Waiting until January to divorce?
Waiting until January to divorce? You’re not the only one! It’s Christmas Time and you’ve got enough on your plate, and that’s not just the Turkey and all the trimmings! Whilst it’ll soon be January, it feels like a few hundred light years away. So. Just how do you get through the next few weeks, and what can you do now so you feel like things are moving forward, rather than feeling like a piece of fruit suspended in a sherry trifle?
1. Just Relax
Remember that January will be here before you know it. Talk your feelings and frustrations through with a friend, go for a walk or drive and talk it through with yourself out loud. It might sound crazy, but when you actually hear yourself, it helps put things into perspective. Relax as much as you can by doing those things that support you. For some it could be cooking or baking; for others going running or out with friends will help.
2. Make the decision to let go of blame
Ruminating over your decision is a sure fire way to work yourself up, and those around you. Just because you have time to over-think things, it’s your choice as to whether you do or not. Christmas can be a time where resentments and frustrations come to the fore. If you feel put upon or unappreciated, remember, this is potentially the last Christmas you’ll spend with that person so let it go. Where you can, be the observer of that behaviour. Being the observer means that you can watch it without being at the affect of it. You don’t get plugged in by it. You might even be able to muster a rye smile! Remember that ‘we’ are not our behaviour. There’s ‘us’ and there’s what we do. Sometimes what ‘we’ do isn’t that great. It’s irritating and annoying to others. It doesn’t make ‘us’ bad or wrong. It’s just behaviour. Behaviour is always about ‘us’ and never the other person. You don’t have the power to ‘make’ someone angry as they don’t have the power to ‘make’ you angry. The anger is within you and it’s triggered by a behaviour the other person does. Do you have a behaviour that doesn’t work? Yes! We all do, it’s part of being human, so just park the need to blame.
3. Make lists
If you are the type of person who needs to feel that you are doing something, making lists of the things you need to think about, do, discuss or find out more about can help calm your nerves and satisfy that part of you that wants to move forward. It could be as simple as researching Mediators, Lawyers or looking at properties to rent or buy. If this will support you, do it. If you can just ‘park it’ do. Waiting until January to divorce will give you time to plan so that by the time you mention it, you’ve already got the answers to some of the questions that your partner may have.
4. Appreciate what you have
Life may feel far from perfect right now and you may feel things are unfair, but this situation won’t last forever. Remember, without your co-parent, that child you adore wouldn’t be here. Remember too that you cannot control, nor are you responsible for, your co-parent’s behaviour. Getting upset about won’t do anything other than upset you and your children.
Appreciate what you do have, rather than focusing on what you don’t have. It may sound obvious, and it is so obvious that we often forget to do it, particularly when we are going through separation or divorce, or we are in dispute with our children’s other parent. Appreciating the most basic of things that we take for granted can help you gain perspective and let go of some anger. When you are angry you hurt yourself as much as others around you who might suffer the consequences of your wrath.
Think about how it will be different next year
Think about how it will be different next year, and it will be if you let it. This time next year, you’ll have been through this once before so you’ll know some of what to expect. If you have had the children this year, they may be with their other parent next. In the absence of an agreement to the contrary (and some parents do agree), your children can expect that a court (if required to make an order) would say their Christmases are shared between each parent. Its about the children, and not how much you will miss them – and you will. Perhaps knowing that you wont have the children over Christmas next year, you can plan a treat for yourself?
Recognising and accepting things will be different can help you prepare emotionally and keep the lines of communication open. Digging your heels in and ‘hoping’ you’ll get your own way is likely to back-fire. Your co-parent may issue proceedings and a court will make a decision. Why would you want that?
As we approach Christmas Time, remember that January is almost here. You know that patience and feeling of calm you endeavour to instil in your children as they wait for Father Christmas? It’s exactly the same state you need to adopt for yourself. It’s just a few extra sleeps away….