Christmas can be very romantic, and there’s something very special about decorating the tree, ice skating and dancing around to festive tunes with the person you love.
But all that extra time together can sometimes put stain on relationships and unfortunately it often means that cracks start to appear.
Every year there is a huge spike in the number of divorces as people make the heartbreaking decision to part ways just weeks or even days after pulling their crackers.
Sara Davision, a relationship expert known as The Divorce Coach, believes there are certain things all couples need to do to ‘Christmas-proof’ their relationship.
Speaking to Mirror Online, Sara said: “Christmas can be the inevitable melting pot for the increase in tensions and the magnifier of disputes in the family home.
“It’s a sad fact that when we do spend quality time with our partners it puts pressure on any cracks in the relationship.
“If the foundations are already rocky then holidays have a way of holding a mirror up to the relationship and it could well mean make or break time.
“January is well established as the landmark month for divorce filings to spike, with the first full working day now coined as ‘Divorce Day’ because family law firms receive so many enquiries.
“Over the holiday we are no longer distracted by the usual routine of work and school runs so we have more time to focus on the relationship and how it is going.
“This means more scrutiny as couples spend more time together. Another issue that causes stress is spending time with extended family. The old jokes about the in laws can become all too true after a few drinks and living under one roof all together.
“Tensions can mount if you don’t get along well or have to walk on egg shells around each other’s families.
“Couples often have different expectations of the Christmas holidays too. If one sees it as a chance to put their feet up as they are not at work and the other is left to entertain the kids or cook for everyone it can cause arguments.
“On top of all that it’s the season for parties and drinking and if your relationship is already on the rocks it can sadly be a trigger for infidelity.
“All these festive period pressures can reach a crescendo, what I call a switch flicking moment, when something tips the balance and you decide you just can’t do this anymore.”
Sara has shared her seven tips on how to ‘Christmas-proof’ your relationship.
- Don’t let problems fester – If there are any issues raise them with your partner and work together to sort them out before any irreparable damage is done.
- Set aside some time to discuss what you want from the holidays and how you see it working – Make a plan that you both agree to and are happy with.
- Agree a financial budget for the Christmas period in advance and stick to it .
- Make a conscious decision to stay calm and to keep spirits up over Christmas – Don’t be the person who brings the mood down.
- Do your best to get along with the in laws and extended family – Agree to keep visits to a minimum if you know they always cause unnecessary stress and be sure to calve out some ‘time out’ for yourself
- Keep the love alive – Be affectionate and playful with your partner. Arrange quality alone time over the holidays where you spend time together doing the things you love.
- Don’t take things too seriously – Keep perspective on the magnitude and significance of things that might trigger an argument. Remember you can diffuse an argument before it happens by choosing to react with love. For example giving them a hug or telling them you love them can diffuse the tension in a heartbeat if you do it sincerely.
For more information and to learn more about Sara’s work visit www.saradavison.com .