As wonderful as the holiday season is, this time of year is particularly hard on relationships. Nobody likes to talk about it, but statistics show that more breakups, divorces, and infidelities happen around the holiday season than any other time of year. Happy holidays? Not for everyone…
Why are the holidays such a strain on relationships? You already know this – the holidays are a particularly busy and stressful time because:
- We are constantly on the go and rushing around to shop, attend holiday parties and performances, and get our house decorated and cleaned.
- We are often forced to be around difficult people and put in stressful situations.
- We are trying to navigate the expectations that other people put on us during this season.
- We are tired and drained- physically, emotionally and financially.
Worst of all, while all of this is happening, we aren’t getting any quality time with our partner because our hectic schedule has us occupied and pulls us in different directions.
Beware! This is definitely a unique time of year when your relationship is vulnerable.
Here are six tips to keep your relationship healthy during the holidays.
- Be intentional. Make your relationship a priority and protect it. If you have to, schedule time to be together and talk.
- You are a team. Don’t let kids, in-laws, extended family, or anyone else pit you against each other or pull you in opposite directions.
- Learn to say “No.” So much holiday stress comes from trying to meet other people’s expectations. You don’t have to do everything.
- Break traditions. Traditions are meant to bring people closer together. If a particular tradition causes arguments and stress, maybe it’s time to let that tradition go.
- Compare and despair. Resist the impulse to compare your holiday experiences with other people’s. Social media lets us look in on other people’s parties, decorations and presents. Don’t compare, because what you are seeing isn’t reality anyway.
- Communicate! Be honest about your needs and your stress levels. Have conversations about holiday spending, visits, and parties. Get on the same page before it becomes an argument.
In all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, remember what really matters – your relationship with the people you love. Happy holidays!