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Marriage Stress during the Holiday Season

Marriage Stress during the Holiday Season

By: Staci Lee Schnell, M.S.,C.S.,LMFT

December 3, 2015

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Marriage Stress during the Holiday Season

The holidays are supposed to be a happy time, but many couples report that they actually end up arguing with their significant others more during the holidays. The pressures of hosting family gatherings, attending holiday parties, buying gifts in addition to our normal everyday life responsibilities can be very stressful. Couples may end up arguing more during the holidays because of these stresses.

Here are some tips for couples on getting through the holidays:

  1. Be understanding of your own or your partner’s stressors and talk about them. That way you both know what’s going on and can support one another.
  2. Be supportive of your partner when he or she is having a hard time.
  3. Have a plan for holiday gatherings. Discuss possible uncomfortable scenarios and prepare an exit strategy.
  4. Avoid drinking heavily; alcohol inhibits decision-making and can lead to more conflicts.
  5. Divide the season’s tasks: preparation for events, dinners, decorating, shopping, and wrapping.
  6. Remember: you’re both stressed out.

Making your relationship a priority this time of year is important, and can help alleviate these stresses. Taking time for each other and nurturing your relationship daily is key. Connecting during the holidays might be a challenge, but with a little bit of planning and effort, you can have fun as a couple and nourish your relationship.

Examples:

  1. Cook together
  2. Run errands together
  3. Spend travel time talking
  4. Go for walks
  5. Have fun
  6. Take time to be intimate.

Seeing a Marriage and Family Therapist during the holiday season can help couples communicate about their stresses and needs, in order to keep holiday arguments to a minimum.

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