Where To Spend Your Holidays. Thanksgiving is typically the start of the holiday season. Most couples dread the holiday season because of the issue of where to spend them. Most families have holiday traditions and expect family members to keep them. Some couples even dread the holidays as they are expected to spend time with in-laws and other extended family members who they don’t particularly care for. Even when you have good family relations and communication is decent certain people can still get under your skin. It’s these “certain” people that can make an already anxiety provoking time challenging.
In Marriage Counseling it is recommended to put boundaries in place and set good limits so that individual and relationship needs are met by you and your spouse and your respective families. As a Couples Counselor I stress the importance of being cognizant of knowing when to say YES and when to say NO to extended family members so that the couples ensures their immediate family needs are met. I understand your respective Families of Origins want access to you and yours, but sometimes doing something different can be as beneficial as doing whatever it is you typically do.
As a Marriage Counselor this seasonal period of time creates a lot of stress for couples as each can tend to want to go to their own parents’ home for the holidays. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate the holidays. Doing what is in the best interest of your immediate family is what any loving and understanding parent wants. When there is a conflict among couples who cannot make a decision or compromise I offer the following options:
Option 1: Divide the holidays where one partner gets Thanksgiving and the other gets Christmas.
Option 2: Visit both – one set in the early part of the day the other during the later part of the day.
Option 3: You each visit your own parents.
Option 4: Don’t visit either family and start your own tradition at home.
Option 5: Go out of town on vacation.
With any decision being made it’s important that couples are able to dialogue and have a discussion where they can express their thoughts and feelings. Showing empathy for feelings and validating each other’s positions shows you care and are being thoughtful when coming to a thoughtful decision.
For help in making this decision please contact me at (858) 735-1139.