Q&A: Celebrating holidays together after our separation

Question:

Should my husband and I spend New Year morning together with the children at his parents’ house even though we’ve been separated for four months? Although I’d love to see, I’m afraid this will send them mixed messages about the marital problems they know we’re experiencing. What do you think is the right choice for my children?

Answer: A great deal depends on specific circumstances and the goals and intentions with respect to the future of your marriage.

For instance: Are you actively working on your relationship during this separation? Have you been seeing a counsellor and taking steps to resolve your differences? Are you trying to put the marriage back together? If so, it would probably be a good idea to maintain your family’s holiday traditions and keep the celebration of New Year as normal as possible. Far from sending mixed messages to your children, this will demonstrate unity and solidarity, show them that you’re working together to weather the storm, and give them hope that the family is going to remain intact.

If, on the other hand, you see little hope for reconciliation at this point, then we’d advise you to think twice about accepting your husband’s invitation. Under these circumstances, there’s a very real danger that the celebration your spouse is planning could come across as a bit of insincere play-acting – a phony attempt to assume an appearance of normality. This could prove extremely confusing for the children.

Whatever the situation, we’d strongly encourage you to give our Family Support Services a call at 03-3310 0792 or write to support@family.org.my.

​​© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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