After 6 months of desperately trying to save my 18-year marriage, Valentine’s Day 2007 I knew as sure as I knew I hadn’t bothered to shave my legs that my marriage was over. I remember vividly sitting cross legged on our bed together as he presented me with an emerald and diamond ring. As I slipped it on my right hand, I was struck with absolute clarity that nothing would ever be the same again. I looked up at him with tears in my eyes and said “It’s really over isn’t it?” There was a too-long silence and he looked back at me with a tear in his eye and said, “Yes, I think it is.” Three weeks later I was moving into my new house.
While it wasn’t the Valentine’s Day memory I wanted to hold onto forever, I also knew that I would never be willing to spend another Valentine’s Day lying to myself about the state of my marriage. I’ve spoken to many women who have been in the phase of trying to save a marriage when February 14th arrives and unfortunately there’s nothing like a lousy Valentine’s Day to push you right over the edge if you’re considering divorce.
What’s even worse is when Valentine’s Day approaches when you’ve already begun the divorce process. The last thing you need as you struggle to get through every single day is the celebration of love is being thrown in your face every time you start to feel ok.
Here are a 3 ways to cope with divorce on Valentine’s Day:
- Recognize the day for what it really is about – It’s a day to celebrate your love for other people. It doesn’t have to be romantic. Think about all those friends and family that are supporting you and helping you through the process of your divorce and find a way to celebrate and recognize them. Plan an outing where you can all get together and celebrate friendships. If that’s not possible because they are spending it with a significant other, then consider having a self-appreciation Valentines day all your own!
For women plan a candlelight bath with rose water bubbles, a massage with exotic oils and a mani-pedi with that extra expensive big-toe design. For you gentlemen, why not turn it into a road trip on your favorite motorcycle or car? If cars aren’t your thing, perhaps a sunset hike at a nearby Mountain Preserve. Take the opportunity to spend some time getting closer to your own spirit. If you have children, it’s a great time to shower them with Valentine’s Day appreciation! It’s the perfect time to convey to your kids that you really are doing “ok”. They need to know that.
- Just don’t celebrate it – Frankly I’ve always been someone who found the commercialism of Valentine’s Day rather offensive anyway. Now that it’s the anniversary that I asked for a divorce, I have even more reason to just skip it. I’ve become a true believer that when you love someone, every day is a day to show them you how you feel not because someone needs to make money by telling you it’s a requirement. With my new dream husband (yes, there really is life after divorce) occasionally I’ll bring home a heart shaped box of chocolates in May – just because.
- Embrace your anger – If you’re still in the anger phase, feel free to spend your Valentine’s Day in a gym at a kick-boxing class or on a rock climbing wall working out a little of that aggression! At the end of the day, anger deserves as much recognition and even celebration as love! It really is ok to just let yourself be angry – just try to do it without making things worse for yourself or those around you.
Are you considering divorce? If so, please download our complimentary Ebook: 5 Things to Do Before You Decide on Divorce to make sure you have all of your questions answered before you make your decision.