How To Get Through The Holidays In A Troubled Marriage
When you are having marriage troubles, it is hard to see past the hurt and pain and put on a happy face for the sake of a special occasion. With Christmas and New Year’s right around the corner, you may be wondering how you and your spouse will get through the coming weeks. Here are 6 suggestions on how to celebrate the holidays despite your marriage troubles.
Forget Tradition. 2020 has been anything but a perfect year; so don’t expect a perfect Christmas. Let go of your expectations and traditions and aim for a holiday that is “happy enough.” It's more important for you, your spouse, and your children that you are fully present and engaged than it is to honor every tradition you’ve ever had.
Do something for someone else. Consider doing something to serve someone else through the season. It is always good to adjust your focus a little by getting outside of yourself and giving. It also creates a tangible way for you to remember there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
Say No to extended family obligations. For right now, your immediate family needs your undivided attention. Throwing parents, siblings, and crazy aunts and uncles into an already difficult season is going to get really messy. Avoid the questions you don’t want to answer and get out of the conversations you don’t want to have. Just tell them “we have decided to do something out-of-the-ordinary this year.”
Skip the holiday parties. While it is tempting to go out and socialize, drown your sorrows in a cocktail, and ditch your spouse for a while, you are courting disaster. It won’t build you up and when your inhibitions are down, you are likely to make a fool of yourself and say things you wish you could take back.
Keep it simple. You may not feel like cooking the ham, potatoes, vegetable, and dessert for the whole family. Maybe you need to keep it simple this year. Order pizza, and let the feast go. Make do it yourself sundaes. Play board games. Don’t make demands of yourself or your spouse. Just focus on being with your family.
Make time for yourself everyday. Trying to put on a happy face amidst the busyness of the holidays when you are hurting and worried takes a lot of energy. Recharge your batteries by taking a little time for yourself every day. Sleep in, exercise, take a walk, listen to some music, or take a hot bubble bath. Do what makes you happy.
Here’s hoping that you enjoy a Happy Holiday.Learn more about our Couples Therapy Exercises