While the holidays are often romanticized to be spent with family, gathered around a warm fire, opening gifts and sharing kisses under the mistletoe; the reality looks nothing like a Hallmark movie. The stress of planning get-togethers, buying presents, and the general hustle and bustle of the season can prove to be too much for some people. In fact, according to Durham police, domestic violence calls dramatically increase during the holidays.
Today we’ll discuss five causes of domestic violence and hose to keep it out of your household this Christmas.
1. Emotional Stress
Relationships can be stressful enough on a normal day, but the holidays can be particularly trying. When people are off work and spending more time than usual in close proximity with the “ones they love,” it’s easy for arguments to take hold.
Keep arguments at bay by recognizing when you’re at your breaking point and take time to recharge. Drive the long way home to decompress. Avoid high traffic areas. Go to the gym. And, if you feel stressed, angry, or frustrated, leave the situation and go outside before doing something you’ll regret later. It is nearly impossible to feel compassion and rage at the same time, so do yourself (and your partner) a favor and walk away. Once the anger subsides, you can return inside to try and express your feelings in a calm, non-confrontational way.
2. Financial Burdens
The additional pressure of buying presents, going on trips and hosting parties can really add up during the holidays and turn normal financial struggles into a pressure cooker.
To keep financial burdens from turning into abusive behaviors, work together with your partner to come up with a holiday budget. More importantly, remember that yelling or getting angry about your financial problems won’t make them go away. Rather, spend some time on financial planning and effective budgeting.
3. Holiday Spirits
We’ve all enjoyed unwinding with a few drinks at the company Christmas party, but when a couple of drinks turns into using alcohol to cope with the stress of the holidays, it can become a treacherous slope. The more alcohol you consume, the less you will be able to control your anger.
If you know that you become an angry drunk, avoid drinking completely this holiday season. You can still attend the holiday parties, but don’t feel pressured to drink in order to have a good time. No time like the present to give sobriety a shot. Furthermore, if you’re already feeling anger, frustration or sadness this season, seek help from a counselor or AA group.
4. Road Rage
Contrary to popular belief, no one let all the idiots loose just as you left your driveway. It just so happens that all of Durham is out shopping for Christmas gifts as the exact same time, which can lead to congested roads and short tempers. If you’re already feeling the holiday pressure, one episode of road rage can drive home with you, leading to domestic violence behaviors.
Don’t let other drivers’ actions or poor driving affect your “holiday spirit.” If you feel yourself getting angry, roll down the window and take in some fresh air, or pull over. Even better, avoid roads that you know will be congested. It may take you a little longer to get home, but it’ll be worth it if you have a better attitude.
5. Lack of Time
No matter how much we all try, the holidays have a way of sneaking up on us and then taking over our schedule. Between work, parties, school, and shopping, it can be tough trying to adjust to holiday schedules. Combine that with a lack of sleep, and your normal stress level can be heightened to new levels of anxiety which can lead to anger and domestic violence.
Make sleep a priority. A lack of sleep increases your ability to get irritated and can cause anger, frustration, and resentment towards the people you love. While it may feel as though you have a lot to do in a very little amount of time, don’t forget to save some time for yourself and your family to make memories for the future.
Domestic violence is one of the major reasons that couples file for divorce. If you are considering filing for divorce in an abusive situation, contact Kevin E. Jones today. We can help get protection orders in place as well as ensure that you remain safe throughout the divorce process.