RAK: Christmas and the Ex

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
Charles Dickens

Divorce, no matter how amicable, is never a fun thing.  Anyone that has gone through a divorce, dissolution, separation, breakup, etc. knows that no matter how many benefits on either side there will always be feelings of pain and loss.  Time does heal all wounds but I truly believe that real healing starts within yourself.  New Years supposed to be about letting go of the past to start anew. Christmas, or your respective or related holiday, is supposed to be about giving without thought of reward, expectation of reciprocation.

So what do you do about the ex-spouse the first holiday season after your divorce is final?  This is something that I think everyone asks themselves post-divorce.  No matter how healthy and calm, or bitter and disconnected you two become the question will be asked.  I am especially sure on the negative side the answer is pretty quick.  There is no right or wrong answer to that question.  Some people need their bitterness to help them leave the past in the past and start moving forward.  We all process things differently and there is no instruction manual to the human condition.

The optimist in me will not allow me to hold onto bitter feelings.  Its not who I am or choose to be.  That does not make me better it just makes me different.  For me at least, letting go of the past is also letting go of those bitter feelings of loss, regret, anger, sadness, etc. so I can move forward in my life.

So, what do you get your ex-spouse for a gift if you so choose? You don’t have to give them anything really and if you are the type of person that would get hurt or upset if they do not reciprocate the gift I would tell you not to get anything.  If you can truly be the type of person to give without thought of reward then it is very appropriate to give them a small respectful gift to symbolize the holiday season.  It does not have to be much or intimate, a simple Christmas card, ornament for the tree, or just a simple message of Merry Christmas.

When I mention Christmas card, I mean go to the store buy a card, put it in an envelope with an address and a stamp and mail the damn thing.  That little bit of effort may smooth over any bitterness on the other side, it may not.  The point is you did something a thoughtful act without expectation of reward and showed the human side of you to someone that you were, at one point, connected to.  Sometimes the biggest Random Acts of Kindness are the ones that are hardest to give.

If you receive a thank you text message at most consider that your return gift that you didn’t have to receive. Be appreciative of that thank you,  Your Ex is dealing with their own issues in their own way and may not be ready let things go or be ready to receive the thoughtless gesture.  Depending on the damage done in the relationship they may not trust that it was a thoughtless gesture.

If trust is an issue for you, and or your ex then whatever you do, Never mention whatever you did.  Your gesture should come without strings attached or it will cause further hurt feelings.  If children are involved you should make this a serious consideration before you make any kind of gesture.  Be honest with yourself.  If you cannot give without expectation of receiving anything then you should not give.  It may only make your situation worse.

Did you give anything to your ex? If so, what?  I’d love to hear about it.

 

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