Hello! I’m sitting down to write this just a couple of days after Christmas and a few days before New Year’s Eve. That weird time where we forget what day it is if we don’t look at a calendar.
I also know it’s a very uncomfortable time if you’re considering divorce. So many emotions as you work through the holidays. Thoughts vary from “This could be the last time I spend Christmas with my spouse’s family” to “What will Christmas morning look like next year if I move forward with filing?” to “This is so stressful and I can’t get out of here fast enough!”
You may be excited for the changes, sad about what’s to come, angry that you’ve been forced to make this decision but more likely all of those emotions! The holidays bring added stress even in the best of marriages, but add hurt feelings, being ignored, gaslighting and arguments it’s enough to make someone feel crazy.
Isn’t it interesting that we often don’t want to leave our marriages so we don’t feel lonely but yet being in a dysfunctional, toxic marriage is one of the loneliest places to be? If you’re having those feelings, believe me, I COMPLETELY understand. I’ve had those feelings too. Especially with social media where we see everyone else’s ‘highlight reel’ of their ‘perfect’ lives.
If you’re not sure what to do about your marriage, I always encourage people to look ahead. Ask their future self what they need. Sound too “woo-woo-ey”? Let me explain.
You want to do a Future Self Meditation. I walk clients through it in my course in greater detail but I’ll explain the basics here. You want to picture your IDEAL self ahead a number of years. You pick. Depending on your age it could be 5 years if you’re older or 30 years if you’re younger. Where are you? What kind of home do you have? Does anyone share the space with you (Human or furry!) What type of clothes do you wear and how do you decorate your space? What are your hobbies and do you work?
Now, that is a VERY brief version of this but what you want to do next is ask your future self, either writing this or meditation on this, what he or she needs you to do NOW to get there. Do they need you to find your strength to move forward with divorce? Do they need you to give marriage counseling a chance? Do they need you to get individual therapy or perhaps some medication? Do you need to have that tough conversation with your spouse with specific boundaries/expectations in order to consider staying married?
I practice this from time to time when I meet a crossroads and it has been very effective in guiding me. Let me know if you try and how it works from you! If you get stuck, I work with my 1:1 clients with this and also like I mentioned before my course offers a much more detailed version.
Wishing you all the best and sending lots of strength and love through the New Year.
About Katie VAndenBerg
Katie makes her life surrounded by river valleys and surprisingly beautiful cornfields. Her days are spent helping her divorce clients, working with her tenants, spending time on her pottery wheel and loving her family.