The week of Christmas is full of happiness and in most cases, is when family traditions flourish. But Christmas can also be challenging if it is the first we spend separated or divorced. We will remember every nice moment from our previous life, and we can go through rough times. 

In this episode, I want to talk about how to deal and get over those difficult moments. We need to focus on not being hard on ourselves, and perhaps creating new traditions. I’m convinced that you need to go back to loving yourself and happiness will flow. 

Let’s get into it:

 

Timestamps

Sometimes it is easier to stay [00:02:00] 

My family’s traditions changing in front of me [00:04:00] 

Memories assaulting us [00:06:00] 

Feeling sad is not wrong, don’t be harsh on yourself [00:08:00] 

The importance of putting ourselves first [00:10:00] 

Our ex trying to trigger us [00:12:00] 

This time of the year finds us tired [00:14:00] 

The Opposite Day technique [00:16:00] 

Going back to love ourselves [00:18:00] 

Links

15-Minute Clarity Call

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My book: The Jelly Bean Jar – Empowering Independence through Divorce

https://tanyasomerton.com/shop/the-jelly-bean-jar/

Join my Free Facebook Group here:

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Divorce Roadmap Session:

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Transcription 

Hey, everyone. And welcome to the Divorce Angel podcast. This is the week of Christmas, who would have thought we would go through these massive changes and terrible sorrows. Let’s hope we will never see again. The most exact word to describe it, earth-shattering, you know how we did things in 2019 and how we do things in 2020.

But I’ve wondered depending on where you are right now. Have you noticed that’s what’s been happening in your life? Even if it wasn’t 2020, imagine you’re just going through a separation. What everyone else is dealing with right now; the uncertainty, the sorrow, and the fear.

If you’re going through a relationship break,

READ MORE

I recall so many of those feelings myself. I see so many similarities with what people are talking about and the uncertainty of the world right now. And here we are a few days from Christmas, and it’s been a really long year for so many people, and maybe COVID has been the catalyst for your relationship breakdown.

Maybe it’s just been one more thing that you just can’t deal with. And for many people, we put up with something. That probably we shouldn’t put up with, but we put up with them because sometimes it’s easier to stay or to do what we’ve always done. Then it is to find the strength to do something different and to make things better.

So what I thought we might talk about today, if it’s okay with you is you’ve probably been told that heading into your first Christmas. And I recall my very first Christmas, when my relationship broke up, our relationship broke up in November. So what, six weeks later? I think it may have been maybe eight weeks later when it was Christmas.

It was so raw because what I did, and this might be what you do is all of a sudden, all I could do was recall all of the good. Our relationship broke down because of the bad and the things that neither of us could repair. 

Here I was, watching my children unwrap their presents. 

That has been the family tradition; we go to my mums, the siblings and the grandkids. And every morning for my family is the most essential part. We all have breakfast together. We all unwrap our presents. We tell stories about previous Christmases or whatever’s happening throughout the year.

And that brings us together, sort of like the glue for the following year. And then after we have breakfast, everyone goes off their separate ways to do whatever they need to do. 

It’s been that way since I was a, I was gonna say since I was a child, it’s been that way forever. I’ve never known anything different either have my children or my brothers.

It’s just how it is. So the year that my relationship broke up, I was watching my children unwrap their presents, and I had this void, and I remember watching them and rather than feeling happy, I felt so sad. I found myself watching them with tears rolling down my face. I don’t even know where they came from.

They were all of a sudden just there. What I did was I was recalling all of the good I was remembering when their father was at the Christmas with us when we were a happy family, where all of those things that I thought we were striving for, but here we were. And I believe, to be honest, I actually felt a little bit sorry for my ex-husband, because he’d also been part of my family.

He’d been part of every one of my Christmases as an adult because I’d met him as a 19-year-old. So for 22 years, he’d been at our Christmas morning, and he wasn’t there this year. There was so much coming up for me, but the exciting thing, if I could just share with you, what you might go through is the exciting thing is. I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but when a person passes away, in many cases, when people then talk about that person, they talk about all of the good things they did.

