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Tips for surviving the first post-divorce holiday season

Texas family law attorneys know that the holiday period of the year when divorce activity slows down. Couples contemplating the prospect of separating, especially if they have children, might want to make it through this last batch of special days for the sake of the kids.

But if your divorce happened earlier in 2015, chances are good that you are entering your first holiday season in a while without your ex-spouse at your side. With or without children, holidays after a divorce can prove to be an awkward time for you as a former spouse and for the loved ones you may encounter.

Following are some suggestions from behavior analyst and body language expert Blanca Cobb on how to survive the first season as a single person.

Not surprisingly, Cobb says the ball tends to be in the court of the divorced person to let the people around them know how to proceed. She says your loved ones want to be supportive, but may have no idea how to go about it. So she says you have to lead the way.

  • Start with posture. You send a message to your loved ones that all is OK by entering the moment with head held high and with confidence. Direct eye contact and smiles go a long way to setting the tone.
  • Be ready to deflect. Some relatives may not have seen you in a while and may press for details you'd rather not rehash. Cobb says like a good sword handler, parry the thrust. You might acknowledge that there are challenging days, but that today is not one of them. Alternatively, you might douse the moment by smiling and saying, "We've decided to keep details private. Thanks for understanding."
  • Take moments for yourself as needed. The swirl of family and the memories of bygone holidays can stir up emotion. Cobb suggests that if you find yourself needing to compose yourself, walk to another room or step outside for a breath of air. And if a dredged up memory suddenly brings up pre-divorce days, acknowledge it and indicate how you're looking forward to the future.

Perhaps the most positive outlook one can have about divorce is that it represents the entry into a new chapter of life.

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