What do the holidays mean to your marriage?
Do you spend the weeks tapped into the gratitude and good times of the season? Or are you both strained and stressed as holiday gatherings and obligations keep you from cozying up together to enjoy it all?
The truth is, marriage needs attention no matter what time of year. Why not consider the following ideas for ensuring your connection is bolstered and appreciated as you celebrate with others.
4 Key Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong Through the Holidays
1. A Strong Marriage Puts Holiday Magic in Perspective
No one likes to feel forced into gatherings or giving. Open communication, as always, makes your relationship better and emotionally safer for you both. The holidays can hold many expectations, memories, and busyness that may or may not be fun for both of you. Your marriage can benefit from the season if you both feel heard and understood as you make seasonal plans.
Hear each other out and plan with your marriage ( not “magic”) in mind. Communicating honestly helps reduce disagreement and heads off resentment. If unresolved issues or particularly difficult stressors continue to come between you, consider sessions with a couples counselor for support. That way, when the season ends, you feel closer and respected, rather than exhausted and at odds. Productive communication bolsters your connection well beyond the new year.
2. Set a Budget to Celebrate with Less Conflict & Anxiety
Shopping and entertaining are part of holiday territory. Yet, the spending needn’t come between you. Decide together how much festivity, feasting, and philanthropy is affordable for your household.
Most of all, honor each other by setting spending limits. Talking about your finances can feel like a downer at first, but push through the discomfort for the sake of open conversation. When your limits are agreed upon, commit to them and don’t work outside them without discussing it first. Working as a team in this area is vital. It provides peace of mind and builds trust moving forward.
3. Family Boundaries Make the Holidays (& Your Marriage) Much Merrier
The holiday spirit often tempers the problems that can accompany extended family interactions. If tolerating family overreach, interference, and involvement comes between you, examine why. You may need to work out limits regarding engagement with family members and boundaries to secure emotional safety within your relationship.
Talk about how you will balance time with each family. How much will you entertain family, how many gatherings will you attend? Decide how to insulate your marriage from the stresses of dealing with in-laws and difficult people. How will you stand together if criticism or past issues arise? What problems do you anticipate and what crosses the line for you both?
Knowing your boundaries clearly will help you feel supported and enjoy the holidays with less anxiety or misunderstanding.
4. Keep a Few Silent Nights, Cozy Outings & Holiday Traditions for Yourselves
Couple time always matters. As holiday parties, gatherings, and travels start to fill your calendars, don’t forgo your date nights or quiet periods to check-in and relax together. Furthermore, consider developing more of your own holiday traditions to enjoy. Though you both bring the traditions of your families to the marriage, try to set those aside at times. Create something new that reflects your union and can refresh your enjoyment of the season. Building your holiday legacy together can further improve a strong bond and connect the holidays to your relationship’s future as well as your individual pasts.
Look for ways to keep the season bright with gratitude and compassion for each other. Keep your marriage first and enjoy the season in ways that honor it. Do you find you need help or a just a safe place to work through your plans that is less affected by seasonal stresses? Please Contact Us for a consultation. I’m happy to help. Peace and goodwill between you are the best way to keep your marriage strong.