The Pros & Cons to Spending the Holiday With Your Ex

fork knife napkinThanksgiving is just about here and while it has always been one of my favorite holidays because I love to stuff my face with stuffing and sweet potatoes and put gravy on everything, I'm dreading it this year. It's the first big family holiday where my husband is no longer my husband but he's the ex. Yet he's still the father of our children, who of course want to spend Thanksgiving with mommy and daddy together making nice nice over the cranberry sauce. So we decided to have turkey day together. At my parents house.

I'm starting to re-think this decision, but it's too late. It's happening. There are certainly pros and cons to spending the holiday with your ex.


The list of pros:

  • Kids aren't shuffled from one home to the other.
  • My ex would have had Thanksgiving alone since his family is all spread out and plane rides away.
  • The kids enjoy when mom and dad are getting along. We have the Halloween experience to prove it.
  • It seems right. Adult. Mature. We can put whatever aside so we can be a family and be thankful for what we do have. Heck, maybe it will help us deal with the whole situation better as well.

The list of cons:

  • It may bring up some emotions that are hard to deal with. The being together -- the memories of happy Thanksgivings when our marriage seemed strong.
  • We might argue.
  • An argument would make everyone feel awkward. Sad. Upset.
  • I might feel like I have to put on my happy face and then it would make me feel fake and I really dislike feeling like that.
  • Is it confusing the kids to see mommy and daddy getting along and make them wonder why we can't just be together?
  • What if we decide next year it's just not doable and the kids come to expect it? Are we setting them up for a letdown?
  • Um ... awkward.

I realize the list of cons is longer, but the pros carry greater weight. It's not all about me, nor is it about my ex, or us as a couple ... what was us. It's about being thankful for what we have. We have two amazing kids and fantastic grandparents who are willing to deal with any weird so we can all be together as a family and share a meal. We can share a meal together. It would be awful if we couldn't. And while dealing with the reality of the divorce is new and settling into this new normal is ongoing, dealing with any awkwardness and making it a great day for our kids is the most important thing. Right? I think so. Wish us luck. 

Would you celebrate the holidays with your ex? How do you deal with divorce and the holidays? Share your insight/wisdom. 


Image via nSeika/ Flickr

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