Ah, the holidays! Cooking, presents, parties, family – all these festive preparations and responsibilities associated with this time of year can easily wear on your current relationship. This added stress in both of your lives can manifest itself in increased arguments, frustration, even disrespect. It’s important to keep this high-pressure time in perspective and not forget to appreciate your partner and the life you have built together. One of the worst and most destructive ways to act out your holiday unease is through an affair. The holiday season is fraught with pitfalls that can easily challenge a relationship, but if you learn to watch out for the signs that suggest you or your partner might be straying, you’ll be able to dodge the “betrayal bullet.”
Emotions are Elevated
The stress of holiday expectations – cooking, party preparations, gift giving – can cause elevated emotions during this time of year. When people feel stressed, they tend to release that pressure in whatever ways are available to them, which often takes the form of emotional outbursts aimed at those around them. As patience diminishes with approaching deadlines, it is easy to snap at the person closest to you. If you find yourself arguing frequently with your partner, you may not want to spend as much time with them. A weaker person may turn their time and attention towards someone new who will lavish them with attention and appreciation, someone with whom they do not have an emotional investment, and hence no expectations.
Another emotional stressor can be the expectations and relationship problems you may have with your family. As holidays are the time of year to be with family and pardon any past offenses, you can easily run into a situation where you are trying your best but failing to handle the problems between you and a family member. Understandably, this too can instigate a yearning for a connection with someone outside of your familial circle, someone who can listen to your woes and comfort you in contrast to turning to your partner, who may, for example, tell you that they “have heard enough about all of your family drama.” Sometimes the mate can feel like their hands are tied in this situation, as they feel more like an outsider to their partner’s family problems. It is important to remain close to each other through these holiday stresses, allowing these challenges to strengthen your bond and love for each other, instead of pushing the two of you apart.
Alcohol and Inhibition
During the holidays people tend to drink more, which lowers inhibitions. A common by factor of lowered inhibitions can be sex, which is just not an acceptable excuse for your company holiday party indiscretions, at least as far as your significant other is concerned. In fact, as the holidays bring with them many parties spiked with champagne and spiced eggnog, as well as potentially sexier clothes and dancing, there are more temptations to be dealt with. Don’t let all those mimosas you had, and your fleeting attraction to that guy at the party, be the end of your relationship. Know your limits and invite your partner to the parties – that way, when you’ve had a few cups of spiked apple cider, you can enjoy taking your significant other home and celebrating your love together.
A Time of Reflection, Transition and Change
The holidays and the end of the year bring about a type of personal reflection. Has the year gone as you wished? What will next year bring? Are you happy with what you have, or do you want a change? These reflections can add stress and unhappiness to the holidays, especially if part of your dissatisfaction and frustration stems from your relationship, and you feel that you cannot talk this over with your partner. Seeking comfort in another’s arms may be tempting to some people in this situation. It is important to keep communicating with your partner, no matter what the circumstance or outcome. Together, you can decide whether you two want to work through your problems or go your separate ways. Remember, “tis the season to be merry” — not unmarried!