It is very easy during this time of year to become angry, bitter or upset at your former spouse, particularly if she uses the holidays as an opportunity to goad you or tries to dominate the time with your children. However, there are certain behaviors that, while tempting, are not advisable. In fact, some things you do can make the problem worse instead of better!
Here are some tips for keeping your cool and avoiding a scene during the holidays.
- Remember the “Reason for the Season.” The holidays are already stressful enough without adding in the extra stress of an acrimonious ex-spouse. Take a few moments to stop and reflect on what the holidays mean to you. No matter what your faith, you are sure to have some good holiday memories to cherish and some deeply-held beliefs about what this time of year should mean to you. Use these beliefs to ground yourself against bad behavior on the part of others.
- Remember that your children deserve happy holidays. Ultimately, your children are the real victims if you and your spouse spend the holidays arguing. Remember that it is important to give your children a happy and stress-free holiday time so that they can make their own good memories. In that light, it may be easier to put up with some of your former spouse’s bad behavior.
- Take time for yourself. While it is up to you to give your children a happy holiday season, you should also be kind to yourself during this time. If you are lonely and have no one to spend the holidays with, why not take a short vacation to visit friends or family or to a destination where you have always wanted to travel? Remember, a little self-pampering will put you in much better spirits to survive the stress of the holidays.
- Do something for others. One of the best ways to banish the holiday blues is to become active and to work toward helping others. Serve food in a shelter, wrap gifts for those less fortunate, deliver “Secret Santa” to kids without presents; almost anything you choose to do that will take your focus off of yourself will give you enjoyment and peace for the whole holiday season.
The attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center wish you a peaceful and happy holiday season and are here to help you if you need assistance.