Although Christmas is considered a season for festive fun and reconnecting with friends & family, it can also be an extremely stressful and emotional time. In fact, Christmas is an extremely common time of year for many couples to get divorced.
Christmas can be such a busy and stressful time, and explosive family arguments are more common than you think. It can therefore be hard to know whether you and your spouse are going through a tough phase or if it really is time to end your relationship.
Whilst divorce may ultimately be the best option for you and your family, the process can be brutal and painful. It’s therefore important to ensure that you are making the right decision before putting yourself, your partner and your loved ones through the difficult divorce process.
So amidst the Christmas craziness, what can you do to slow down and evaluate whether divorce is truly what you want?
- Get some ‘Me Time’ – Before making any huge decisions, give yourself some time and space to figure out what you want. Whether that involves going away alone for the weekend or taking a few long walks, you need some time away from your spouse, your family and your usual every-day commitments to really be able to think. Allow yourself time to breathe, relax and come to your own personal conclusion about what your future looks like.
- Spend quality time together – Having time and space alone is essential, but it’s also important to try and give you and your spouse a chance to re-connect and enjoy each other’s company. Day to day life, especially around the holidays, can be stressful. You might be so busy arguing about what to buy your in-laws for Christmas, how to pay your mammoth credit card bill or when to re-paint the kitchen that you’ve forgotten why you chose to be with each other in the first place. Chances are, one night away in a hotel won’t fix all your problems, but actively trying to spend some quality time with each other away from your daily stresses and responsibilities might help make things a little clearer.
- Write things down – If you’re contemplating divorce, you already have a thousand different thoughts and emotions thrashing around in your head. Making sense of these can be tough but writing them down can help. Whether it’s writing a diary of your feelings or making a list of things that are making you unhappy, getting them out of your head and onto a piece of paper (or laptop screen) can be surprisingly therapeutic. Writing things down will also help you organise your thoughts and enable you to better communicate your grievances to your spouse.
- Talk about it – Once you’ve taken the time to organise your own thoughts and emotions, it is time to talk to your spouse about your situation. This could be a great time to use that list you prepared earlier. Rather than bring up your grievances in the middle of a heated argument, schedule some time to sit down and talk about things in a calm and constructive manner. You may still come to the conclusion that you want to separate, but at least you will both know that divorce is a decision you are making rather than a reaction to an emotion or argument.
- Positive thinking – This is, of course, easier said than done. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, upset or a combination of all of these things, it’s not that easy to just “think positively”. However, rather than wallow in the negative emotions or focus on all of the bad things that are happening, try to actively think about the positives instead. Writing these down can also help. When you wake up in the morning, or before you go to bed at night, make a list of 3-5 things that you are grateful for. It could be something as simple as “my husband remembered to put the toilet seat down” or “my wife bought my favourite coffee at the supermarket today”. It may sound silly, but actively making yourself highlight the little positive things that happen every day rather than focusing on the negatives can have a real impact on your mental health as well as your relationship.
- Marriage counselling – Although the prospect of discussing your fears and issues with a stranger might terrify you, asking a professional to help you navigate this emotional maze could actually save your marriage. Talking things through with a professional could help you understand your own emotions as well as see things from your partner’s perspective. Or, at the very least, it can give you peace of mind that you tried everything you could before seeking a divorce.
- Talk to a lawyer – Of course, for many couples, despite taking the time to carefully evaluate their feelings, divorce is still the best option. And although it’s a tough emotional process, there are steps you can take to make things as easy as possible for you and your partner. Consulting legal professionals is key to making the divorce process as painless as possible. Whether you are filing for divorce together or individually, having legal experts on hand will make sure that every detail is taken care of properly. At Atkinson Vinden, we truly understand the emotional and practical challenges you are facing. We have a team of experienced lawyers who are on hand to guide you through this difficult process and help you get the outcome you deserve. So if you’re ready to take the next step in your divorce proceedings, contact our team of experts today. Our first consultation is free and we have various payment options to make this process a little easier for you.