Bend Relationship Counseling: We Can Help Keep Your Holidays Bright

December 21, 2012 by

As the holidays approach, more and more of my Bend relationship counseling clients come into sessions needing to vent about the stress they’re feeling due to the season and their frustration over how their partners are acting.

What it boils down to is this: most of us place a lot of importance on holidays, and we have very specific traditions and desires that are tied to our hopes, dreams, and upbringing. Even very similar couples can find that they have incredibly different ideas about how holidays should be celebrated. Not meeting either person’s expectations can cause arguments and hurt feelings that lead to needing marriage help.

Bend Relationship Counseling: Part of Your Holiday Planning Should Be Discussing Expectation

All too often, couples will enter my office looking for marriage help right after the holiday season, both seething with anger and disappointment. These feelings can come from any number of factors. Maybe one of them wanted a huge celebration but the other always keeps things small. Or someone spent months planning an elaborate gift only to receive lukewarm thanks. It could even be related to tensions over family matters or financial difficulties.

Most of the time, when I really start talking to these couples, I quickly discover that they never really spoke to each other about what they wanted for the holidays. Instead, they made assumptions based on what they wanted and ran with it. Or perhaps they briefly chatted, realized that they disagreed, and one immediately gave in to the other even though they were secretly resentful. Eventually that resentment kept building until it spilled over.

My advice is almost always the same: you can’t deal with something as big as a holiday without really sitting down, talking about what you want out of it, and making some sort of plan. Do this a month or two early—at least—and when you have time to discuss why you want certain things (or don’t want them). Make compromises so both of you can be comfortable and happy. It also gives you the opportunity to talk about finances and set a budget, as well as set realistic gift expectations.

Bend Relationship Counseling: We Can Help Keep Your Holidays Bright

Don’t despair if you have a hard time talking these things out alone. The feelings we attach to holidays are complicated and deep-seated, and you might want the professional help of Bend relationship counseling.