Life After Divorce

How To Take That Post-Divorce Awkwardness Out Of Special Occasions

Family celebrating one of many post-divorce special occasions.

What do you do about special occasions like birthdays when you get divorced?

Let’s take a look at this question from a couple of different angles. First, let’s see what you can expect to be different. Next, let’s dig into the question of which ones you should still celebrate. Finally, let’s talk about how you celebrate these occasions.

So, what can you expect to be different about birthdays when you are separated and divorced? Most likely, you’ll celebrate fewer of your former in-law’s birthdays than when you were married. It’s also common that former spouses no longer celebrate each other’s birthdays. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, former spouses will still contact each other on their birthdays. This is especially common when they have children together. You can expect that the way you’ll celebrate these occasions will change too.

Let’s dig into the question of which birthdays make sense for you to continue to celebrate when you’re separated and divorced. Many people have positive, healthy relationships with former in-laws and continue to celebrate birthdays with them. Notice the phrase, “positive, healthy relationships”. I don’t condone continuing to send your former mother-in-law a birthday card because you feel guilty or because you’re hoping that she’ll…

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Life Is What’s Happening Now

Time is one of those concepts that we all get, but is difficult to define. It’s a marker that allows us to separate past, present, and future.

Why bother discussing time? Because, I agree with Alan Lakein who is credited with saying, “Time = Life, therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.”

When we go through divorce, it’s so very, very, very easy to get caught up in either the past or the future instead of being here, now.

We can get caught up in the past by thinking things like, “If only s/he would have told me they weren’t happy, I know we wouldn’t be getting divorced now.” We might even think things like, “I knew before I got married that I shouldn’t marry him/her.” This was one of the thoughts that I had when I was going through my divorce. It was the truth, but it didn’t do any good. The fact was that I had gone ahead and gotten married despite what my gut was telling me. Spending time thinking about a decision I had made YEARS ago wasn’t making the situation any better. It wasn’t helping me to deal with what…

Read more: Life Is What’s Happening Now

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Divorce is one of the most painful and complicated things you’ll ever experience.

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