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Why do marital problems increase on vacation?

In some couple profiles, the vacation period brings new sources of potential conflict. Fortunately, knowing in advance these possible psychological factors capable of destabilizing a relationship is useful to prevent these problems, because they allow to act in time and, if necessary, to call in a professional in couple therapy.

So in this article you will find a summary of the causes explaining why marital problems increase on vacation.

Why can vacations contribute to the development of relationship problems?

There are several studies that indicate the existence of a curious phenomenon: just after the July and August holidays, the number of divorces increases significantly, at least in Western countries.

Of course, it doesn’t seem like the holidays themselves are a problem for dating and weddings, an obstacle when it comes to enjoying life as a couple. After all, there isn’t just one way to experience vacation days, and it would be hasty to assume that everyone involved in romantic relationships experiences them the same.

Rather, what happens is that the holidays act as a catalyst for relationship issues that were already latent, accelerating the deterioration of that bond. Let’s see in more detail how it goes.

1. The onset of vacation strengthens impulsivity

We have seen that the prospect of going on vacation early generates a predisposition to impulsive behavior, which is reflected even in economic decisions and purchasing behavior, but also in the management of personal relationships. It could also be translated as greater propensity for unilateral decisions where a preliminary deliberation would have been necessary, discuss to choose what to do together. Or it could even lead people in a relationship to be more exposed to the temptation of infidelity.

2. In long-distance relationships, we begin to adapt to coexistence

Special cases such as those in a long-distance relationship experience the holidays in a way that has its own characteristics.

The most important thing in situations like this is that two people, who in many cases are not used to living together for several days in a row, get to a point where they can do so with some free time. but by maintaining expectations of well-being and harmony in living together which are normally the same as in a non-long-distance relationship. They don’t expect to have to adapt to the challenge of living with someone they love.But normally they have to do it through deliberate effort, which can create a feeling of unpleasant surprise and frustration.

Why do marital problems increase on vacation?

3. If there are jealousy issues, they are easily exacerbated

In relationships where there were already problems due to jealousy, it is very easy for the situation to get worse during the holidays. The greatest exposure to leisure and new social circles who they interact with feed controlling or almost paranoid thoughts.

4. Possible differences in finding time to be alone

On holiday, they highlight the differences more by preferring more or less time to be alone. This particularly affects people who are in a relationship with someone quite different from them in the personality dimension introversion extroversion: it is much more common for introverts to prefer to spend more hours of the week alone, devoting themselves to activities. activities that you can do on your own.

5. Managing our free time together tests our capacities for dialogue and negotiation

Even if the two partners have little difference in their appreciation (or not) of loneliness, still need to decide with the time they spend in the company of the other. Common interests (traveling, going to museums, going to environments with a lot of nature, etc.) as well as negotiation and conflict resolution skills play a role here (to prevent them from turning into struggles) .

6. Incoordination with biorhythms

On the other hand, don’t forget that a lack of coordination in the setting of the “internal clock” can also be a source of problems during the holidays as a couple. Waking up two or three hours apart means “giving up” a good part of the day.

7. Expectations for the end of the cycle

Finally, we must also keep in mind that Holidays are, for many couples, a symbol or even a ritual at the end of the cycle..

There are people who hope to resolve their marriage or dating issues during their two week vacation, and if they don’t get it for some reason, they automatically interpret it as a failure, a sign that this relationship is doomed to failure.

Are you looking for professional psychological support?

If you are interested in having the services of a psychologist with training and experience in therapy, educational psychology and / or psychological expertise, I invite you to contact me.

Froilán Ibáñez Recatala

My name is Froilán Ibáñez Recatala and I work fundamentally from the cognitive-behavioral approach, at the service of adults and adolescents. Sessions are designed for individual patients or for couples going through a crisis phase, and can be performed in person or through the online video call therapy format.

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