Ask Jesse and Melva: Managing Holidays

Ask Jesse and Melva: Managing Holidays

Dear Melva and Jesse,

It’s Christmas time again, and my husband and I continue with the same old argument, year after year. We fight over how much money we’ll spend on our grandkids and what we’ll spend the money on. He believes that our presents should be on practical things, like winter clothes (i.e., coats, gloves, booths, etc.) and very little on toys. He claims that after the kids have played with them for a few minutes, they go back to their old toys, and discard the new ones. On the other hand, I want our grandchildren to have some of the popular toys so they can enjoy playing with them. We’re at an ongoing impasse. We haven’t been able to resolve this by ourselves. We need help. What can we do?

Grandma and Grandpa

Dear Grandma and Grandpa,

It appears that from our experience as professional relationship therapists that the two of you are arguing over two of the most common problems in committed relationships. Those problems are, “#3 “irreconcilable Differences,” and “#5 “Money.” (The other eight are described in our book, Mining for Gold in Your Marriage, available at Amazon.)

Remember, your differences are only irreconcilable if you believe that. We don’t. You have a choice. You can continue to argue over how much money you’ll spend and what you will spend it on; or, you can honor what each of you wants and enjoy that gifts you want to give your grandkids.

Since the two of you have been arguing over this for years and you haven’t found a way to resolve your differences, you’ll need to continue to talk together until you have found a mutually acceptable resolution. You may need the help of a therapist, like us, to be of assistance. There are always ways to honor each of your ideas. Don’t give up! Also, remember that the only way that either of you can “win” is that you both win. If either of you “wins” and the other “loses,” it means that you both “lose.”

We’d like to know what you, our readers think. Have any of you had a similar situation that you had to resolve? What did you do? How did it work out? What would you recommend to this couple to do? What shouldn’t they do? Is there a way that they can give clothes and toys and both be OK with that?

Please keep us updated. We’d love to hear how this works out for you.

To your relationship success, PS. Stay tuned for our “Holiday Survival Guide for Couples”!

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