Coping With Divorce – The Holiday Edition

How to Get Through A Divorce

Yes, my friends, the holiday season is upon us. Before you could utter your last ‘oh look, honey, another Elsa!’; the neighborhood grocery store was already stocking its shelves with Christmas tree cakes and reindeer shaped peeps. Trust me, I get it.  Coping with divorce can be torture and it seems by throwing the holidays in the mix; you might as well skip the interrogation phase and go straight to water boarding.

Hold up, there, tiger. Before you resign to spending the next few months locked in a dark room with your new besties Jack and Jim poring over everything you wish you had done differently in life, pull up a chair and allow me to shed a little light on the subject. Now, how about a little Kool Aid to chase down that egg nog?

how to get through a divorceOne of life’s greatest ironies is epitomized in the classic maxim, ‘youth is wasted on the young’. Unfortunately, like most things that fall within this purview, you have to wait until you hit 30 to actually understand its meaning. Take, for instance, the first time you saw Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Chances are you were less interested in the overarching theme of the movie, and Matthew Broderick’s closing words of wisdom, than you were in figuring out if it’s really possible to take miles off a speedometer by letting a car run in reverse. Of course, it’s no secret that wisdom comes with age. No matter how close to enlightenment you may be, however, that all seems to go out the window when the time comes to board the train to Splitsville. It seems like you have exhausted every resource you can think of on coping with divorce, but you keep coming up empty handed. I’m going to let you in on a little secret…

No One Can Teach You The Perfect Method of Coping With Divorce

coping with divorceI know, I know, then why the *%$! are you reading this? As an aside, although it may not be a cure all; those breathing techniques you learned along your search for answers might come in handy right…about… now. Listen, no matter how common it has become, there is no denying the fact that ending a marriage is one of the most difficult challenges you will face in life. That said, uncovering the mystery behind how to get through a divorce is a process you have to face if you plan on starting over. While the process of coping with divorce is uniquely personal, there are some universal guidelines; usually starting with a reality check. Accept that your marriage is in the past and there’s a reason for that. If it was your decision, it no doubt took a lot of courage and there is no point in painfully recounting everything you could have done differently. If you were on the receiving end of a divorce petition, it might be a little more painful. But, c’mon man. Brush your shoulders off and give yourself some credit. You are now presented with an opportunity to get a second chance at life and if you squander that, it’s nobody’s fault but your own.

Coping with Divorce Is All About Perspective

divorceThere’s a reason acceptance is the last step of the grieving process. It’s freaking hard, but also equally necessary. And, like most divorcees, the holidays can make it even more complicated. But, do yourself a favor and don’t kid yourself into romanticizing what you had. You best believe that if you could go back in time and get into your head, you were dreaming of a Thanksgiving dinner sans your mother in law’s advice re: making the turkey, ‘what do I know, maybe some people like it more on the dry side…’ or your spouse’s passive aggressive comments about enjoying your new present before noon on Christmas Day. I mean, really, who wouldn’t open a bottle of McCallan’s 25 the moment it hit their hot little hands, it’s a holiday after all! And then, of course, there are your present struggles. Your ex, after 6 years of doing everything possible to get out of little Janie’s annual school holiday pageant, suddenly wants two front row tickets for him and Janie’s former babysitter. Or your former wife, who never once lit a menorah, now wants eight nights with little Joey because it’s important for the little guy to know both sides of his family history. The fact of the matter is, these situations are happening. No matter how much you resist or fight them or wish they were different, this is your reality now. It is only your reaction to the situation that determines how it is qualified. You know that old saying about wishing in one hand and (ahem) in the other and seeing which hand fills up the fastest… Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

The point is, you can either look at your situation as a tragedy and ‘accidentally’ run over your neighbor’s inflatable Santa or you can suck it up and be grateful for the present moment. There is no magic solution to how to get through a divorce, it is a personal journey. The first step, however, is realizing that happiness is always within your reach and it’s your choice to make. Seize the opportunity and know that it’s never too late to become what you might have been.  Now go out there and have yourself a merry little Christmas (or Hannukah or Kwanzaa)…

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