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How to Nurture Your Relationship in the Holidays

During the holidays, the expectation is that relationships will automatically be replenished, rejuvenated and reignited just by the pure fact that couples are no longer in their daily routine and can now kick back and relax with one another.

The reality is that many a holiday has been spent with one partner spending the day at the pool as the other heads off in the opposite direction to the beach with barely a grunt for a goodbye. If they can’t make amends quickly enough, holidays making special memories with loved ones are soon ruined. So, what’s the trick? Well, there really isn’t any magic here. Relationships, like everything else in life, require work and going on holiday doesn’t mean taking your foot off the pedal. Work is twofold and for the most part it’s about working on yourself as an individual and learning how you can be the partner you would love to have.


In marriage counselling, we look at different ways you can start nurturing your relationship and not just on holiday but every day too, such as: 1. Prioritising Your Partner

Whether you are spending time with family or friends make sure to put your partner first. It’s easy to get distracted by everyone else wanting your attention but don’t get so caught up in the conversation that you forget about your partner.

Having a conversation before attending events can help to clear up feelings that may arise such as feeling neglected or insecure. Knowing this could come up ahead of time means you can talk through any potential issues and reassure one another prior to anything arising.

Check in with your partner throughout the event to make sure you are on the same page and nothing is coming up for either one of you and if it is, that it can be worked through straight away before resentments are built up. Remember that your partner is the one you go home to every day and not the family and friends you see every few weeks or months each year so keep it thriving.

2. Make Time for Each Other

Holidays are not just about the children. Too often parents put everything into making the children happy and forget about themselves or by the time the kids have had their fun the parents are just too exhausted to enjoy anything together.

Plan some time for one another ahead of reaching the holiday destination either when the kids are asleep or if there’s a kids club go ahead and book them in for an hour or two. Use this time to connect.

Go for a massage together or what about a long walk along the beach? Have dinner out together, somewhere romantic, and if you can’t, after dinner with the kids and when they’re in bed, have a tub of Ben & Jerry's ice-cream to share on the couch with the TV off and spend some time just talking with one another. If you’ve got time, why not write down some questions that you can ask each other and then delve into each one. Some examples can be ‘what do you regret most in life?’ or ‘what excites you each day?’.

3. Listen to One Another

When your partner is talking to you how do you listen? Are you on your phone texting or scrolling? Are you walking around or are you standing still? Are you looking at your partner or are you being distracted by what’s happening around you?

When your partner is talking, they are asking you to connect with them and when you don’t stop and focus on them you are not showing them that they are important to you. This doesn’t mean you always have to stop what you are doing but if you can’t then you need to let them know that it’s not the right time. Make sure though to make another time for this conversation and then be there at that time to hear them. This builds trust in the relationship.

When it is time, listen, stop what you are doing and hear what they are saying. Take an interest and be curious, ask questions and if they don’t ask you for a solution – don’t try to fix anything. Show up by offering support, showing empathy and have their back. This builds emotional connection.

4. Share the Load & Show Appreciation

On holiday, share the load... This is a great time to help out and work together as a team so that you can both have quality time enjoying one another and your holiday destination together. If you need to, plan ahead so that cooking, cleaning, packing, unpacking is all worked out and arguments can be avoided ahead of time.

Don’t forget to show appreciation. It can be really easy to begin to take your partner for granted and all the things they do. There are so many little ways saying thank you can be done, whether through leaving a small note, verbally saying thank you, buying them a small gift such as chocolates or flowers, even letting other people know how much you value them. Relationship research expert, Dr John Gottman, rightly says ‘Small Things Done Often’ is how successful long-term relationships are created so if your partner is the one regularly doing things then make sure you are at least doing things in return to thank them.


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