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Surviving the Holidays After or During a Divorce

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The holidays are undoubtedly one of the most difficult times of the year for divorced and broken families. This is especially true during the first few years after the divorce when families are still trying to re-build and transition to the new family unit. This week, the Huffington Post featured a number of articles about surviving the holiday season after a divorce.

In her article, “Happy Holidivorce”, Lisa Marie Wilson, expresses the emotional toll that divorce is taking on her holiday spirit. “I’m signing my divorce papers during the holidays. During the hap-happiest season of all, I’m miserable.” The holidays are rough when you’re going through a divorce. Brittany Wong explains in her article, “New Traditions To Help You Reclaim The Holidays After Divorce”, “The thought of sending the kids off to your ex’s for some of the more important dates might leave you in a Grinch-like mood. And dragging out boxes of decorations and lights isn’t exactly something you’re raring to do when you’re feeling unfestive.

In “Tips to Beat the Post Divorce Christmas Blues”, Lisa Thomson explains why the holidays are so difficult post divorce. The combination of having to let go of old traditions, scheduling parenting time with the children, and repressing post-divorce holiday memories, is emotionally draining. “Due to these changing family dynamics, the holidays become a challenge and a tug of war between households. Neither Mom nor Dad wants to be alone during this time and the children will inevitably get caught in the middle.

In addition, the newly divorced may feel ostracized from their old social groups. “They don’t fit in with their married friends and feel like a fifth wheel. Maybe they have lost some friends or family over the divorce and they feel alone.”

If you are experiencing your first holidays after a divorce, especially if your kids are spending the holidays with your ex, it’s difficult to focus your energies on feelings of happiness and gratitude, instead of sadness and resentment. In her article entitled, “Surviving the Holidays After Divorce”, Barbara McNally, gives tips to recently divorced or divorcing individuals during the holidays.

So how can you rekindle the holiday spirit during this challenging time? Here is a list of suggestions and new family traditions that helped other divorcing individuals reclaim the holidays after divorce. 1) Plan ahead with your ex and know where the kids will be and when. 2) Once you make a parenting schedule, make sure you make plans for the evenings your kids will be away—with your own family, friends, or leisure activities like shopping, ice skating or seeing a movie. 3) Avoid emotional triggers like old family photographs or ornaments from years ago that will send you down memory lane. 4) Start a new tradition with your kids, something only you and your children will share.

Your holiday funk is completely reasonable, but it’s important to realize that it eventually gets better. “You can get through the season with a smile by taking some initiative, changing up old traditions, avoiding triggers and organizing the parenting schedule. Turn your Christmas from blue to red and make it a little merrier.”

Whether you are interested in filing for a divorce or legal separation or have post-divorce concerns such as spousal and/or child support, custody, or visitation, The Law Offices of Jay D. Raxenberg is prepared to offer creative and effective solutions. I believe no one should have to go through this process alone. This is why I have devoted my practice to providing compassionate legal guidance to individuals attempting to resolve their family law and matrimonial matters. When working with my firm, you can rest assured that I will always put your best interests first. Apart from favorably resolving your case, my number one priority will always be your well-being and that of your family. Please call (516) 491-0565 or toll free at (888) 543-4867.

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