The rise in the number of divorces after holiday periods isn’t make-believe and September and December are clear proof of it.
It never ceases to amaze you when you see the statistics and get confirmation that the moment couples’ holidays come to an end is when the number of divorces rises most. In other words, it demolishes the theory of being together; time off forms part of the breaking point in the majority of couples who decide to separate.
The root of the problem lies in the amount of time they spend alone without communicating, even though it becomes clear during the holidays which is when we have more continuous contact with our partner and our ability to put up with them, level of flexibility, communication and tolerance are put to the test. Both strong points and weak points emerge.
Who would believe that Spain is, after Portugal and Italy, the country with the highest number of divorces in the EU? The increase over the last decade has been unstoppable.
It’s hard enough just putting up with your partner during the holidays, let alone when you add the family, and there’s nothing like Christmas for it; arguments erupt over the most insignificant things: dinners, presents, parties…
Holidays are that time of year when uncomfortable commitments come to the forefront: the sister-in-law who’s a drag, the scrounging brother-in-law, the unbearable cousin or the artist who knows more than everyone else. For all these reasons, it is no easy task knowing how to deal with them without coming off emotionally damaged.
Traditions that are tolerated become unpleasant and unbearable, and the conflict goes on from there to find many couples considering divorce in the New Year.
If the relationship is not to end up suffocating you it is vital to create two zones with friends and friendships: one that is a common space and another one that is for you alone. But we should always give priority to the family that we have created, our children and our partner, to our own family, parents, parents-in-law, siblings…
It is absolutely vital to spend time with your partner; even when it comes to our children it’s a good idea to maintain some space without them such as romantic dinners, weekends, birthdays.
And all of it without leaving out empathy, reflecting on and being close to others’ emotions.
Having said that, let’s remember some important guidelines if we are to get through the Christmas holidays unharmed:
-Respect protocol: be elegant, discreet, well mannered and cordial. Empathy is basic and helps to resolve many things.
-It’s not the right time to clear things up; set everything aside: you will have other opportunities.
-Find a way to spend as little time as possible with those people who are around you only because of the holidays. Just the right amount.
-It’s better not to attend a meal than to go in order to turn it into a fight; remember that holidays are not yours alone; they are time spent with others, so show solidarity.
-Establish limits with your partner before leaving home; once they have been cleared up and discussed it is much easier to apply them to parents and parents in-law: ask them to respect your agreements.
-Avoid confusion with the in-laws: it is better to communicate anything to your partner and let them be the one who expresses the others’ attitude towards you or whatever it is that makes you uncomfortable.
-Do not overestimate or underestimate other people; all of them will have positive aspects and limitations, so value them in human terms.
If in spite of all this a disagreement has been inevitable, reflect on the motive, the situation and be aware that it takes two to tango; no one individual is to blame, so taking recriminations to extremes is not good. It’s worthwhile finding ways to make up again.
Whenever there is love there is a solution, and if there is not one, then, dear friends, the best thing that can happen to you is that fortunate argument.
As Borges rightly said: “they have stopped deceiving you, not wanting you and you suffer as if they had stopped loving you”