There is a stereotype in our North American Society that everyone should be happy and joyous during the Holiday Season. Unfortunately, this is often not the case for many people. The extra stresses during this time of year can often bring negative emotions to the forefront. If you are feeling extra stressed or depressed during this holiday season; step back and ask yourself why. Are the stresses coming from inside you, or are they external to you and beyond your control. The Public Health Agency of Canada has published a helpful article entitled Managing Holiday Stress http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/stress-eng.php which lists signs of depression and suggestions to cope with these holiday stresses.
When stresses and tensions are high in a relationship, reason and good judgment are sometimes overlooked. In some situations, before initiating separation proceedings, individual and couples counselling can be of benefit, even if you feel that it is inevitable that separation will occur. When issues are discussed openly, resentments and misunderstandings can be minimized. Often when emotions are taken out of the equation, the negotiation of a fair separation agreement for both parties is more easily achieved. Speak to your family doctor to discuss if counselling is appropriate for your family situation.
A note of caution! Violence should never be tolerated. If you are experiencing external stress, specifically a partner who is physically or emotionally violent to you and/or your child or who is abusing drugs and/or alcohol, DO NOT remain in an unsafe environment, EVEN if it is the holidays. In Nova Scotia there are many supports available, such as the Nova Scotia Domestic Violence Resource Centre http://www.nsdomesticviolence.ca/ and Transition House Association of Nova Scotia http://thans.ca/.
I have counselled and represented many clients who have come to me after the holidays wanting to discuss separation. While holidays are clearly not the “cause” of marital problems, the added expectations of the Christmas Season can greatly affect the quality of your holiday. At Highlander Law Group, we can help. If you are considering separation, we are here to counsel and guide you in making decisions that are right for you and your family; either to direct you to the appropriate resources, if you are not ready to separate, or to assist you in the legal process that is required in your given situation.
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