Holidays are difficult for families because of all the things we plan and how they clash with what other people want and plan. Then, show up to family events and throw in the personalities of people who have no filter with the people that do, and you have holiday wars.
For the people who want and plan you will deal with, “I want you to go to Grandma’s on Christmas Eve,” while you say, “Well I want to visit my husband’s family,” and on and on. When you’re single, it’s relatively easy because you there’s usually just one or two families to deal with, but when you marry you’ve got those plus the wishes, desires and obligations of someone else. A lot of damage can be done to the relationship if you don’t know the best way to handle it … so here are some relationship felonies you’ll want to avoid:
1. Changing plans at the last minute. You had agreed to go to your husband’s Aunt Thelma’s house on Sunday for a holiday brunch and moments before it’s time to leave, you make an excuse and bow out, but he knows the truth. Your husband angrily goes alone, but when he gets back you’ll find your plot to manipulate will backfire. Spouses get insanely angry when they see their partner make up excuses to get out of things, and if you do it at the last minute and leave them to handle the mess, and you do things like that repeatedly, your married days could be numbered.
2. Dropping a serious bomb on the family during an event. If you’re one of those who likes to drop bombs into pleasant family events, then watch people run when they see you coming. Telling your sister-in-law you saw her husband kissing Mrs. Santa Claus in the backseat of a car at the Christmas dinner in front of everyone is not the time or the place, and your spouse will probably be so mortified that you be getting a well-deserved dressing down when you get home, as well as the title of loose cannon. Reasonable people don’t want to be associated with loose cannons.
3. Not standing up for your spouse to an offending family member. Did members of your family go for the verbal and/or emotional killing of your spouse while you did nothing? If so, I wouldn’t want to be you when I got home. Showing solid and definitive loyalty toward your spouse in front of others, especially your family, is the only right thing to do. Fail this test and your spouse will not only lose respect for you, they will question your love, and this is not good.
4. Getting visibly inebriated.
To make it through the holidays with your marriage intact I recommend that a person be generous when it comes to accommodating their partner as far as where your time will be spent, and be on your best behavior when around friends and family. Do show up, and try to enhance each holiday experience for your spouse. Flexibility and a positive attitude will serve you well in the marriage arena, and in the rest of your life as well.