Millions of couples and families will hit the road this weekend to enjoy the 4th of July holiday. Summer vacations bring couples and families together with an unexpected consequence – the end of a marriage or relationship. This, of course, is not the intended result of time spent at the beach, the lake house, Disney World, or wherever else you might have decided to spend your summer vacation. All too often, summer vacation tends to exacerbate relationship issues and underlying tensions rather than ease them. Once away from the mundane routine of life, many couples begin to realize it is not really the job or the kids that are making them miserable – it is their relationship. Ask any family lawyer and they will tell you there is a surge in divorce filings at the end of the August.
What happens during the summer months that creates the end of many marriages?
Relationships that are already on the rocks find that by spending so much more time together than they usually do can put the last nail in the coffin of the marriage. The husband who normally doesn’t help with the kids on the weekend doesn’t help with the kids for the entire vacation; the wife who tends to nag her husband when he comes home from work – now nags him morning, noon and night. So how can your marriage avoid this escalation of tension during the summer months?
1. Communicate any negative issues and/or feelings you might be having about your marriage to your spouse in a calm manner. Just because you are on vacation, do not make the mistake of thinking that avoiding a discussion of the problem will make it go away. It doesn’t; it will actually widen the gulf between you and your spouse.
2. Create time together alone – just the two of you – to enjoy each other’s company. Leave the cell phones, ipads, and kids behind and try to connect as two adults.
3. Ask for what you need from your spouse. Your spouse does not have a crystal ball – and they cannot read your mind. If it’s driving you crazy that your husband isn’t helping you give the kids a bath when they come home from the beach – tell your husband so and ask for his help. Many men have told me they would help their wives with the kids – or the household chores – if she would just tell him what to do. So ladies, tell the men how they can help you. Do not stand on ceremony. Maybe they should know what to do but if they don’t – tell them. If you want help – ask for it.
Enjoy the summer as it’s meant to be – a little more relaxed and laid back and use the tips above to minimize the chances of your relationship being a casualty of the season.