Marriage and Stress of the Holidays

Why are holidays a stressful time? When we were in 3rd grade, Christmas break was anything but stressful. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, several things can magnify stress during the holidays. This impacts our marriages, especially those that weren’t in the best shape going into the holiday season.


Maybe we lost a loved one or another good friend this year. Maybe we are physically separated from a spouse serving overseas. Maybe you’ve recently divorced. Someone could be in the hospital and we are not allowed to see them. These circumstances create stress.


Gift giving; what to buy, how much to spend, and for whom also adds stress! Layoffs and tight finances only make it worse.


Being face to face for an afternoon with someone that you would rather not see. COVID-19 keeping you from being with those you enjoy. Did I mention this stuff causes even more stress?


Speaking of COVID; for some this has been a VERY long year already, with way too much time together for the whole family. Spouses working from home and kids who are now doing school from a distance can create some extremely uncomfortable situations. Then we add in normal holiday stress, and some people are now really suffering.


Do you own a small business? Is your fiscal year the same as the calendar year? If the answer is yes, there will be stress during the holidays.


What do we do? How can we get relief?


This may not be the answer you are looking for, but it works. Take a deep breath and remember God is in control. None of this surprises Him or has caught Him off guard. He has a plan and we are part of it.


Trust God.


When I left a good job to come to Longview Retreat full time that was my plan – trust God. I didn’t KNOW if my Board was going to hire me or not. I didn’t know the answer to many questions surrounding that decision, I just knew I was supposed to be here full time. It has worked out. My Board agreed to hire me for four months and then take a second look. It’s now been 5 ½ years and God keeps making it happen.


The Bible tells us that in this world we will have trouble. God knows what we are dealing with. Make it your goal to understand how this all works and why. Find out what could possibly be in the Bible to help you right now?


This takes faith; certainty that what is unseen, but hoped for, will come to pass. If we knew every twist and turn, it wouldn’t take faith and we wouldn’t need to rely on Jesus. The thing to do is to believe that Jesus is who He says He is and that through Him, all things are possible. Faith.


Your spouse can be an ally during this time. Share what is going on internally for you with them. If they are personally responsible for some of your stress, talk it out – share the truth with love, not by spewing your hurt feelings all over them. Your spouse is not your trash can. They are a gift from God to stand alongside you as the two of you go through life. See them that way. If that statement causes you to laugh out loud, you need to rethink your marriage – get it back on track!


And that’s where Longview Retreat comes in. Our passion is to help couples know Jesus Christ personally and the differences He can make in your life, your marriage and all your other relationships. Read through some of our other blogs, email us, participate in one of our events or come see us. Don’t let the enemy have your marriage – fight back. We’re here to teach you how!