How Your Marriage Can Relieve Stress During the Holidays

I don’t know about you, but most couples often feel overwhelmed and stressed to.the.max by the demands that Christmas can bring.

With that in mind, I’d like to share some principles from Scripture that can lessen our stress with love—“married love” to be precise.

Stress Reliever

I will be basing my thoughts on one day’s notes taken from my 6 Shades of Love Bible study, as I finish up this blog series: Loving Strong through Holiday Stress.

The passage that I want to discuss is …

“You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice!” ~Song of Solomon 4:9-10

King Solomon spoke these words to his bride, presumably on their wedding day.

Can’t you just feel the passion in his words?

Don’t you think that this had to be one of the most “delightful” days of his life?

And I can only imagine that any bad stress he might’ve been feeling, quickly evaporated in the joy of knowing he would soon be one with the woman of his dreams.

Love does that for us. 🙂

Love shared between a husband and wife is one of the best places to lessen our stress. #lovemaking Click To Tweet

However, as couples move forward in life together, there are two things that often creep into our marriages and weigh them down.

  1. Familiarity
  2. Stress

1. Familiarity

Now familiarity can be both good and bad for a marriage.

Familiarity helps us to feel comfortable enough to be ourselves with our mates. (Good!)

We can be completely “naked”—in a variety of ways—and feel no shame or fear in marriage. (Good!)

But that comfort level can also tempt us to become lazy in our pursuit of our mate’s heart. (Bad!)

And as the intrigue fades, the feelings of love can fade into apathy. (Bad!)

2. Stress

Each season that a couple goes through in marriage can bring greater levels of stress. As couples welcome children, the demands and burdens grow greater and greater with each passing year. The holidays only accentuate those stressors.

But if we consider the passage above, we can improve our stress levels with love. 😉

How do we improve our stress with love?

1. Affirm our mates

King Solomon did not hold back on affirming his bride/wife, so neither should we! This lowers inhibitions, as well as drawing our mates to us. It also serves to remind us of the good that is always present in our mates, whether we notice it or not.

And don’t just limit your affirmations to the good your mate does or even about personality traits you like.

Affirm your mate’s physical attributes. Did you notice how that was where King Solomon focused much of his loving message to his bride?

2. Go on dates

It’s so easy to center our holiday activities and energies around our children—making it special for them.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but …

We need to carve out special times with our mates by going on holiday dates. #stressless #lovemore Click To Tweet

Last year, my hubby and I went on a triple date with some friends to see the lights at St. Louis’ Garden Glow. It was so much fun—albeit VERY COLD! But with bulky coats, hand- and foot-warmers, as well as hot chocolate to sip, we stayed warm and cozy!

3. Make Love

Sex is one of the best stress-relievers out there! All sorts of good hormones are released when we touch, kiss and make love. I say, do all three and you’ll be feeling the stress of the holidays melting away in the embrace of your spouse.

Do the trifecta with your spouse this Christmas—touch, kiss, make love! #stressrelievers Click To Tweet

 

What is another way you can relieve stress with “love” in your marriage? 

 

What is one affirmation you have about your mate that you’d like to share with us?

 


Here are some lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me MondayMoments of HopeLiterary Musing MondaysDream Together LinkupJennifer Dukes LeeGlimpses LinkupTune in TuesdayBreak Through Homeschooling LinkupCoffee for Your HeartSitting Among FriendsFaith and FriendsFresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday

This will be my last post for 2017. I’ll be returning in January after a much-needed Christmas break. Thank you so much for supporting MM this past year! I only hope to bring you more of the posts in 2018 that meet you at your greatest point of interest and need!

Merry Christmas, friends!

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  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Beth,
    Great ideas!! One of my husband’s and my favorite things to do at the end of the busy day during the Christmas season is to just turn off all the lights, turn on the tree, and snuggle on the couch. Sometimes we’ll talk about something and other times we’ll just enjoy holding each other in the glow of the Christmas lights. I also look forward to our annual Christmas dinner date shortly before Christmas. We get dressed up, go to a nice restaurant and then to relive our first Christmas date, we exchange one small gift in the car after dinner. It’s fun, and silly, and romantic all at the same time.
    Advent blessings Beth,
    Bev xx

    • I love that idea, Bev! We, as couples, don’t slow ourselves enough to simply sit and take in our surroundings–especially when they twinkle and glow with the light that reminds us of Christ. What a fun idea too to get all dressed up for a Christmas dinner on the town. I would love to find some event to wear the dress I bought to wear at my son’s wedding two years ago. It is so beautiful and wearing it only once seems like such a waste! But my hubby isn’t much into getting all dressed up–though I’ve often thought about asking for some special evening like this. Thanks for adding to the discussion, my friend! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  • Thanks for those cautions about familiarity and stress, Beth. There is comfort in familiarity, but laziness and apathy aren’t far behind if we’re not careful and a bit pro-active in loving well.

    Meanwhile, I hope that your break frees up your schedule just a bit so you can enjoy your family, these final weeks of advent, and all the things you love to do that make this season so special.

    You’re a gift in my life. I’m thankful …

    • Yes, we must stay vigilant to these things creeping into our lives and marriages, Linda. I want to always be proactive in my marriage as well. With 30 years of marriage under my belt, the familiarity aspect is HUGE for me! ha!

