Sunday, June 24, 2018
News Roundup

The holiday season becomes the hurtful season

Happiness fills the holidays for most couples, but sometimes the quest for peace and goodwill goes awry.

In striving to be the perfect Santa, some parents end up with an unexpected box of agitation. The financial strains that come in this economy only heighten when mom and dad stretch their dollars.

Other lingering problems also rise to the surface. Free time away from work can mean tension time at home.

Sometimes the stress grows when you load up the kids to go over the river and through the woods to grandma's house. Dad threatens to pull the car over if they don't stop fighting in the back seat. Then mom admonishes dad.

The well-meaning relatives don't help: You guys were fighting last year. Why are you still together?

Soon, Joy To The World gives way to joyless assessments. Husbands and wives come to the sad realization that Frosty the Snowman is no match for a frosty relationship. An annual assessment comes with the new year and some decide the best resolution is a dissolution.

It's all too familiar for family law attorneys, who will tell you January always brings an increase in divorce filings. Business swells the first Monday kids go back to school.

"People decide they don't want to start the year doing what they did last year," said Ingrid Hooglander, a Brandon attorney who has practiced family law for 11 years. "It's, 'I'm not spending another Christmas with this person.' They want to do something new and if that means walking away from their spouse that's what they do."

• • •

Mark Moon, another family law attorney in Brandon, said there is a definite correlation between the holidays, which can be a crucible, and the desire to act on New Year's resolutions.

"They want the kids to remember the holidays with fond memories," Moon said. "If all they remember is a Christmas of mom and dad fighting, it causes them to re-evaluate. 'What am I really doing here? Is this in the best interests of children?' "

Of course, making such a life-altering decision with recently frayed holiday nerves requires careful consideration. Moon says he goes through an extensive process of educating the potential client about Florida divorce law, exploring how they will deal with the mental aspects of turning their lives inside-out and, finally, inquiring if it's a necessary step because of domestic abuse.

Hooglander noted that she encourages counseling and establishing certainty because once a spouse begins the process, reconciliation grows increasingly difficult.

"You can't unring the bell and it breaks a lot of trust once you start going down this path," Hooglander said.

James Messina, a licensed psychologist and marriage counselor in Tampa, cautioned that over-inflated expectations for the season can result in holiday blues.

"It's probably not the best time to make any decision," Messina said. "You have to say, 'Slow it down. (Revisit) this in six months.' "

Messina added that some couples spend more time communicating during the holidays and that's why they decide to break up. He suggests spending time talking outside of the holidays.

It's good advice, but I suspect this trend won't slow. I'm saddened that the season of joy can turn into the winter of discontent. It may be for the best, but before taking that giant leap, step back and reflect. Be sure.

After all, it's supposed to be a time of hope.

That's all I'm saying.

Comments
Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG — With all that's been said, tweeted, ranted and written on these pages and elsewhere about the Rays' odd, unorthodox, weird and some days downright wacky pitching plan, this might be the craziest thing yet:It's working.Like, rea...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and discrepancies about the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that has led to his upcoming three-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy.The Bucs won't ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

It's rare to see an NHL draft pick with Tampa Bay ties, but the Jets used a third-round pick Saturday on center Nathan Smith, 19, who played for Mitchell High School in Trinity and most recently for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL.Smith was ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Despite limited salary-cap room, the Lightning is among at least five teams expected to talk with Islanders All-Star center John Tavares, who can be a free agent July 1, when the courting period begins Sunday, ESPN reported.Tavares also is expected t...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Strangers are coming together to honor two killed in Bayshore crash

TAMPA — John Reisinger has seen miracles since his niece and 21-month-old grand-niece were killed while trying to cross Bayshore Boulevard 30 days ago. Some, he says, are too painful to talk about. Others he’s still trying to make sense of, such as h...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

ST. PETERSBURG — The key to SS Willy Adames rapping two of the biggest hits in the Rays' 4-0 win Saturday actually took place the night before.An RBI single that snapped an 0-for-12 and a second hit two winnings later in Friday's game restored ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Even without a first-round pick, the Lightning wrapped up its draft with seven picks Saturday, starting with Gabriel Fortier, an undersized 18-year-old forward from Quebec in the second round."They were guys that we really wanted," Lightning director...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

INF Daniel Robertson has only played two games after a short DL stint, but it seems like he has already made a half dozen great plays. Willy Adames and Jake Bauers get the attention, but Robertson has the skills to steal the show any night.It is obvi...
Updated: 12 hours ago