By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.

A study done by McCandless and Bryron analyzing breakups on Facebook recently concluded that more breakups happen from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Unfortunately, this is a completely unscientific study that makes conclusions based upon entries by Facebook users, that simply cannot be applied to the general public. People who use Facebook might in fact be different from the general population. Ask yourself these simple questions, “Are Facebook users representative of the married population in the United States?” What percentage of married couples even talk about their marital woes on Facebook?

It is counter intuitive to suggest that more couples break-up during the holiday season. The holidays add stress and tension, but the season also brings about good spirits and good will.

While this study done by McCandless and Byron is not-scientific and their conclusions cannot be applied to most couples, it is a good reminder that stress can be magnified during the holiday season. What is true is that relationships struggling during normal times, have to watch out for the impact of added holiday stress.

How to Protect Your Marriage During the Holiday Season:

1. Take a moment in the midst of the chaos and pressure of the holidays to focus on what really matters. Give your spouse your respect, your understanding, your embrace, your kiss and your time.

2. Money is not the solution to a great holiday season – especially in these tough economic times. Rather, it is the simple things that matter – simple acts of kindness, homemade gifts and cards, simple expressions of love.

3. Share the burdens. Carry the burdens of your marriage on four shoulders, not just two. Learn to sense when your spouse needs help, even when they do not ask for it. Helpfulness should become such a matter of habit that you will feel and act like a winning team.

4. Focus only on your top holiday priorities. Talk about what you are going to do for the holidays - what are you and your spouse’s highest priorities? Have this conversation as soon as possible so you both can feel good about your plans. Then, let all the other holiday “stuff” go by the wayside. Focus on what is really important – each other and your relationship.

5. Don’t blame each other when things get tough, as casting blame never solved a problem. And, don’t wallow in self-pity; it is a wasted emotion.

6. As the stress rises, so does the opportunity for argument and disagreement. Think twice before exploding with vitriolic words that cannot be taken back.

7. The holiday doesn’t have to be perfect! Invite the family and friends to share in the dinner preparation and holiday decorating. The relationships built are more important than holiday perfection.

Don’t be mislead into forming conclusions from unscientific studies about high rates of breakups – it is just Hollywood types seeking headlines. But what you can do is work on bullet proofing your relationship and making sure that you are not impacted by the added stress during the holidays. Focus on what really matters – the relationship between you and the one you love.

Simple Things Matter in love and marriage. Love well!
By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
For more tips to enhance your relationship get the Doctor’s best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage (Jossey-Bass/Wiley 2010) Available wherever books are sold.
Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
Winner of the Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book
Nautilus Book Awards Winner for Relationships

Author's Bio: 

As America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts and award-winning authors, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz help international audiences answer questions about love, marriage and relationships. With over 30 years of research on love and successful marriage across six continents of the world and their own 46-year marriage, the Doctors know what makes relationships work.

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