Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Holidays bring up painful challenges

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Perhaps you two could attend a church service or holiday concert together, followed by coffee and a private gift exchange.

Importantly, you should ask your marriage counselor for a professional recommendation. Your counselor knows both of you.

Dear Amy: The holiday season has never brought me much joy, except when my (now young adult) children were young.

Growing up, my parents always had epic fights on Thanksgiving and Christmas (their fights on all the other days were less epic).

Fortunately, my family lives out of state, so we get together with my spouse's siblings for holiday celebrations.

I have longstanding issues with depression. I take medication and see a therapist for it. This year, due to a number of circumstances, I just want to skip the whole holiday thing, especially spending time with my in-laws.

If I bow out, I will be harshly criticized. They don't know anything about the issues I'm dealing with, nor do I want them to know.

I guess I can buck up for the meals, but I have no holiday spirit whatsoever. How do I hold it together for the next two months for my spouse and kids?

-- Holiday Blahs

Dear Holiday Blahs: One thing you could do differently this year would be to stop holding it together for your spouse and (young adult) kids. Perhaps they could hold it together for you. You should be honest about the need for rest and space this year.

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