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Premarital Counseling: New Holiday Traditions
Premarital Counseling: Creating New Traditions for the Holidays and Beyond
So you and your partner are newly coupled or engaged this holiday season. Congratulations! This time in your relationship is even more exciting when you add in the fun of the holidays. Plus, the holiday season is a great time to practice creating unique traditions with your partner. (Related article: Promoting Partnership).
Today, you will learn about why traditions a re important for your partnership. You will also learn how to use traditions to find shared meaning in the holidays.
As a couple, you will work together to create your own “culture”. Culture can refer to traditions, values, and perspectives that you both share. The culture you develop will be an important part of your identity as a couple. (Related Article: Finding Shared Meaning).
It is enjoyable to create new traditions with your partner… but it can also become stressful or contentious. When you become a couple, you each bring your own personal experiences and childhood perspectives. Your original family also created its own culture with time. (Related article: Relationship Problems- In-Laws). You develop your own traditions, shared values, and culture with your partner. You will use these unique individual perspectives to help you create your own!
Creating Culture as a Couple
So, how can you make sure you are doing your best when it comes to creating this shared culture? During the holidays, traditions are especially important. John and Julie Gottman have said that traditions “give the ordinary extraordinary meaning” (Source). To find shared meaning and make traditions for yourselves, you can start by exploring how you and your spouse define certain holiday terms. For instance, to do this, you can ask each other the following questions:
-When you think of Christmas, what do you picture?
-What was your favorite holiday celebration?
-What does the holiday season mean to you?
-Are there certain Christmas traditions that are important for you to carry on in our home? Why are they important to you?
Asking these sorts of questions helps you to understand the meaning you and your partner find in the holiday season. (Related article: Holiday Stress). Taking the time to understand how you each picture the holidays can help you decide which traditions you’d like to pass on. And, from there, you can work to create new traditions together.
Explore Shared Meaning
Creating your relationship culture is a lifelong pursuit, not just one destination. The holiday season is no exception. Premarital counseling and couples counseling are also useful tools for exploring shared meaning in your relationship. A therapist can also help you create compromises and new traditions you can share with your partner. To get started, schedule an appointment with one of our therapists today in Orem, South Jordan, or Spanish Fork.
Written by Lauren Adkins