It’s improbable that someone will ever say, Oh no, that person was really nasty. Or they were a pig, or they were such and such. In most cases, when someone tells a story about someone that’s passed away, they talk about all the fun times, all the good times, all the things that that person did, because if you’re anything like me, I was bought up to say, don’t ever talk ill of the dead.

What I’m trying to illustrate is our relationship. Is probably something very similar. So all of a sudden, we’re dealing with the death of what we thought our relationship would be like right. Where we were dealing with the end of all of those expectations.

And, um, even, I don’t know, maybe the romantic family that we thought that we were going to build. So on that Christmas morning, I remember standing there. With the tears rolling down my face. And all of the sadness that I felt throughout the year. I was recalling all of the good, just like the death of someone in your family.

Like I was recalling all of the good things my marriage was, but here’s the thing. The true meaning of Christmas is love. And I had felt not loved in my relationship for such a long period that I had to do something to change the way I felt. But Christmas morning, all it did. It just brought everything crashing down.

For me, it was a catalyst of everyone else having fun, a representation of having fun around me and me feeling isolated. So it compounded the pine that I’d been feeling for probably a few years. And I also think the other thing that may have happened when I looked back, but I think I was also sad about the fact maybe it had taken me longer than it should have. Perhaps I should have done something a lot earlier, but we can’t go back. Right? It is what it is the reality of your situation. And the truth of my position is precisely that. So how do we deal with it? Because if I can teach you one thing, it would be that yes, you probably are going to feel a little bit low.

You probably are going to feel a little bit sad, but it doesn’t mean it has to be wrong. It can just be the mourning of whatever traditions your family have in place. So you could have a tradition in your family that you just don’t want to be part of because something’s missing or it reminds you of something that happened previously.

But here’s the thing we need to start making new traditions. And the other something like I, before I said, the meaning of Christmas is love. And in previous episodes, I am so big on talking about the fact you need to love yourself. You deserve to be loved. And if you’re not being loved by the person you’re in a relationship with, in many cases, it’s because you don’t love yourself.

When we love ourselves, we put boundaries in place. And when we’ve got limits in place, the people around us respect us, and they then treat us how we deserve to be treated. So if we’re looking at the meaning of Christmas being love, how about 2021 is the year that you love yourself, that you do all of those things and put the boundaries in place.

Maybe you find the time to put yourself first. To do what needs to be done, to ask yourself the questions that you haven’t had time to even consider. You’ve put everyone else before you for so long that you’ve made this decision to move on, or you found yourself in a position where you have no choice but to move on.

And now is the time to really consider what you want. So this Christmas, I don’t want it to be sad for you, but I want to try and give you some tools if I possibly can to help you get through it. What I’m finding with a lot of my clients, especially if you have got dependent children, a lot of the arguments are coming about the access to the children. And both sides want to have a particular time with the kids. And it is essential that if we’re talking about love, just as long as it’s safe, that you share the time. So children can get to see both parents. They get to spend love and affection with other family members.

It’s essential for the kids. It’s crucial for their celebration. They need to know that year after year from this stage forth, things are going to be okay. But if your ex is trying to trigger you into an argument or causing issues right now, the reason they’re trying to trigger you is they might be feeling what I talked about at the start of the podcast.  They are hurting. And the only way they can actually illustrate their hurt is by hurting you back. In many conversations I’ve had with clients, you don’t need to be triggered; it’s up to you, whether you are triggered or not. It’s how you are interpreting what they are saying.

And it’s how you respond to what they’re saying. That’s going to fix, or it’s going to cause an issue. So if what they’re saying is trying to upset you or trigger, you just don’t let it because if they can’t get a response from you, they’ll just go away. Still, if they do get a response and they know that they’re going to say something and it’s always going to upset you, I promise you they’re going to keep doing it time and time again. Because they’re getting a need met by triggering you.

