Wow, the holiday season has arrived already.
For me, it’s a mixture of fun, festivities and full-blown chaos. The holidays can be challenging even for the healthiest marriage.
Here are some tips to get you through the 3 main challenges couples deal with over the holidays.
Fighting over money is one of the top 10 issues of conflict for couples. And the holidays season puts this on overdrive. If you want to have a more enjoyable holiday this year it would help if you sat down together and developed a rock solid holiday budget.
Coming together as a team and deciding how much money to allocate for each gift makes things run much more smoothly.
It can be even more helpful to have a set holiday allotment in your overall yearly budget. That way you won’t be blindsided when the holidays arrive.
Be creative about your gifts. Some families have a grab bag of names they pick out at Thanksgiving. So each person has just one person to shop for in the extended family.
Presents under the tree for the kids are always exciting, but the best present you can give them is your presence. Take the time to decorate as a family or make your favorite holiday cookies together. Maybe make a night of it while watching holiday movies and drinking hot chocolate together. These are the memories that last a lifetime.
This time of year is often crammed with holiday parties, shopping for that perfect gift and garland, garland, garland.The pace can often be stressful and overwhelming and leaves little time to stop and smell the mistletoe.
During this hectic season, it’s important to dial it back a bit and carve out quality alone time with your spouse. This could mean dinner and the movies, a cappuccino at Starbucks, or just walking around the neighborhood together admiring all the lights and glitter.
Just taking this little pause in the hustle and bustle can help bring back the magic of this special season.
Family gatherings can be a time of great joy and an opportunity to make wonderful memories. But they can also be a source of pain and conflict. It’s important to have open communication with your spouse before attending holiday family events to establish the rules of engagement.
What will you do when Uncle Joe gets a little nasty with your spouse when he’s had too much to drink? How will you agree to handle that? Will you have a code word or a hand signal to put your plan into action?
If your mother tends to become hypercritical of your wife’s cooking decide ahead of time together how you might respectfully respond so that your wife feels loved and supported.
Do political debates tend to become too heated? Develop an exit strategy ahead of time so that the discussion doesn’t ruin your evening. Maybe you could steer the conversation to some positive memories that you all share or an uplifting story you read about on Facebook.
This is the time of year to reflect on your blessings and all the ways you can be the loving person you know you really are.
Don’t let all the stresses and upsets let you lose sight of the very heart of the holiday season. (Which is after all...love!)
Are you still struggling in your marriage?
If you would like to talk to me personally about how to have a more passionate and supportive marriage, just click here for more information about how to set up a Discovery Session with me.