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Dealing with separation or divorce during the holidays

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For many Chicago area residents, the holiday season is a time to reflect upon past holidays and also envision possible future holidays. For individuals who are separated, recently divorced or going through the divorce process; this time of year may stir up many strong and conflicting emotions. 

This is often especially true for divorced parents who are forced to share a custody of a child during holidays that were previously shared and celebrated as a family unit. During this time of year, memories of past holidays may haunt an individual and make one question whether a separation or divorce is a mistake. When a walk down memory lane begins to cloud one’s judgement, it’s important to remember all of the reasons why one choose to begin divorce proceedings in the first place.  

This holiday season and throughout every other season, individuals coping with the break-up of a marriage would be wise to be kind and compassionate towards oneself. Set aside feelings of guilt for not being in the mood to decorate or engage in other holiday traditions. There will be other holidays and other opportunities to engage in both old and new traditions. 

Divorce is one of the most pivotal of all life events. No one who gets married plans to divorce and when faced with the reality of ending a marriage, many people have a difficult time adjusting to all of the changes. It’s perfectly acceptable and normal to feel sad, angry, regretful and hopeful all at the same time. Acknowledging one’s fears, hopes, regrets and dreams is healthy and often necessary for an individual to move on and forward.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Holiday Magic–When You’re Coping With Separation & Divorce,” Sharon Zarozny, Dec. 11, 2014

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