Relationship Rescue: How Do I Get My Husband to Help More During the Holidays?
Question: The holidays are always stressful for me. I always feel like everything is on me: make the plans for the holiday season, figure out what to buy the kids, buy & wrap the presents, clean the house, buy & cook the food, put the Christmas decorations up, and make sure everyone has a new outfit for Christmas etc… The list seems to go on and on and never end. So, my question is: “How do I get my husband to help more and understand what goes into planning the Holidays?”
Advice: Holidays can really stretch even the best marriages, especially when a couple has special needs children. I haven’t met a mother and wife who can turn down another serving of stress as their main course. Why do we feel the need to “do it all” and “be it all” for everyone in our lives? Where are the husbands at this stressful time of year?
My thoughts on this topic are short and to the point. We as caregivers need to learn that if we don’t buy all of the “correct” gifts for every professional in our child’s life, they are not going to abandon treatment. If they are in their field to get gifts to begin with, then they shouldn’t be doing what they are doing for a living and are not worthwhile for our children. What are we teaching our children…that every good deed gets rewarded financially? What happened to just doing a service and feeling good about doing God’s work?
We need to learn to give our husbands some of the control and deal with their abilities to handle the situation. In my opinion, we value control far too greatly and that can put stress on a marriage and emasculate even the most tolerable and understanding of husbands. The key is our priorities are not going to be their priorities. That is the balance of power in a marriage. If the kids don’t have the right outfits to wear because our spouses didn’t make the deadline, then all will not affect Christmas or Chanukah.
What does Christmas and Chanukah mean to us anyway? Is it not a time to be joyful and for Christians to celebrate the birth of Christ? Life is far too short to short change ourselves from such an outstanding, beautiful time of year!
May God Bless You All!
Robin Newman, LCSW
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This post originally appeared on our November/December 2010 Magazine