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Which relational attachments succeed during the holidays?

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"Why is that YOU also overstep the commandment of God because of your tradition?" Matthew 15:3

Many holidays can be filled with anticipations, expectations and stressors. Those prepared for the stressors may had expected the inevitable. That is the individual's relationship to the environment. The relation of the individual's attachment style to the holiday season's activities, custom, habit, convention, the expected or tradition, may be different.

In a June 2008 article titled "Family rituals in married couples: Links with attachment, relationship quality, and closeness" published in the journal "Personal Relationships", authors Carla Crespo, Isabel N. Davide, M. Emilia Costa, Garth J. O. Fletcher reported that low avoidance in wives (compared to husbands) was associated with:

  • more engagement in 'rituals' by the family- which was related to positive relational value, excellence, "quality", intimacy, confidence, secure attachment or "closeness"

Avoiding holiday activities may be the same as withdrawing from the short term satisfactions; that, otherwise, would steer the relationship towards intimacy and 'closeness'. Husbands, who avoid reciprocating about holiday 'rituals', may increase stressors in wives. That may add to any relational distress or dissatisfaction.

Positive or negative view of oneself and the partner may steer the approach and avoidance behaviors in the relationship. Negative view of the partner can be related to avoidance, defiance, rejection, disavowal, contradiction, dissent and denial.

In a September 1998 article titled " Attachment-style differences in the experience and expression of romantic jealousy" published in the journal "Personal Relationships" author Laura K. Guerrero reported that, as opposed to romantic partners who have positive schemas about the other, those who were jealous and had negative schemas about the partner reported:

  1. more avoiding and denying
  2. feeling fear less strongly
  3. doing less behaviors that sustain, uphold, or avow the relationship

The "Preoccupied" romantic partners (perhaps absentminded, pensive, anxious, worried, inattentive, distant) reported:

  1. more 'negative affect'
  2. less fear
  3. more paranoia

Compared to the preoccupied, the "dismissive" partners (perhaps rude, curt, indifferent, unconcerned) reported:

  1. less fear
  2. less sadness when jealous

Compared to partners with positive schemas of self, partners with negative schemas of self (perhaps those with low self-esteem) had more mental jealousy, as opposed to emotional jealousy.

During the holidays, and may be at other times (Christmas included), showing a positive attitude towards oneself and the partner may reduce avoidance, indifference, frustration, distress, stress, being rude, jealousy, paranoia, sadness and may increase attentiveness, approaching, self-esteem, confidence, secure attachment, intimacy, understanding or happiness.



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