Three Tips for Keeping your Sanity & Poise when interacting with your Ex during the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I remember it well – my first Christmas after my divorce from my children’s dad. I dreaded it coming. Not only were my two young daughters going to be with their father that first Christmas, I was going to have to see him at school and family events.
I worried. I stressed. I fussed. I tried to figure out some way to get out of attending those family gatherings. For my children’s sake, I couldn’t. I always knew that for my children to achieve the best adjustment they possibly could to the changes in their family, I had to figure out a way to get along with him as their dad, even though we were divorced. So I made myself go, and made myself get through those family times, even though it meant interacting with him and his new partner.
Those were some of the hardest things I did, as a young, newly divorced mother. I remember coming home feeling exhausted, with a raging headache, which is a sure sign of stress for me. I also got a really bad cold that year; thinking back, it was probably induced by the worry and stress.
I remember feeling nervous, uncomfortable and ill at ease, not knowing how to interact with him, how to respond to meeting his new partner, or how to support my daughters in having a fun time, when I definitely didn’t think I would!
Well, I got through that first Christmas season post -divorce, and many others since then. Along the way, I learned some things about how to do so with grace and poise, while keeping my sanity and dignity.

Here are three tips that helped me, and hopefully will help you too.

1. Take care of yourself during this highly emotionally charged season. Your self-care plan ideally should include how you will care for yourself on all levels of your being – spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically, including your other relationships and financially. Having a plan will help you feel more inner control in your life, in an otherwise uncomfortable and for many, unnatural, situation. Having and following a plan that supports and replenishes your well-being on all levels, will give you inner reserves of strength, balance and peace that you can draw upon during otherwise stressful events and situations. . . .

2. Remember that so much of your children’s well-being is connected to yours. That is why the first thing I teach divorcing parents about how to help their children cope with their parent’s divorce, is to take care of themselves. When you take care of yourself and your needs are met, you are much better prepared and able to meet your children’s needs, which many times are increased by the experience of your divorce. . . .

3. Follow a plan for holiday family events themselves. . . .

If you would like to learn more from my recommended plan for divorced women for getting through the holiday season with less chaos and struggle and more joy, I invite you to join my readers’ circle and subscribe to Creating Joy! The Relationship e-Newsletter.

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Author's Bio: 

Debra Gordy specializes in assisting divorced women to end their relationship problems for good, get off the Relationship Roller Coaster and onto the path of creating a happy, successful and lasting marriage. As a Transformational Relationship Therapist and Coach, teacher and author of the forthcoming book, Cinderella Wisdom: Five Secrets for Creating Your Dream Marriage in the Real World, she has helped thousands of women and couples to achieve the marriage of their dreams.