Conflicts under the tree: Five ways to peacefully maneuver your relationship through the Christmas season

Many people spend weeks and months before Christmas thinking about the question: What will my partner give me? And for one or two couples there is a huge crash under the Christmas tree because the long-awaited gift is, for example, a vacuum cleaner for the general public and not a loving gesture.

Conflicts under the tree: Five ways to peacefully maneuver your relationship through the Christmas season

Many people spend weeks and months before Christmas thinking about the question: What will my partner give me? And for one or two couples there is a huge crash under the Christmas tree because the long-awaited gift is, for example, a vacuum cleaner for the general public and not a loving gesture. But giving gifts is only a problem at Christmas, which is why problems can arise in a relationship.

The psychotherapist Amy Morin analyzed five Christmas problems in her book “13 Things Mentally Strong Couples Don’t Do” and published them on the online portal “Psychology Today”. If you pay some attention to these tips, the family celebration should not become a stress trap:

Clarify expectations beforehandTo avoid disappointment, the psychotherapist recommends clarifying your expectations for Christmas with your partner in advance. Consider points such as: How much budget do you plan for decoration, food or gifts? Should you get the tree together or how much time should you plan for the family?

Set boundaries and maintain themThe Christmas season can be very beautiful, but at the same time very stressful. For example, if you have a family that travels and spends the night at a home, it is important to clarify within the partnership how many overnight stays or visits are okay for each other. The menu requests cannot be so overwhelming that the person standing in the kitchen no longer knows which way is up and down. Clear communication and maintaining boundaries can prevent conflict.

Don't get lost in the details Psychotherapist Morin advises not to lose sight of the big picture. Is it worth the argument over Christmas decorations and is it really that important which side dish is served with the goose? Maybe if you mentally zoom out of a situation and look at it from the outside, you can nip one or two arguments that arise in the bud.

Sweeping up on your own doorstepIn a relationship, you sometimes tend to criticize and educate your partner before questioning your own behavior. Morin says, "Invest that energy in dealing with your emotions and not in trying to fix your partner." Honesty in the relationship, that you don't want to watch the thousandth Christmas film or don't feel like going to church, are just as important because your partner can't read minds.

Everyone is the master of their own luck. Especially during the holidays, there is one or two frustrations lurking under the tree due to increased expectations of Christmas. That's why it's particularly important at the festival that you take your happiness into your own hands and fulfill your expectations yourself instead of blaming your partner.

Every year at Christmas time, requests for couples therapy from the expert increase. But Morin also sees this time of year as an opportunity to grow closer together by becoming aware of conflict communication and reflecting on one or two situations that are not worth the argument at all.

Quellen: Psychology Today, Amy Morin

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