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Avoiding arguments on your summer holiday

Tags: arguing on holiday, conflict, stress, relationship advice, finding time for each other
Featured in Microsite: Men's microsite

The build up to a summer holiday is often long and intense. The list of potential stresses can seem never-ending: money; tickets; passports; overweight baggage; bickering children. And this is supposed to be quality time together!

Here at the CoupleConnection we often see an increase in users after holiday periods. This suggests holidays may be leading to increased stress and more arguments for families, who then seek relationship advice to help put things right as they settle back into a routine.

In fact, a recent poll by found that two thirds of couples end up arguing once on holiday, with 1 in 4 having rows by day three.

But the figures are hardly surprising. British families are working harder than ever throughout the year; by the time holidays come round there’s high expectations for our precious time off. Already exhausted, and potentially irritable, it’s no wonder even minor setbacks can lead to frayed tempers as soon as we’ve turned the Out Of Office on.

Money worries have got some of us arguing about our holiday (budget; location; necessity) before we even take off. And the lucky few who do get away often feel unable to switch off from work in fear of falling behind. BlackBerries on the beach and work calls from the sun lounger are often a source of resentment for partners who feel their other half’s work will always take priority, even on holiday.

But don’t let frustrations brought from home put a dampener on your time away together. Here are some top tips to help you make the most of your summer holiday.

Tips for avoiding arguments on holiday:

  1. Remember the issues you face on holiday are largely the same ones you deal with at home. Expect that they’ll crop up, that way they won’t overshadow everything else.
  2. Try to postpone arguments. If a conversation starts to get heated try saying something like: “If we carry on with this conversation it’ll turn into an argument. Let’s not spoil the day while we’re on holiday. Shall we drop it for now and pick it up again once we’re home?” Very few arguments suffer from being postponed; most of the time you won’t care enough to revisit it at a later date.
  3. Decide when to switch off. It’s unfair on your partner to constantly check work emails while you’re supposed to be spending quality time together. So switch off the Blackberry, and if you really must check in with work schedule an hour in the morning or evening to focus on it so it doesn’t detract from the rest of your time together.
  4. Schedule some ‘me’ time. If you’re busy lives at home mean you’re not used to living in each other’s pockets, set some time off when you can pursue your own interests. A morning swim or an afternoon stroll round the local shops can give you some much needed space.
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