This would be an especially good time to get on the same page with your partner. As long as you two are connected, then going through all-of-whatever-it-is-that-comes-next together, you will come out of it in January connected. And that is what we are all biologically wired to crave.
Connection, also called secure attachment or creating a “couple bubble” (Tatkin), consists of five parts: 1) giving attunement, which is a fancy word for listening and letting him/her know we heard and giving empathy about what we heard; 2) demonstrating that we have each other’s back no matter what; 3) seeking comfort from each other; 4) seeking sex from each other; and 5) creating a home that is a haven from which to venture into the world for all of the other things we do in life.
The really short version of these five things: put your relationship first. Help each other feel safe, secure, and loved.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Sometimes just naming the potential stresses and making plans for them can help a lot. This puts the two of you the same team, and the issues are a separate entity that you are facing together. And remember, things don’t always go according to plan. We all know this from the last 18 months of Covid.
- Don’t shoot for efficiency or perfection. Those might be useful at work, and are seldom useful inter-personally.
- Remember to treat one another in his/her Love Language, not your own.
- Carve out couple time. Yes, you deserve it, despite it being “family time”. When you do, you’re teaching your kids about healthy adult relationships.
- Remember what you each love to do, and what soothes you. A short walk, music, reading, being in nature, etc. Do those things!
- Introverts and extroverts have different needs. If you’re not sure which one you are, I pose this question: to recharge your batteries, do you get that from being with others (extrovert) or being alone (introvert)? Honor one another’s battery charging style. You’ll both fare better with full batteries.
- These are so basic, yet critical: sleep (work on going to sleep and awakening at the same time; be off screens for two hours prior to sleep) exercise, eat well, don’t drink too much, practice self-care and partner-care.
- Think about, and share gratitude. A chain of people caused food to be at your house, your heat to be available, etc.
Here are some things I have gratitude for:
- You, readers. Thank you for caring about your relationship and yourself enough to keep learning.
- My husband; I feel loved, secure, and cherished by him.
- My son & future daughter-in-law.
- My family and dear friends. Thank you for your support and love.
- My amazing artist, Nur Laffar G. Latip, who is doing an amazing job with my graphic ‘novel’, I Do, I Don’t: How to Build a Better Marriage. Coming in 2022.
- My improved health (I’ve coming out of 2.5 years of migraine hell). Thank you, Dr. Lee.
- Water fitness classes.
- Being able to help people--and to receive help (which is humbling and amazing).
- Last, but not least, my pup, Bixby.
As you can see, planning for the holidays is so much more than cooking, shopping, and celebrating.