Holidays

This summer holiday survival guide could save your relationship

The kids are at home, you’re trying to work and looking forward to a rainy trip to the seaside because you can’t afford to go abroad.

For many the summer holidays is a time when relationships can get overheated.

Last year local relationship charity Relate Cambridge received a 20 per cent spike in calls in September compared to an average month in 2016, along with a nine per cent increase in web traffic.

This made it their second busiest time of year after a post-Christmas peak in calls in January.

And the charity is gearing up for another surge in pleas from couples whose relationships reach breaking point over the summer.

Relationship counsellor Elaine Taylor said: “Most of us look forward to the summer holidays. But if you’re already having problems in your relationship, then the pressure of juggling work, keeping the kids entertained and spending concentrated time with your partner, might tip things over the edge.

“Tempers can get frayed and families can end up counting down the days until September begins. By the time schools reopen, some relationships are in a pretty bad state.”

Relate Cambridge said many couples have already reached crisis point by the time they seek help in September.

Some couples head straight for the divorce court, with family lawyers experiencing a rise in the number of new clients at this time of year.

The charity said it wanted to encourage anyone with concerns about their relationship to get in touch before things head into real difficulties.

It said that while it is never too late to ask for support, the earlier you tackle problems in your relationship, the more likely you are to overcome them.

“Even if you’re getting on alright now, there are some simple things it could be worth doing to ensure you make it through the summer with your relationship in a good place,” said Elaine Taylor.

Read on for a relationship survival guide to the summer.

Plan together

Whether you’re going on holiday or staying put, it’s important to plan together as a family. Make everyone feel involved in plans and keep a chart with everyone’s top wishes on it.

Make hay while the sun shines

Make the most of what’s special about summer. Go for family walks during those long warm evenings, or arrange a picnic. Also, look out for free or cheap music events and summer schools arranged by local authorities.

Turn down the heat

Arguments are often a part of family life, but take care to diffuse tensions before things get too heated. If your children are arguing, ask them to go into separate rooms and ‘take five’. You can do this too if you’re getting wound up.

Switch off

If you have time off work, try to make sure it’s really time off. Try not to check emails or work phones and really focus on enjoying time with your family.

Reconnect

It’s common for parents not to see their friends as much as they used to, especially when children are very young. But summer provides a chance for reconnecting as there are lots of activities, like weddings, fetes and barbeques, where parents and children from different families can get together.

Check in

Make sure your luggage isn’t the only thing you check in this summer. Talk to your partner regularly to find out how they’re feeling about themselves, the family and the relationship. You can then catch any issues early on and address them together.

Keep things sizzling

During the summer, older kids are often out doing their own thing, so this is a good opportunity for investing some time in your relationship with your partner.

Seek support

If things aren’t going swimmingly, relationship counselling could help. Don’t leave it until things have reached rock bottom to get in touch.

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