The holidays are a magical, joyful time enjoyed with close family and friends. Going out of your way to make others feel special can often mask our own fatigue and stress. When we’re stressed, it’s only natural that we may take that out on those closest to us, which usually means our partner.
As we prepare for the holidays ahead, take time to reassess your relationship and practice these five habits to keep the love in your relationship and the drama out.
1. Keep healthy boundaries. Visiting family and friends that you haven’t seen in some time? Talk with your partner about things you are comfortable sharing and things you’d prefer to keep between the two of you. Hurt feelings and conflict can occur when a partner feels that their privacy was invaded.
2. Be generous and grateful with offering to help your hosts. Whoever is hosting the holiday dinner will appreciate offers and help with clean up and possibly meal prep. Plan to attend festivities by taking your gratitude with you. Being grateful makes us a better version of ourselves and a lot more enjoyable to be around.
3. Plan to be a "couple bubble." During the holidays and especially when attending parties or family dinners, be your partner’s champion. Have their back and be protective if a family member teases or overlooks them. When partners protect each other, they both feel more confident to be themselves.
4. Save your energy and don’t take the bait when unresolved issues surface. The holidays can trigger unresolved childhood issues and cause sadness, anger, and a sense of feeling unloved. Rather than react to a trigger by someone’s comment, remind yourself that it’s okay not to respond and to walk away.
5. Take time to rest and relax. Drama happens when you or your partner are stressed, tired, and/or reacting rather than responding. Take time to splurge on rest and play.
The holidays are a special time. When you feel stressed or upset with something said to you, address it privately with them and don’t talk about it to others. Instead of worrying about your gifts, decorations, or your partner’s flaws, give those you love the most precious gift - your presence and gratitude.