Ok, so things are stressful out there – and it’s our intimate relationships that can often bear the brunt of all that stress… so, is there a way to divorce proof your marriage to weather the Christmas storm? An expert weighs in!
Last week, we ran this story about how Dec 11 is the date that most couple’s break-up on – and, as we’ve heard in the past, January is also the month that most couples file for divorce.
And, after the ridiculous year we’ve all had, after an insane few years, it’s no surprising that tensions seem to be pretty high at the moment. A lot of people are feeling strung out, burnt out and over it.
But, it also doesn’t mean everyone is headed for Splitsville! We spoke to Divorce Coach and Relationship Expert Bridgette Jackson, who yes, acknowledged that now is a very tricky time for relationships, but, it’s also a time where a little can go a long way in terms of making your relationship even stronger!
“There are absolutely things you can do as a couple and individually so the chance of the relationship irrevocably breaking down is lessened,” says Bridgette. “Being mindful in your relationship and remembering that your partner has their own thoughts and feelings too and they do matter.”
Here Bridgette shares her best tips for making it through December and January, together!
How to divorce proof your marriage during the holiday season
- Treat each other with kindness and respect as in how you want to be treated is key – positive and authentic communication like “I appreciate you”, “How was your day?”, “Thank you” and “What can I do to help you today?” goes a long way to cementing a lasting relationship during the silly season. It’s the little things that matter.
- Communication is fundamental to a lasting relationship – if you have an issue make a point of regularly having a ‘relationship WOF’ date or meeting to talk with each other and confront any ‘elephants in the room’ – what’s working for us right now? What things aren’t? What needs to change to strengthen our partnership? What do we need to discuss that is difficult? If you have problems you can’t solve get professional help just like you would get a mechanic to service your car. Humans weren’t created to live alone and we can’t always solve our problems in a vacuum.
- Invest in yourself first – your health and wellbeing is a top priority – how can you love someone else if you don’t love yourself first? Make time (book in your calendar regularly and stick to it) things you love to do – massage, go for a walk, read a book etc.
- Invest in your partner – Show and tell him/her how valuable they are to you. Acknowledge their strengths, great points. Make an effort to learn what makes him/her feel appreciated and adored – it is an act of services, words, gifts or a combination? If you don’t already know, show an interest in and ask about your partner’s goals, passions and dreams and how as a couple you can work towards these together.
- Surround yourself with strong relationships – Be deliberate about making friends with strong couples who align with your values and beliefs.
- Be intentional about your relationship – your relationship is the primary anchor of the family so holding onto secrets or times of indiscretion could destroy your relationship unintentionally. You need to make decision, both parties do to be in the relationship – acting as your best selves – being transparent, an open book, accepting each other as you are (warts and all!) and making changes and concessions that will ultimately make your relationship stronger and weather any storm that you may face.
- Conflict can be a good thing – even the best relationships have conflict – we are human after all! It takes on average six years for couples to do anything re their relationship issues. By that stage the relationship is over. Deal with the issues as soon as they surface rather than sweeping them under the carpet or practicing conflict avoidance.
- Finances – This is the number one issue in relationships. Manage them together as a team – be honest, upfront, transparent and accountable. Work out what money personalities you both have and make a plan in terms of how to manage your differences/similarities. Be on the same page. Work hard together to achieve your hopes and dreams. This will create a positive future for your family.