holiday plans

Is the Holiday a Tug of War Between Family and Your New Relationship?

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You’re greedy … yeah, admit it. You want your new sweetie all to yourself. It’s the first holiday season you’re spending together. To make it special, you have all kinds of ideas on how to inaugurate the occasion: candlelight dinners with just the two of you, attending music concerts, booking a getaway at a B & B. But family obligations and traditions are tearing those ideas to shreds. It’s not just HIS family; it’s YOURS too.

Holidays and family occasions go hand in hand. Some family members have strong feelings about how they should be spent: together. But sometimes you feel like his mother or your father, or one of the siblings are deliberately trying to keep the two of you apart. Is it a sign they don’t like your new mate?

If you go ahead and make your separate plans and then announce it to the family, sometimes feelings get hurt. Will they hold it against you? Or, turning the table, will their reaction affect your feelings for them? On the other hand, if you give in and do it their way, will you resent it? What if you want it one way and your partner wants a different way? Then you may resent their actions too.

What should you do?

·  Make your feelings known to your new sweetie early in the relationship. Know where you both stand regarding holidays and family.

·  Test the waters. Bring up the subject early-on with both sides of the family, before you make any plans, and see what reaction you get. Then, at least you have time to figure out a plan of action.

·  Support one another in whatever decision is made and whatever erupts. Cooperation strengthens a relationship.

·  Let any bad feelings on your part dissolve and show the family you care and understand, no matter what they do or say.

Are Thanksgiving Plans Turning Your New Relationship into a Battlefield?

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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.