How to Survive the Holidays Without Getting Divorced

We all know that no matter what the commercials show, the holidays are stressful -- especially for couples. Instead of joyfully celebrating each other's company, you're just as likely to throttle each other over a battle of "which set of in-laws to visit."

If you're not careful, the holidays can easily tear a marriage apart. Here are some of the signs that your marriage is cracking under that holiday pressure -- and how to fix it.

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Problem #1: When you marry someone, you marry his or her family, too. And at no time is a family more persistent about hosting and visiting than they are around the holidays. Everywhere you turn, someone else wants you to come visit "just for a little bit," until your schedule is so full you have to start adding "bathroom breaks" here and there.

The Solution: Learn to say no. Set limits on what you can and cannot do. You are only two (or more!) people. There's no need to commit yourself to driving halfway across the country and back simply to appease your family. Pick a few things that you can conceivably do and suggest to all of the irate family members that you choose another time -- a less hectic time -- to get together.

Problem #2: There's so much more to be done around the holidays. Cookies to bake. Presents to wrap. House to decorate. Festivity to be had! Stress levels skyrocket as the holidays approach. It's really easy to take out all that bottled-up stress out on your partner.

The Solution: Look at what you HAVE managed to do rather than all that has to be done. Celebrate the things you get done, rather than staring at a mile-long to-do list. Let that stress out somewhere -- take a walk, take a bath, practice deep-breathing. It all WILL be okay. Talk about your feelings with your partner, rather than keeping them bottled up -- your partner may understand exactly how you feel!

What other holiday stress-busting ideas can you suggest?

 

Image via paparutzi/Flickr

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