External influences to relationships, holiday dilemmas

- Protecting your relationship from outside influences and dealing with holiday dilemmas are the topics for discussion today.

Dear Mary Jo,
How do you deal with outside influences on your relationship?
Thank you,

It’s tough with the unlimited access of social media and friends, but overall it’s important to protect your time together as a couple. You can do this by setting physical boundaries as well as emotional. A good guide for protecting your relationship are these suggestions:

  • Remember, one size does not fit all…all relationships are different, so no one plan fits everyone.
  • Make sure you have the same goal for your relationship.
  • Protect your relationship from others’ opinions or comparisons. Let them know they don’t have a say unless it concerns your safety.
  • Work together as a team both in and outside the relationship.
  • You’re not always going to agree with each other, but on the big issues it’s important that you talk it over and resolve it together.
  • Divorces and breakups are contagious. When a good friend has been hurt or lied to, they are more likely to think your partner is doing the same to you.

Dear Mary Jo,
What do you do when both of you have two kids from two different families, and both of them want you to visit for Christmas? One lives in Delaware and one in Texas.
Thank you,

There are actually 3 holidays to work with. Thanksgiving, Christmas (Hanukah, or whatever you celebrate) and the New Year. That provides ample access to celebrating with both your children. 

  • Decide not to visit either, and instead spend Christmas together and celebrate your marriage.
  • Split the holidays with your children. Whichever child you begin with this year, make it a tradition to begin with the other child the following year. This puts the burden on you…but if you’re up to it, then it will probably be the most accommodating one.
  • Take it easy and visit one child this year and the other the following year. Don’t forget to put your name in the draw if you’d enjoy hosting a holiday at your home.

Whatever you decide to do, know that your ability to make each child feel special and loved, communication is key…even when that means you can’t be there on Christmas morning. 

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