It’s the most anticipated holiday of the year Christmas and New Year for many, the kids are excited, time off work and lots of parties, family get-togethers and gifts to buy. However, sadly it can be a time when couples fight the most and small things can lead to out-of-control arguments. So, what can you today to begin to prepare yourself mentally for the upcoming festive season? We each have different concerns that seem to pop up every holiday and what causes marriage problems for one couple won’t necessarily bother another couple, so here are 3 of the most common marriage problems at this time of year and some solutions. If you have another problem, not listed here, do get in touch.

Marriage problem 1 DEALING WITH IN-LAWS:

If this is an area of concern for you and / or your partner, think about what it is that always causes the arguments. Is it what they say? Is it how they act? Is it how they treat you or how your partner acts different around them? What are the issues that seem to happen every holiday? With that awareness in mind write down all the things you could do to prevent it from happening. Remember the important thing is generally to be happy, not necessarily right. Ask yourself, would you be willing to say nothing and not react when prompted by an in-law for the sake of the conversation not turning into a full blown argument. Sometimes, silence is the only way to keep the peace. You might want to hurl back abuse at an in-law for something they say, but try where possible to refrain from biting back. Walk away. Change the subject and take some deep breaths. Remember, you can always choose to later have a discussion with them about their actions and to express your opinion, when you have cooled down and are away from the kids and when the time is ‘right’

TOP TIP: Don’t react when prompted. Remember it’s sometimes better to say nothing. Deal with issues away from the kids. Agree with your partner in advance that if it gets too much, you will go for a walk, a coffee, to the mall or see a friend.

Marriage problem 2 MONEY AND BUYING GIFTS:

Some of the biggest arguments over the holidays are sadly about money. It often starts when both partners have different ideas about money. For example, one partner may have had very little for Christmas as a child and sees Christmas as a time to really spoil the kids with gifts that he or she never received and to over-spend. On the other hand, giving expensive gifts to the family may not be such a big deal as spending quality time with them playing games and watching movies together. If your partner grew up with a parent who was ‘not there’ during the holidays, always working or ‘drunk’ then ‘being there for the family’ could be their number one priority. When both partners come together to celebrate the holiday with different ideas about what makes ‘the perfect day’ it can be breeding ground for disaster. It doesn’t have to be though. If you can do this exercise with your partner, it’s better, but it not sit down alone and write down all the things that would make up ‘the perfect holiday’ for you. Then when you’ve identified 5 or more, look at your list and ask yourself, what’s the most important. Keep doing that until you’ve put your list in order, one being the most important and five being the least. If you are doing this with your partner, compare your lists and talk about why your number one is so important and what it means to you. If you knew that your partner grew up with few presents would this change how you feel about them when they spend money? Awareness if everything.

TOP TIP: Write down a list of what would make your holiday ‘perfect’ in your eyes. Is it expensive gifts, dinner at home or dinner at your favourite restaurant, whatever it is that excites you, write it all down and share your list with your partner. Discuss what and why is important to you and talk about how you can both meet each other’s needs this holiday.

Marriage problem 3 DRINKING ALCOHOL:

It’s a well know fact that alcohol consumption increases over the holidays. Yet ‘drinking’ can mean two very different things to a couple. One partner may see the holidays as a chance to binge or feel they ‘need it’ to relax and unwind, the other may just enjoy the odd glass or two. Again, think back to last year, did drink cause you any problems as a couple, did it lead to fighting or more  love and connection? Did it cause arguments or happiness?

TOP TIP: Let’s be honest, you can’t stop your partner from doing anything they don’t want to do. But you can inspire them to change, this is what I help individuals who seek my counsel to do. Support your spouse to do different things, by replacing drinking with exciting alternatives, days or evenings out, evening activities where there will be no drink.

Hope these help you…

From my heart to yours, Nicola

Contact or find out more about me at


P.S If your marriage is in serious trouble or you are currently going through or coming out of a separation or divorce and are dreading the holidays – get in touch with me. Throughout December and the first week in January  I will be making time in my schedule for 3 Free Consultations each week.

PP.S If you know the holidays are a trigger time for you or are concerned things may not go as planned I want you to know I will be open during Christmas and New Year for calls or visits. This time of year can be great or challenging and I will be here to support you. If this resonates with you – you are welcome to book via whats app +971509454233 or email  With love and best wishes x


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