No other season puts stress on relationships like Christmas and New Year. Whether it’s taking the intended home to meet the folks – and suddenly realising how out of place he or she looks – or contemplating another 12 months with this person and suddenly realising it’s not what you want, December – January is a relationship grave yard.
Some of the commonest pitfalls:
1) You were disappointed with his present
Women often believe that the present a man gives is a sign of his love. You want him to choose something that really says “I love and value you.” You’re expecting too much. Men aren’t mind readers. Don’t sulk or scream. Instead, give him a list of things you really would appreciate.
2) You got on each other’s nerves
As the days went by, you found yourself getting more and more irritated with him. By New Year you were ready to call it all off.
You have to decide whether this is just a case of “too much of a good thing” from being cooped up together, or whether it will all be fine when you get back to your usual routine.
Next year, keep your sanity by allowing yourself more “private time”.
3) He drank too much
Your partner spent most of Christmas topping up his glass or down the pub. Alcohol then led to bad moods, bad moods led to rows. Heavy drinking is a sign of a man under stress.
If he moderates his drinking after Christmas, then relax and concentrate on getting the two of you back on track. If he keeps on drinking then it’s time for more serious action.
4) Money Worries
You overspent at Christmas and now you’re both worried about how to pay your January bills. Money is one of the main causes of arguments in relationships. Avoid problems by agreeing a tight budget. Stick to it, however tempted you are.
If you are forced to attend large family gatherings, get agreement ahead of time to limit presents or have a “Secret Santa” arrangement where everyone buys a present for one family member anonymously.
5) You argued over the kids
Partners can have very different ideas of how to raise a family. This especially applies if you are sharing step children raised by other partners with different philosophies.
It’s vital for your children’s sake to present a united front. Try to agree beforehand and then stick to your plans. Don’t undermine one another on the day by changing the game plan.
6) Sex was a non-event
There are two possible reasons for lack of sex at Christmas. He may have felt exhausted and the combination of rich food, alcohol and lazy days killed his mood for sex. Or you’ve got problems with your relationship – he’s not in the mood for intimacy and you are.
If you’re sure that your relationship is fine, then don’t give him a hard time for not getting sexy over the holiday. Ensure in the next year you allow more time for recharging and relaxing.
7) Old problems reared their ugly head
You spent most of the Christmas holiday going over old resentments – his affair, your lack of sex drive, and your interfering mother in-law. Big issues can get buried if the two of you have busy lives. The free time together over the Christmas break gives you the opportunity to do sort out these festering issues. If you don’t they will just keep re-srufacing.
8) You’ve realised it’s over
You had doubts about your relationship, but being together over Christmas and seeing each other in the context of family or friends has convinced you that the relationship isn’t going to work. If you both agree that it’s over, then sadly the best way forward is to break-up.
9) You did all the work
You threw yourself wholeheartedly into making this Christmas happen – and your partner didn’t pull his weight at all and accused you of nagging him. Once Christmas is over, treat yourself to a good night out to celebrate the New Year, and next year re-think the whole thing. Is it worth the discord just to have it your way?
10) You dislike his family – and he probably dislikes yours too
If you’ve had problems with the in-laws this year, just for once, plan to spend Christmas without your relatives. This will send out a strong signal that partnership is more important than family. If you feel they will be hurt arrange to see them the weekend before or after Christmas.