How to create peace in your home at Christmas

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5 tips to help your relationship in ‘the season of goodwill’

Do you want a truly peaceful home life as your no.1 Christmas present? With the pressure cooker of the Christmas break building, lots of us find it’s so easy to explode at something petty. This can put real pressure on your relationship.

dreamstime_xs_35575293The tips below are drawn from what I’ve learnt the hard way, covering five potential flashpoints.

They’re in two different sets:

If things are are largely ok in your relationship, then Tips 1 – 5 in section A are for you.

Tips 6 -10 are for men in struggling relationships, who fear things may not survive Christmas – go straight to section B.

If you have any questions or comments, please enter them in the comments box at the end – or Click HERE if you have a personal question for me. I’d like to know what you think, and if you try the tips how they worked for you!

Section A – creating the best Christmas you can

Money

Money is a sensitive topic between couples at anytime during the year but Christmas can bring matters to boiling point, with so much pressure to make everything “perfect”. So what can help?

Well there’s an important step to take before you even thinking about youdreamstime_xs_34786218r spending.

Find time over coffee or a glass of wine to talk with your wife/partner about present buying. Use this time for you both to share your views on what would look over-generous, fair, or slightly mean given your current financial circumstances. Listen and refrain from making judgements as this only closes down the discussion. Only move on to setting a budget or guidelines once you understand each other’s perspective – it will prove easier to reach agreement.

TIP 1. First talk together about your expectations, hopes and fears about spending on Christmas. Only then agree over buying presents this year.

Family

Christmas time brings more contact with your wider family. In my paidreamstime_xs_53449915nful experience This has the potential to be the biggest flashpoint of Christmas. Who do you see, when do you see them and how do you manage conflicting expectations? With so many views and factors it’s unlikely there will be any ‘right’ answer; and there’s a real danger if you let your wife make the arrangements that you’ll end up resenting it.

The only way to defuse the tension is to find what will suit the two of you best, while taking into account legitimate family expectations. This may take a few sessions – stick with it, it’ll be worth finding something you’re both ok with.

TIP 2. Find a united way with your partner for dealing with your in-laws and your own wider family, and stick to it.

Work

dreamstime_xs_29115122Every year it’s the same. December is more often than not accompanied by pressure and uncertainty at work, meeting year-end targets and maybe even planning cut-backs for next year.

So what can you do to best manage these tensions among the office tinsel? The first step is to open up with your partner and tell her what’s happening and your concerns or fears. You need to do this in a responsible way, taking time to explain the facts and the impact these are having – rather than withdrawing or moaning or just ‘dumping’ your worries on her. It’s not a weakness to feel a bit vulnerable – facing it without getting overwhelmed is a strength.

TIP 3. Talk about what’s happening at work and the impacts of any uncertainties on you.

Home

There’s loads of work getting your home ready for the Christmas onslaught – how much do you do? Maybe you go out and buy the tree – and when you’ve got it into a bucket you slump on the sofa – job done!

What about wrapping presents, sorting out food for entertaining, or buying smaldreamstime_xs_11733870l gifts for your children’s teacher or the neighbours? There’s power in taking your full share of the preparations. And it’s no stain on your manhood to ask for guidance on how to do things – it took me 20 years to discover it helped both doing the task and my relationship. ASK how you could best help – don’t just suggest or pick the easiest for you or what you think would help most. And then agree when it’s to be done by. It’s about communication and managing expectations.

TIP 4. Agree with your partner something new you can do to get your home ready for Christmas.

Relationship

With so much to focus on and lots which can cause flare-ups, sometimes your relationship can wear thin at dreamstime_xs_1947329Christmas. The picture in ads with perfect couples in front of log fires doesn’t help!

Amidst all the other activities of the festive season, it’s easy to forget to make time for each other. So in the lead up to Christmas, suggest times when you can fit in exclusive time together. This could be a simple walk with just the two of you, a night out together – or an uninterrupted night in with your favourite boxed set.

TIP 5. Plan in a couple of ‘dates’ with your beloved over the Christmas holiday, doing just what you want together.

