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The “most wonderful time of the year” is usually anything but that for couples! I never realized how hot-spot laden holidays could be until I got married! Suddenly a time which before was just full of fun and traditions now became wrought with tight finances, merging plans, in-laws, travel, and loads of expectations on all sides. Talk about a mine field! The fact that everything is “supposed” to be wonderful can sometimes just add to the trigger points.
Since having kids I’ve found that I’m not alone in having to navigate the “holiday battlefield” and as the events come closer each year at my Moms group others will inventively start swapping tales and asking for help to try to get through all of this without having to pick up the pieces of their relationship come New Years.
Through the nearly 10 years we’ve been married and after lots of these conversations I’ve found things that have helped our marriage and others. I’m no expert, by any means, and years where there are added stressors like moves, harder and longer work, or family problems that you cannot control will always add to shortening fuses.
There are lots of things you can do, however, to make sure that you keep the MOST important gift of your life, your marriage, in the top priority spot it deserves, and ensure that it stays hot and happy through the holidays!
How To Keep Your Marriage Happy & Hot During the Most Draining Time of The Year
Release Expectations — It’s so easy to think that everything should and has to be perfect during the holidays, but that is not only unrealistic, it can also set you up for lots of disappointment! Over the years I’ve had to learn to let go of the picture perfect idea of what the holidays should look like in my mind, and instead learn to embrace the reality, even if that’s something as simple as a sitting back and enjoying a family movie night with an action movie, or shopping right after the holidays with your in-laws. Learning how to blend ideas and traditions takes time and effort, but if you are willing to try without getting too emotionally invested, it’s worth it!
Take Time For Each Other — During the hustle and bustle it’s far too easy to let your marriage get shoved off to the side, especially when those tensions and sore spots are looming large. Because of these things, however, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you’re making sure to carve out one on one time together! This can be as simple as putting the kids to bed early for a few low key hours of talking and enjoying one another.
Another way to do this is to take advantage of having babysitters around while you’re traveling or when you have your relatives staying with you. Once the kids are in bed sneak off for a late night movie or meal! You won’t be taking away any family visiting time or burdening your relatives with holiday crazed children and sneaking in and out late will make you feel just like those exciting, first dates of your relationship, which is a great way to lead into my next tip….
Spice Things Up — After you’ve been married 5, 10, 15 or so years everything can start to fall into a familiar rut and what once was spontaneous and delightful can begin to feel like a chore. And I do mean everything. Especially when you’re stressed and feeling drained, or when you have small children, it’s far too easy to desperately want sleep rather than working on keeping your relationship alive and fun. The solution to this is to get just a little creative about sneaking intimate moments in, and also to add an element of fun to shake things out of the same old rut!
One great and super easy idea is to pick up something fun and out of your ordinary routine like K-Y® YOURS+MINE. It’s easy to find and pick up in the Family Planning Section of Walmart, and there’s even a $1 off coupon available for it right now.
Then you can get really fun on how you surprise your hubby with it! A fun idea? Set up a photo like the one above, then text it to your hubby with the words You + Me ???? Trust me, he’ll be hurrying to get home!!!
Another fun option for the New Year is the special Date Night deal that is coming soon! K-Y® DATE NIGHT (shipping to store in Jan 2015) includes a $50 value meal for two people from PEACHDISH.com delivered to your door for an intimate night of cooking together, a $5 VUDU movie credit for you to stream right at home and the pleasure of K-Y® YOURS+MINE Couples Lubricants. Perfect for a date night in after the kiddos are tucked away in bed!
Don’t want to wait?! (I don’t blame you) Right now you can check out the K-Y® DATE NIGHT pack at Walmart.com for discreet purchasing! These packs are just a few dollars more than the product usually is and includes all of that–it’s a GREAT deal!!
Decide on a Plan — While your plans for this holiday season are probably already set in stone, the best plan for avoiding a draining season for next year is to set things up well in advance, when the time is far enough off that you’re both more likely to be calm and clear headed. Right after using that Date Night Kit listed above in the New Year would be perfect timing!
After the holidays end this year figure out what was the most draining part of it for you. Was in the financial struggle, the constant activities, the travel, the traditions? Pick just one thing that you’d like to see happen differently and bring it up. For guys it’s usually best to mention that you’d like to talk about a topic *in the future* and then leave it at that so they have time to “chew” on it and come up with their opinion before you start bombarding them. A good example, “Hey sweetie! This year I felt like I couldn’t enjoy the season as much because I knew that all the extra expenses were really hurting us. I’d love it if sometime we could try to figure out a way that we could approach it differently next year.” And then just leave it at that! A few days or weeks later you might ask if he’s thought about it at all, and go forward from there!
I firmly believe that having a happy, hot marriage is one of the most important things there is for you, for your hubby, for your kids, and even your other family and friends! Put in the extra effort this holiday season–it’ll be more than worth it! For more great ways to spice up your relationship during the holiday season, visit K-Y.com!