When you are going through the beginning of the divorce process, your lives still may be very still intertwined. You may even be spending Thanksgiving together. The dreaded holiday dinner small talk could be difficult to navigate, especially if your soon-to-be-ex is known to make negative or snarky comments. It isn’t uncommon for in-laws, or other family members to also make dinner uncomfortable for couples. How do you survive the onslaught? San Diego Family Mediation Center has a few key tips.
Before the holidays, take some time to participate in self-care. Put yourself in the best mindset possible. Eat a healthy diet, get some exercise before dinner, and practice some mindfulness or meditation. Think positively and discuss with your spouse the expectations of what will be discussed or not discussed with family beforehand.
Understand the Emotions Behind the Words
When one party is the driving force behind a divorce, the other party is likely extremely hurt. When people are hurt, they tend to lash out. If your spouse says something hurtful or in anger, then it is likely they are having a moment of feeling deeply hurt. Try to give them some space to process their emotions and then address it later if necessary. Bringing it up in the moment can further exacerbate the feeling of anger, leading to an inevitable holiday meltdown.
Share What You Are Comfortable Sharing
In the beginning stages of divorce, some couples are not comfortable sharing that they have begun the process. If you want to share with family to garner support, then, by all means, do so as long as your spouse agrees. If your spouse doesn’t agree, and they will be present with you at dinner, respect their wishes. Your divorce may be something you can share with family after your spouse is not there. Some family members may ask you not to discuss your divorce, but if you feel it is something that should be talked about, don’t let people pressure you to do otherwise. Just give them a heads up so they can prepare themselves.
We hope all of you have a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. If you would like to come in and discuss your divorce in a free consultation, contact us.