Why do couples argue more than usual at Christmas?

Relationship expert, Ness Cooper who works at The Sex Consultant explains some of the reasons for our tendency to argue more as a couple at Christmas;

During festive periods there are a lot of expectations and activities that divert us from our normal day-to-day life. Couples argue more due to how their normal routines are disrupted and there are not only hopes for making it perfect, but pressure from other family and peers to fulfill expectations to make this time of year magical. These expectations can go against our individual beliefs, and strains can emerge between a couple’s worlds colliding and differing. On top of this Christmas adds an extra financial burden which can result in extra conflicts and worries.

10 top tips for relationship survival at Christmas

So now we have some more understanding as to why we might be more inclined to argue over Christmas, Ness has shared 10 top tips for how couples can navigate this and try and avoid these festive fights…

Develop new Christmas traditions together – “During Christmas, we have our own traditions that are often separate from our partners. Forming new traditions together can help you bond more over the festive period.”

Keep some Christmas activities just between you and your partner – “It can be tempting to fulfil every festive social event, but making sure that you and your partner are able to enjoy some festive time with just each other will help keep this time of year special for both of you.”

Don’t compete with presents – “When giving gifts, it’s not how much someone spends on another that makes it special, but the meaning behind it. Competing on the price of Christmas presents can not only mean you may receive fewer personal presents, but it can cause conflict and tension. Remember it’s not about the price of something, but how you share affection when giving gifts that counts.”

Have some ‘you’ time – “Remember, having some ‘you’ time is still important and doesn’t make this time of year any less special when you take a moment to yourself.”

Try not to overindulge too much at Christmas – “Too much drinking and too much food can both affect our judgment and performance. If you’re planning on some festive bedroom explorations, make sure you don’t overeat or drink beforehand so you both can fully enjoy it.”

Don’t let your family talk down to your partner – “I hear about this one a lot from couples, where the conflict starts with other family members. If your family is treating your partner negatively, speak up rather than letting it continue. Generally, family members will treat them nicely afterwards, and you will gain extra relationship points with your partner.”

Share Christmas tasks – “If arranging Christmas feels a bit one-sided, see where you can step in more to help. This not only will stop arguments and stress, but it will reduce tiredness meaning you can put that extra energy towards some extra personal activities later on.”

Communicate – “Make sure that you take time to talk about things other than Christmas. If conflicts do surface, take a moment out of festive activities and chat about it to see how things can be changed for the better.”

Make time for intimacy – “You’re scheduling festive events, family activities, and everything else to do with Christmas, but this means sex can be forgotten. During this busy season, scheduling sex can help.”

Try not to get jealous of other couples’ Christmases – “It can be easy to look at other couples’ Christmases and feel theirs are better. But whilst they may be different, one couple’s Christmas is no better than another’s. Stepping back and being mindful about your and your partner’s Christmas can help you see that your Christmas is just as good as others.”

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