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By | Love + Sex – Mon, Dec 17, 2012 11:20 AM EST

In this high-stress season, it’s no wonder you’re ready to bite your hubby’s head off every so often. But take a step back, and follow this expert advice to avoid a major meltdown and keep the peace in the long-run. By Holly Corbett, REDBOOK.

It may seem like you’re hearing about holiday stress and relationship drama everywhere – with your friends, in the news, and at work. “Lots of anxiety gets created when you’re bombarded with these negative messages,” says Vagdevi Meunier, PsyD, a certified Gottman Couples Therapist and licensed clinical psychologist with a private practice in Austin, TX. “If you start thinking like this, every little thing becomes a fight with your partner. But if you go into the holidays with the attitude that you’re both going to have a great time, you’ll be much more likely to do so.” Follow Dr. Meunier’s tips to stay connected and avoid blowups – even when your mother-in-law tries her best button-pushing tactics.


The holiday fight: You hardly ever see your family, but your husband gets moody when he has to spend the holidays with them, so you end up feeling resentful.

How to avoid it: Though you may want to suck up as much time with your loved ones as possible, don’t plan on spending 24/7 with your family if you want to keep the peace in your marriage. “Build in escape time where the two of you can go for coffee, talk, repair and clear the air,” says Dr. Meunier. That way, when your husband inevitably says something to your brother that pisses you off, you know you’ll have a time to talk it out. This will help you get through the holidays without heaping it all on top of each other at once, and ultimately exploding in front of your family.


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The Holiday Fights All Couples Have… and how to avoid them  was originally published on