Ho Ho Ho the Holidays are here. Should I stick it out with my spouse for the sake of the kids, our parents, to get the presents? How will it look if I ditch him/her just before Christmas? What will everyone say?
All of these are good questions that people ask their lawyers, therapists and marriage counsellors on a regular basis. This time of year holds a special significance for divorce lawyers and family court judges. In fact in many courts other cases are put on hold during the week before Christmas so the courts can hear “emergency motions” dealing with Christmas access to children and the like – who gets them when; can I get permission to travel with the kids; I want two hours more than she will let me have on Christmas day.
So back to the question. Should you leave or stay? Sure your personal happiness is important. And certainly the happiness of your children is important. And believe it or not the happiness of your spouse is also important. What you need to do is assess your own unique set of circumstances. You need to examine what is going on in your own home. You need to make up your own mind without polling everyone you know for their opinions which are almost always wrong and almost always just what your friends and relatives think you want to hear. These people are called head nodders.
Do you argue constantly. Do you argue constantly in front of your children. Are they already unhappy. Are you miserable. Is your spouse miserable. These are some of the questions you need to answer before you can even begin to figure out the best course.
It is sometimes the case that everyone ends up much calmer and more content after separation. This however does not always apply to the children who are often very upset.
I strongly recommend that a decision like this be made with the help of a good marriage therapist or a competent family law lawyer. But if you do decide to make this decision on your own think it through carefully and examine the consequences. Separation is never easy on anyone. Separating during a holiday season that has as its theme “peace on earth good will towards men” is especially difficult.