Maybe you’re not surprised.
Maybe your marriage has felt the stress and strain of what was suppose to be a relaxing few days of rest and relaxation. And instead, it turned out to be a vacation week from hell.
Let’s be honest. Most of us love our routines. And we are all pretty much creatures of habit.
Having our spouse around during vacation messes up our routine.
It might start out as a great idea, and then we realize spending 24/7 with your spouse & kids (and let’s throw the in-laws in for good measure) can wreak havoc on your routine – destroying your marriage in the process.
Too Much Vacation Time Together
It’s not that we don’t love our spouse.
But loving our spouse and spending every waking hour with them during vacation are two totally different things.
So before you begin to pack up the car– before you begin to pack one piece of luggage for this summer’s family vacation, read the 4 tips below to make sure your marriage not only survives, but also thrives during your family’s summer vacation.
1. Set realistic expectations for your kid’s behavior.
Just because you are on vacation, don’t expect your kids to turn into little angels.
Kids will behave as kids regardless of where they are.
Kids don’t really know – and if they know they don’t really care -about how much time, effort and money you put into planning the family vacation. Therefore, it will not influence their behavior one bit!
Being realistic about how your kids will behave while on vacation will avoid you from feeling disappointed.
It will also help you avoid the temptation of blaming your spouse for their inappropriate behavior (which many of us tend to do – let’s be honest!)
2. Discuss realistic roles and expectations you have for your spouse.
Let your spouse know, in very specific terms, what help you expect from them while on vacation.
Don’t assume your spouse will just know what you expect from them when it comes to helping out with the kids and/or planning vacation activities.
Communicate what you do – and do not – want your spouse to be involved with while on vacation. This will prevent you from being annoyed at their lack of involvement, or over-involvement!
Engaging in an open honest discussion about your expectations will help you avoid all sorts of fights, arguments and negative feelings that last long after the vacation is over!
3. Put time on your side.
You can do this by expecting, and planning, for everything to take much longer than you think it will (or should).
For example, expect it will take everyone an hour to get to the beach after breakfast.
Even if you think it should only take half an hour, plan for an hour and then see what happens. It’s better to be pleasantly surprised than aggravated.
Plan to wait an hour for dinner – even if you made reservations – even if the restaurant told you it would only be a ten-minute wait without reservations.
This will prevent major meltdowns from adults and children alike.
4. Schedule “Couple” time with your spouse.
Although family vacation is usually all about the kids – make sure you find a way to spend some quality couple time together.
If you can’t find a babysitter, put the kids to bed early one night and have a glass of wine while watching a Netflix movie with your partner.
It doesn’t matter how you spend your alone time, as long as you find time to relate to your spouse as your partner – and not just as a parent.
Follow these four tips to insure your marriage thrives during – and after – family summer vacation!
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