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


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.

Standing Side By Side Never Felt So Far Apart


Your relationship with your mate has grown distant. The timing couldn’t be worse. You’ll be spending a lot of time over holidays together with family and friends, but nobody except the two of you knows there’s trouble in paradise.

It’s not your season to feel jolly but you don’t want to dampen everyone else’s holiday cheer. The challenge is putting on the appearance that you’re the happy couple everyone knows you to be. You’ve never felt so alone standing side by side.

How will you keep it “together” at his parent’s house? At the holiday dinner table? Opening presents? Clicking glasses of Champagne and exchanging kisses when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve in a room full of people you know? Do you feel like decking your mate’s best friend instead of decking the halls?

Relationship limbo could be the biggest acting job you’ll ever perform. Will you bottle up the hurt, anger, resentment … or is there another way to handle the disconnect between what other eyes see and what’s really behind it?

Problems can feel overwhelming and emotions can heighten during end-of-the-year festivities. Practice how to react and respond calmly to various situations. You’ll just feel worse by adding more fuel to the fire. Discuss how you both want the holiday to proceed and don’t get roped into your partner’s plan just to avoid conflict.

And remember, like everything else, the season will pass, things will quiet down, you’ll work out a solution, and fill others in on it when you’re ready.