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Family Navigation

Let’s face it, when you have family surrounding you during and post-divorce, it's wise to ensure they're supportive and NOT getting out of line. This is your life and your situation, not theirs.

But families are complicated, and depending on how many siblings, parents, step-parents, grandparents, cousins, etc., you surround yourself with, everyone has an opinion, and few of them have filters when it comes to adding their two cents worth.

How often have I heard “hear me out” from loving family members who have listened to my stories and either immediately commented or thought about it? At least 100. And whether they tell you what they believe in the moment or later on, trust me, they WILL voice their opinion. Whether you agree with their comments, here's the deal: Stick to your standards and your comfort level.

And as we enter the holiday season - hallelujah to those who can jet off somewhere family-free! - most of us will face family members, those who are supportive and those who are not. Take some time beforehand to think about how you will handle unwanted opinions of your current situation when you're all together.

It’s easy to fly off the handle when people tell you crap you don't want to hear, but bite your lip, keep your cool and focus on what's best for everyone. You'll thank yourself after it's all said and done.

Here are a few things you can say to help you through these times. My advice: memorize them!

“I appreciate your concern, and I hear you."

“We want to keep this part of our divorce private."

“I know you love me and want the best; thank you for being here."

If someone shames your ex: “I understand your concerns about (insert name); however, we're working together to do what's best for everyone."

“Though this is difficult for everyone to understand, we know you care and love us, which I really appreciate.”

“I want to enjoy the holidays, and I’m taking it daily. I want to enjoy this time with the family rather than talk about the details of my divorce.”

“Thank you for being here for me, but I'd rather not discuss the past right now.”

Then turn it around and ask about THEM. Redirection works wonders!

Remember to hang tough because everyone has an opinion, and you must ensure that while they may have good intentions, you create boundaries when discussing your situation. For Pete's sake, it's your life, not theirs.

OK, that stated, I wanna know your favorite: Traditional turkey with all the trimmings or made-from-scratch, 5-layer lasagna?!


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