Whether you’ve been married 10 months or 10 years, making the decisions to contact a Michigan divorce attorney and divorce your partner are neither easy nor fun. Loving partners grow apart, lose common interests, stop communicating, become abusive in some cases, and that person you once loved more than anyone in the world transforms to someone you can’t stand to be around. Divorce rates have actually fallen over the past 20 years, but most struggling couples give it one more try over the holidays to see if there’s enough magic left in the marriage to keep it going. Based on divorce trend rates, those efforts are often wasted and most couples decide to divorce and move on in March and August–just after and before the next round of holidays occur. But that first post-divorce holiday season can be rough on anyone. Fortunately, there are some simple tips to survive the first holiday season after your divorce.
Stay Busy and Active
Disorder and lack of structure tend to be the nemeses of the recently divorced. Too much free time allows the mind and emotions to wander back to the past which can completely derail productivity. This only compounds during the holidays when kids are involved. But divorce is a time of self-reflection, personal improvement, and rediscovery or reinvention. So focus on staying busy and active. Join a gym, volunteer, join a book club or read that novel you’ve been waiting to dive into, or simply connect or reconnect with friends or loved ones not associated with the ex.
Don’t Be a Greedy Gus
If kids are involved, and the ex is a productive parent, you’ll never be truly divorced from that family unit. But there’s a new element now that must be accepted: custodial arrangements must be met, and they’ll involve sharing or alternating holidays. This may be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Simply let go and opt not to be a greedy Gus. Put the kids first by allowing them space and time needed to connect with their other family members on your ex’s terms. You can always schedule an extra celebration for you and the kids before or afterward.
Change the Plan or Make New Traditions
If you see your ex in the faces of happy couples or feel constant sadness around well-meaning family members, change the game plan over the holidays. Tell Aunt Mildred, Cousin Stacy, or mom that you’re giving yourself a break this year and mean it. Instead of the traditional visits, feast with friends. Plan an intimate movie or spa day just for yourself and one or two select guests. Or treat yourself to a cruise or other special retreat. The world is your oyster, be the pearl.
Consider Taking a Social Media Sabbatical
Most people use some form of social media today, and Facebook is still the king of the castle. But research has shown that one-third of people recovering from a broken relationship continue “stalking” their ex on the social platform. While the social media site insists that’s just par for the course, medical professionals suggest such behavior can be destructive and hinder healing and moving on. So why not consider taking a social media sabbatical? Follow the proper steps and take it seriously. And whether you choose to cleanse your mind and spirit for a full month or just through the holiday season, give yourself the time and space to regain control of your life and reflect on the positive aspects of your new life after a Michigan divorce.