December 15, 2011 | by Meghann Novinskie and Kim Rosenberg
Holiday fling?

Outside influences, from friends to TV commercials, make us feel we’re supposed to be happy during the holidays. If we’re not, our insecurities may be exposed which can lead to unwise decisions.

Holidays can be an extremely stressful time of year.  If you’ve been cheated on during the holiday season, you know that it is extra hurtful to experience this when so many other emotions are present.

The holidays are meant to be a joyous time and many are lucky to have a safe, healthy, happy holiday. For others, everything negative that could happen does happen.  Why does cheating occur more frequently during the holidays?

The short answer is there are lots of reasons. The holiday season is a time many people reflect on their life and feel a void or insecure about certain areas of their life and relationship. Being depressed about the current state of your life can drive many to act impulsively to feed the anxiety within, leading to cheating.

Facing those voids in your life is challenging for anyone, regardless of your relationship status. A quick fix (e.g. sex or alcohol/drug abuse) makes you feel better for the moment — but unfortunately, quick fixes rarely fix anything and are usually negative or  detrimental to your already fragile psyche. A quick fix often involves infidelity and during the holidays, for some, releasing stress means drinking or drug use, leading to bad decisions. New Years Eve often involves goal setting and resolution making, which is stressful to many. Releasing this stress is easy to do when it involves impulsive shopping, eating, drinking, using drugs or finding sex.

Another common reason cheating happens frequently during the holidays is because sometimes your partner accidentally ignores you. (S)he may be invited to more holiday parties than you, so in turn you feel neglected and might turn to others for affection.  Feeling less popular than your partner can lead to jealousy and animosity between you. Then the revenge attitude appears,  potentially leading to someone being unfaithful. On the flip side, if your partner has become the social butterfly the holiday season, (s)he is likely to indulge in other ways as well — over drinking, eating, flirting, etc. Being put on the back burner can be hurtful, but don’t risk ruining your relationship by focusing your sexual attention elsewhere.

Financial stress during the holiday season is another big trigger. Friends might buy extravagant gifts for their friends and partners and you might feel insecure about your lack of high-end gift giving. Receiving elaborate gifts is only bound to frustrate you, but again, relax and don’t feel linsecure about your level of financial stability. Set goals and limits on how much money you plan to and are able to spend. Then you will have less regret and are less likely to make a foolish decision in the bedroom or below your belt.

The holidays and all the commercialization of the season can sometimes remind us of what is missing in our relationships, not what we should cherish with our partners.  Putting pressure on your relationship and partner to morph into an ad for Kay Jewelers or Lexus will only lead to strain and perhaps an unfortunate chain of events.

How to avoid the holiday stresses that may put strain on your relationship? Our favorite motto: be proactive. Plan for the triggers that may wreak havoc on your sexual stability. Set aside time to spend together that doesn’t involve anything in excess. Enjoy each others company, which will lead you to a more secure relationship, and not to infidelity. Discuss future goals, but don’t set hard ultimatums — he/she will potentially run  into another’s arms. Everyone is a bit more sensitive during the holidays, so take appropriate steps to avoid situations that may lead to relationship ruin.

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