The summer holiday season is around the corner and for many that means trips to the beach, backyard barbeques, and parties by the pool. If you are in the midst of a divorce this may be your first summer outing with friends and family who may have a lot of questions or are just nosy and curious. It can be quite a challenge to handle these scenarios for the first time when everyone is asking: “What happened?” as opposed to: “How are you?”
It is important that your divorce not become the main event at the party. Having a plan in advance can insure that doesn’t happen. If you keep it light you may actually have a good time. Below are some tips to handle that awkward summer holiday season.
Protect Your Children – This can be the hardest time of year for kids going through a divorce with their parents. They will be attending parties with one parent and hanging out with cousins and friends whose lives seem intact. They may be dealing with depression and feeling very withdrawn. Even kids do understand that sometimes you just have to put on your game face. Try to give them an approximate start and end time so that they have a sense of how long they may have to “keep it together.” Spend a little time settling them in when you first arrive at your party, before you make your way to the grown ups. Have a plan in case they want to leave early, when you are just beginning to have some fun. Make sure they bring books, games, cards, a phone or any other activity that can help them relax if they are not feeling social. The people who know and love you will understand that your family is going through a crisis and give you high marks for even attempting to be social.
Protect Your Privacy – You may or not have been able to agree with your spouse on the explanation you will both give as to why you are at the party without each other. If your family or good friends will be attending and they know some of the gritty details of your divorce, it is important to have a conversation with them to set the tone of how they need to respond in the event they are approached at the party. Make it clear that they need to “have your back” and not engage in conversations with people who are interested in gossip or looking to report back to your spouse. Even if you divorce is high-conflict, your ability to craft a neutral response that is respectful but sets the tone that you will not be discussing your reasons for divorce will save you and your key supporters a lot of stress.
Plan For Positivity – It can be hard to hide the stress and pain of what you are going through. If that is too challenging, give yourself permission to leave early and acknowledge the strength it took to make it through the event.
However, if you can pick one positive thing that is going on in your life, it is important to hold onto that when you go out to socialize. Prepare a mantra you can repeat to yourself before you walk out your door such as; “I am surrounded by loved ones,” “My heart is open,” or “I won’t be in this space a year from now.” Practice smiling. You are being brave, and you may be surprised by what you attract when you focus on keeping your spirits up and maintaining an optimistic attitude!
Here are few more mantras, recently highlighted by the Huffington Post, which may help improve your outlook during a high-conflict divorce.
If you are contemplating divorce, or struggling with a high-conflict divorce procedure, let Tamara Harris, CEO of Tamara Harris LLC, be your partner as you navigate through each stage of your journey. As an impartial, experienced professional, Tamara will work directly with you to give you the best tools and strategies to manage the specific challenges and uncertainties of divorce. Serving as your Divorce Coach and advocate, she will help you see clearly during this time where emotions can often impede and derail your divorce procedure. While each member of your high-conflict divorce team – lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, and other experts – will be advising you, Tamara will help you to synthesize this information, think strategically about the options you have with clarity and purpose, and get your divorce across the finish line. Visit tamaraharris.com for more information, or contact Tamara Harris to discuss becoming a client. All inquires will be held in confidence.