A common catchphrase heard regularly around this time of year is, “peace on earth, goodwill to men.” Unfortunately, if you are in the middle of a divorce or contemplating divorce this time of the year, peace and goodwill may not be the first things that come to your mind, especially as it may relate to your spouse. Nevertheless, I offer to you a few simple suggestions that will hopefully help you survive the holidays, and maybe, even find a little peace and goodwill:
1. Put the children first: Whatever the issue or issues you may have with your spouse, they are not your children’s issues. While you should always strive to focus on the children during your divorce, this time of the year is even more difficult for children, as children usually hold dear the time spent as a family around the holidays. As those traditions that children have enjoyed throughout their lives are no more and new traditions are created, be particularly mindful of the stress and sadness your children are experiencing during this transition.
2. Call a time out: If for no reason other than the children, call a truce, even if it is only for a couple of months. Ask your respective lawyers not to take any action in litigation and do whatever is within your power to not instigate an issue, even if it is only for a couple of months. Even if you do not have children, take a couple of months to decompress and remove yourself from the stress and tension of a difficult process. Take this down time to get away, take a vacation if you can afford it, go spend time with loved ones, or just some time to do some of the simple things in life that you enjoy.
3. Be Thankful: When you are going through, or contemplating a divorce, it is easy to focus on what you do not have or what you may be losing, but if you are able to take some time away from the process of the divorce and focus on what you do have, you likely will find a reason, if not many reasons, to be thankful. Being thankful may help you to refocus and enjoy the positive energy that comes from expressing gratitude. It may help give you the strength and support you need as you move into your next phase in life. If you are in the middle of a divorce, many things may be different or not the way you would like them to be, but you may, in reflecting, realize that you have good health, wonderful children, a fulfilling career, or just loved ones and others that support you, whether family, friends, co-workers, or even your divorce lawyer!
In the end, you will get through the process and will have a fresh start in your life. Taking a hiatus and trying to refocus through the holidays may help you up along the way. May you find peace on earth and goodwill to each of you.