Many people can understand, even if they are not divorced themselves, that divorce can be an emotionally difficult time for children. When it comes to celebrating the holidays, this difficulty tends to become magnified as family gatherings and traditions are forced to change. But what a lot of people fail to consider is that the impact of a divorce doesn’t simply disappear once the child reaches adulthood. The holidays can continue to be a challenging time of the year for adult children of divorce who have memories of holidays split between multiple households, or memories of parents who could no longer get along. What once was a time of happiness and togetherness can, and often does, turn into a time of tension.
Unfortunately, becoming an adult and starting your own family doesn’t magically erase any of this. However, there are some things you should keep in mind:
- Don’t exhaust yourself trying to make everyone happy – that’s not your job.
- If it’s too much to shuffle your family between multiple households for multiple Christmas dinners, it may be a good idea to communicate that with your family and try to find an alternate plan.
- The holidays can be difficult if your parents still harbor anger and resentment toward each other. While you can’t control how your parents feel, remember that you can control how you allow it to affect you.
- Instead of allowing yourself to feel cynical about the holidays or feel like a victim of the past, remind yourself that your priority is to ensure the health and happiness of your family now. Accept the limitations of your family and focus on creating your own holiday happiness today.
You may not have the holiday season you once had, but you can certainly still have a great one.
Wisselman, Harounian & Associates handles divorce and family law cases throughout Long Island and New York City. To consult with an attorney from our team, please call us at (516) 406-8500.