This time of year is just loaded with holidays. Starting with Halloween, there is a major holiday every couple of weeks including a long stretch where the children are off from school and many people take vacation time from work. For some, travel, office parties and family gatherings are a source of stress.
For some, the holidays are a “make-or-break” time. Things are going badly in the marriage and you stay together during the holidays with family in order to give your marriage one last chance.
It is not a coincidence that the first Monday after New Year’s Day is generally known as Divorce Day. More Divorces are initiated during the weeks following the holidays than at any other time during the year.
The holiday season can be stressful enough. Adding the level of “one more shot” can make an already bad situation worse.
Already in Crisis
If you are at the point where you are thinking that this holiday season is your last chance, then your decision has already been made. You may think you need to do this “for the sake of the children”, or “he really is a good person”, or “I’ve been with her for so long”. These are all excuses we make to ourselves to avoid making a decision that is already a foregone conclusion.
For a relationship that is in danger of coming to an end, there are things you can do, such as couples therapy to try to work through the issues you are having. If you are open and honest about your concerns, then your relationship may survive. However, if you are looking at the upcoming festivities as a the final straw, then you have more than likely done what you can do to try to save the marriage.
Communication is Key
Ending a marriage is not an easy decision to make. There are financial ramifications. You may have less time with your children if you are the non-custodial parent. You may miss the everyday things that happen when you have a family. You also owe yourself happiness. A marriage on the verge of failing is an unbearable situation.
By saying to yourself or your spouse that you are giving yourself the next 30 days to make the situation better, you are setting yourself up to fail. You are placing yourself and your spouse in an impossible predicament. Even if you force yourself to laugh and smile, underneath there are still the issues that brought you to this place. If not properly dealt with, those issues are going to surface. The key to working through an issue is open and honest communication. Issues don’t get resolved by hoping they will go away during a holiday party.
When it comes to most things in life, if you put undue pressure on yourself it can cause stress, or even anxiety or depression. If you put pressure on someone else, it can cause resentment. Do not look at the holidays as the final straw. If you can make your marriage work by working with your spouse to openly discuss and work through your issues, then you may very well be on the way to healing and a long and happy marriage. In your heart, if you know that you have done everything you are willing and able to do, then do not put the layer of “one more shot” on top of it. Get through the holidays. Try to have a good time for yourself. Enjoy the company of friends and family. Revel in the unbridled joy of children tearing into their presents. Know that the decision is made. Come to peace with the decision you have made.
You may be surprised. Without that self-imposed pressure you may even enjoy your time with your spouse. Will that be enough to get on the road to healing? That is for you decide. If it isn’t, our office is here for you.
Anthony LoPresti had dedicated his practice to helping people who are dealing with family law issues such as divorce, custody, maintenance, and asset distribution. If you feel you have gone as far as you can go, call our office and schedule a free consultation.