During the holiday season, it’s natural to see and talk with outside family members more often. It’s uncomfortable to see your ex-spouse or former in-laws if communication is strained. When possible, commit to do your part to be friendly and easy to get along with.
When deciding on the visitation schedule, be willing to make sacrifices to fit everyone’s schedule. Offer alternatives for special dates and activities.
Recognize that Thanksgiving and Christmas can be celebrated on alternate days and still be a memorable day. We have exchanged Christmas gifts before and after December 25th many years to allow everyone to be together and still celebrated a special day.
Try to be fair to all parties involved. Separate old marital issues from parenting issues and examine your heart for resentment or bitterness that might be keeping you from friendly interaction.
I wish I could say that I communicate easily with my ex-husband since it has been almost 20 years since our divorce, but that is not the case. I have to consciously work at being friendly and treating him fairly when I talk to him.
If conversations become difficult, shield the children from being involved. It is not always possible to have healthy interaction when the other party is volatile or overly sensitive, but the children should not be subjected to conflict with their other parent.
It may be necessary to resort to e-mail or texting to communicate. But we can do our part to try to be at peace with those we come in contact with and protect our children from being pulled between two people they love.
Holidays will be enjoyed more when our conversations are free of conflict. There may be bumps along the way, but it helps when we make a conscious effort to get along with those around us.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18)
Will you make an extra effort to be agreeable with others through the holiday season?