Every holiday, my wife and I argue over whose family we are going to spend time with. As I see it, the problem is that my wife doesn’t like my family and is overly involved with hers.
I tolerate spending more time with her family throughout the year because it’s just not worth the fight, but on the holidays I want equal treatment. How can I get her to understand I want to spend equal time with my family on holidays?
At its core, getting along in a marriage is about negotiating differences. Negotiations over minor issues come and go almost without notice, but the more emotionally charged ones can labor on for years.
Also at play here is the personal dynamic of your marriage. Guessing from your statement, “it’s just not worth the fight”, you may give in to your wife on most issues just to keep the peace. So long as doing so doesn’t breed resentment, giving in is neither a good nor bad thing, it’s just how the two of you have settled in to the routine of marriage. It’s not uncommon for the more laid back spouse to give way to the more passionate one.
This issue is very important to you. How have you made that known to your wife? Have you shared your feelings on this, or have you simply fought over the logistics? Taking this negotiation to the feelings level, something wives don’t often hear from their men, just may be the silver bullet that helps the two of you get to the heart of the matter.
As you tip your toe in to this negotiation be prepared to stand firm. Expect resistance. Why wouldn’t you if for the rest of the year you’ve been letting her get her way?
Worst case scenario, if your wife refuses to meet you half way on this, know that you can go alone to visit your family. I know that you don’t want to split up for the holiday, but that may be just the message your princess of a wife needs delivered, that plus a tiara from Santa for Christmas this year!
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• In what other areas have you known you wife to be uncompromising?
• How have you effectively negotiated those differences?
• How prepared are you to stand firm on this issue of equal time?
• How will you brace for and handle the expected resistance?
Listen this weekend to “The Joan Jerkovich Holiday Show” where I answer the questions you, my listeners, have asked me about the holidays!
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