How does vacations affect families and couples?

In most cases, vacations are an element that positively affects the emotional well-being and mental health of people, especially those who are active at work or academically throughout the year.

However, the holiday period is not free of certain risks, Potential problems that can arise if the right circumstances arise and that is supported by that change in routines and places that attracts the fact of being on vacation to our day to day. It is advisable to know them in advance to detect them quickly and not let them hinder our affective relationships during those days of disconnection from work.

How do vacations influence family and partner relationships?

Going to share spaces, activities and free time all the time sometimes favors a crisis in the couple’s relationships, and these can even end in separation. Something similar happens with relationships within the family, which can give rise to arguments and conflicts that end up enraging themselves and generating resentment, defensive attitudes, etc.

The element that alters the coexistence and the emotional bond is not so much the fact of spending a lot of time together, but the abrupt transition between a stage of life in which each one has enough hours to be alone or with other people, to another in which one is with a couple or with family members almost constantly. It is a change to which each person must adapt more or less quickly so that problems do not arise, and this, in some cases, can be a challenge.

But it is also true that not all are disadvantages; the holidays give the opportunity to strengthen bonds and to consolidate loving and affective relationships. Therefore, here we will review the positive and negative effects that vacations can have on couples and families.

Potentially negative effects

These are some elements of risk that, from the holidays, can trigger conflicts in family and couple relationships.

1. Poor management of joint activities

Differences in tastes, priorities and expectations mean that deciding what to do together can lead to discussions and situations in which a clear “winner” and “loser” is perceived; This causes a crisis to appear both during the discussion and, if it has not been properly negotiated, in the phase in which a decision has already been made and resentment appears.

2. Different levels of search for autonomy and loneliness

Holidays as a couple or with the family are time to share, but also to disconnect, and balancing those times sometimes creates conflicts. Some people want to take advantage of the vacation period to be with their loved ones, others seek just the opposite to try to rest as much as possible and focus on their hobbies and interests, and between these two positions there is a wide scale of gray.

3. Jealousy problems

If jealousy problems already existed in a relationship, it is common for these to become more acute during the holidays, since there are more leisure contexts, and a greater exposure to new places where there are new people.

4. Bad mood due to disturbed sleep schedule

Many people have trouble getting adequate rest while on vacation, not least because their biorhythms are altered.

When this happens, they are much more likely to feel irritable, with little patience, and easily stressed, especially if they become frustrated at not being able to fully enjoy a vacation that they had idealized in their imagination.

5. Frustration with the need to take care of children

It is very common for parents with children to feel bad about not having those hours of the day when the little one is at school.

If to this we add the social pressure to have the best vacations possible and the need to negotiate new parenting and child care duties, it is not surprising that anger and arguments can easily arise.

Family on vacation

Potentially positive effects

Secondly, these are several effects through which vacations can reinforce relationships in the family and the couple:

  • Possibility of adding more elements of enjoyment to the trips if it is done as a family or as a couple, by creating anecdotes that can be remembered together.
  • Opportunity to rethink and qualitatively improve life as a couple or as a family: fixing a garden, going to meet distant relatives, helping a child decide which university degree to pursue, etc.
  • Opportunity to discover new facets, talents and hobbies of a loved one.
  • Opportunity to improve communication skills and support for others, thanks to the situations that demand it.

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