The ethical dilemma can be a challenge: if we split up before Christmas, what will happen to all the Christmas parties or to the kids? We don’t want to dampen their spirits. And if we postpone the separation to January, will we be able to play happy couple? Even if we are good actors, adults are hard to fool and sooner or later they will know or at least guess.
“Some will prefer sweeping under the rug, but as soon as they will shake things up a little, it will come out” says Jean-Claude Lasry, psychologist and couple specialist.
However, the psychologist does not recommend systematically waiting until after Christmas to separate officially and definitively. “To me, the most important issues concern the children, not the moment”.
Separating before Christmas
The couple who had issues for months or even years and who argue a lot are already stressing the children and disrupting their little happiness. Why would 15 days relieve the children of their stress?
If so, the couple will choose to split up before Christmas: the decision concerning the planning will obviously depend on the importance given to their Christmas celebrations. “Obviously, if the couple decides to separate before Christmas, the ex-spouses cannot act like everything is as usual…” says Mr. Lasry.
We can still try to make Christmas an enjoyable moment for the whole family by celebrating, for example, Christmas Eve with one family and Christmas with the other so that children can share their happiness with all the ones they love.
This kind of arrangement could be unthinkable if the rupture was caused by adultery. A women whose husband cheated (or vice and versa) will not want to spend time with the other. It this case, it is best to split up before Christmas.
The spouse who has been hurt could still allow the mother or father of his children to come home for Christmas… for the children’s best interests, says Mr. Lasry.
Separating after Christmas
Whether we decide to split up before or after Christmas, both spouses must always remember that they are parents, says the psychologist. “Of course if the issues have been there for a long time, it won’t cost them much to act out during the holidays so that the family can celebrate together”.
Obviously, if we choose this scenario, we will need a lot of finesse and tact to avoid messing everything up and both will have to concede a bit and hide the tension. After all, it is a time to share and be happy!
Are there more bachelors and bachelorettes after Christmas?
Even if we could think that the holidays and the beginning of a new year could lead a lot of couples to split up, the psychologist we met did not see it in his practice. “I see two moments when separations increase: the beginning of spring and the months of September and October”, he says.
Still, are singles looking for love more than usual during that period? We asked the Director of products at Reseau Contact. She says that the busiest time of the year is between mid-autumn and the end of the holidays. “During the Christmas parties, people wonder why they are STILL single, they find it hard to see other people in love and if it urges them to find someone. And they don’t go out as much (after spending a lot for the holiday).” says Caroline Goineau.