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Advice for the unhappily married on finding holiday happiness

For many married couples, even under the best of circumstances, the holidays can be a stressful and chaotic time. For an individual who is experiencing problems within his or her marriage, the holidays can be an especially challenging time.

This time of year is all about family. However, when one is on the outs with a spouse; feelings of gratitude, joy and love may be in short supply and it can be difficult to fake one's way through the numerous holiday gatherings and parties that still lay ahead. For anyone who is contemplating separating or filing for divorce from a spouse in the New Year, the following tips can make getting through this holiday season easier.

Upon making the decision to end one's marriage, most people want to act swiftly and start the divorce process as soon as possible. However, during the holidays, many unhappily wed individuals want to spare their children and families from the stress and heartache they personally are experiencing and choose to delay making any announcements or filing for divorce until after ringing in the New Year.

Keeping one's emotions and words bottled up and attempting to put on a brave face can be extremely difficult. To maintain one's own sanity, it may be wise to confide in one or two close family members or friends. Individuals are advised, however, to be selective with whom they share such news as a loose-lipped relative or friend could quickly end up ruining everyone's holiday.

For unhappily wed parents, it's helpful to keep the focus on one's children this time of year. That's not to say, however, that a parent should allow his or her feelings of guilt related to an impending divorce result in extravagant gifts or excessive spending. Racking up large amounts of debt is never advisable and this is especially true when an individual is planning to file for divorce.

Holiday chaos combined with the fear and stress about an impending divorce can take its toll on an individual mentally, emotionally and physically. It's important, therefore, that an unhappy spouse take care of himself or herself and take time to reflect on the good things in one's life which includes a brighter and happier future.

Source: WIFE.org, "Is Divorce on Your Holiday Shopping List?," Ginita Wall, Nov. 21, 2015

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