Keeping your Relationship Sane in the Midst of (Family) Holiday Insanity

Although the holidays bring joy and good cheer, they can also bring crazy family members together. Following are a few tips for Keeping Your Relationship Sane in the Midst of Family Holiday Insanity.

  1. Remember your family, like everyone else’s family, is perfectly imperfect. Clue your partner into the unique nature of your family’s imperfections and idiosyncrasies and they won’t be caught off guard. For example, your slightly eccentric cousin is guaranteed to act slightly eccentric, and your “strange” Uncle Bob will be true to form and act strange. Allowing your partner to anticipate the imperfections and, okay, I’ll say it – downright weirdness of your family during the holiday season will prevent them from getting caught “off-guard” when these behaviors are put on public display for all to see. Anticipating inappropriate remarks aimed at you and/or your partner by family members will certainly soften their blow – forewarned is forearmed!
  2. Make sure you let your partner know what your family’s conversational landmines are – and avoid them at all costs. If your family holds strong religious and/or political views, especially if they are different from your partner’s – clue your partner into these emotional “danger zones”. Holiday gatherings are not the time to solve world peace – so keep the conversation light and fun.
  3. Have and rehearse rescue “get away” signals and/or looks prior to family functions. Perhaps you will have a designated look or a certain word or phrase you say that will silently signal to your partner that you need rescuing away from a conversation or person. For example, if you or your partner repeat the phrase; “Wow, that’s amazing” two times in a row – swoop in for the rescue and find a way to remove your partner from the 10th game of Texas Hold ‘Em with Uncle Rob – you get the point.
  4. On a more serious note, let you partner know about that family member(s) who tends to drink way too much – and often becomes obnoxious when they do. This will allow you to avoid –or at least be somewhat prepared for any embarrassing situations that may arise.

On a final note, keep your sense of humor – and your ability to laugh at yourself and each other. Go with the flow and chillax for the holiday season with the family!


Rekindle Romance and Happiness in Your Relationship,

Dr. Patty Ann


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