Dealing With Your Ex At Special Events

A broken Christmas ornamentCan’t we all just get along? Dealing with your former lover or spouse may seem impossible at times. But if you have kids, this only complicates the matter. There are just going to be days where you will have to be together. Birthdays, holidays, graduations, weddings, and other occasions will be better for everyone if the two of you agree can figure out how to be in each other’s presence, minus the drama.

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Early Days

Younger children are especially vulnerable. Try sticking–as much as possible–to the family’s established routine during the first holiday season. Small children won’t comprehend why things are different. So you should consider spending limited time together. As you develop new patterns of celebrating, you want your child to realize that, although things are different, they can still be happy.

Emotions–anger, sadness, bitterness–will inevitably run high over the course of those first holidays. One good way to keep them in check is to make plans in advance and then stick to them. Decide in advance, for example, how long you are going to stay and then leave at the agreed upon time. You are going to be vulnerable. So it will be important to avoid spontaneity.

Consider avoiding alcohol too. There’s usually more drinking, more alcohol, around the holidays. Limit how much you drink. Otherwise, you might be less inclined to hold back. Once you’re through that first year, you can start establishing new ways of celebrating birthdays, Thanksgiving, and other events.