Christmas time is one of the most stressful times of the year. Even when you’re trying to focus on the real reason for the season, there are traffic problems, family gatherings, work parties, friends’ shindigs, and church services. Then there’s shopping, wrapping, cooking, and caroling.
With so much going on and so much to do, Christmas loses its fun appeal that was prevalent in our youth. This stress can quickly disrupt your normal flow of life and even cause friction between husband and wife. With tensions high, we need to prepare for this scenario.
The second Christmas of our married life, my wife’s parents were possibly not going to make it to visit us due to illness. She was almost inconsolable. I didn’t get it at all, I was her family, why wasn’t I good enough?
The fact is, stress will happen in small or large doses. The question becomes, how will you handle it?
Here’s the practical advice:
- Be Cool – When the stress is boiling over, be the chill pill she needs. Let her vent to you and be sure to vent to her when its your turn. Don’t take it out on each other, create a safe haven inside your relationship that you can run to when the world is crashing in.
- Use a Calendar – Get rid of the “I didn’t know” frustration by putting every event on a shared calendar. Decide early and communicate often.
- Use a Budget – Finances are the biggest issue among couples and the primary reason for divorce. Set a guideline on how much money you will spend, and stay in those boundaries. Don’t let financial problems add to the stress of an already difficult time of year.
- Give Her a Massage – Hand, foot, back, whatever. The physical release of tension can improve mood and ability to manage stress.
- Say No – You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. You don’t have to go to every party. Don’t worry about hurting people’s feelings; no one will be offended that you didn’t come to their white elephant party because you were spending time with your spouse.
Above all else: Love Your Wife