Prepare and Plan Your Divorce. First and foremost, find an attorney that you trust and who will help you plan and prepare for your divorce. An experienced divorce lawyer with a supportive team can help get you through the holidays with confidence. Divorce takes time, and pre-divorce planning improves the chances of minimizing the disruption to you and your children. Through pre-divorce planning you can take the time to learn about your rights during divorce, prepare a budget, research creative visitation schedules and parenting plans, and other things to make you feel less anxious. Having a plan in place will set you up for a fresh start in the new year.
Don’t try to make everything perfect. Forget Norman Rockwell and don’t try to be something you’re not. Doing so will make you feel like even more of a fraud. This year, focus on being present and appreciating what you have now. For better or worse, this may be the last holiday you will spend with your spouse and kids in this family dynamic. Find small moments of joy in the good parts as well as the bad parts, which can reinforce your decision to move on and create new traditions.
Address Your Fears Now. You are plunging into the unknown with no guarantee of how things will turn out. Even if you firmly believe that you are doing the right thing, doubt will creep in. It’s normal to feel terrified of divorce, especially if you’ve never been through one before. But now is a great time to talk with your divorce team about your fears so that they can support you and give you tools and resources to push past them.
Avoid Over-indulging and Self-Medicating. While it may be tempting to drown your anxiety and sorrows in a mug of spiked eggnog or some pills, doing so can spell disaster. Heavy drinking can make you more depressed and lower your inhibitions. You may do things you’ll later regret, or spill the beans about your plans for divorce. If you need to soothe your pain, reach out to your support network or do something that nurtures your soul (like a hobby) instead.
Keep Social Interactions in Check. Going to party after party can not only stretch you thin during an already stressful time, but it can also put pressure on you to keep up appearances. It also presents unneeded opportunities for you to blurt out details of your desire for a divorce and any pre-divorce plans that you and your divorce lawyer may be implementing. It’s okay to say, “No” to a few parties and letting relatives know that you won’t be able to accommodate them this year.
Visualize a Brighter Future. Work with your divorce team to set goals for how you’d like the divorce to proceed as well as how you’d like your post-divorce life to look like. Do you envision happy, well-adjusted children? Do you envision a comfortable home close to the school? Do you see yourself being happy and confident? These dreams will keep you focused on the long run when things seem dismal and make the holidays a little easier to tolerate. Your divorce attorney and divorce support team should work with you to set up specific goals to help you reach your vision.
Getting through the holidays when you’re stuck in an unhappy marriage can be a challenge. With the divorce team at Alexandra Geczi PLLC | Family Law on your side, you can experience a more positive holiday season and focus on a brighter future.