“It’s all too much – I just can’t cope – I’ve had enough”

What is it about Christmas that brings out the best and the worst in us? Research conducted by the charity Relate reveals that 70% of us will have an argument or fight with a loved one or family member over the festive period!

This is a social phenomenon that manifests over the holiday season and I must admit, it is a strange one – A lot of people make the decision to end their failing marriages during this period and apply for divorce as soon as they can in the new year. This phenomenon is so engrained in our psyche now that we even have an official ‘Divorce Day’ at the beginning of January, widely known as D – Day! This time round, that day will fall on 6 January.

Why do we have a D – Day?

There are a number of reasons why this trend is en vogue:

For some couples, the intensity of spending so much time together is too much. Often, in-laws and extended family are also present during this tense period and this causes anxiety and in worst case scenarios, a meltdown.

The sheer cost of Christmas, coupled with excess alcohol intake can lead to explosive, screaming confrontations followed by tears, recriminations and regret. In short, it is a recipe for disaster.

If you find yourself in this situation this Christmas, don’t despair. Don’t seek refuge in alcohol as it tends to make these situations worse, not better. Do not close yourself off from your family or isolate yourself. Doing this can actually increase the pressure on you and affect your mental well-being.

Don’t blame the kids or try to stop them seeing your partner or your in-laws. Let them enjoy what will probably be your last Christmas altogether. The holidays are only for a few days and in the grand scheme of things, you will get through them and in the new year, you can discuss what happened over the holidays and take advice about what to do next.

If the situation is getting to you, then try to remain calm:

  • Don’t say angry things to your partner, no matter how tempting it may be to do so.
  • Let it go. Accept that now is not the time to fully address the situation.
  • Step away. Leave the room or go out for a walk.
  • Focus on your children, your home and your assets.
  • Get professional advice. Speak to a lawyer

Focus on what you want in the long-term: Wasting your precious energy on fighting with your partner or having the last word is only going to harm one person: You.

Stay calm and agree to disagree.

Your lawyer will take care of the rest.

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