Cathy Madavan talks on keeping your cool when temperatures rise.

Summertime! For many couples it simply can’t come soon enough.

The idea of time off work together, relaxing at home or on holiday, is something to really look forward to. But that’s not the case for everyone. For some couples, the anticipation of summer holidays may be far from pleasant.

For couples like this, even the thought of a summer holiday can make them feel incredibly stressed out. There’s the weather to worry about for one thing. It’s something that’s completely out of our control, and yet it has the potential to make or break a holiday. Then there’s the cost to consider – “Can we really justify spending this much on it when we still need to get a new boiler?” – not to mention actually agreeing as a couple on how and where to spend our holiday each year! The reality is that financial pressures, conflicting opinions, and an intense period of time alone together mean that holidays don’t always bring out the best in us.

If you find holidays a stressful time in your relationship you may find some of these tips helpful:

  • If you both have different ideas about what makes for a great holiday then compromise is vital. Whether you take it in turns to decide what to do each year, or agree to meet each other somewhere in the middle, the ability to communicate well and reach a decision you’re both happy with is a real must.
  • Be honest with each other about what you do and don’t want from a holiday. What things are important to you and what are you willing to compromise on? Think about past holidays that you enjoyed and ask each other what worked about them and why.
  • Be realistic about what you can afford. There is no point in spending hours looking on the Internet at holidays in Barbados, if your budget doesn’t match up.
  • Planning a holiday can take a lot of effort so try to share the hard work, both of you doing your best to be involved in the preparations.
  • Take time before the holiday to talk about what you are hoping to do and what you want to get out of it. Many holiday arguments are caused by unmet expectations when couples have not shared their thoughts on what they hope the holiday will achieve.
  • Remember that you can’t control the weather. Although bad weather on holiday can be a real disappointment, it’s not the be all and end all. Decide in advance not to let the weather affect your mood. After all, it’s much easier to deal with a rainy day when on holiday than a moody spouse!
  • Focus on the positives. It might not be your dream destination, but there are always things to enjoy on holiday. Try to show good will, even if you’re doing things you wouldn’t choose to do.
  • Holidays are a great time to make memories, so whether you opt for an exotic break or a stay with extended family, take the time to take photos and have fun together.
  • And if all the good intentions fail and things don’t go well? Don’t dwell on it when you get back home. Commit to working through any differences you may have had and moving forward together as a couple.
Cathy Madavan

About the author

Cathy Madavan is a popular speaker and author, who, having faced her fair share of life’s curve balls, encourages others to live with courage and resilience. Cathy lives on the South Coast with her husband Mark and their two daughters who are trying to fly the nest!

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