Christmas should be a time of peace and joy yet, according to a study of 3000 couples, more arguments occur during the month of December than at any other time of the year.
The study, by law firm Seddon’s, revealed that the average couple has 4 arguments a day during December, or a total of 124 arguments over the month with most occurring in the week just before Christmas!
Why do couples fight at Christmas?
The main topics of conflict are:
1. Money worries (lack of it and one person spending too much)
2. In-Laws and extended family (too many events with the in-laws and family fighting)
3. Division of housework (expectation versus reality of what needs to be done and who does it)
4. Christmas gift expectation between couples (the romantic gift versus the practical gift)
5. Work / Social event discrepancies (who goes and who gets to drink)
6. Lack of quality / intimate time between couples (too tired and too busy)
With these basic 6 stressors affecting almost every couple, around 20 per cent of couples even considered splitting up during December and a further 20 per cent reported having doubt their relationship would survive until the New Year.
What happened to the season of goodwill, happiness, peace and joy?
How can new parents survive the silly season?
This is particularly relevant especially for brand new parents who are usually juggling these stressors for the first time as a family.
This is my simple two-step approach to survive the silly season and keep your relationship safe from the Christmas Chaos!
You need to sit down and DISCUSS what each of you as a couple EXPECT from each other for each of the danger points listed about and any others you might feel are relevant to you and YOUR relationship.
If you do not know how each other feels about a potential issue, how can you be on the same page? Always remember, you are not mind readers.
Once you have discussed how you BOTH feel about the above topics, talk through each one to create your rule or compromise.
Every couple needs to work with this contingency plan to survive. It is like living in a bushfire prone area. You would never enter the summer fire season without a ‘fire plan’. So – don’t enter the silly season with your partner without a ‘Christmas Survival Plan’.
Couples and young families that have clearly defined their expectations and agreed – are most likely to not only survive Christmas, but GROW! It is easy—as long as you do it!