Hurting During the Holidays?

               Christmas is a stressful time; presents to buy, people to see, food to prepare and, kids to keep entertained through the holidays.  Oh – what’s that you say – you and your partner are thinking about calling it quits?  That’s all you need right now.   If this sounds like your plight, please read on.  If you know someone in this situation, please read on.  If you want to avoid being in this situation, please read on.  

               If you and your partner have reached this point, it’s safe to say you are both starving emotionally.  You are not feeding each other with emotional support, intimacy or, practical caring.  This will not change overnight so it’s not reasonable to expect it to improve much in the three or four weeks of the Christmas season.  What you can do, is agree to not make things worse.  

               To begin, one of you suggest to the other that you have a meeting in a quiet neutral place outside the home; preferably a coffee shop, or a room in a friend or family member’s house.  In this meeting, one of you will propose that you agree to see a couples counsellor right after the holidays.  You can discuss your feelings about how things are between you but make no accusations of the other and don’t bring up any new issues.  You are only trying to establish that outside help is needed.  One of you will then volunteer to look into counsellors available in your area.  Google, Bing or other search engines are a great place to start.  Using key words such as: couples; counselling; and your location, you will get enough results to start “shopping”  What this action does is give you a reprieve from having to think about what is going to happen to your relationship over the holidays.  You have effectively put the decision on hold.

               In this way, you can choose to act in your most adult way to provide your family; kids, parents, siblings, with the best “you” possible.  You and your partner can negotiate what activities can be tolerated for the sake of the family given your depleted emotional energy.  As simple as this advice may sound, it will be very difficult to execute.  May you do your very best to get what you need and deserve this holiday season.  Help awaits when you are ready.

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