Inside Out: Marriage Stress This Christmas

12.02.20 | Martha Manikas-Foster

The countdown to Christmas has begun. It’s not unusual for a marriage to feel stress during these weeks. But what may be different this year is that right at the start of December many already feel strained by months of uncertainty, conflict, and change.

“There’s a backlog of loss and grief, and this holiday could really sort of be the capstone of what that will feel like,” says author and photographer Dorothy Littell Greco, my guest for this Inside Out conversation. Her newest book is Marriage in the Middle: Embracing Midlife Surprises, Challenges, and Joys.

Some are deciding whether to change Christmas traditions--and even thinking about it is stressful. All of us are adjusting—again and again--to the demands of living through a pandemic. And a sizable number of us are negotiating tensions around the contested election.

“Being honest about the grief and the loss is really important,” she says. “So rather than just pushing it under the rug and saying it’s not important, to be able to say, ‘Wow, you know, this is really hard.’”

Loving your spouse well when you feel so much pressure can be difficult.

“The only way that I know how to live out that mandate to radical love is by being connected and empowered by the Holy Spirit.” she says. “In and of myself, I feel like I am so incapable of that kind of love.”

Hear my 16-minute my conversation with Dorothy Littell Greco by choosing the LISTEN or DOWNLOAD option at the top of the page.


Learn about Dorothy Littell Greco.


Read about her newest book, focused on marriage in midlife: Marriage in the Middle.


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Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.


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