I’m curious as to how other separated couples manage Christmas. If neither of them have ‘moved on’ that is. Like us. I’m bracing myself for a few days of old time togetherness (yep,for the sake of the children) and wondering what uncomfortable, buried feelings will be pushed to the surface and what barely covered wounds might be ripped open once again. It’s been a long time now. You’d think it would be getting easier. It isn’t.
This will be the third Christmas spent with us not being a couple and yet our situation feels as mixed up and messy as ever. The tree is twinkling in the corner, the candles are hiding all the stains on the carpet and making the house look vaguely presentable and if you were observing us over the turkey and stuffing I can predict that you would be forgiven for thinking we were a happy, united family. We’ll probably do a fairly impressive job of pretending to be one for most of the Christmas period and a pleasant time will hopefully be had by all but then what?
Well, in four or five days time we’ll retreat back to our own separate but connected worlds, both wanting different things for the year ahead and both praying that the other will have some kind of seismic shift and finally see sense.
We used to have great Christmases. Cosy, family time is what I love more than anything. Loved. Now, it’s different. The bubbles and Bailey’s might flow on the twenty fifth just like it always did but it won’t lead to cuddles and kisses like before. In our old life. It won’t because it mustn’t.
Damn you, holiday season, for making me wish that life was a little bit more like a Richard Curtis movie and a little bit less like the 1996 Brookside Christmas special.