      Yes, I’m so looking forward to a break. People just don’t know how stressful it can be to be a blogger–at least as long as we have! ha! I love it, but find the demands to grow more and more each month and year–at least if I make efforts to “grow my platform.” (insert eye-roll!) Love you, sweet friend! Keep visiting me, because you so encourage me!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Great post, Beth, and excellent suggestions for using the shield of one’s marriage to reduce stress.

    One suggestion I would make is that one should guard what one says, particularly at this time of year. Christmas opens the heart in many ways, to memories and meanings that we don’t fully understand, and a careless word can do quite a bit of harm.

    Another thought – if circumstances are tough and celebrating Christmas the usual way just isn’t possible (for instance, illness preventing a family get-together), don’t say something like “Well, I’ve pretty much given up on Christmas this year.” Do the best with what you have, and try to keep in mind that Christmas is the celebration of the removal of a fundamentally lethal stress for all mankind.

    Have a wonderful Christmas! Hope to be here to see you in 2018!

    • Thank you, Andrew! And yes, that would be the opposite of affirming–avoiding negativity and criticism. We need to affirm more and criticize less or not at all!

      When I hear that things like you’ve shared are being spoken, I think that the spouse who said them is thinking they are relieving the tension by expressing the fears and frustrations to the other spouse. But the exact opposite actually occurs instead. I do hope that’s not what you are experiencing. Your situation is so grueling for you both, but know that I do pray for you daily! And I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas, in spite of the pain and difficulty of each day, my friend.

  • I am quite good at #1, I do what I can with #1, #3 is a long way off.

    One other “affirmation” I do is a kind of affirmation of memory. If I am out and
    about and notice something my wife would like or be interested in, I always make
    sure to take a note and tell her about it. It might be a bird or some
    architecture. It affirms her interests, and it helps me keep her in my mind in a
    nice way (eg rather thanjust remembering the errands she’s set me).

    I have two “difficult” posts I want to get out of the way before the end of the
    year, so I can start next year on a new page. I have vague but pleasant feelings
    of anticipation and hope for next year.

    Dear Beth, thank you for all your good work here and on FB and beyond. I hope your
    Christmas is full of blessings, and that the new year answers all your prayers.

    • Yes, number one is the first and best way to move toward the rest of the list, especially given your situation (what I know of it anyway). I think that’s great that you think about what your wife would like and bring that to her attention when you return from a trip. It’s a subtle and caring way of communicating that she is always on your mind in the best possible way.

      I’ve just read one of your “difficult” posts and am so very grateful for your vulnerability and transparency. It is good for the soul to come clean, if you will. And yes, that will help you with that “new page” you want for 2018. I’m praying that the Lord uses your faith and courage to knock down all sorts of barriers in your life this next year, my friend!

      You are more than welcome, David! It’s my pleasure to serve here and I only hope that what I do brings people closer to each other and especially to the Lord. Merry Christmas, my friend from afar!

  • Rachel Lee

    This was an excellent article! I’ve felt the weight of both familiarity and stress over the years. My hubby and i have been married for 20 years, and although we love each other so very much, familiarity is a real struggle. It’s important to break the monotony occasionally. Mix things up. Be spontaneous. As it just so happens we are going to a concert this Friday- the anticipation is exciting! Can’t wait for a little alone time with the hubs. Thanks for sharing this!
    (visiting from Glimpses) 🙂

    • Thank you, Rachel! It’s good to know I’m not the only one who has struggled with these aspects in marriage–though I never want others to be victims of them. Thanks for sharing so openly with me here and I’m so glad you are working to prevent this slow fade in marriage. I hope your date at the concert draws you closer to your hubby and adds a spark to your marriage, my friend! You go, girl! Alone time with the hubs is a great way to end the year and start a new one!

  • Excellent advice! I love the way my husband stays in shape by daily exercise and frequent mountain biking riding (with me).

    • Thank you, Anita! And I’m so glad you shared an affirmation about your husband! I was hoping to hear one or two from my question posed above. I really like my husband’s eyes. They are a beautiful shade of green and were what caught “my eye” when we barely knew each other, back in the day! Merry Christmas to you, my friend! And I hope you and your hubby get a chance to do some mountain biking very soon!

  • I find myself in a new place this Christmas season, one with more time for just the two of us, which is strange, so I appreciate this advice…we call it our “out of the ordinary” Christmas and so we’re looking for out of the ordinary things to create memories:) Merry Christmas!

  • I love the affirmation tip. It’s just as needed as the others. Especially when your family is going through tough times (we are), it’s good to let each other know you got each other’s back.

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Beth,
    Hope you are enjoying a break through Christmas! Hope this finds you breathing in Advent like a breath of fresh air. Just wanted to pop in and wish you a blessed and joyous Christmas sweet friend!!
    Love you,
    Bev xo

  • Sarah Geringer

    Love this post, Beth! And I always love your photos. Merry Christmas to you!

  • Stephnie@https://smiletutor.sg

    Yes, it is true that many couples tend to be stressful with Christmas demands. However, it is necessary to notice that this festival is all about togetherness and spreading love. I really liked your thoughts on going on dates. Merry Christmas!!
    Thank you,
    Stephanie@ https://smiletutor.sg/