15 December 2016
Marriage Survival Tips For Christmas
January is the busiest month for divorce lawyers.
There are many reasons why divorce peaks at the start of the year. Some see New Year as a fresh new start which means bringing an end to a relationship in which they’ve been unhappy. In other cases, parents wait until after Christmas before getting a divorce so that this special time isn’t spoiled for their children.
For many, however, it is Christmas itself which is the cause. So these are my marriage survival tips to help you avoid this time of year being the breaking point for your marriage.
- Communicate – The most important of all my marriage survival tips is communication. Communication can help you to avoid misunderstanding one another in a relationship.
If you are unhappy, worried or upset your other half can’t change or help if you don’t talk to them. Your partner may not realise that there are relationship issues.
It’s hard when you’re tired and there is so much going on around you but discussing your concerns or anxieties is the best way of ensuring they don’t develop into something unmanageable.
- Relax - Don’t try to do too much.
There can be so many demands on your time around Christmas from work, school, family and friends. Traffic and travel can be very stressful too, so be realistic about what you can fit in and what may become that one event too many.
Be prepared to say no to some offers – people will understand. Maybe reschedule for January when it will be something to look forward to!
Communicating with your spouse here is vital. Think about which commitments are priorities and which can be declined or rearranged.
- Finances – Set a budget with your husband or wife and agree that you’ll both stick to it.
Christmas is an expensive time of year. Don’t be tempted to buy expensive gifts that can’t be afforded or go out more than your budget will allow.
Unnecessary purchases can strain your finances. This often leads to conflict and blame particularly in January when the credit card bill arrives.
- Make Time – Christmas means spending lots of time with family and friends but make sure you allow room in your schedule for the two of you.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a glass of mulled wine wrapped up warm at the Christmas markets, a skate date at the local ice rink or just agreeing to share a bottle of wine at home with the Christmas carols on. The important thing is to make time dedicated just for the two of you.
- Compromise – Be prepared to be flexible over Christmas arrangements.
Maybe don’t stay quite as long at events which one of you may not enjoy as much as the other or agree that you don’t both have to go.
Try to understand the feelings of your spouse even if you don’t agree.
- Know Your Limits – Alcohol can inflame problems or even be the cause.
A small disagreement can suddenly become a huge argument where you say things you might regret.
Be aware that alcohol will have an impact on behaviour particularly if you’re tired. Don’t drink too much or perhaps volunteer to be the designated driver for a party or set a time to leave.
- Christmas Isn’t Perfect - The media, shops and restaurants are full of the message that Christmas is a magical time.
If you feel pressured to make Christmas perfect in every way it can lead to feelings of disappointment, annoyance or of being a failure when it doesn’t turn out perfect.
Christmas can’t be perfect. Try not to set expectations too high for both yourself and your other half.
Time off over Christmas can be the ideal time to re-discover why you and your spouse fell in love in the first place. So make time for each other, be kind to each other and hopefully you can avoid the ‘curse of Christmas’.
Kaleel is a family lawyer at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.
For expert divorce advice or to speak with a divorce lawyer call us 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online.