The Holiday Season: Marriage Tips (Part 2 of 7)
Greetings. It is the holiday season. Walmart, Target and Home Depot are ready. These retail stores and television commercials are reminding you, it is the holiday season, so get shopping as soon as possible. So without control over time, this holiday season soon will be here. Sure, you could be a Grinch and avoid this season at all possible. But unless you fly off to some remote spot in the world, the holiday season is upon us.
In the next 7 weeks, I want to write to spouses and to your marriage about how the two of you are going to experience this holiday season. I will use the word holiday by writing about each letter to give your marriage some tips about how to view this season. I hope you find these tips helpful.
The second letter is O for Ours. For your marriage, you need to find a way to answer this question during this holiday season: What part of this season is for us and our time together? Can you and your spouse create time and space for what you two want?
The holiday season can be filled with busy times given to your children, place of employment, family, relatives, friends, traditions, and holiday expectations. So to have a happy holiday for your marriage, sit down with your spouse and ask: But what about our time together during this season?
Protect your time and our time. Learn to set boundaries and learn to fight for what both of you want as time for us. Maybe our time is a nice dinner together, putting the kids and other obligations aside by 8:30 each night, and have some sweet snacks together that you would not normally have throughout the year. Be creative and value together what our time can look like.
For example, maybe our time is going for a walk, a concert, out for dinner, time in the bedroom, making a fire and talking by turning off your electronic devices, and overall intentionally wanting time for us. Many things are going to demand your time, but find a way for our time to be just as important as these outside demands. Pleasing others and not pleasing one another can create little time for us.
The holiday season can be one of obligations, duties, traditions, and expectations. So to create our time may mean you say no to some of these obligations and traditions. Sit down with your spouse and who do you need to say no to this season, not for the sake of hurting or pushing them away, but for the sake of preserving and protecting our time together. Our time needs to be more important than children time, work time, family time, and traditional activity time.
So value your spouse and value your time with one another. Don’t let all the other activities steal your and our time together. Find a way to create a memorable holiday this year by investing in time for the marriage and our time together. I promise you, it will be worth it.
Thanks for reading.
Phillip Kiehl, LMFT #42351
Author of “Creating the Healthy Marriage You Want: Stop Accusing & Start Accepting One Another.”