All these festive period pressures can reach a crescendo, what I call a switch flicking moment, when something tips the balance and you decide you just can’t do this anymore. Enough is enough and you want out. Unfortunately this is the case for many couples and why the divorce rate peaks in the new year. However if you are aware of this there are things you can do to help your relationship survive Christmas:
- Don’t let problems fester. If there are any issues raise them with your partner and work together to sort them out before any irreparable damage is done.
- Set aside some time to discuss what you want from the holidays and how you see it working. Make a plan that you both agree to and are happy with.
- Agree a financial budget for the Christmas period in advance and stick to it.
- Make a conscious decision to stay calm and to keep spirits up over Christmas. Don’t be the person who brings the mood down.
- Do your best to get along with the in laws and extended family. Agree to keep visits to a minimum if you know they always cause unnecessary stress.
- Keep the love alive: Be affectionate and playful with your partner. Arrange quality alone time over the holidays where you spend time together doing the things you love.
- Don’t take things too seriously: Keep perspective on the magnitude and significance of things that might trigger an argument. Remember you can diffuse an argument before it happens by choosing to react with love. For example giving them a hug or telling them you love them can diffuse the tension in a heartbeat if you do it sincerely.
The key to any successful relationship is good communication. Find a way that works for you both and remember that you will both have different methods of communicating how you feel. Sticking your head in the sand isn’t a great way to deal with issues and it’s always best to nip them in the bud right away. However it’s never too late to start communicating better with your partner. Be kind, respectful and empathetic towards each other and you will find that your relationship can overcome many obstacles.
Sara Davison, best known as ‘The Divorce Coach’ is the author of best-selling book, Uncoupling1, and recently launched the UK’s first ever Break-Up Recovery Retreats, dubbed ‘Heartbreak Hotel. She will be launching her new book, The Split, on Monday 7th January.