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What to do when the holidays feel difficult after divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2021 | Divorce |

Many people look forward to the holidays all year, however, a divorce can change that perspective.

After a divorce, the holidays can become complicated for the whole family. Traditions your family upheld for years might change or even end. You and your ex-spouse might have an arrangement to alternate holidays with the kids.

The holidays might feel different now, but there are ways to make this time of year feel joyful once again. Here are a few things to consider to help you overcome the challenges this season.

Two things you must remember

As you approach this holiday season, there are two things that you must contemplate:

  1. Allow yourself to grieve: Grief is a natural part of a divorce. Many people experience grief over the loss of companionship and familiarity they had during their marriage. Past holiday traditions and nostalgia can elicit grief as well. It is important not to ignore these emotions, even if they are complicated.
  2. Communicate: Just like grief, communication plays a large role in divorce as well. The holidays will look different now – for you, your ex-spouse and your children. Even if you have a holiday schedule outlined in your custody arrangement, it is still important to talk to both your ex-spouse and your children about potential plans. Additionally, it is important to simply be open to talking with your children about the complex emotions they might be feeling during the holiday season.

These are two fundamentals for many people after divorce. Even so, it is even more critical to remember them during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Find new traditions

One of the reasons holidays feel so difficult after divorce is often because of the loss of traditions you grew to love and depend on over the years. However, it helps to consider this as an opportunity to create new traditions – both personal and family traditions.

Of course, no one can force new traditions. It is helpful to consider what is important to you, such as simply spending time with your family, and to focus on positivity.