holiday decision-making

Are Thanksgiving Plans Turning Your New Relationship into a Battlefield?


Making plans for family holidays like Thanksgiving can sometimes set off arguments or hurt feelings for new couples. Family issues, ingrained traditions and being unfamiliar with your mate’s habits, feelings and expectations can sour the occasion and create a rift in the relationship or with the families if you’re both not careful.

Dinner at your family’s house or theirs? Dreading long-distance travel in winter weather? Will my mate’s family accept me as the new spouse? Will my children resent my new beau so soon after their father died and act out at the dinner table? As a vegan, how do I avoid offending her mother if I pass on the turkey? How do I tell my fiancé I’d like to start a new Thanksgiving tradition and have dinner at home without offending her?

Holiday Planning for Couples

  • Discuss in advance how you each feel about celebrating the holiday. Talk about what’s important to each of you, the traditions or activities you and your families enjoy most.
  • Try not to turn the decision into a tug of war. Be flexible, compromise, but neither of you should always be the one to accommodate the other.
  • Don’t make a decision just to avoid conflict and secretly regret it. It can grow into resentment.
  • Once a decision is made, anticipate potential problems and how to avoid or handle them together.