So hopefully these 5 tips are helpful – let me know using the comments box at the end of the article or contact me directly by clicking here.

But if you’re facing even greater challenges, then this next section may be more appropriate for you.

Section B – keeping the lid on over Christmas

Money

dreamstime_xs_44002661Tensions in your relationship can make issues around money a virtual war zone. Any long-term difference in attitude between you, around how much and on what you spend, will be magnified now. Decisions you make can highlight your differences and then cause even more resentment.

However appealing it feels to use money as a weapon in your fight, it’s not worth it in the long run. It can drive a further wedge between you, or it can increase mutual distrust which will get carried into all future negotiations.

Instead you can use it to build some trust – which will help whichever way things go.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

TIP 6. Make agreements with your partner about the guidelines for Christmas spending and stick to them, in spite of any ‘provocation’ you feel.

Family

dreamstime_xs_42565443Any distancing between the two of you will have a ‘ripple’ effect on your wider relationships with your families. Half-suppressed doubts from the past can now resurface with the power of pressurised gas escaping: “I never liked or trusted him/her”. It’s painful for me to recall my mum’s relish when I was splitting with my ex-wife, with all the vindication she felt from 25 years earlier.

While you’re trying to repair or at least improve things between you, you don’t need self-appointed ‘allies’ taking pot shots at your partner. So prepare a defensible line to avoid probing questions precipitating decisions you’re not ready to make – and agree this line with your partner, as best you can.

TIP 7. Tread carefully in any chats with wider family members, and keep up a guarded ‘front’ with all who may have a hidden agenda about your marriage/relationship – which may be almost everyone!

Work

dreamstime_xs_31831674(1)When things are going badly at home, relaxing with people around work can feel like a relief. We can end up looking for the kind of fun, appreciation and support which isn’t happening with our partner. The season of Christmas drinks and office parties can be a real danger. I’ve been there – and I know the mayhem it often causes, making bad situations much worse.

Instead of looking for distractions and alternative outlets for enjoyment, stick with the real need to release some of the tension you’re carrying. There will be colleagues you know who have had their own challenges and got through them – but be very careful about opening up to sympathetic women, even though this may feel easier.

TIP 8. Find a trustworthy male colleague or contact who has gone through difficult times, and talk about what’s going on for you.

Home

dreamstime_xs_28180677An extended time spent at home over Christmas may be a daunting prospect. It takes courage to acknowledge this, and then do it anyway.

You can use this time to notice your home in a new way. Try taking a mental step back and looking with greater detachment at all that it represents about your relationship, the things you’ve done and built together. There may be things you can remember and celebrate together. Or little jobs you’ve been meaning to do for ages, which you could take half an hour to tackle. It may bring surprising pleasure!

TIP 9. Take time to notice your home and all it represents about your relationship – and find something which will bring you joy amid the pain.

Relationship

dreamstime_xs_51287723Be real with each other about the state of your relationship, right now. Whether things are really tense, openly hostile or very distant, facing and naming it while acknowledging that you want it to be different can be a relief.

All the pressures of Christmas make it a time when shaky relationships are most likely to blow up. But there’s another option. In the 100 year commemoration of Christmas 1915, it’s possible to call a temporary cessation of hostilities. This involves steering between the ‘poles’ of either using the inevitable tensions of Christmas as ammunition, or pretending to each other that the relationship is all fine, just to get through Christmas.

TIP 10. Call a Christmas truce, without denying the trenches you often inhabit, enjoying what you still share without expectation of how things will turn out.

dreamstime_xs_18917176So there you have it. 10 tips to help you survive the “season of goodwill”. If you have any comments you would like to make on them please use the comments area below.

However, if you have a specific seasonal relationship challenge that you would like to discuss with me (and therefore not post in a public arena) then you can also Click Here to share it with me.

Whatever you do, I hope you have a better Christmas than you might currently dream is possible!
Simon McIntosh

 

PS: If you would like to some more general ideas on how to create the sort of relationship you truly want for yourself then  Click Here to download my FREE guide “Creating the life you long – by building better relationships.


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