November 14, 2022



Any problem, big or small, within a family always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening. – Emma Thompson, Actress

Do you find yourself stressed about the holidays, fighting before family events, dreading being around certain family members, feeling anxious about extra spending, or gaining extra pounds? If there is anything that will help you survive and even enjoy the holiday season with your partner, it is communication. So why not ask each other some of the following questions…

  • What are your expectations and hopes for this holiday season? Are they realistic, or are you setting them too high? What areLove Recon 7 HOLIDAY QUESTIONS FOR YOU AND YOUR PARTNER body reasonable and positive expectations and hopes? Family members most likely haven’t changed since last year, so what boundaries do you need to set to protect yourself and your relationship?
  • What is the one thing that you would most like to do this season? Why?

Is it attending a concert or event? Is it making sure that we plan an overnight trip?   Is it decorating the outside of the house, etc.?

  • What do you fear the most about the season? Dealing with a difficult family situation? Not being able to fulfill everyone else’s expectations and hurting feelings? Being ill and not able to enjoy the festivities? Be honest and vulnerable. Getting it out will “shrink” it, and you will have your partner’s understanding and support, even if they can’t “fix it.”
  • What can we do if situations become tense or worse? Have a plan. For instance, you can have a pre-agreed-upon signal to use. Either of you can give the signal, and then you will take a walk together. You can check in with each other and get fresh air and a little exercise simultaneously!
  • How can we stay connected emotionally during the holidays? You don’t have to have a long list, just one or two ways to maintain your closeness as a couple. For example, you could work out together, have morning coffee together before starting the day, plan for and prioritize your physical intimacy, etc.
  • Would you like to exchange gifts with each other this year? Be clear on how much you will spend if the answer is yes.
  • What do you think our holiday budget should be? A holiday budget, including gift-giving, events, activities, and extra food expenses, is always a good idea! In addition, you will decrease your stress and your credit card bills that will show up in February.

If you would like to talk with someone about how you and your partner can better communicate through the holidays … and anytime …don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or call 866-218-1716. You may also visit our website,, for testimonials and information.

About the author 

Cliff Poe

Cliff Poe is Founder and Lead Coach for Recon Coaching. He and his wife, Jeani, are Master Coaches and their passion is to help individuals and couples form healthy, lasting and satisfying relationships. Cliff has a M.Div. in pastoral counseling and ministry. He enjoys writing and coaching as well as his family which includes 2 adult kids and their spouses, 6 grandchildren and a fur family composed of a Golden Retriever and a Mackerel Tabby.

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