The topic of whether to remain married often emerges for our clients at the start of the holiday season. Those who want to initiate the divorce process generally wrestle with feelings of regret. It’s bad enough that hopes and dreams for a long, healthy, happy married life are ending. Now the divorcee also needs to worry about bringing unhappiness and fear to friends and extended family during a season that is normally about bringing individuals together in celebration.
Even when couples have actually decided to divorce, they will usually only begin the process after the holidays. Particularly when their children are young, the holidays are expected to be magical. Avoiding a divorce til after the holidays holds at bay the concern of interfering with the kids’ joy. There is likewise the hope that going back to a regular school schedule after New Year’s will supply a proper distraction for the children once the divorce and custody procedure get underway.
In spite of all these relatively sound reasons for holding off, divorce’s slap-in-the-face is constantly going to be there. Though it’s tough to fault a couple for hoping that possibly the holiday season can rescue a faltering relationship, the fact is that the holiday season in and of themselves cannot repair a broken relationship. Think about the negatives:
1. Can you actually fake a pleased, civil marital relationship during holiday events with pals, extended family, and coworkers? It typically appears the holiday season bring an unlimited parade of celebrations, work gatherings and trips to see extended family. If your partner’s worst traits come out during this time of tension, or you know it will be difficult to stay civil to one another at holiday events, it might be much better to submit your divorce papers before the seasonal madness starts.
2. Is this best for your kids? The most widespread reason for remaining together throughout the holiday season is so kids can celebrate the holidays with their parents together in the exact same home. However, when you reveal your divorce in January, it’s pretty clear to everybody that you were simply biding your time (after all, there’s a reason that it’s nicknamed Divorce Season). That awareness can make your kids feel as though the previous holiday was a farce and they may wonder exactly what else you tricked them about.
3. Is waiting really the best option for you? Everyone knows the vacations can be demanding. Lots of people therefore wish to wait till things relax prior to declaring divorce. However, the holidays are a time of gathering. As well as if there is absolutely nothing prepared, this is a time when individuals have the tendency to be offered and may be able to rally to support an individual reeling from the awareness that their marital relationship is over.
How to Break the News
The fact of the matter is that there is no perfect time to bring up the subject of divorce. There will always be a birthday, an anniversary, a graduation or a major holiday just around the corner. Fret less about exactly what is coming and focus more on the specifics of the conversation:
- DO be clear about your intent and your timeline.
- DO allow your partner time to sort through their feelings and space to respond without being defensive.
- DO deliver the news with a counselor’s assistance, if needed.
- DO be kind. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by adding insult to injury.