The holidays and heartbreak go hand in hand, according to a controversial relationship expert who calls Christmas drama “ridiculous.”
Jack Maddockwho is known for his tough-love approach to dating, argues that people should be honest about money, stress, and holiday expectations.
“The tradition of Christmas is all about joy. And yet it is one of the great relationship flash points. Christmas can be very stressful. Everyone has high expectations that reality doesn’t always live up to it,” he told FEMAIL.
At the risk of sounding like the Grinch, Jake claims that breaking his “five rules for Christmas” will end in your relationship imploding by the New Year.
Jake Maddock doesn’t want to be the Grinch, but has some very scary warnings about Christmas and the impact it can have on your relationship
“The dramas that Christmas causes are ridiculous,” he said. “And the ways to avoid them are obvious.”
He knows this because January is his busiest months, as couples flock to him in a last-ditch effort to repair the damage done by the silly season.
And gifting can be a big part of the problem.
For example, buying a vacuum cleaner for “her” is a stupid move that leaves you in the dog house.
And getting ‘him’ socks and jockstraps as stocking stuffers is a mighty red flag.
Followed by general budgeting for festivities.
“Work it out together before you pull out your wallet. Respect the other person’s money worries, but don’t make Christmas miserable because you cut so many corners,” he said.
Conversely, don’t demand a total Christmas just because you think it has to be grand. Both will only cause resentment and maybe another fight to drive you further apart.’
Jake has five tips for getting through January without heartbreak:
Don’t take it out on your partner
“It’s not their fault if you have ‘so many’ things to do before Christmas, work is busy and you’re exhausted,” he said.
“Plan ahead and plan better, especially if this Christmas isn’t your first rodeo. And give yourself some leeway for the unforeseen.
During the Christmas and New Year period, more couples break up than ever before, explains Jake
“If you haven’t planned and it’s all getting to you, know that adding a fight to your to-do list won’t make things any easier.
‘Be nice. Your relationship will be calmed and grateful. And if your partner is stressed, for heaven’s sake offer to help (that’s not the same as telling them how to do something).’
What are Jake’s five tips?
1 – Don’t take the stress of the season out on your partner
2 – Don’t plan to do too much during the holidays
3 – Support your partner at events
4 – Discuss expectations about giving
5 – Make time for each other
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
You don’t have to race to all the family Christmas parties in one day.
“Work out a schedule over the two weeks or over the years,” he said.
Friends or family? How hard is it to spread your coziness over the two weeks of Christmas?
‘Do you hate his/her parents? Difficult. Suck it up. It’s a day out of 365. They hate you? Be the best person you can be. You don’t have to prove them right,” he added.
Be the support you want your partner to be
“They might even give something back. If they don’t know the people you’re with, make sure you include them,” he said.
“Doesn’t matter if it’s a work party or a family gathering. Don’t leave them high and dry and hate you.
Also, don’t ridicule them in front of friends or family — even if those friends or family are. If your partner is being teased, stand up for them.
“And if a traditional Christmas fight ensues, don’t join the other side of your partner. Keeping your relationship strong is more important than proving that your opinion is correct.’
Work out your giving strategy
‘Don’t buy her a vacuum cleaner. Do not buy underwear and socks for him. Set a price for your mutual gifts and make them loving, romantic, or something that matches a passion they have.
“Practically, their hearts probably won’t fill with loving feelings,” he added.
Make time for each other
“Don’t make Christmas too crowded with other people — not even kids,” he said.
“Use it as a time to put some fun back into your relationship if it has wilted.” Think of it as the best Christmas present you can give yourself.’
What are the top five psychological causes of holiday breakups?
1 – The Last Straw – Some people don’t plan to end their relationships by Christmas – but as the stress of the season mounts, little things can become deal breakers. For example, a woman who has asked her partner to drink less may leave when he gets drunk and accidentally knocks over the Christmas tree. The incident is small, but the build up was great.
2 – To cause more pain – Some partners want to make a statement. And there’s no better way to vent someone’s anger than to end a relationship at a time when family is considered to be at an all-time high. Most of these individuals claim to be unaware of their need to accentuate the pain they inflict, but seem to have little regret when pointed out.
3 – The End of an Era – Some people keep up appearances at Christmas to spare their families grief, before calling it quits early in the New Year.
4 – Family Issues – Some people sit back and watch their partner interact with their loved ones during Christmas. If they don’t “fit in,” these people are more likely to break up — even if they’re married. This is easier to do if the “terminator’s” family also feel they are not a good fit for the partner.
5 – Guilt – If your family has never approved of your partner, you may feel the need to break up over the holidays as a way to pay off your debt to your family.
Source: Psychology today