Camping in Death Valley, Paxson Woelber

Celebrations can be a challenging time for distressed couples. All of the festivities during holidays or hubbub of family gatherings can make everything seem more intense. When things go well—life can feel magical. When things go poorly—life can feel miserable.

The truth is that most of life is lived somewhere between magical and miserable. You can actually thrive during seasons of celebration with some thoughtful preparation.

I can usually tell when one of my clients is on the magical/ miserable rollercoaster. If I hear words like “always” or “never” along with descriptions like “horrible” or “awesome,” it’s an indication of extreme, black-and-white thinking. While a rollercoaster ride can be exhilarating, it can also be exhausting. Being exhausted can lead to big mistakes and bad choices.

Take a wiser approach so you can enjoy life’s celebrations.

First, challenge black-and-white thinking. If you head into a situation expecting it “to be perfect!” you’re looking for magical. Instead, stating, “This should be fun,” or “I’m looking forward to relaxing with good friends,” allows you to be positive without pressuring yourself (or others) to make it magical.

If you think, “This is going to be terrible!” challenge your thought process. “I can get through this,” or “Someday I’ll look back at this and laugh,” are alternative thoughts that can keep you (and others) from ending up miserable.

Second, focus on being patient. Your marriage didn’t disintegrate overnight, and it won’t heal that quickly, either. The rollercoaster wants to go fast and get immediate results. However, sustained growth takes time and it is always worth the wait. Adjust your trajectory toward small changes that are clearly positive, and then give it time. Changing your course three degrees might not seem significant, but after a couple of weeks or a few months, you’ll find yourself in a much better place.

Enjoy life’s celebrations. Choose to live somewhere between “magical” and “miserable”—balancing the rollercoaster ride with moderate and realistic emotions and expectations.

You can do this!

Chuck Fallon, LPC is a marriage counselor and men’s coach with an office in Lakewood, Colorado. He is also a Divorce Busting© telephone coach and Every Man’s Battle conference coach. His book, Marriage Recall is available on Amazon. Visit for more information.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *