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More often than not, separation and divorce leaves a bitter taste in our mouths. The last thing we want to do, is lavish our ex with gifts. However, the positive energy that emanates from giving something in good faith, might just be what you need to establish a good relationship for the future.
- Whatever the reasons for your breakup, you still share an important part of each other’s history and accepting instead of denying that fact is one of the first steps to healing from the trauma of divorce. Unless you should really never see each other again, you would benefit from a healthy, respectful relationship, which includes acknowledging important dates and events in each other’s lives by means of an appropriate gift, or at the very least, best wishes. Many divorced couples become better friends than spouses.
- If you are a parent, the gesture of gifting to the other parent will teach your children valuable lessons: forgiveness takes away the hurt and anger; resilience allows you to put the past behind you and move forward happily; considerate effort has to be made on a regular basis to maintain good relations and honouring your co-parent’s role in your children’s lives is the right thing to do.
- There are occasions when your children would want to give their other parent a gift, such as birthdays, christmas, father’s day or mother’s day. Depending on the ages of the children, you might have to assist with selecting, purchasing and wrapping the gift and even if they are capable of doing it all by themselves, you might still have to carry the costs.
- Ensure that the gift is appropriate and not too personal, for it might give the wrong impression. Lingerie, flannel pyjamas, perfume, jewellery and intimate items are not a good idea.
- Rely on your past knowledge of interests, hobbies and activities to choose the right kind of gift for your ex-partner, which will be well-received.
- Be mindful of not presenting something that might trigger unpleasant memories for either of you or evoke a brand new argument about an old disagreement best left in the past.
- Practical gifts such as books, electronic items, gadgets, kitchen utensils, plants, flowers, chocolates and tools are neutral and always come in handy.
- Vouchers or gift cards are always an option if you are having a hard time deciding what to get. There is no danger of it being interpreted incorrectly (unless bought at the wrong kind of shop) and allows recipients to choose exactly what they want.
- When you or your ex has a new partner, be careful not to offend either by being overly familiar with a gift which implies irony or a private joke between the two of you.
- Do not break the bank by exceeding a realistic budget. There is no need to offer more than a modest symbol of love and respect.
- Beware not to outshine the new partner with such an extravagant gift they’ll never be able to match or compete with.
- Similarly, afford each child an equal opportunity to obtain a gift of the same magnitude, to avoid sibling rivalry.
- If the gifts are meant to be from the children, ensure that they are age appropriately selected. A five year old presenting a parent with a bottle of whiskey might be frowned upon in some circles.
If you have neither the time nor the inclination to go searching from shop to shop, simplify matters by purchasing something on-line and having it delivered to your own address for convenience or straight to the recipient if necessary.
This article originally appeared on Fair Divorce
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