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It’s December and You Haven’t Told Anyone, Yet

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It’s December and You Haven’t Told Anyone, Yet – Burns Mediation

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It’s December and You Haven’t Told Anyone, Yet

It’s December and You Haven’t Told Anyone, Yet by Melissa Burns

{4:24 minutes to read} The timing of a separation is something to which many couples give a lot of thought, especially around the holidays. It is not uncommon for me to meet with a couple in November or December and have them tell me that they do not wish to begin the process until January. They agree to a “holding pattern” that includes not sharing their decision with friends and family until after the holidays.

I can certainly understand the reasoning behind this: they are worried about the reaction their loved ones will have to the news, and they don’t want to dampen the spirit of the holidays. Perhaps they are worried about a strong reaction from their spouse’s family and want to avoid the potential conflict, or they want to have one last holiday together for their children. Keeping the impending separation a secret, however, can make this last holiday even more emotional and stressful.

Despite these difficulties, I have seen couples navigate the holidays prior to announcing a separation/divorce very successfully. Here are some of the things they have done:

  • Change a few traditions: Some people use this holiday as an opportunity to introduce a subtle change to traditions. This can be helpful in retrospect for family members, who can see that small changes can be embraced, and make larger changes more easily accepted in the next holiday season after the separation/divorce is final. 
  • Share the news with someone who can keep their emotions in check: If you choose not to share the news with everyone, you may find it difficult not to talk about what you are going through. Being able to confide in someone might help relieve some of the anxiety; however, choose someone who you know will be able to support you without making your spouse feel uncomfortable. 
  • Be prepared: You have decided to hold off on sharing the news, so be prepared to “put on a good face” and do a little acting if necessary. Be mindful of your interactions if you don’t want to raise suspicions. 
  • Come up with a plan to “Get to January”: Sometimes, my clients want to meet with me once before they get started, to create a plan for navigating the holidays. It can alleviate some of the stress if each person has a clear understanding of how things will work:

•Do we go as a group to family functions or not?

•How will we pay for any gifts?

•Do we make some small changes or pretend that nothing is different?

•When will we tell our children/family/friends?

What if you decide to go ahead and tell everyone?

Some couples decide to just rip the band-aid off and break the news. Once the news is out in the open, they can show their loved ones that they are still committed to celebrating together as they always have. I have seen this work very well with couples, particularly those who have both accepted the separation and are comfortable with their decision. This can also be reassuring for children, to see that despite the separation, their parents are able to cooperate and share the holidays.

While this may work for some, it will not work for everyone. As part of your “Get to January” plan, you may want to discuss who you will be seeing over the holidays and take the time to think about how it will affect them before deciding when to break the news.

Burns Mediation provides divorce mediation, legal separation, family mediation, and no fault divorce services in New York. Specifically, Burns Mediation prepares separation agreements and parenting agreements for divorcing spouses, as well as helps mediate custody, child support, alimony and spousal support issues in the following county and towns in Upstate New York – ALBANY COUNTY New York – Albany NY 12202, 12203, 12204, 12205, 12206, 12208, 12209, 12210, Alcove NY 12207, Altamont NY 12209, Berne NY 12023, Bethlehem NY 12054, Clarksville NY 12041, Coeymans NY 12045, Coeymans Hollow NY 12046, Cohoes NY 12047, Colonie NY 12205, Delmar NY 12054, East Berne NY 12059, Feura Bush NY 12067, Glenmont NY 12077, Green Island NY 12183, Guilderland NY 12084, Guilderland Center NY 12085, Knox NY 12107, Latham NY 12110, Loudonville NY 12211, McKownville NY 12203, Medusa NY 12120, Menands NY 12204, Newtonville NY 12110, Preston Hollow NY 12469, Ravena NY 12143, Rensselaerville NY 12147, Selkirk NY 12158, Slingerlands NY 12159, South Bethlehem NY 12161, Voorheesville NY 12186, Watervliet NY 12189, Westerlo NY 12193.

Divorce Mediator Dan Burns, Founder of Burns Mediation, provides divorce mediation, legal separation, family mediation, and no fault divorce services in New York. Specifically, Dan Burns prepares separation agreements and parenting agreements for divorcing spouses, as well as helps mediate custody, child support, alimony and spousal support issues in the following county and towns in Upstate New York – COLUMBIA COUNTY New York – Ancram NY 12502, Ancramdale NY 12503, Austerlitz NY 12017, Canaan NY 12029, Chatham NY 12037, Chatham Center NY 12184, Claverack NY 12513, Clermont NY 12526, Columbiaville NY 12050, Copake  NY 12516, Copake Falls NY 12517, Craryville NY 12521, East Chatham NY 12060, Elizaville NY 12523, Germantown NY 12526, Ghent NY 12075, Glenco Mills NY 12541, Greenport NY 12534, Hillsdale NY 12529, Hollowville NY 12530, Hudson NY 12534, Kinderhook NY 12106, Livingston NY 12541, Malden Bridge NY 12115, Martindale NY 12513, Mellenville NY 12544, New Lebanon NY 12125, Niverville NY 12130, North Chatham NY 12132, Old Chatham NY 12136, Philmont NY 12565, Spencertown NY 12165, Red Rock NY 12060, Stockport NY 12534, Stottville NY 12172, Stuyvesant NY 12173, Stuyvesant Falls NY 12174, Valatie NY 12184, West Copake NY 12953, West Taghkanic NY 12502.

