Santa Barbara Wellness Network

Rediscover Joy


The holidays are here. I just wish there was less tension in my relationship. We have a big house, lots of activity with our kids, high overhead, and little time. Although, we live in a beautiful house, we are hardly home to enjoy it. When we are together we feel stressed out and unappreciated for the burden that we each bare, which fuels quite a bit of fighting. All the pressure is hurting our relationship. How do we get out of this pattern?


I understand your concern. No emotional connection during the holidays is like a birthday without cake. Something is obviously missing.

It’s always sad to realize you have so much of everything, but the main thing is not there. Too bad getting genuine connection is not as easy as running to the store, grabbing a pastry off the shelf, and checking out.

Keeping the hearts open requires a real intention, a shared desire, and a decision between partners to prioritize it.

And there is no doubt about it, pressures from a fast pace life with no time and high overhead can kill the romance, close the hearts, and make every day life together feel like drudgery.

In addition, since the holidays are all about relationships, they have the side effect of magnifying the obvious lacking in them. If this is the case for you, take advantage of your “deficit awareness” to reconsider your lifestyle and relationship habits, especially before you get swamped with seasonal activities and spending.

Sometimes our life gets too driven by the societal pressures of how you “should” live, as well as exaggerated desires to have and be more, so much so, that you miss out on the richness of quality interactions.

So this holiday season treat yourself to an emotional upgrade.

Start by having a conversation with your partner and letting them know you would love to give and receive the gift of an improved connection.

Is that something they would like too? If the answer is YES:

Redefine your priorities. Redefine the way you wish to engage with each other. Redefine how you want to live life.

Decide to get your needs for appreciation met by becoming each other’s biggest fan, in thought, actions, and words.

Then follow through by breathing life into the mundane.

Making dinner can be romantic if you chose. For it is simply a loving thought, a romantic gaze, a light touch that transforms a mundane process into something fulfilling and dynamic.

So, if no time or high overhead is poisoning your relationship, take action to eliminate these common romance killers by:

– Re evaluating your lifestyle priorities.

– Make romance a priority.

– Cut back on careless spending and replace it with being frivolous together: Dress up for no reason. Dance in the kitchen.

– Make the most of the time you do have with your loved ones. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

– Up the appreciation levels and compliment each other often.

– Remind yourselves that you’re on the same team, sharing mutual goals and interests.

– Find the opportunities to create rich connection.

Rediscover joy this holiday season. Just remember the next time you pass the salt, it’s a perfect moment to connect with your life partner.

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