How to Survive the Holidays Without Killing Your Spouse

Is your spouse driving you nuts? If you’re anything like the rest of us, you’re feeling stressed and overextended now that the holidays have kicked in. Add some holiday travel and extended family into the mix and suddenly you’re drowning.

Let’s see if I can help by sharing a few tips for surviving the holidays without killing your spouse in the process.

Don't let this be you! (Art by Gabriel and friend)

Don’t let this be you! (Art by Gabriel and friend)

TIP #1:  If your holidays involve extended family, remember that you or your spouse is going to regress at some point and start acting like you did when you were a kid. Especially if anyone’s parents are involved.

Yes, I know.  You thought you were past that! We all did.  But the sad truth is that once you stick us back into our family of origin, we start acting like we did when we were 12.  Or two.

Know this, plan for it and act accordingly.  Do whatever it is you have to do to maintain your sanity, whether it’s threatening your kid sister with a pair of nunchucks (kidding!), eating an entire chocolate fountain by yourself (kidding again!) or taking a jog around the blog.  You choose.

TIP #2:  When you’re with extended relatives, come up with a signal you and your spouse can use when

  • you’re about to flip your lid,
  • you need to escape to the spare bedroom, the next city or hell, the next flight, or
  • you need your spouse to take the kids for 15 minutes before you snap and start biting the heads off bats like Ozzie Osbourne did back in the ‘day.

By the way, you can also use this signal when you feel like your spouse has morphed into a CroMag and you want to reconnect.  Even just it just means stepping in to the next room together for 30 seconds to make sure you’re on the same page.  About anything.

Your signal can be anything from a secret handshake to a pat on the back to a previously-agreed-upon code word to a full-on rendition of the Beatles “Help.”

Good luck!

P.S.: In my next post, I’m going to share some tips from my  new book 9 Steps to Heal Your Resentment and Reboot Your Marriage, which will be released on December 11th. Woo-hoo!

Let me know which area you’re feeling most resentful about and I’ll start there:

  • sex,
  • child care,
  • house and home responsibilities,
  • no time with friends,
  • no time for self/hobbies,
  • anything else you’re seething about.


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