probably heard your parents say this and thought that the advice was fit for passivists and peacekeepers. However, when it’s the holidays, passivism and peacekeeping are efficient ways of getting stuff done. And by “stuff” we mean having a family dinner with your soon-to-be ex spouse, children, and potentially extended family. The separation process is already stressful. The holidays are already stressful. Blow-ups and freak-outs, specifically ones where family members are in earshot, will only make things worse. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. At the very least, wait until Thanksgiving dinner is over.
Think of the Children
Children are, by nature, egocentric. And the younger they are, the more egocentric they are. In most children, this trait gradually disappears as they grow up and learn more about the world around them. Because children are egocentric, they tend to overestimate their impact on their environment and those in their environment. This is why it’s common for children—especially very young ones—to believe that they somehow caused their parents’ divorce.
If you’re tempted to give your ex a piece of your mind this holiday season, try to remind yourself that the holidays are about the children. A lot of people stay together for the holidays in order to have one last holiday season for the children. If this is your motivation for spending one last holiday together, do your best to make sure that the children have a good Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Take Time for Yourself
Sometimes, you just need to get out of the house and do something fun. Being all cooped up in the same house with your extended family and soon to be ex can wreak havoc on your mental health. This holiday season, take some time for yourself in order to recharge your batteries. If you’re taking care of yourself and your mental health, it will be less likely that you’ll do something to jeopardize the peace in your home during the holiday season. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, or you can feel yourself reaching your limit, take a deep breath and find something that you can do to regain your peace. You may not always have the opportunity to do something big for yourself.
Plan Dinner Time According to Your Needs
For most people, it’s only one dinner where you really have to keep it together. If you know you’re going to be in the kitchen all day, make sure you have time to take a few minutes to yourself before it’s dinner time. Depending on what you’re serving, you may be able to prepare some of the dishes in advance. Most side dishes can be prepared ahead of time, frozen, then thawed and reheated in a slow cooker on Thanksgiving. Doing this may save you some time and keep your stress levels low. Make sure to plan your Thanksgiving dinner at a time that allows you to have a break and take some time for yourself.
Give Your Spouse Some Space
Make sure you give your spouse some space too. If the divorce and holiday season have you stressed, your spouse is probably feeling the stress too. Allow your spouse to have time to de-stress and relax too. This will also lower your chances of having an emotional outburst at the dinner table. Spending a few days out of the house in the days leading up to Thanksgiving may give you the strength and patience you need to make it through this holiday season.
When You Need Legal Advice
At CoilLaw, we understand that divorce is an incredibly difficult process for many families. While it’s common for couples to stay together for one last holiday season before filing in January, it’s important that those couples remember to make the holiday easy for the children involved. Working with a licensed mental health professional can help you cope with the stress of divorce and the holiday season. And, consulting an attorney can help you get the peace of mind you deserve this holiday season. If you’re ready to file for divorce, contact CoilLaw today for a consultation.