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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

IT’S beginning to look a lot like that time of year when couples fight about their families. The festive season is upon us, with all the high expectations for fun times and sacks of raised hopes of family togetherness. If the prospect of spending holiday time with your partner’s family is about as attractive as shingles, take heart, there are ways to thrive in their difficult territory. I asked one of the best family relationship specialists around, psychologist and best-selling author Harriet Lerner, to help with some tips on how to be your best self under trying festive circumstances.

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I’M NOT going to mince words here. If celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus is your thing, then the first Christmas after your family separates is likely to be bloody awful.

Whether you’re a gentle lover of tinsel or a full-blown Christmas tragic, the first Yuletide in Splitsville is about as much fun as a tequila hangover. If you’re lucky, you’ll get through it without actually dropping your head in the toilet.

And like a hangover, there really is no escaping the pain. Over the years I’ve watched many people try and fail to dodge the hurt of a newly broken Christmas, and when my turn finally came along, I made my own foolish attempts to escape the ghosts of Christmases past.

I tried the runaway Christmas, flying off to my family overseas and the snowy weather and twinkly lights, only to find that of course someone was still missing, and so we were still sad. I tried the pretend-it’s-not-happening Christmas, and spent a miserable day working tragically hard to imagine that Christmas wasn’t all around, and ended up in tears in a park scaring a small child who was wearing reindeer antlers.

It took me a while to get with the new holiday program.

 

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