In addition to the many joys of the winter holiday season, the holidays can trigger all kinds of expectations, disappointments, stresses, and pressures for couples. For example, it’s possible that you are frustrated because your partner refuses to attend your company holiday party. Or, perhaps you feel lonely because your partner isn’t as energized by the season as you are. Or, maybe you’ve been hoping for a special gift that doesn’t materialize.
Whatever the scenario, awareness of these emotional triggers is the first step toward reducing the negative energy associated with the situation. Once you’re aware of the feelings causing the strain, take a few minutes to reflect on your expectations and wishes. Clarify what is realistic, selfish, and necessary.
Then, share your expectations and wishes with your loved one. Work collaboratively to develop strategies that can help both of you get some of your needs met (rather than expecting that you should both get all of your needs met).
Undoubtedly, you won’t get everything your way. But, you stand a far greater chance of getting through the season with less strain and resentments, more joy and happiness, and deeper love, gratitude, and understanding for your partner.
Whatever holidays you are celebrating this December, keep in mind the famous quote by Bil Keane (best known for his newspaper comic, The Family Circus): “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” I wish you all a happy and healthy season. Until next time, please practice loving one another heartily.