Hopefully, that makes sense. But I watch this all the time. And then what stories are you telling yourself about Christmas? Like I explained to you at the start, the stories I was telling myself about Christmas. Is that we’ve all got to be together on Christmas morning. And because my ex-husband wasn’t there, I felt like something was missing in the room.

And all I could recall was all the good Christmases, and I’ll be honest. Most of our Christmases were good. If my ex-husband and I ever did have an issue, it was never ever on Christmas day, it was a day that we would always put everything aside and make things happy because we were giving to everyone else.

We would both be giving, worrying about everyone else’s happiness. Worrying what, rather than him and I, worry about each other. And that’s what a lot of relationships do before. When I just spoke about the fact that if you don’t love yourself, and you put everyone else before yourself. You’re ignoring the underlying issues. But every year, no matter whether it’s a COVID year or just a non-COVID year at this stage, everyone is exhausted. If you work a full-time job, you’re tired. If you’re running around getting presents and things like that for your family member or family members, you’re exhausted because it all just becomes a catalyst. It becomes a volcano of emotions, of tiredness, of stress, of alcohol, of food, of everything.

So add-in on top of that, what you’re going through, and no matter who you are, how good you think you’re doing, you will probably have moments of sorrow, and that’s okay. It’s all okay because you’re mourning it and that’s okay. It’s healthy to grieve what you no longer have. So don’t be hard on yourself. I want you to enjoy Christmas. I want you to enjoy the things that mean so much to you. You can celebrate the good memories. You can celebrate your children and how well they’re doing. You can celebrate you. You can celebrate your strength. 

Something that I’ve been doing for a while now, and I’ve, I think I talked about it last week or the week before is what I have termed Opposite Day. And Opposite Day is the most inspiring thing I could ever have come up with.

So what I find is that when things don’t seem to be going well, it’s how we are interpreting them. So, if you feel like you’re struggling, how about giving it a go? How about thinking about the opposite? Let’s just give it a practice. So let’s say you get up on Christmas morning and all of a sudden you feel lonely lift out, hurt, maybe it’s none of those things. What if it was that you were loved and people in your family thought probably you just need time. They don’t want to interrupt you. They want to give you space. So they’re not doing it to be mean or nasty. They’re doing it because they actually love and care about you.

What would that look like? What happens if your ex actually does not know how to communicate with you? They don’t know this is uncharted waters. Do I send a text message wishing Merry Christmas, or do I not do anything? What should I do? How should I react? This is all so new. 

When you’re going through the day, maybe when you’re feeling something, turn it around. Think of the opposite and then consider to yourself what actually could this be?

Maybe I’m interpreting it to mean X, Y, and Z, where actually it means A, B and C. Because your feelings follow your thoughts. And when you feel something, it’s easy to really go downhill quite quickly. It could just be for you a celebration that you’re going to be okay, that you got through this year, you can survive it.

You’re healthy. Your kids are healthy, your family’s healthy, and you’ve got a few days off, and you’re going to consider what it is that you want for next year. 

You might even fall back in love with yourself, and that’s the best thing you can do. Please, please, please. If nothing else, take some time to find out what it is that you want.

What do you need? Because when you know those things, you can then communicate that with other people. But in many cases, you don’t know the answers to those questions. And because of that, you feel the way you do. And then what we do is we blame it on other people. It’s actually not anyone else’s issue it’s ours because we don’t know the answers to the questions.

So that they’re my darling friends is your gift from may for Christmas 2020. I want you to spend some time, and I want you to ask yourself what it is that you want. How do you need to feel, and find some time to love you? Because when you love you, everything else, everything else falls into place. So from all of us here at divorce angel, that’s all my team, we wish you a very Merry Christmas. And I can tell you for sure 2021 will be better because you will be so much better because you will have understood what it is that you want and need. And then I can teach you the tools to go out and absolutely have a fantastic future.

So have a great day, have a great week, and I’ll talk to you next week. Bye. For now.

 

 

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