Coping With Anger and Divorce During the Holidays

jjjjExpressing Gratitude Through Divorce

Can we be thankful even through divorce? In the middle of divorce, thankfulness is not the first thing that comes to mind. During my own divorce, I was so busy being mad and sad and depressed and worried that thankfulness didn’t have a chance. However, from 10 years out, I can honestly say that my life didn’t start getting better until I accepted that the divorce was inevitable and I began to stop all the ranting and raving and sobbing and screaming.

When I finally took a deep breath and said, “God I have no idea why this is happening and I don’t like it; but I am going to try to be thankful in advance for the life lessons I can learn from it, for the opportunities for personal growth that it will bring, and for the close relationships I can build with my family, that things started to get better.

Every major religion has a sense of gratitude at its core. Science keeps telling us that being thankful is good for us. This Thanksgiving season, let’s try being thankful no matter what is happening and see how our lives improve.

Don’t Get Stuck in the Past this Holiday Season

In a divorce situation, many parents try to keep a sense of consistency and sameness. With home or school, this is a good idea. However, when it comes to the holidays, it’s probably the worst thing people can do for the following reasons:
  • It’s confusing and painful to your children
  • It’s confusing and painful for you
  • It keeps you stuck in the past.


Here are three tips for having a better holiday season:

  • Take ownership of your holidays and make them your own. Create new rituals and customs.
  • Surround yourself with only supportive people
  • Provide yourself with extra care, which can be doing things like getting good sleep, regular exercise, bubble baths or massages.
  • Bonus tip: Have several plans lined up (i.e., Plan A, B, C and D as well as exit strategies if you need to leave an event)
— Susan Pease Gadoua, Therapist/Author, Changing Marriage

For more information about coping with divorce and being prepared to take care of yourself and your children, please see our complete library of Divorce advice.

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