Despite all of the seemingly sound reasons for holding off the initiation of divorce proceedings, that reality slap-in-the-face is always going to be there. Though it’s hard to fault a couple for considering that maybe the holidays can rescue a faltering relationship, the reality is that the holidays in and of themselves can bring an increase in the level of stress, arguments, and resentment. Consider the negatives:
The reality that the divorce is going to happen isn’t lost on anybody. This means the children, too. Further, feigning happiness and love can give the children a false sense of hope and increase the harshness of the “crash” back to reality after the holidays.
There is stress associated with all of the running around town, the buying of gifts, the making of plans, and the preparation of food. Worse, it will invariably lead to an increased debt load, which is something that should absolutely be avoided when heading for a divorce.
Oftentimes, extended family members are well-aware of the marital circumstances, which can lead to family arguments or the inverse – everyone walking on eggshells to avoid it. Neither makes for much of a good time.
Hopelessness and depression can increase substantially as you muddle your way through the holidays in full view of big smiles, happy families, camaraderie, and love when the end of your relationship is a foregone conclusion. This can actually lead to serious physical ailments as a result.
As difficult as it may be, you really shouldn’t wait until after the holidays for many of the reasons detailed above and many more. The holidays can be difficult and stressful enough under the best of circumstances, but with a divorce looming, it becomes exponentially worse. No matter your best intentions, the suffering of you, your children, your family, and your friends is going to be no more or less before the holidays than it will after.
If there is one possible upside to starting divorce and child custody proceedings ahead of the holiday season – both parties might find themselves motivated to get things taken care of; division of community property, agreement to divorce, and a workable parenting agreement or child custody arrangement. If you are fortunate enough in that regard and can get all of that in place in advance of the holidays – you may hopefully enjoy them without the specter of divorce hanging over everyone’s heads. It’s a gift you can give yourself, your ex-spouse, and all of those who are impacted by the divorce during the holiday season.
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