You can’t ignore the invitation on the refrigerator anymore; your partner’s holiday party is here. You recall times that you’ve been to these events in the past and felt awkward or out of place as you counted down the minutes until your departure.  So now, as the date approaches, you may find yourself dreading the event or even reneging on your decision to attend. For many, the social awkwardness is compounded by the feeling that your partner is neglecting you at these social or family affairs.

In my private practice with couples, I often hear of one partner feeling deserted or even “ditched” at a party while their partner is off socializing. Sometimes these events trigger big fights; other times, the couple just stops going out socially together.

In the video below, I offer tips for surviving holiday parties, particularly those parties that prompt reluctance from at least one partner. To be a secure, healthy couple, each partner needs to take care of the other–even when they’re out in public.  So for instance, connected couples go to parties and check on each other, relieve each other from boring guests, have signals to notify each other when it’s time to leave, and may have playful ways to be affectionate or share inside jokes.

A little planning and communication before the party can help avoid situations that make you feel disconnected and potentially self-conscious and out of place.  The prep work, in addition to a positive mindset, might help the event be bearable, if not enjoyable, this year as you and your partner debrief each other and laugh together on the drive home.


For more information about how I help couples strengthen their communication and intimacy, please click here. 

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