Even though the holidays are supposed to be full of love and magic, it never fails that couples, yes, including me and my husband, end up fighting. I'm pretty sure animosity is not what they're referring to when you hear the words "holiday spirit."
But between busy schedules and everything else everyone is trying to accomplish, it's not surprising.
Here are three common fights couples have over the holidays and how you might be able to avoid them.
1. The "family is driving me nuts" fight
I know this fight all too well, and even though my in-laws live far away and only come to visit for a few days, it seems way worse over the holidays. Whether it's your own parents who won't shut up, or his parents who criticize every single decision you make, it's easy to take out your frustration on each other.
Solution: Work "errands" into your schedule while they're visiting so that you can give yourself much-needed breaks. Or better, take advantage of the childcare and score yourself a couple of date nights. I've personally learned to let a lot of what they say roll right off my shoulders. And I let him handle things instead of getting into it with them.
2. The "I'm doing everything and you're doing nothing" fight
It's easy to get caught up in holiday activities, from decorating to baking and everything in between, and suddenly you find yourself doing it all and your spouse is sitting back on the couch slugging eggnog, while you do your best not to throw Christmas cookies at his head.
Solution: Talk with your partner and decide what duties he's willing to take on. Keep in mind that you might not get everything done, but better to have fewer Christmas cookies in the jar than to fight during a time that's supposed to be happy. If he still doesn't want to get involved, then you may need to decide whether it's worth running yourself ragged just to have the prettiest wreath in your neighborhood. It might be more relaxing to spend your time actually enjoying the holidays instead of impressing the neighbors.
3. The "how much did you spend on that?" fight
Every holiday without fail, I always hear "how much did you spend on that?" whispered to me as my kids open their big gift, which is quite possibly the worst time for him to discuss our family finances and gift choices. How about when I asked you about the shopping budget a while ago and you just shrugged your shoulders at me?
Solution: Decide early on what your gift budget is going to be and do your best to stick to it. If you happen to go over what you had hoped to spend, make the agreement that you'll talk about it after the holidays and not while the kids are enjoying their new pony. Ha!
What do you and your partner fight about over the holidays?
Image via Outcast104/Flickr