About The Author
When Chick Moorman speaks, people do more than listen.
They put his ideas to use in
Chick Moorman builds a
bond with his audience
through motivational stories
and humor. His unique way
of personalizing the concepts being presented helps participants connect with the
content and adapt it for their own use.
Chick has over 35 years experience as an educator
and parent. The ideas he presents are functional, and
can be put to use immediately. His ideas produce results.
Participants simply state
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Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of
Couple Talk: How to Talk
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|| Many people experience stress during
the holiday season. Some get the blues, others find that the holidays don't turn out quite
they way they had hoped. To make sure your holiday season creates more joy and
less stress, have these five conversations with your spouse soon.
Conversation One: Share Expectations
Get clear about what you want from the holidays, and express your wishes to your spouse.
Do you know what you want? Are there parts of last year's celebrations you want to change
or eliminate? Are there pieces you want to add or embellish?
It is difficult to express your holiday desires until you are
clear in your own mind about what they are. Look within yourself. What does your gut tell
you about the upcoming holidays? What do you dread? What thoughts put a smile on your
face? Do some journaling to get clear about your holiday expectations. Create your
personal fantasy of the best holiday season ever.
When you know what you want, share that information with your
partner. Chances are, your partner is not a psychic and is not adept at reading your mind.
Open up and communicate your holiday desires.
Invest as much time in listening to your partner as
you do in sharing your own ideas. Your partner has equally valid desires
that need to be addressed if your family is going to experience a joyful holiday season.
Arriving at a set of mutual expectations for this special time of year takes a willingness
to alternately talk and listen until consensus is achieved.
Conversation Two: Money
Create a holiday financial plan. How
much money do you want to budget for gifts, entertainment, and food? Can you agree on how
much money to spend on each other? Where will the money come from? Who is going to supply
the money and when will that happen? Are you willing to go into debt and if so, how much?
Will you borrow or use a credit card?
There are no right or wrong answers to the money questions
that arise during this conversation. What is important is that you reach
agreement. Also discuss ways to help each other stick to the financial plan. If one person
holds the line and the other goes way over budget, resentment can grow along with the size
of the bills.
Conversation Three: In-Laws and Other Relatives
Sex, money, and in-laws are
the three most often discussed topics during marriage counseling. Best to
anticipate the potential in-law problem and head it off at the pass.
Come to an agreement on how you want to handle the in-laws before
they call you. Create your plan and propose it to the in-laws rather than being forced to
react to their proposal. By discussing plans for how to deal with in-laws (both sets)
prior to the holidays, you become proactive rather than reactive.
Keep in mind that you will not be able to make
everyone happy. If you attempt to meet everyone's needs, you will over
schedule and create stress for yourself and your family. Focus on your family's needs, and
celebrate the holidays with your in-laws and other relatives in ways that work foryou.
Conversation Four: Exit Strategy
So you find yourself at a party. One person wants to leave,
the other wants to stay. What do you do? If you have engaged in Conversation Four prior to
the event, the answer is already in place.
Invest some time in creating an exit strategy for
parties and visits to relatives. Your strategy might include taking two
cars. Then if one person wants to leave early, he or she can do so without compelling the
other to leave also.
Design and agree on an "I'm ready to go" signal.
Create a hand signal or verbal cue that informs your partner you have
reached your limit. Agree ahead of time how to respond to the signal. The signal might
mean, "I'm ready to go. Let's leave in about 15 minutes." This signal gives the
other person time to wrap up his or her conversation and say good-bye before you head out
Conversation Five: The Regular Schedule
Agree to stick to your regular schedule
as much as possible. This is especially important if you have
children. Holiday bedtimes, wake up times, and mealtimes need to conform to your regular
schedule as much as possible to prevent stress and fatigue. If you want to add disruptive
behavior to your holiday fun, disrupt your children's normal schedule.
Friends and relatives may pressure you to meet on their schedule
rather than on one that works best for your family. Decide with your spouse just how far
you will stray from the schedule that works for you and your family
Be careful not to over plan. Hectic
does not make for happy times. Accept that you cannot do it all. Talk about not doing it
all. Keep the pace comfortable, whether unwrapping gifts, visiting relatives, or
scheduling appearances at your place of worship.
Holding these five conversations before the holiday season begins
will go a long way toward making your November and December joyful and rewarding. Give
yourself and your partner the gift of conversation this year. You're worth it.