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Holiday Marital Stress -- How to Survive the Holidays

Stress Proof Your Marriage During the Holidays

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As the holidays get closer, your marriage may be dealing with more stress than it’s used to. The holidays can tear your marriage apart. Instead of enjoying one another and your families, you may find yourselves having more disagreements and feeling overwhelmed.

Find out the danger signs that your marriage may be cracking under the pressure, and what you can do about it.

  • There can be so many things to make decisions about.
  • There can be too many extra things to do.
  • Worries about finances can increase.
  • Disagreements about who to see and not see, who to visit and not visit, where to go, or whether to stay home can create a great deal of stress in your lives.

Danger Signs

Here are danger signs of too much stress and conflict in your marriage during the holidays, and suggestions about what to do about it.
  • Retreating from one another.
  • Being irritable with everyone and everything.
  • Barking at one another over small incidents.
  • More arguments with each other.
  • Relationship seems fine one moment and then there you are fighting the next.
  • Defensiveness.
  • Being over tired.
  • Sleeping too much or not enough.
  • Recurring headaches or illnesses, or just feeling lousy.
  • Being forgetful.
  • Feeling sad or depressed.
  • Not eating well.
  • Drinking or smoking more than usual.

What The Two of You Can Do

  • Eat healthy meals and drink plenty of water.
  • Watch how much caffeine you consume and try to cut back on it.
  • Make sure you discuss money and how much you both are comfortable spending on gifts.
  • Set a holiday budget together and stick to it.
  • Talk over your expectations of the holidays with each other.
  • Know your limits with what you can and can't do.
  • Remind one another that it is okay to say "no".
  • Keep visits to or with family reasonable and well planned.
  • Realize that the holidays probably won't be perfect.
  • Look at all you have accomplished and at how well things are going rather than looking at what hasn't been done.
  • Do some breathing exercises to help reduce the stress you are feeling.
  • Take a walk outdoors or get some other form of physical exercise each day.
  • Schedule quiet time for yourselves, both as individuals and as a couple. Even a 15 minute time out can do wonders.

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