If my Houston relationship therapy clients have taught me anything about the holidays, it’s that the stresses that come with them don’t end just because you’re married or have a long-term partner. In fact, sometimes having someone special in your life can actually add more stressors as you add in the obligations that you now feel toward them.
Thanksgiving is no exception, even though in some ways it can seem “smaller” than the other holidays. Yes, there’s a big meal involved, but there are no gifts, and often people don’t go to crazy extremes decorating.
But just like other holidays or even just parties involving family and friends, the person hosting often want the “perfect” experience for their guests. And it often involves large family get-togethers, which can frequently be full of tension, passive-aggressiveness, guilt, and forced pleasantries. It’s very easy for these new obligations and worries to lead to fights and cause marriage issues between you and your spouse.
Houston Relationship Therapy: Be Okay with the Fact That Things Will Not Go Perfectly
One of the biggest causes of marital fights is the attempt to do a million and one things to make Thanksgiving perfect. I’ve had spouses in tears because one or the other was either running around like a crazy person and neglecting their typical responsibilities or not doing enough to help them get those million and one things done. Often, these types of marriage issues arise when the spouses don’t place the same importance on Thanksgiving because it wasn’t as big of a deal in their family when they were growing up.
In these situations, both sides need to give a little – just like most times in marriage! The person ostensibly blowing off the holiday has to understand that this is important to their spouse and put in extra effort to support them in making the holiday a success. At the same time, it’s not healthy for anyone to obsess over perfection to the point that they are making themselves sick with stress and dropping the ball on things in their regular life, so they need to find a way to breathe and remember that the point of Thanksgiving is coming together and enjoying friends and family. Mistakes will happen, but you have to be able to roll with them.
The important part is that you talk to and support each other, coming to an understanding of why each of you feels the way that you do. This should ease the stress and fighting, but if it doesn’t, contact Houston relationship therapy.