For people who are in the midst of divorce, or have recently divorced, Valentine’s Day can be a challenging holiday to go through. After all, it’s a holiday that celebrates love and people who are in love. When love turns sour for people, it’s hard for those people to see Valentine’s Day reminders in places like H-E-B and Target.
But it’s a holiday that celebrates love in all its forms, and it can be helpful to think about that when you’re struggling with the romantic implications that come with Valentine’s Day. If you have younger kids, you know that they’ll likely be trading valentines in class. That ritual is about friendship and about being part of a larger group, and that’s definitely a good, positive thing for your kids to experience.
When you were a child, it’s likely that the first valentine you learned to make was for your mom or dad. If you have children, your parents have special relationships with your children as grandparents. Even if you don’t, Valentine’s Day can be a good day to focus on your parents if you don’t want to think about romance.
And love doesn’t just have to be about people. Over the years, I’ve found my pets to be one of the greatest sources of love I’ve known. Not only do I feel loved when I’m with my pets, but I feel more capable of giving love back.
Small acts of kindness are like greeting people and smiling, or the love I bring into my practice. Love can even be tending to a garden and making the world a little greener and a little better.
It’s important to be positive in the face of Valentine’s reminders. Divorce can be rough emotionally, and there are times in a divorce you might feel like it’s the end of the line for love. But I’ve seen enough divorces up close, and talked to enough people who have emerged from divorce, to know that the hurt doesn’t hurt forever.
Remember that you’ve likely decided to divorce because you believe you’ll be happier out of a marriage than in it. Making that decision is a way of saying that you love yourself and you value your happiness. The more you remind yourself of that, the more you’ll be able to give and receive the love you deserve — no matter what form it takes.