Surviving Holiday Breakups

Dec. 9, —, 2005 -- 'Tis the season for breaking up, especially in Hollywood.

"It's been a very depressing week in Hollywood," said Alyssa Shelasky, a senior reporter at Us Weekly. "I can't think of a time in the last few years that there's been this many breakups in one week. But not just breakups -- breakups of Hollywood's happiest couples."

Nicole Richie won't be settling down to a simple life with her fiancé of less than a year, Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein. Christina Applegate and Jonathan Schaech's marriage of four years has ended. And rocker Eddie Van Halen and actress Valerie Bertinelli just split after 24 years.

Maybe the "newlyweds" started this trend when Jessica Simpson told Nick Lachey to hit the road right before Thanksgiving.

Whether you're a celebrity or a civilian, holidays are a prime time for breakups.

"I think it's because the holidays mark the passage of time," said Bethany Marshall, a psychoanalyst who specializes in relationship issues. "People who are in bad relationships say: 'Do I really want to spend one more year with this person?' "

Also, people who are "sport dating" may balk at the commitments that accompany the holiday season, Marshall said.

"It's a greater investment of time, energy, money and love," she said.

For many different reasons, some relationships just won't make it through the holidays.

"The holidays are like a litmus test; they expose what's really there in a relationship," Marshall said.

For those who are going through a breakup, Marshall offers the following tips.

Use the "Grieving Mantra." Keep telling yourself: "Why would I want to be with someone who cannot love me as I deserve to be loved?" This will let you grieve for what you have lost. Don't fall prey to thinking: "What's wrong with me that you broke up with me?" That will make you feel depressed.

Nurture yourself. You had invested a lot in the relationship. Now it's time to reinvest in yourself. Find your "happy place." That might mean going to the spa!

Reach out. Make the world an interesting place for yourself. Fill your life with meaning.