Being My Husband In December Takes A Lot Of Patience

December 18,2018

My husband Xander has the patience of a saint.

At any time of year, but especially at the holidays. Because I tend to get a little, well, let’s just say difficult, around the holidays!

Here is a list of actual things I have gotten upset about during the month of December:

Being my husband in December takes a lot of patience.

Although I’m embarrassed to share this list, I’m doing it because I know that you can probably relate. For one reason or another, the holidays turn us all a little nuts and make us all require a lot of extra patience from our partners.

I’m dedicated to helping your relationship thrive – not just survive – during the holidays, and to set 2019 up to be the best year for your relationship yet!

So this month, I’m sharing four gifts your partner REALLY wants this holiday season, and continuing my absolutely free, 31 Days, 31 Ways challenge, which will give you small, actionable ways to prioritize your relationship every single day.

The gifts your partner REALLY wants this year

This week’s gift is the gift of patience.

(Want a reminder of last week’s gift? Click here)

Regardless of how you feel about the holidays, or what you do during the holidays, they’re just an insane time for everyone.

So many couples squabble and bicker throughout the entire month of December, and start January on a really bad note.

One of the best gifts you can give to your partner this month is patience.

Since you know I’m all about being practical, let me give you a few actionable tips for how to do this.

Ask for patience beforehand

First, try to think about how the holidays will be challenging for you, personally. What drives you crazy this time of year? Why might you need some extra patience from your partner?

Here are some questions to consider:

For example, maybe your sister is visiting and the two of you always fight about politics. Or you know you’re going to be grumpy all month long because you hate the holidays and you can’t wait for it to be January already.

Next, share your lists with each other, and ask for some extra patience around the specific things you came up with. For example, “OK, so you know that I start the holidays with the best of intentions, but I usually get a little obsessive about trying to find the perfect gift for everyone, and wind up turning into a grinch. If that happens, can you try to have a little extra patience with me?”

Of course, you can’t predict every single issue, (I certainly never thought I’d be a jerk over weird things like Xander’s attitude while Christmas tree shopping…) but this conversation can go a long way towards keeping you both sane.

Remind yourself to be patient

Next, come up with a way to remind yourself to be extra patient with your partner this month.

Trying to be patient with our partners can be really tricky because that patience is required in some of the most frustrating and annoying times!

Patience isn’t required when the two of you are rocking out in the kitchen together, blasting your favorite jams while you make Hanukkah latkes.

It’s required when your partner is having a full-blown, toddler-style tantrum over the fact that you forgot to buy gift wrapping bows!

So it can really help to find a way to repeatedly remind yourself that you’re making an effort to be extra patient with each other this month. Here are a few ideas:

Thank your partner

Whenever your partner shows you some Xander-level patience, make sure to thank them! We all love being acknowledged and appreciated for our efforts.

Say something like, “I can tell how patient you’re being with me right now, and I really appreciate it.”

Practice forgiveness too

OK, so I’m kinda sneaking in one extra gift here… forgiveness.

The thing is, even with your best efforts this month, you are going to have times when you lose your patience with each other.

It’s great to put effort into preventing fights from happening in the first place, but it’s also important for you to recognize that fights are inevitable in any relationship.

That’s why it’s important to develop good skills for reconnecting after a fight, forgiving each other, and moving on.

This is something so few couples learn, and that’s a serious mistake! (Maybe this should be a monthly topic for 2019…)

As part of your conversation about patience, talk to your partner about how the two of you can make up after things go off the rails.

After you and your partner have had a disagreement, what do you need to feel better? How can your partner express their forgiveness?

Maybe you like having a long hug and saying, “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” to each other. Maybe you like to have a discussion about how you can handle the situation differently in the future. Maybe you like going on a quick walk around the block to clear the air.

Whatever it is, make a plan for how you can forgive each other and keep moving forward.


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I'm Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and writer specializing in helping you have more fun in the bedroom.

I have bachelor’s degrees in human sexuality and sociology from Brown University, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’m also a licensed psychotherapist. I’ve been working in the sex therapy field since 2002 and have been featured by The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and many more.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, you can work with me via my online courses or personal coaching sessions. I look forward to supporting you in creating the sex life you’ve always wanted!