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Marriage 911 12/12/18

5 Ways to Stay Married during the Holidays

Couple fighting at Christmas

'Tis the season to be jolly, deck the halls, trim the tree, and sing fa-la-la-la-la. Christmas music began pumping into our ears minutes after Thanksgiving. The holidays are coming, coming, coming and it's time to prepare.

'Tis also the season where families and couples experience more stress than most other times of the year. Some family members and couples get at odds with one another. It's unfortunate, indeed, that a time filled with so much hope and goodwill is also stress-filled and sometimes immensely challenging.

Denying the stress of the season, as tempting as that is to do, will not help. The holidays are a time to meet with friends and family, to celebrate the reason for the season and simply have fun.

Still, there is something more serious taking place that we must talk about. There is an undercurrent of strain that we must face and find remedies for postively impacting marriages.

Let's consider some of the challenges couples face and also solutions that will help you emerge from the holidays with your marriage not only intact, but stronger than ever.

1. Collaborate on everything.

The holidays bring so many opportunities for misunderstandings and miscommunications between family members and between husbands and wives. With stress-filled decisions to be made, collaborate on everything. Talk everything over and seek solutions for everyone.

2. Share everything.

Whether it comes to holiday stress or holiday giving, share. Holiday stress can be greatly reduced if you share the tasks to be done. Plan ahead on what needs to take place and then divide the tasks. Share the chores not only as a couple, but as a family. Likewise, there is much joy to be shared with others. There are many far less fortunate than you--give to them. Share your home, your blessings, and good fortunes and of course, your heart with others.

3. Make everything simple.

Couples who leave time to appreciate one another fare much better than those who try to do too much. Far after the season is over you won't remember what happened, as much as, you remember how you felt about what happened. Create family and friend gatherings that are meaningful, sharing them as a couple.

4. Offer grace for everything.

Because holidays have the potential to be stressful, offer one another grace for mistakes. Remember that everyone is doing the best they can and deserves grace. Consider that those who disappoint you are not doing anything intentionally to harm you, but rather are living with their own issues.

5. Give thanks.

Have an attitude of gratitude. Even though you may face this holiday without a dear family member or encounter moments of sadness and discouragement, remember all that you have for which to give thanks. Ultimately, be thankful for the One who made the reason for the season--Jesus.

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