You’ve barely gotten out of the house and you and your spouse are at your wits end with each other. The kids are cranky and are already fighting with each other. If you are like most couples, you are both blaming each other for things not going so smoothly and your dream family vacation is already unfolding into a nightmare for your relationship; you are fighting and bickering with each other and you can cut the tension with a knife. To avoid having your family vacation turn your relationship into the vacation from hell, follow these 3 simple tips to fight fair while on vacation (and these tips work all year long too).
- Keep everything in perspective – really. Yes, maybe it would have been great to have been out on the road a few hours earlier and avoid all that horrific traffic – but you just couldn’t manage it so – it is what it is. Take it in stride. You wouldn’t want the kids having a temper tantrum and start fighting with each other about it, so don’t have them seeing you and your spouse all bent out of shape about it. Be grateful that you are in a position to take a family vacation. Make the best of the situation by playing games and/or putting on great music, etc. while on the road. Let your vacation begin in a relaxed mode and you will teach the kids how to make the best of a less than ideal situation.
- Do not blame your spouse when things don’t go according to plan. Very few things in life go exactly according to plan – and things will definitely not be flawless while on vacation. When things do go a little off (okay, maybe they go a lot) off course, don’t blame your spouse and say it’s their fault. This just creates ill will and tension between the two of you. My advice is to just let it go and take things as they unfold. Blaming each other doesn’t solve the situation or make the situation any better (in fact, they might make things worse due to all the negative tension created when parents fight). So chill out and make the best of it; as they say: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
- Keep your sense of humor! When all else fails, keep your sense of humor. I’ve worked with this one couple that saved for 5 years to take a family vacation in the Caribbean – and the entire time they were there it rained morning noon and night. Rather than spend the entire week bemoaning their bad luck, they kept their sense of humor and laughed their way throughout the week. One day they went so far as to spread out their beach blanket and chairs in their hotel room – rubbed sun tan lotion on themselves and their kids and pretended to spend the afternoon tanning – as the rain was pouring down outside.
Although it would be great if vacations rendered our kids and marriage perfect – they won’t. Therefore, follow these 3 simple tips so you can avoid having your vacation turn your marriage into a disaster!
Rekindle Romance and Happiness in Your Relationship,
Dr. Patty Ann