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Divorced During NYE: Can you actually have a happy new year?

Posted by Joseph Emmerth | Jan 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

The calendar is creeping towards its end; there are no more pages left on the wall.  Snippets of Auld Lange Syne keep drifting out of the radio. You finally figure out which college football teams are playing in which bowl game.  It's New Years, and you're divorced.

The newly divorced can feel ostracized.  They often don't fit in with their married friends and feel like the fifth wheel.  Maybe they actually lost some friends over the divorce and feel alone.  The temptation to be alone is strong.

Don't do it!  Resist the urge to isolate yourself!  Try these tips to supercharge your New Year's season and start the new year off with a bang.

  1. Try to make sure you are fulfilled and socially happy over the holidays.  If you feel you don't fit in with old traditions, then begin some new ones.  Also, don't be afraid to call up friends and make some plans.  Take the initiative, you may be surprised at how many of your friends respond with enthusiasm.  Don't forget it's the quality of the invitations rather than the quantity.  Just because you don't have multiple things scheduled each day, this doesn't mean that no one wants to hang out with you.
  2. Try and choose fun things to do, rather than “obligatory” things.  Try indoor skydiving and see what it's like.  Round up some people and go to an axe-throwing bar.  Take in a midnight showing of some cheesy horror movie from the 70's.  Try something new! Don't feel obligated to do something just because you've fallen into the rut of doing it every year.  Be honest, do you really want to attend the annual Loyal Order of Water Buffalo Christmas Dinner, where 86-year old Glen will regale you with the play-by-play of his recent bunion surgery?  Perhaps not.
  3. Plan for when you don't have the kids.  Unless you're comfortable being alone, make sure you make plans for those evenings your kids are with your ex.  Coordinate with your own family, friends, running or book club buddies, or someone you've been meaning to call. Watch all your favorite Christmas movies.  Volunteer at a shelter. Have some kind of plan.
  4. Get out and enjoy the simple pleasures of the season; a walk in the snow, hot chocolate and Bailey's, a wood burning fire, the smell of the evergreens, a new pair of boots, or throwing snowballs at the neighbor's kids (you do you!)  Winter isn't everyone's favorite season, for sure, but every season has its own charms. You just have to discover them.
  5. Get excited (and organized) about the new year!  Start planning out your upcoming year in advance.  One of the best ways to do this is to start planning your week in advance.  The Art of Manliness ( has a great video on how to approach the subject and begin the habit of planning your week.  Highly recommended!

Thanks for reading my blog posts, and for taking the time to visit my website.  Best wishes to you and yours in the New Year!

About the Author

Joseph Emmerth

Joseph concentrates his practice in divorce matters, post-divorce modifications, parentage matters, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and other men's legal issues. Joseph was voted an Illinois SuperLawyer by his fellow attorneys in 2015, 2016 and 2017.


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