Nip These 7 Marriage Arguments in the Bud Before They Ruin the Holidays
The holidays can be both a happy and stressful time of the year. With all the preparation activities like shopping, decorating, attending parties, and other holiday events. The holidays can be emotionally stressful for various reasons. Holidays trigger a lot of different emotions, both happy and sad. There can be happy childhood memories, and also losses.
This article examines potential barriers to a pleasant and stress-free holiday and the topics and instances that often lead to the most stress and arguments during the season.
Seven Things couples argue about during the Holiday season.
Increased spending can put a strain on things. Money is one of the number one causes of arguments during the holidays, and spending as a couple during the holidays can spur many issues and trigger debates.
2. The “Ex” Factor
Memories of exes or the stress of dealing with them and juggling visitation times during the holidays can intrude on the joy of holidays.
3. Childcare and Discipline
Sometimes, extended family members may judge your parenting style or try to discipline your child in a way you disagree with. It's essential to plan to avoid an adverse reaction, like pulling that family member aside to have a private conversation with them. Ask each other for support and be a team to set healthy boundaries and avoid tension because of toxic family behaviors.
4. Where to Spend the Holidays
Another of the most common arguments during the holidays is where you will spend them. Start discussing your holiday plans early, and agree to a little compromise regarding where you will spend your holidays.
Consider both sets of family and friends, especially if one of you lives far away from your family. Friends, family, or just each other.
5. Which Holiday Parties and Events to Attend
A common argument for couples during the holidays can be due to unvoiced expectations. If one of you wants alone time and the other plans a party with all your closest friends, that can lead to an argument. The situation is easy to avoid through communication and planning to agree on what activities you will or won't attend.
6. Following Family Traditions
The holiday season involves multi-generational Family traditions. High expectations for these traditions to be carried out can spark squabbles when things change. Family traditions can bring joy to the family and create memories.
7. Cleaning and Chores
If you're hosting, you'll need to do a deep cleaning and decorating before the festivities commence. Other tasks will involve meal planning and preparation. Shopping for gifts and wrapping them and preparing for possible guests.
Tips on Avoiding Holiday Arguments Before They Start.
Set Spending Limits and Budget Gift-Giving.
You and your partner should agree on a spending budget. Money is another tricky topic within families. The idea of gifts and how much to spend can be challenging, especially during the holiday season. In some families, gift-giving is their way to express love. Communicate Expectations Before the Holiday Events Begin.
Talk to your Partner if Feeling Neglected.
With a to-do list that seems endless, the holidays can make you feel super stressed and neglected. After all, if you're taking everything on your shoulders to complete all the tasks, you will need to talk to your partner and family to ask for help and self-care time. You can find some downtime together to snuggle on the couch with a warm cocoa mug and listen to holiday music.
Work with your partner to decide where to spend the Holidays.
Sit down with a Calendar and Plan the events and activities you'll attend together so that your time can be shared with family and balanced adequately for your own time. You may need to plan for guests or travel, which goes more smoothly with planning.
Learn to Compromise on Family Traditions.
Instead of focusing on the family tradition, try focusing on what's important: spending time together. The purpose of having a tradition is to create memories with your family which will last forever. One strategy is to have each family member make a list of the rituals they enjoyed as a child and rank them in order from 1-10 to celebrate that year, but if your top picks conflict, you can switch off yearly, so everyone is happy.
Decide in advance who will discipline children at holiday functions.
Explain to children the rules at Holiday gatherings and the consequences for breaking the rules. Talk with the other adults about taking turns supervising the kids. Ask each other for support and be a team to set healthy boundaries and avoid tension because of toxic family behaviors.
Share the load during the holidays.
Try to figure out what needs to be done and ask for help. Encourage potluck involvement and try to save some tasks for after your guests leave so you are not stuck in the kitchen cleaning the whole time on Christmas or New Years’ day. Assign age-appropriate tasks to your team (i.e., your family), so you can do them with others. Try splitting your shopping list and chores with your significant other. Encourage your older children to help where possible.
Make time for self-care and deal with all the Holidays may bring.
Some tools for grief and self-care like journaling feelings, daily gratitude, regular exercise, getting enough sleep and sharing your thoughts with someone you trust. Take time out from the preparations to relax and focus on fun and joyful, comforting things.
If you're having difficulty getting through the Holidays while maintaining a peaceful relationship with your spouse, seeking outside support can help you make it through this season.
Marriage In a Box is a great resource that gives you access to the simple tools, techniques, and solutions that professional marriage counselors use for typical relationship issues. Marriage coaching is also available on the site. You can set goals and earn rewards. Feel free to check out the available kit and sources of information online.Learn more about our Couples Therapy Exercises