Οur topic for today is simply on How to Enjoy Your Holidays Even with Unresolved Issues .
A turbulent marriage or relationship is already as tough as it gets and sometimes, having to leave the house every now and then to work provides the getaway couples need to cope with their issues. The holiday period is such a difficult period for struggling marriages because it’s usually a reflective time that intensifies the depth of the issues (infidelity, poor communication, emotional disconnect, distance, loneliness, betrayal etc.) faced. The past few months, a bulk of my sessions had been built around survival skills that can help couples pull through while they are in “Marriage Recovery” therapy .
To survive this period, here are some quick skills required as we look forward to better days aided by intentional effort in-therapy. However, some of these are also things learnt from clients who applied it positively to their life.
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A) Treat Yourself Well – Things may not be amazing between yourself and your partner but this does not mean you cannot treat yourself well. Caring and pampering yourself is a gift you must give yourself this period. Have warm baths with scents, listen to beautiful music, curl up to good movies with a warm mug of tea of coffee and ensure that you go visiting loved ones. Give yourself the love you deserve.
B) Protect Your Kids From this Madness – If the both of you are having issues, it doesn’t have to affect the children. Christmas is a period that both the little and big babies in our homes tie lots of memories to. Do NOT spoil it for them because if you do, you cannot go back and correct it when things do get better. Instead they will love you and your partner for trying to set aside your differences on their behalf.
If you have allowed this affect time with the children, i suggest you get a piece of paper and list out 2 or 3 places you know the kids would love. Bake a good cookie, create something with them and if like me you have more than two kids, You and your partner should call them in one after the other starting from the youngest to oldest and have one on one time with each person for 15 minutes after which you hug them and have the next person come in. After all of this have everyone come in together and watch a movie.
Note: This is a good time to casually chip in plans for the new year too.
C) Here and Now is All That Matters – Everything may not be ideal for you and your partner but it’s the holiday season. Keep yourself from re-inforcing your fears. While im not a strong believer in hoping for things you are not working towards, i still believe in miracles. Focus on the here and now, enjoy the time with family and spread the love and cheer. Do not forget that this holiday comes just once every year. Enjoy it and you have the other days to attempt to handle the issues troubling your marriage.
Note: If you are not the one attempting to handle this maturely, it would be good to recognize the effort required to put aside hurt and spread love. With this in mind, allow your partner and family the joy of the season. Relax a little and you cold also get infected with the joy of the season.
D) The Only Thing Within Your Immediate Control is Yourself – Peace, love and understanding are all choices. Enjoy the season and avoid triggers and gaslighting’s. Rather than fight or be drawn into an argument, you can decide to respectfully inform your partner that you want to talk about the issues after the holidays and advice that the both of you practice the other tips in this article to get you through this holiday period.
However, if your partner is willing to make this argument constructive, coax them into playing this amazing game with them. Download a free resource here
E) Reflect, Identify Patterns and Take Notes – Use this period to both reflect on your marriage. What were the common grounds for both of you in this marriage? What three things attracted you to your partner, what five things do you wish can be re-introduced into this marriage? Click here to download a free “Candid Assessment Test”.
While the kids are having a good time, this could be a great exercise for both of you.
Well, that’s all for today as I shouldn’t be writing anyways. I hope you and yours a merry holiday period despite anything both of you may be going through.
Written by Obike Temple.
Temple Obike is a licensed marriage and family therapist, speaker, author and psychotherapist who has counseled over one thousand, two hundred clients comprising of couples, individuals, abuse victims (substance, physical, emotional and sexual) and grief-stricken clients. With over 70,000 in-counseling minutes (1,000+ hours) accrued in practice. He runs his private psychotherapy & counseling practice out of Lagos, Nigeria and has counseling centers in Abuja and Port-Harcourt. His practice also provides options for both online and on-site services.
His private practice has positively empowered lives through his online counseling, podcasts, free advisory services and free online materials. Readership of his articles also receive a growing number of visitors alongside subscriptions to his email newsletter at templeobike.com. His passion for empowering and uncovering the secrets to lifelong marriages and personal development led to his new book titled “Soul Bodega” available on amazon and across other online and traditional stores.
Never give up on yourself! You are a journey happening through various destinations.