Vacations Can Be a Relationship Killer

Heather Chaet

Kiddo's last day of school was today, we had the little party in the classroom, and all of the moms started talking vacation plans. A week or two to get away from everyday stresses, a change of scenery where you reconnect as a family, especially you and your spouse.

Now, everyone talks a good game, how much they are looking forward to it, but as you email with your mommy friend closer to her estimated time of departure, anyone else detect a bit of stress coming through the computer screen? Whether her husband isn't going to be home until three minutes before she needs to leave for the airport or she is trying to get the stuff for both kids packed in one night, the stress of going on vacation sometimes is more than the vacation itself can cure ... and actually start to get you annoyed at your partner when you weren't really annoyed in the first place.

It makes me wonder if a vacation actually helps or hurts a relationship

The prep to get ready for a vacation -- with the packing, arranging, getting other stuff done before you leave -- can cause trouble and strife between partners if someone feels they are doing the brunt of the work. Even your husband complaining you are bringing too much stuff can kick off an unnecessary battle. Then the stress of getting there ... flying, driving, whatever ... can make any happy couple turn, ahem, not so happy. I mean, who hasn't seen at least four different couples fighting just while checking in their baggage curb-side.

And when you've reached where you're supposed to recharge? Well, if things don't go as smoothly as they can -- say they don't have the portable pack-n-play or the directions the rental car place gave you to get to the hotel are wonko -- yeah, enter little tiffs and sharp words. At which point, you could think this vacation is doing more harm than good.

I think it goes back to expectations. For months, we all envision a vacation, dream of a vacation, imagine how a vacation will miraculously get us back in tune with each other. But it might not, people. It might be full of delayed flights and kids that don't adjust to time zones and a lot of other crap ... which makes for some lovely arguments home away from home. My advice on how to not allow your vacation to hurt your relationship: pack light and leave the expectations at home.

Do you find you argue while on vacation?


Image via Bernt Rostad/Flickr

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