Divorced for the Holidays

For the divorced, holidays can be hell: splitting the kids up during vacation, no money to buy presents, loneliness, rejection, anger, depression, and much more. One woman told me she wished she could just take a pill and wake up in January. Do you feel that way about the upcoming season? I’ve been there and I can help. It’s not a little pink pill, but here’s my prescription for helping you survive the holiday blues.

by Rose Sweet • Guest Writer

Cook something yummy or go out
In divorce our appetites for love, family and security are starved; we crave affection and are hungry for affirmation. You can see that food and emotions are closely related. So if it’s your favorite grilled cheese sandwich, a steak and cold beer, or a dinner at your favorite Chinese restaurant, do it. And don’t just do it for the kids or with the kids or where the kids want to go. That’s good, too, but not as a steady diet. You pick what you like and scrap the false guilt.

Escape when you can
The assault on emotions after a divorce—and especially during the holidays—can be brutal. Escape to a place (or activity) that gives you respite. Take a walk, read a book, putter in the garage, clean out the junk drawer. Every personality will find distraction and satisfaction in something different. Don’t escape to excessive TV or the computer. Don’t resort to addictive shopping, gambling, or the like. Any such self-centered focus doesn’t free you from pain but will enslave you in the long run.

Plan for next Christmas
I know I suggested you let it go this year but I can’t help It—the sales after Christmas are huge and a perfect time to pick up cards, gifts, and decorations for next year at more than half-off.  Next year will come and it will be better, I promise. It might takes a few years for you to get back on your feet but something will happen when you least expect it. You’ll be sipping hot cider (or something stronger!) and humming to carols in your car or in front of a crackling fire. You may be with the kids or not, with a new love, or not, but it won’t really matter. Your heart will have come a long way and you’ll find yourself feeling happy again. That’s my present to you this year . . . the promise that holiday hell will eventually be replaced with holiday heaven.


For nearly twenty year Rose Sweet, who herself has recovered from failed marriage, has worked to help the separated and divorced in conferences, workshops and recovery groups. In her many books, DVD series, and as a conference speaker, she packs a punch with the hard truths about divorce. With equal parts wit and wisdom, Rose speaks and writes from her heart, so you can heal yours. www.RoseSweet.com



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First Published December 21, 2011

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