A storm ruins your plans and causes tension. “Think about the what-ifs in advance,” suggests Fran Walfish, PsyD, a child, couple and family psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, CA, and author of The Self-Aware Parent. “If your child has a snow day and you and your partner have to work, know that you’ll take her to Aunt Sally’s house or to daycare. Don’t wing it—that brings out the devil in all of us.”
You’re cooped up and arguing over which TV show to watch. One obvious solution: Tune in to two different shows if you have two screens. “You can cuddle after and talk about what you watched,” says Dr. Walfish.
You can’t agree on the thermostat. If your man likes the house at 68°F and you prefer 76, perhaps compromise with 72. Otherwise, the cold person needs to take one for the team. “You can always bundle up with layers,” says Dr. Walfish. (When you’re hot, on the other hand, you can only take off so many clothes.)
You’re both gaining weight. Consider replacing hot cocoa with hot tea, recommends Dr. Walfish.
Winter clothes are an obstacle to intimacy. It’s harder to hug in snow-covered jackets, and it’s more difficult to hold hands while wearing thick mittens. Plus, shapeless winter clothing isn’t as flattering as, say, a flirty summer dress or a fitted men’s t-shirt. Here’s one thing you can do: Wear lacy lingerie underneath it all. “When your guy finally peels off all the layers, there will be a surprise gift underneath making it worth the effort,” says Dr. Walfish.
Dry, flaky skin doesn’t make you feel sexy. “Light candles while you’re at it,” adds Dr. Walfish. Then, massage lotion onto each other’s bodies. It can relax you and put you in the mood.
You’re bickering over where to spend the holidays. Handle the holidays the same way children of divorce do, says Dr. Walfish: Alternate. Visit one person’s family for Thanksgiving and the other’s family for Christmas, and then switch the next year. “That way, there’s no discussion. You just stick to the arrangement.”