Burns Mediation provides divorce mediation, legal separation, family mediation, and no fault divorce services in New York. Specifically, Burns Mediation prepares separation agreements and parenting agreements for divorcing spouses, as well as helps mediate custody, child support, alimony and spousal support issues in the following county and towns in Upstate New York – GREENE COUNTY New York – Acra NY 12405, Ashland NY 12407, Athens NY 12015, Cairo NY 12413, Catskill NY 12414, Climax NY 12042, Cornwallville NY 12418, Coxsackie NY 12051, Durham NY 12422, Earlton NY 12058, East Durham NY 12423, East Jewett NY 12424, Elka Park NY 12427, Freehold NY 12431, Greenport NY 12534, Greenville NY 12083, Haines Falls NY 12436, Hannacroix NY 12087, Hensonville NY 12439, Hunter NY 12422, Jewett NY 12444, Lanesville NY 12450, Leeds NY 12451, Lexington NY 12452, Maplecrest NY 12454, New Baltimore NY 12124, Oak Hill NY 12460, Palenville NY 12463, Prattsville NY 12468, Purling NY 12470, Round Top NY 12473, South Cairo NY 12482, South Westerlo NY 12083, Surprise NY 12176, Tannersville NY 12485, West Coxsackie NY 12192, West Kill NY 12492, Windham NY 12496.

Divorce Mediator Dan Burns, Founder of Burns Mediation, provides divorce mediation, legal separation, family mediation, and no fault divorce services in New York. Specifically, Dan Burns prepares separation agreements and parenting agreements for divorcing spouses, as well as helps mediate custody, child support, alimony and spousal support issues in the following county and towns in Upstate New York – RENSSELAER COUNTY New York – Averill Park NY 12018, Berlin NY 12022, Brainard NY 12024, Brunswick NY 12180, Buskirk NY 12028, Castleton NY 12033, Cherry Plain NY 12040, Cropseyville NY 12052, East Greenbush NY 12061, East Nassau NY 12062, East Schodack NY 12063, Grafton NY 12082, Hoosick NY 12089, Hoosick Falls NY 12090, Johnsonville NY 12094, Melrose NY 12121, Nassau NY 12123, North Greenbush NY 12198, North Hoosick NY 12133, Petersburgh NY 12138, Poestenkill NY 12140, Rensselaer NY 12144, Sand Lake NY 12153, Schaghticoke NY 12154, Schodack Landing NY 12156, South Schodack NY 12033, Stephentown NY 12168, Taconic Lake NY 12138, Troy NY 12180, 12181, 12182, Valley Falls NY 12185, West Sand Lake NY 12196, Wynantskill NY 12198.

Melissa Burns is a divorce mediator with Burns Mediation and provides divorce mediation, legal separation, family mediation, and no fault divorce services in New York. Specifically, Melissa Burns prepares separation agreements and parenting agreements for divorcing spouses, as well as helps mediate custody, child support, alimony and spousal support issues in the following county and towns in Upstate New York – SARATOGA COUNTY New York – Ballston Lake NY 12019, Ballston Spa NY 12020, Burnt Hills NY 12027, Charlton NY 12019, Clifton Park NY 12065, Corinth NY 12822, Day NY 12835, Edinburg NY 12134, Galway NY 12074, Gansevoort NY 12831, Greenfield NY 12833, Hadley NY 12835, Halfmoon NY 12065, Malta NY 12020, Mechanicville NY 12118, Northumberland NY 12831, Providence NY 12850, Round Lake NY 12151, Saratoga Springs NY 12866, Schuylerville NY 12871, South Glens Falls NY 12803, Stillwater NY 12170, Victory Mills NY 12884, Waterford NY 12188, Wilton NY 12831.

Divorce Mediator Dan Burns, Founder of Burns Mediation, provides divorce mediation, legal separation, family mediation, and no fault divorce services in New York. Specifically, Dan Burns prepares separation agreements and parenting agreements for divorcing spouses, as well as helps mediate custody, child support, alimony and spousal support issues in the following county and towns in Upstate New York – SCHENECTADY COUNTY New York – Alplaus NY 12008, Delanson NY 12053, Duanesburg NY 12056, Glenville NY 12302, Niskayuna NY 12309, Pattersonville NY 12137, Quaker Street NY 12141, Rotterdam NY 12306, Rotterdam Junction NY 12150, Schenectady NY 12301, 12303, 12304, 12305, 12306, 12308, Scotia NY 12302.

Divorce Mediator Dan Burns, Founder of Burns Mediation, provides divorce mediation, legal separation, family mediation, and no fault divorce services in New York. Specifically, Dan Burns prepares separation agreements and parenting agreements for divorcing spouses, as well as helps mediate custody, child support, alimony and spousal support issues in the following county and towns in Upstate New York – ULSTER COUNTY New York – Connelly NY 12417, Glasco NY 12432, Hurley NY 12443, Kerhonkson NY 12446, Kingston NY 12401, Malden on Hudson NY 12453, Port Ewen NY 12466, Rosendale NY 12472, Saugerties NY 12477, West Camp NY 12490, West Hurley NY 12491, Woodstock NY 12498.

Melissa Burns is a divorce mediator with Burns Mediation and provides divorce mediation, legal separation, family mediation, and no fault divorce services in New York. Specifically, Melissa Burns prepares separation agreements and parenting agreements for divorcing spouses, as well as helps mediate custody, child support, alimony and spousal support issues in the following county and towns in Upstate New York – WARREN COUNTY New York – Bolton Landing NY 12814, Chestertown NY 12817, Glens Falls NY 12801, 12802, 12804, Hague NY 12836, Horicon NY 12815, Johnsburg NY 12843, Lake George NY 12845, Lake Luzerne NY 12846, Queensbury NY 12804, Stony Creek NY 12878, Warrensburg NY 12885.

 

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