How To Survive The Holidays During A Marriage Separation

The holidays can be a wonderful time but also stressful. If your marriage is going through a rough patch and you are separated during the holidays, there are still ways to find peace, joy, and hope.

Focus on Giving

Nothing makes you feel better than giving to others. Helping someone in need can lift your spirits even when life feels a bit bleak. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen or hand out clothing and gifts to children during a holiday drive. You could even just visit a nursing home and spend some time with older people who have no family.

Keep Consistency for Your Children

If you have children, be sure to prioritize their needs. Continue to honor your regular holiday traditions. Consistency is vital in a child’s life, especially when their parents are going through a tough time. The uncertainly of separation is scary, but seeing things stay the same around the holidays will help.

Scale Down on Get-Togethers

Remember, you may not feel all that social right now, so you don’t have to attend every holiday party you are invited to. Answering questions about the state of your marriage is the last thing you want to go through right now. Some holiday parties may be easier than others. This year skip the hard ones.

Don’t Overspend to Make Up for the Separation

Don’t overspend to make up for the turmoil in your relationship. Depending on how things go, you will want to keep a close eye on your finances. Kids are happy drinking cocoa, watching holiday specials, and being around twinkling lights. Find inexpensive ways to make the holiday special for those around you without breaking the bank.

Take Care of Yourself

Although you may not feel very social, don’t spend too much time alone, it could lead to depression. During this time, have reasonable expectations. It is not a typical holiday season in many ways. Once you accept that, you can adjust how things will go so you and your family can be okay.
Make sure you take care of “you.” Get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and continue with your exercise regimen. Try to limit alcohol consumption as it may make a stressful time even worse and affect your immune system.

Don’t Give up Hope

Above all, remember that anything is possible. Miracles happen all the time, and couples (even those going through a really rough time) do reconcile, and things often improve. With a little work and constructive communication, you may patch things up and be in a completely different place next year. Hold onto that hope as you breeze through the holidays this year.

There are dozens of helpful family resources out there to help couples start fresh, repair any damage, and build something even better.

 

About the Author

Doreen Yaffa, Board Certified Divorce Attorney Founder and Managing Partner of Yaffa Family Law Group. She is one of a handful of divorce attorneys in South Florida who is board certified in Marital and Family Law. Doreen Yaffa earned her board certification in 2001 and has remained a member of The Florida Bar in excellent standing throughout her career.