Money, your relationship and Christmas

posted by in Living with debt

Don’t let debt ruin Christmas for you and your partner

Far from being the most wonderful time of the year, for some people Christmas can be the most harrowing, especially if you’re worrying about debt. Everyone seems to have their hand out, no one seems to want to help with Christmas dinner, and every little annoyance seems a hundred times bigger.

All that stress has many couples bickering over the most trivial things. Little spats are normal, but everyday rows can indicate trouble. If this sounds familiar then you may need advice from Relate, the UK’s leading relationship counselling service.

You might ask, what do relationships have to do with your finances? Relate have found that 80% of their clients are dealing with money worries. They then take their worries out on their partner, which just makes things worse.

We’ve put together a list of Relate’s best relationship remedies to help you stick together this Christmas and beyond…

Time out!

Arguments are common in relationships but if they start over something petty such as the angle someone hangs the tinsel at, chances are there’s an underlying factor.

If you find yourself on the edge of a petty bickering match, Relate suggests that you think about what’s really bothering you. Once you know what it is ask yourself if it’s something you must clear the air over now or if it’d be wiser to remove your argument from the festivities.

Have you been burning the candle at both ends lately? All that stress or tiredness from all that Christmas shopping can intensify a fight.

Relate also suggest that you keep an eye on those physical feelings which warn you if you’re close to losing control. A knot in the stomach, breathlessness, tears; these reactions all spell trouble. Leave the room and take time to calm down. Once you’re relaxed you can deal with the problem more constructively.

Listen up

Few things cause arguments like the feeling that your partner really doesn’t know you at all. Buying you a present that has nothing to do with your interests can only invite resentment that’ll last long after the New Year.

Communication is at the heart of all relationships. Many people who get in touch with Relate say that a lack of communication has been the main factor when it comes to their relationship breaking down.

If you feel that your money is running away with the reindeers this Christmas you must let your partner know. Tell them that January is a mean month as it is, and going wild in the aisles now will only compound things later.

Relate believe that speaking your mind is key in all that you do. So next time your partner wants to splash out on that fancy Christmas tablecloth, tell them exactly what you feel about it rather than letting it stew.

The great escape

Time alone with your partner can be at a premium at the best of times but at Christmas it can seem like you barely see them at all!

Once you’ve gotten the biggest festive stresses out the way, such as entertaining the in-laws and finding the perfect turkey, make it your mission to devote a portion of your free time to your partner.

Now don’t panic. We’re not talking fancy restaurants or trips to Paris. Time together can literally mean time to gather your thoughts and have a chat over a cup of tea. Give the kids to Grandma for an hour and go for a walk, put them to bed early and watch a comedy snuggled up on the couch; whatever it takes for you to reconnect.

If you loved me, you’d let me know

If you’re worried that your debts will begin to affect your relationship, take the time now to seek advice. You can use Debt Remedy, our anonymous debt advice tool that can give you your solution in just 20 minutes.

Rachel Connor has been with the charity for over 8 years, starting in Helpline before joining the MoneyAware team in 2012. Rach enjoys travelling, video games, watching anime, reading and creative writing in her spare time (currently writing a Young Adult fantasy series). She had a previous life as head writer on Cartoon Network's Ed Edd n Eddy and as a copywriter for LivingSocial. She's also written comics and graphic novels for the animated series Regular Show.

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