There are some summer activities that will test even the strongest and smoothest of relationships.

Exhibit A

Last weekend my husband and I had this brilliant idea that we would take my old ski boat out to the lake. Sounds like fun, right? Except that this entails towing the boat behind our SUV on the highway at high speed, and then it entails backing the boat down the boat ramp to put it into the lake. This is where we have to coordinate and one person has to back the trailer into the water while the other person gets on the boat and drives the boat off the trailer into the lake. How do you think that went? Yea, it was not the most shining moment in our marriage. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that neither of us really liked each other for a good 24 hours after that experience. It was stressful, and we didn’t handle it the best we could because we got flustered.

I am reminded that there are so many things that we do for fun in the summer that can be a real pressure cooker for a relationship. Packing everything up into the car for a road trip, trying to pitch a tent with your partner, or maybe it’s the stress of trying to get to the airport in time to catch a flight. Summer is full of these opportunities.

Predicting the Problem

By day two at the lake, I used a little therapist trick and I predicted the problem. I said to my husband, “We have to go back to the boat ramp today and do that whole unloading/reloading the boat thing all over again. What are the odds that it’s going to be stressful again, and how can we handle it differently? What do you need me to do, what do I need you to do? How can we work together more cooperatively as a team?” If you know that there’s some big activity coming up in your household and it was a pressure cooker for your relationship last time, now is a great opportunity to predict the problem and before you set out on your summer adventures, talk about it ahead of time and figure out how you can do it better and try to avoid some of the pitfalls from last time. Safe travels, everyone.

If you and your partner need some help managing stress in your life this summer, CLICK HERE to schedule your free initial consultation with us.