When Divorce Becomes a New Year’s Resolution
January has been called the “Divorce Month” by attorneys and therapists who know that the chill in the air is more than winter weather. Many unhappy couples move forward with divorce once the holidays, family gatherings, and tax year have ended. In addition, the stress of the holidays sometimes shatters an already strained marriage. Plus, the New Year psychologically provides incentive for new resolutions and directions in personal lives.
Whether the divorce has been brewing for a while, or is something that catches a partner off guard, it is essential to be mindful of a few simple steps:
1.)Plan wisely. Avoid impulse decisions and behaviors. Consider the long-term effects of decisions on those involved in dissolving the marriage or relationship.
2.)Consider end-of-year finances, such as work bonus, taxes, holiday spending, etc. Get financial files and paperwork in order and meet with a financial expert who specializes in divorce.
3.)Keep control of emotions, especially anger and grief. This is a time to stay calm and collected and review your options in a reasonable manner.
4.)Take care of yourself physically. Many people start exercising and eating healthier as a New Year’s Resolution, and these improvements can be crucial during a relationship challenge to help banish depression and stress.
5.)Join a support group or educational seminar specifically designed for relationship endings. Don’t “tough it out alone” or rely on advice from friends or family, who may or may not be qualified to give information. Getting proper support helps with the difficult challenges of divorce or relationship ending.
Although January is the “Divorce Month”, the calendar should not determine whether a couple files for divorce or not. Dissolving a relationship is a serious and often painful decision, and doing what’s best for the couple should be foremost, no matter the calendar date.
JP McDaniel, Ph.D. is a divorce adjustment coach, facilitates Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends classes and can be reached at jequitapmcd@gmail or divorceseminarcenter.com. A new series of Rebuilding classes start January 11.